BY AMNA KARA (MAN/IV)
Name: Laman Valijanova
Country of Origin: Azerbaijan
What do you like best about Turkey?
Since my arrival, my perceptions of Turkey have changed slightly.
I was very worried that I would miss my country, that I would not get along with people. But Turkish people are so kind and friendly, they make me feel at home. I guess Turkish people are what I like best about Turkey.
Are there any similarities between your country’s culture and Turkey’s?
Turkey is not very different from my country, and it never allows me to miss my culture. Some of our holidays, the similarities in language – these all remind me of Azerbaijan.
What will you miss most about Turkey/Bilkent?
My favorite teacher…let her name be a secret.
What’s your favorite place on campus, and why?
The Dorm 76 lawn, for sure. When I came for registration, this was the place I fell in love with.
To be honest, Turkey was my parents’ choice, not mine. However, I don’t regret it.
What’s your favorite Turkish food/favorite part of Turkish culture?
Kuru fasulye. I think that was what my taste receptors were missing for 17 years.
Where do expect to see yourself 10 years from now?
I see myself in France (the country of my dreams), giving lectures at HEC Paris.
What’s the hardest challenge you’ve overcome in Turkey?
When I first came, it was the first time I had been away from my parents, and it was really hard for me to adapt to a life without my mom. This sounds so childish, but it’s the truth.
What cities have you visited in Turkey? Which one do you like the best?
I’ve been to Antalya, Cappadocia, Pamukkale, Denizli and Fethiye. Fethiye amazed me with its natural beauty and climate.
Do you have any hidden talents?
I love singing, but that’s not hidden. For hidden: I write poems that may be read only by me.
What’s a question you’re asked frequently, or the most interesting comment you’ve heard at Bilkent/in Turkey?
“Do you know Russian? So you know four languages. Oh my God, you’re a born CV.”