Political science graduate student Nargiza Yusupova had an amazing experience studying abroad. We recently spoke with Yusupova about her experience.
Whenever you have an opportunity to see another culture and live in a foreign country, take advantage of it! Before going for an exchange program to Bilkent University in Ankara, Turkey, I already knew that I would enjoy it and gain lifetime experience. Bilkent University is one of the best universities in Turkey and all the professors are highly experienced. All classes in Bilkent were conducted in English and I was able to carry interesting discussions with peers whose English language skills were very advanced. In other words, if you choose to go to Bilkent University you don’t have to worry about classes and their content.
In Bilkent you can select classes from a pool of department courses. There are many options to choose from and selection is not limited. While studying in Bilkent, the ESN group responsible for Erasmus/exchange students organized several trips around Turkey and weekly gatherings, giving students an opportunity to make new friends from all around the world.
Additionally, it is cheap to live and travel around Turkey because of the recent Turkish lira devaluation against the US dollar. You will also receive a monthly stipend. I was very surprised when my coordinator at Bilkent told me that all graduate students receive a monthly stipend and do not necessarily hold GA positions. Also, based on the exchange agreement, a student going to Bilkent and living on campus does not have to pay for the accommodation.
I loved my time at Bilkent University and met amazing people. The classes were interesting and I learned a lot from my Turkish peers. This exchange program also gave me an opportunity to practice my Turkish language skills and improve them significantly. I have no regrets whatsoever that I decided to do an exchange program and would like to encourage other ISU students to go to Bilkent University.