What’s It Like to Be at Bilkent?

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


Name: Suna Johanna Voss
Age: 22
Department: Philosophy
Home Country/University: Germany/University of Dundee, Scotland
First Word in Turkish: Baba
What is your experience of spending time in Ankara and at Bilkent University?
I like Bilkent, but there’s something missing on campus. In Dundee, we have a student union, bars and other places as meeting points; you just go there and meet everyone. I have found Bilkent decentralized in that sense. Another thing is a lack of food options on campus; for instance, I’m a vegetarian, and I get bored eating pasta every day.
When it comes to Ankara, most people say Ankara is a boring city, but it’s what you make of it. There are a great variety of bars and places to go in Ankara, as well as cultural activities. I live with a Turkish flatmate in the city center, with three cats; we’re like a family right now, and this makes me so happy.
If you compare the education systems at Bilkent University and your home university, what are the differences?
It’s difficult to compare them. I live in an English-speaking country. At Bilkent, people are not native speakers, but their language of education is English, and therefore it’s not fair to make a comparison. I think the engineering departments are harder than the humanities and politics departments. By the way, I should say that I’m taking Turkish classes, and it’s progressing so slowly.
Do you think that the student network for Erasmus exchange students at Bilkent works effectively?
The student network works very well. They’re always organizing parties, and they take really good care of everyone. It’s not a job for them; they’re doing it because they really want to be friends with everyone.
Where do you most enjoy spending time on campus?
I like spending time at Coffee Break on the top floor. (I think that place hasn’t been discovered by everyone — that’s why I like it.)