BY AMNA KARA (MAN/IV)
Name: Shi Eun Kim
Country of Origin: South Korea
What do you like best about Turkey?
This is a hard question. Since I’ve lived here since childhood, the whole culture and norms have integrated themselves into my identity, so everything feels familiar and comfortable to me. I guess what I like best about Turkey is that it’s my home.
Are there any similarities between your country’s culture and Turkey’s?
The biggest similarity I can think of is probably respect toward elders. The hand-kissing is similar to all the bows we make in Korea.
What will you miss most about Turkey/Bilkent?
All of the friends I’ve made from countries across the globe. I’ll miss the nighttime conversations and all the multicultural experiences I’ve had at Bilkent.
What’s your favorite place on campus, and why?
My favorite place on campus is probably the grassy area in front of Dorm 76. I like that area since it’s peaceful (at night), and has an amazing view of Ankara.
I was already living in Turkey before I came to Bilkent.
What’s your favorite Turkish food/favorite part of Turkish culture?
My favorite foods are probably İskender and künefe. They’re delicious. My favorite part of Turkish culture is the great hospitality. If you have the opportunity to be invited to Turkish people’s homes, you’ll never be disappointed. They have great food, and conversations will cover a wide range of interesting topics.
Where do expect to see yourself 10 years from now?
Hopefully in some kind of international company whose business involves lots of communication/interaction between diverse nations, where my abilities and talents will be able to shine and bring forth the best results.
What’s the hardest challenge you’ve overcome in Turkey?
The hardest challenge for me was people staring and making unkind remarks wherever I went. At first it bothered me a lot and oftentimes I would comment back, but now it feels normal (great sometimes) to be a yabancı.
What cities have you visited in Turkey? Which one do you like the best?
I’ve visited İstanbul, Ankara, Antalya, İzmir, Adana and a couple of others. I like Antalya best because of the bewitching waters; the beach is absolutely beautiful.
Do you have any hidden talents?
I’m quite flexible…and I love to sing.
What’s a question you’re asked frequently, or the most interesting comment you’ve heard at Bilkent/in Turkey?
The most interesting comment I’ve heard at Bilkent was a little racist, but I laughed it off. The comment was directed at my Asian features (eyes), and it was about whether I could see more horizontally.