Discovering Turkey! 

I am Shujaat Shahidli from Azerbaijan, completing my 4th year of study of bachelor’s program in Finance at Khazar University. I have spent my last semester in Manisa, Turkey, having arrived over here as an exchange student within the Erasmus+ K107 framework. I would like to share my impressions and experiences of Erasmus life with you.  

Firstly, I would like to talk about getting acceptance for this Erasmus project, since participating in Erasmus+ project was one of my dreams. Thus, I did my best to get accepted for this project. Only in one of them, I entered the interview. This was exciting for me. I was expecting only one or two teachers in the interview, but there were 6 teachers J. I was surprised and excited, at the same time, my English was not good, either. As a result, I failed the interview. After that, I also applied for this project, but I could not even get an interview offer for some reason. Finally, in May 2021, I saw the announcement and I applied for this. In the interview, I was asked to talk about myself, and I talked for more than ten minutes (because I was preparing for this almost three years J). The result of the interview was positive, and I became extremely happy to see this. 

Participating in the Erasmus+ project is a great feeling. Even when you move from one small place to another (like from a village to a city), you learn, discover new things and you meet new people. Each of them teaches you some experiences. Somewhere, you are getting the benefit of them. As a result of participating in the Erasmus+ project, you make new friends, new teachers, you get acquainted with new learning methods and even better you discover various places. One of the advantages of this project is that you have a chance to travel within the country that you went to. I have travelled to many cities, and I would like to give you some information about them.  

When I came to Turkey, I did not face with challenges, as I was familiar with the language, culture, meals, and so on. Hence, there was no culture shock in this sense.  

Manisa Celal Bayar Üniversitesi is my host-university. It is in the Aegean region of Turkey. Frankly speaking, Manisa is a small great city. 😊 People over here are very hospitable. There are ancient mosques in the city. Also, when you come here just try to eat ‘Manisa kebab’ – it is amazingly delicious. 

If you come to Turkey, you must visit Ankara, which is the country’s capital city. In terms of places to visit in Ankara first is Memmed Emin Resulzade’s grave in “Cebeci Asri cemetery”. I believe, it is the duty of every Azerbaijani to visit here.  

Another place in Ankara to visit is “Anıtkabir”. Atatürk’s grave is here. It is designed well, and you can learn about modern Turkey’s history, and how the Republic of Turkey appeared on the political map.  

You can also go to Ankara castle.  

The next city is Izmir. It is a historic city. There are amazing buildings. It is at the seaside. The weather is very fresh and changeable. In Izmir, you can visit the old clock tower, Kadifekale (Old settlement), seaside, Ephesus (Old Greek city), and so on. 

Another city is Antalya. It is one of the amazing tourist cities. It is located next to the Mediterranean Sea. Every year millions of tourists visit this city. The weather is very fresh, buildings are well-designed, people are very hospitable – they are used to seeing foreign people. You should use a cable car, you can go aquarium (It is well-known in the world), you should visit “Konya altı”. It is like Baku.

The biggest city in Turkey is Istanbul. There are more than 15 million people in Istanbul. It is very crowded. You should visit Galata Tower, Maiden’s Tower, Dolmabahçe Palace, Hagia Sophia, Archeology Museum, and so on. There are lots of places to visit in this truly remarkable historic city of many civilisations.

In brief, Erasmus life is a completely unique experience that every student should have. It is about having international friends, seeing incredible places, getting new experiences, learning more about everything, discovering countries, and even saving money. Also, it is about studying at a different university and bringing plenty of knowledge back home, to Khazar and Azerbaijan!