Name: Aamir Husain
Major: Biomedical Engineering
Study Abroad Location: Boğaziçi Üniversitesi in Istanbul, Turkey
” It’s been one month since I arrived here in Istanbul, and I’m already getting sad I’ll be heading home in just under three months. I feel like everything is a vacation, even going to classes since since my campus overlooks the scenic Bosphorus. Turkish culture is slowly taking over, and I’m accepting it with open arms. The atmosphere of Istanbul, although such a chaotic city, is totally relaxed and easygoing — think of it as a friendly New York, but better. I admit I’ve spent hours just drinking chai with friends in cafes, mastering the incredibly popular game of tavla (backgammon).
” As an engineer, I knew that my classes would be rough, but so far they are enjoyable and the teachers here are incredibly helpful. The language barrier was deﬁnitely frustration the ﬁrst few weeks here, and it still causes problems every once in a while. But the Turkish lessons offered here have helped me pick up basic conversational terms so quickly that even my Turkish roommates were impressed.
Living with Turkish people has indeed fully immersed me in the country’s rich culture, a culture that is so similar to that of my parents’ when they were growing up. Most of the other exchange students I’ve met are from Germany or Holland, and then Americans are the second largest group. Overall there’s a wide range of diversity, and I decided to join the track team over here to get to know more more Turkish people as well.
” Obtaining a residence permit here is an ordeal, and it will probably keep me from leaving the country. But it’s no problem. With my four day weekends (yes, even an engineer can have a nice schedule) I plan on traveling all over Turkey, taking in as much culture as possible while maintaining a rigorous course load.
” I would recommend anyone and everyone should come to Turkey, or even just go abroad in general. First of all, you get accepted to the best university in Turkey (only the top 1% of students here get in). Second, the food is incredibly delicious and ridiculously cheap, even the cafeteria food! Plus there are animals all over campus so you can always have a friend if you’re ever feeling stressed. I can easily that spending four months of my life here has been one of the best decisions I’ve made during my time at GW.