Madaline - Bogazici University

B. Economics / Arts
Semester 2, 2015

Academic experience

I decided to use my arts electives when on exchange to make it easier for myself to find subjects to get credit for. It still turned out to be extremely difficult though due to the registration system at Bogazici. So my advice for that would be to make sure you can be as flexible as possible and get lots of courses approved by your faculty just in case. I ended up taking coursed from Political Science, Sociology, Philosophy and English Lit. I really enjoyed all my subjects and it was always very easy to talk to the teachers or other students if I was unsure about anything.

Personal experience

It's true what everybody says. The people you meet on exchange will be friends for life. I've met so many incredible people from my time in Istanbul, so that has definitely been one of the best parts of my exchange experience. I've also been fortunate enough to be able to travel throughout Europe (a lot on my own) and Turkey which has been a great experience! I learnt a tiny bit of the langue, I wish I'd learnt more, but people are thankful as long as you make the effort.

Accommodation

I lived in an apartment off campus, only a 4 minute (uphill) walk to campus. I found the location perfect, the area is full of uni cafes and restaurants that are all very funky and affordable. Its also very easy to take the metro to Taksim or the bus to Besiktas is you wanted to explore other really great areas of this incredible city. The best part of my accommodation choice was absolutely my housemate. I lived with a Turkish girl who is also studying at Bogazici and she was an absolute lifesaver in everyday life. she became my translator, personal guide and an amazing friend.

Budget

Grand Bazaar
Grand Bazaar

Compared to the rest of Europe, Turkey is a relatively inexpensive place to live which is a great part of its appeal. I did end up spending about the amount that UQ Abroad recommends, but I never had to turn down trips away from Istanbul or scrimp on things. Also eating out is insanely cheap so I was able to do that almost every day without worrying. Taxis are also so much cheaper than at home, but the public transport system around Istanbul is pretty great, and with a student transport card it works out to be very affordable. When considering where to live budgeting is also important. I paid 700tl for my room, which is much more affordable than living in one of the dormitories.

Professional development and employability

I feel as though I've grown so much through this whole experiences. But in relation to professional development, my communication skills (non-verbal included!) have gone through the roof! But I think I've also, and probably most importantly learnt my limitations. I know when I'm becoming overwhelmed and how to deal with this so much better than before.

Highlight

The highlight for me was being able to travel within Turkey as much as possible. In particular Fethiye and Cappadocia. Truly unforgettable places to see. Trust me, just go there.

Top tips

Exchange has been the most amazing experience of my life. The have definitely been really difficult moments, but I would recommend it for everybody. I also think that Istanbul is a great choice for exchange because not only is it an incredible city but it will also force you out of your comfort zone. Living in Istanbul is not always an opportunity available after university so jump at it while you can!

Madaline - Bogazici University