BY YAREN SAĞLIK (TRIN/III)
Name: Nausherwan Aziz
Country of Origin: Pakistan
What do you like best about Turkey?
The number of places to travel is something I’ve enjoyed a lot. Over three years I’ve kept discovering new places, but there are always more new ones I keep learning about, which makes it an endless adventure. Of course, traveling wouldn’t be as enjoyable without the amazing and hospitable people in the country, who add to the charm of each place.
Are there any similarities between Turkey and your home country?
Definitely! There’s a big focus on family life in both countries, and the love for food (especially meat) is equally strong in both cultures as well. Many other little things are shared between the two countries too, which creates a sense of it being relatable enough to not have a massive culture shock when you move here. At the same time, the cultures are also different enough for you to learn many interesting perspectives and in the process grow as a person as well.
What will you miss most about Bilkent/Turkey?
I think I’m going to miss a lot about Bilkent, but the friends I’ve made here will definitely be at the top of the list. You share so many memories with the people here and form a support system for each other, so my friends are just like family now, and it will take a while to get used to life without them. Bilkent International House is something I’ll miss a lot as well, due to the immense role the club has played in my university life (I’ve met most of my close friends through BIH, which adds to its importance).
What’s your favorite place on campus, and why?
Speed! Because of the awesome food. But apart from that, just the view from the top of the hill and the outdoor seating area of Bilka. That is, in my opinion, the most relaxing place on campus, and of course over three years I’ve had many memorable conversations there.
What’s your favorite Turkish food and/or favorite part of Turkish culture?
İskender tastes heavenly, so that’s my favorite food, definitely. Also, the culture of just sitting and drinking tea in a calm and relaxed way, without any rush, always helps to reduce any stress you have and helps form bonds among people very quickly.
Where do you expect to see yourself 10 years from now?
Starting my own business and/or PR consultancy firm, and working toward my dream goal of making a name for myself and ultimately retiring in New Zealand or South America – or maybe even both, if I actually become as successful as I hope!
What’s the hardest challenge you’ve handled in Turkey?
Overcoming the language barrier is definitely a struggle; luckily, I’ve had great help from friends, so it hasn’t been insurmountable, but of course it does make things difficult at times.
What places have you visited in Turkey, and which one is your favorite?
I’ve visited Çanakkale, Trabzon, İzmir, Kuşadası, Çeşme, İstanbul, Manisa, Antalya, Eskişehir, Kapadokya, Fethiye and Bodrum. It’s very hard to pick a favorite, since most of them were awesome and had their own unique vibe. I guess İzmir and Çanakkale would be tied as my favorites.
Do you have any hidden talents?
I’m not sure if this qualifies, but I’ve just started writing short stories in my free time. I haven’t shared them with many people yet, but it’s something I hope to continue doing and maybe share when I feel ready. I can also read really fast, if that counts.
What’s an interesting question or comment you hear frequently about Bilkent/Turkey?
I’m always asked about my experience as a university student in Turkey when I’m back in Pakistan. Also, many people outside of Bilkent seem to think the community is something like Beverly Hills or Monte Carlo; yes, the average student may be affluent, but some of the perceptions are very much exaggerated.
Describe yourself in three words.
Ambitious. Perseverant. Creative.
If you could master any skill, which one would you choose, and why?
Learning languages; it would open up so many opportunities and make traveling the whole world even more culturally enriching than it already is.