• Name : Park Yu-jin
• Grade : Senior
College of Architecture
Kadir Has University, Turkey
1. Why did you decide to go to Turkey as an exchange student?
In fact, Kadir Has University of Turkey was not my first preference but the third. While I was looking into the list of universities, I wanted to apply to Turkey at first. However, I took the advice of friends and seniors around me and placed Turkey in third place considering the competition rate. Finally, I was assigned to Kadir Has University in Istanbul, Turkey, and I was very happy to receive the letter of acceptance. Turkey was more attractive than many other countries I have ever been to, and I even thought I want to live there. It was also a great opportunity to see the great buildings that I had only seen in pictures. It might be awkward to express that I “lived there” because I was only there for six months. However, I thought living in Turkey, and experiencing their culture for six months was a meaningful event.
2. What was your major in Turkey? Did you have any special difficulties?
I studied architecture while in Turkey. The special difficulty was using the 3D modeling programs that I usually dealt with in architectural design classes. They were not the same programs that I have been working on, so I had to learn the basics personally, in parallel with the classes. I was not sure if could finish the project well because the process for the project was delayed overall. At first, I was really lacking in skills, but I gradually got better after looking at data and studying, and my professor and team members were willing to help me. I got closer by asking my friends and we were teaching each other what we did not know.
What I felt during taking this architectural design class was that the guidelines, the professor’s evaluations, and advice were very specific. Rather than a colorful product, professors seemed to prefer a concise and clear-cut product. Moreover, there were a lot of challenging assignments such as building and installing their own structures in reality, which is more difficult and takes a lot of effort to learn. The students also study really hard. During the summer vacation, students were obliged to complete a few weeks of fieldwork, and of course, as an exchange student, I thought it would be a great opportunity to see the actual working in person.
3. How much was the total cost of spending while you studied in Turkey?
If you are an exchange student and study abroad at a sister school, that semester will be recognized equally as a semester at Konkuk University. Therefore, I had to apply for registration at KU and pay the same tuition. As a result, you do not pay extra tuition to their overseas counterparts.
In Kadir Has University, there were no dorm facilities available at the time, so students had to find their own homes, such as share houses, and they usually paid between 1,100 and 1,300 liras (230,000won ~ 270,000won) per month. During the semester, I traveled mainly to Turkish cities, and after the end of the semester I left Turkey for three weeks to travel to other European countries. Except for the KU tuition, I spent about 8.2 million won on air tickets, local living expenses, accommodation, and travel expenses.
4. What was the most memorable experience you have experienced in Turkey?
There were so many special experiences, therefore I will tell you some of them. First, when the movie Captain Marvel was released, my best friend and I went to the cinema. While watching the movie, the lights went on and suddenly we were given a break. I was concentrating hard on the movie, so I was very surprised to see what had happened. However, in Turkey, having a break during the films was a common event. The second experience was trying water pipe. I am a non-smoker, but the water pipe I tried for the first time in my life was amazing. It is called Nargile in Turkish, and it has cherry, mint, grape, apple, and even cheese cake flavors. My last experience was taking a ferry. Usually people use ferry for transportation, but I used it whenever I was in a bad mood. Just taking a ferry and watching the crashing tides made me feel more relaxed.
5. What was the most memorable food you ate in Turkey?
When people think of Turkey, they often think of Turkish ice cream, but besides Turkish ice cream, there are many other foods and desserts to enjoy. Especially when it comes to dessert, I think Turkey is a dessert paradise. Among the desserts, I liked Kunefe the most, and Rochum and Baclava are really delicious. I really liked Turkish breakfast Kahvalti, and my favorite foods were chicken wing kebap and Iskander kebap.
6. What did you feel when you finished your exchange student?
I personally recommend that you actively communicate with exchange students in Korea, and when you get interested in them, then apply for the exchange student program. If you are willing to invest in your college life plan for a half-year, you will never regret it. Of course, during my life as an exchange student, my daily life was not always pleasant and happy, and I am sure there were many hard and stressful days. However, there were so many things that I learned and felt when I ended my exchange student life. I could know how they study and learn, what they think, and how hard they live. Personally, I think my personality has changed in a more positive way. It was only six months, but throughout my life, I have developed a great affection for Turkey, Istanbul, the school and my friends. I am sure living in Turkey would be an attractive experience.
Seok Min-ju, Junior Reporter firstname.lastname@example.org
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