BY YAREN SAĞLIK (TRIN/IV)
Name: Parsa Keihan
Department: Computer Engineering
Country of Origin: Iran
What do you like best about Turkey?
Well, I’ve been living in Turkey for nearly four years, since I was 15. The loveliest thing about Turkey is its people – I mean, how helpful and warm-hearted they are when they see a foreigner. Also, it would be unfair if I didn’t mention the natural beauty and historic sites Turkey has.
Are there any similarities between Turkey and your home country?
Yes, as many of you know, Iran is a neighboring country, meaning that there might likely be some similarities in culture, food and traditions. Even the Turkish and Farsi languages contain many similar words, with different pronunciations. The reason for these similarities might be the history the two countries have shared for hundreds of years.
What will you miss most about Bilkent/Turkey?
Although with the pandemic going on this year I can’t really visit the campus enough, I’ll really miss the environment and friendly students of Bilkent University. In Turkey, I would mostly miss Fethiye, where my family first lived when we immigrated to Turkey.
What’s your favorite place on campus, and why?
I would say the Engineering building and the Main Campus Library; they’re next to each other, which makes it easy to go between them. Also, the Odeon, as I went there to take my first course (GE100) as a new student and meet my classmates, listen to the orchestra and participate in different activities, which were all really enjoyable.
What’s your favorite Turkish food and/or favorite part of Turkish culture?
My favorite Turkish food is döner, as it’s really delicious (although eating too much might be unhealthy). My favorite part of Turkish culture is the Turkish language, as it was really important for me during my studies in high school. Furthermore, guys in Turkey have a different type of greeting, where they knock heads together. This way of saying hello is one of my favorite parts of Turkish culture. 😀
Where do you expect to see yourself 10 years from now?
I would say I’ll be studying for a PhD and will also have a full-time job in a company, or will even have my own company.
What’s the hardest challenge you’ve handled in Turkey?
When I first came to Turkey, I had no idea what the Turkish language was like or how people, especially my teachers and classmates, would treat me as a foreigner. Learning Turkish in two months and trying to catch up with all my classes in high school was the biggest challenge I faced in Turkey, and one of the biggest in my life. Experiencing a new environment and being with people who were not from my culture was quite hard at first, but day by day I got used to it and handled it as well as I could.
What places have you visited in Turkey, and which one is your favorite?
Before immigrating to Turkey, my family and I went on holiday to a different city in Turkey each summer. I’ve been to Bodrum, İzmir, Fethiye, Denizli, İstanbul, Eskişehir, Antalya, Kuşadası, Van and Marmaris, as well as Ankara. My favorite place is Fethiye, as I spent three years there and have beautiful memories of it.
Describe yourself in three words.
Cheerful, honest, ambitious.
What’s an interesting question or comment you hear frequently about Bilkent/Turkey?
People always keep asking me different questions, such as: Where do you study? How many languages do you know? How can you speak Turkish so fluently? What language do you dream in?