What’s It Like to Be at Bilkent?

09 December 2013 Comments Off on What’s It Like to Be at Bilkent?

BY NAZ AKYOL (IR/IV)
Name: Stefanie Gebele
Age: 22
Home Country and Home University: Germany (Berlin) and Maastricht University, Netherlands
Department: Political Science (POLS)
What was your first Turkish word?  It was “ayakkabı,” because my Turkish teacher said that there were great shoe shops in Ankara, and girls love shoes.
What is your experience of spending time in Ankara and at Bilkent University?
I very much enjoy being in Ankara and studying at Bilkent. The people are incredibly nice, and I have felt very welcome in this country. I love the great, sunny weather — it rains a lot in Maastricht and Berlin. Turkish culture has also inspired me a lot. I have had a lot of fun with my Turkish friends, who have shown me coffee fortune-telling, where to get the best kebab, where to travel on the weekends and what the evil eye means. I also experienced what it’s like to live on campus. It’s great to only have to walk five minutes to my classes.
If you compare the education systems of Bilkent University and your home university, what are the differences?
There is a difference between Bilkent University and Maastricht University, more specifically University College Maastricht — the liberal arts college where I study. For one thing, we have something called problem-based learning (PBL). This means that we have lectures, but we also have two tutorials per class a week, where we discuss what was said in the lectures, talk about our readings and develop ideas about the subject of the course. At Bilkent, there are only lectures. In smaller classes, there is dialogue between the professor and the students. But in big classes, the professor is the only one talking. I think the PBL system encourages students to develop their own ideas about the course material.  It also ensures that the students really pay attention.
Where do you spend most of your time on campus?
I think the places I’m at the most are Mozart Café in B Building, my dorm and the gym.