The International Chronicles

29 March 2022 Comments Off on The International Chronicles


Name: Mark Andre Udikas

Department: Faculty of Economics, Administrative, and Social Sciences

Country of Origin: Estonia

What do you like best about Turkey?

If asked, what I’d say about Turkey is how versatile it really is. It’s very often considered a destination for beach holidays, but in actuality it has something to offer everyone. Whether you’re into surfing, rock climbing, skiing or seeing the sites of ancient civilizations, Turkey can provide a venue for nearly anything.

Are there any similarities between Turkey and your home country?

The similarities are scarce; not to say that they don’t exist. I’ll say that one of the main reasons why I so desperately wanted to come here was to get out of the single-rhythmed European way of life. However, Ankara has remained a bit faceless to me. In addition, some of the artsy cafés that I’ve been to in Turkey remind me an awful lot of those I go to back home.

What will you miss most about Bilkent/Turkey?

I could never forgive myself if I didn’t say that it would be my friends. Since coming here in September, I’ve grown close to many people whom I’ll have a hard time leaving behind. Thank God FaceTime exists.

What’s your favorite place on campus, and why?

That honor will go to the Coffee Break next to A Building. If you manage to get chairs outside, you can sit there chatting with your friends while hundreds of students pass by like ants. There’s something in that liveliness that I like.

What’s your favorite Turkish food and/or favorite part of Turkish culture?

I very much love the breakfast culture. Never have I been so much into eating in the mornings. Also, anything that’s brought to me in a çorbacı after a night out is great. Gözleme has left a lasting impression as well. Favorite part of the culture? The part of the culture with which I’ve become most familiar is certainly the literature. I’m in awe of people like Pamuk and Kemal.

Where do you expect to see yourself 10 years from now?

I’d love to be able to combine my interest in policy making with my love for culture. Perhaps I’ll end up in cultural affairs. Cultural diplomacy as a field is as yet a bit undefined, but groundbreaking; that sector is a challenge I wouldn’t shy away from.

What’s the hardest challenge you’ve handled in Turkey?

Some Turkish grammar has confused me quite a lot, but I still keep trying.

What places have you visited in Turkey, and which one is your favorite?

Rather than going to every city that’s recommended to me, I’ve tried to see places that are different. I’ve been to İstanbul (more than some of my Turkish friends), Kaş, Eskişehir, Kuşadası, Antep and Mardin, plus a few others. The most memorable was certainly Mardin.

What’s an interesting question or comment you hear frequently at Bilkent/Turkey?

I was very surprised at the interest in Erasmus. Back at my home university, many don’t even consider the opportunity. Here, people dream of getting the chance. Which they should, because it’s truly a wonderful experience.

Describe yourself in three words.

Tall, friendly and imaginative.