Amra’s story – Moving to Istanbul

by volpower
5 years ago

Today is one month since I came to Istanbul. A month since I started with this new adventure in my life. I’ll tell you a short story about my new adventure and new, big step in my life.

Blog post by Amra, Croatian Team

At the beginning of this year, I applied for a master’s degree in Turkey and this summer, the day before my birthday, I got the mail that I was accepted. That is how my adventure started and how I got the best present of them all for this birthday.

Firstly, I’ll shortly explain how I decided to come to Turkey to study.

At the beginning of the last academic year, I was searching for master’s degrees all over Europe. The first plan was to go to the UK, but when I realized how much it would cost me, I had to cross out that idea. But then I found a lot of interesting master’s degrees in Turkey, actually in fields that I am interested in, like international relations and the migrant crisis. Also, one of my reasons to come to Turkey was that I know some Turkish because I took Turkish courses in Zagreb.

So, I applied online for my master’s degree in Turkey over their web page. After I applied, there was nothing left, except for waiting, and waiting paid off. When I opened the mail, I couldn’t believe that I got the opportunity to study at one of the best universities in Turkey and also in my favourite city, Istanbul. I was shocked at first, but later I got overwhelmed by emotions. I was happy, sad, scared and excited in the same time but still, I couldn’t believe that I got the scholarship.

The biggest reason why I couldn’t believe it is because they were cca. 2 weeks late with announcing the results, but that is actually normal for Turkey and Turks – they are always a little bit late. It just takes the patience and understanding that that is how it is with them. When you get used to it, everything gets easier.

I had around 2 months from the time the results were announced until my flight to Istanbul. At that time, I had to gather all of my documents, translate them, verify them at the Turkish Embassy and also pack my stuff and say goodbye to everybody. I can say that this was the hardest packing and goodbyes in my life.

I wasn’t really aware I was leaving my home and going somewhere else for a long time until I got my flight ticket. After that, everything got real. I realized that I won’t be home for three years.

I have to admit that this is the first big step in my life and it was scary and exciting at the same time. It was hard to say goodbye to all the people I love and that are a big part of my life. I was sad because I will leave them and I knew that I will miss them. But at the same time, I was happy to have them all in my life because they are my wings, my strength, and my biggest support.

So, I got the scholarship from Turkey’s government. I will have the opportunity to study at Yildiz Technical University at the department of Political Science and International Relations. The scholarship includes one year of Turkish language course, tuition fee for university, living costs, visa, first and last flight ticket, health insurance and pocket money. It is a full scholarship and I am one of the lucky ones in 5 000 students that got selected this year from 150 000 that applied for this scholarship. I really can say that I am lucky.

Secondly, when I came to Turkey the adventure has begun. 

I packed a lot of patience with me because I knew I would need it here and I really do. My patience got tested the very first day I came to Turkey.

I had to wait for 8 hours for my transportation to the dorm, but finally, I came. I got a really nice, modern and new dormitory.

I enrolled in the Turkish course and at the university. I was so shocked and impressed how big my campus is and it really looks like some of those campuses from the movies. When I enrolled for the Turkish course, I had to do the exam because I know some Turkish and, even though the results showed that my level of Turkish is B1, I have to take classes from A1. I was really angry when they told me that because I knew it will be a waste of my time, but I didn’t have other options since I am the only one that has this level of Turkish. I can say that sometimes I get bored a lot in classes, but also, I can’t say that this is something bad because I have more time to walk around and explore the city while others have to study.

I have been three times in Istanbul before coming here for my master’s, so I know some places in the city. At least I can’t get lost. Also because of my knowledge of Turkish, it is much easier to communicate with people as their English is really bad. The city is something special and everybody can find something for themselves. It has old places and new, modern places. The city never sleeps and you can’t get bored in it, at all. 

 In summary, in this one month, I can say that, even though some things aren’t going well sometimes or as I wanted, I am still really happy and satisfied with this scholarship. We will see what will happen until the end of this academic year and what will happen and how it will be when I start with real classes at the Uni.