“As an Albanian I get the sense that we perceive Turkey to be very much similar to our own country. While there are certainly similarities, I would have to say that my one week visit at METU through the Erasmus+ Credit Mobility Programme was an eye opening experience. I had the opportunity to network with internationally established academics as well as explore the cultural and natural beauties of Ankara and surrounding region. I strongly urge students and our academic staff to take full advantage of this opportunity and strengthen the internationalization of our institution.”
Dr. Denard Veshi
8-19 May 2017
The experience as visiting scholar at Middle East Technical University (METU) was extremely interesting. It helped me to better shape my expertise according to the interest of students coming from Middle East. This experience also gave me several other advantages as well, such as speaking with local scholars and researchers, advancing my ability to quickly adapt in a new academic environment, and enhancing the possibility to apply for joint academic collaborations. The administrative staff was amazingly helpful by helping me with the accommodation and other arrangements.
As usual all the unknown things make you feel uncertain and scared. Going in Rennes, at Science-Po was challenging for me, because I didn’t knew what I was going to face in there.
However after my arrival there my uncertainty about the decision of going there was gone.
Rennes is a very beautiful and quiet city and it welcomes students who go to study.
The people of Rennes are very nice and the most polite people ever met in my life.
Science-Po is so well organized, from the first day that you will arrive until the last day you will stay in there. The staff of the international office was always willing to help and guide you, in order for the international student to integrate in Sciences-Po.
Zephyr the association (the girls) of the foreign students, help the international students with all the procedures that the student needed to fulfill after they arrival in there, they organized events in order for the students to get to know each other.
Lecture with French and International Professors were really challenging, not just for the students, but also for them. They always wanted to know the opinion of the students based on their culture. The lectures were really interesting, because you had to work in group with people that have totally different view on the on many issues, different cultures, different traditions etc.
In this exchange I knew students from around the world, that you will never have the chance to meet in the same place and in the same time. You will know different cultures, mentalities and you will see that in the end everybody is the same.
Thank you to UNYT for giving me the opportunity to go in France, to this amazing journey.
Even if to some extend your plans didn’t had the outcome that you wanted, but you gained other things that you never thought you will.
In the end you will have this unique experience that you will remember for the rest of your life.
Exchange semester : Spring 2017
METU arranged 1 week of orientation program, offering a wide range of activities for exchange students to get familiar with everything needed for the coming semester, which includes school student online system- METU online, the library system, METU class and email in which classroom assignments and other related documents would be shared. This term I am attending Portfolio Optimization, Financial Risk Assessment, and Financial Econometrics. Lectures are theoretical, but professors put emphasis into cases analysis. Portfolio Optimization and Financial Risk Assessment assign course works such as lab reports (coding in Matlab) and journal reviews. Financial Econometrics is a special topic course focusing in time series analysis- important task in forecasting, particularly in stock market and portfolio management. As advanced courses, professors are very ambitious in teaching and successful scientists publishing in journals and authors of books in related subjects.
I have not yet taken any exam but I have submitted couple graded assignments. The workload is quite demanded and professors really pay attention to attendance in class.
The campus is not located near the city center – however inside the campus basically you can find everything needed. The campus is quite big and facilities, such as the huge library, WLAN on-campus, the computers have to be pointed out. There are many shuttles inside the campus to facilitate the transport inside the campus. A dining hall where breakfast, lunch and dinner are offered; also, each building has its own cafeteria where you can wind down with other fellow students. In addition, a track field and fitness room is located in campus.
However, I preferred to live outside the campus and I found my own housing which is very near of campus.
Everyone says that studying abroad is life-changing, and I’m here to confirm that is totally true. I was told multiple times by my peers that going through that experience touches you profoundly and you never come back the same.
When I was first proposed to follow a study program abroad in France I declined on it despite prof. Giakoumis insistence, pushed by my fears and insecurities. The second time I realized it was something I wanted to do and that would help shape my thoughts, ideas and academic profile.
Studying at Sciences Po Rennes, one of the best Grand Ecoles in France, proved to be one of the few best decisions I’ve made. When I first arrived I was full of uncertainties, fearing I would have an unbelievably difficult time adapting to the different system followed by French universities. However once again I was proven wrong. With the help of an amazingly welcoming staff in special Mme. Perrin, Mme. Iglesias and M. Gregov, I was able to catch up with the students of the past semester and with my classes of spring semester. Academically wise I need to underline it was a hard process to undergo, as a student of the American system and moreover to adjust to a completely different program from the one I would follow at UNYT. Nonetheless, needless to say that we as humans have an amazing capability of adaption and that difficulty helped ease one of my dangerous habits as a student, that of panicking ahead of time and not thinking clearly to find possible solutions.
It has been a truly invaluable learning experience for me. Acknowledgment has to be given to my improvement on academic preparation through what I have learnt from all of the constructive input and guidance throughout each lesson of each course. Now I can easily testify that, thanks to Rennes such a student friendly city and Sciences Po Rennes with its unbelievably helpful guidance program what my peers over and over again said to me about study abroad programs its true: it is an experience that differently shapes your character, thoughts and academic profile.
Therefore for this reason I would like to thank prof. Giakoumis and prof. Kalemaj for helping me through this experience and for guiding me into making this decision that I only regret for not making earlier.
Studying abroad has become so popular nowadays. A large number of scholarships allow students to explore new cultures and go out of their comfort zone. And so did I.
When i first heard about the exchange program Erasmus+ provided by European Union i was very interested. Previously i had done an internship in Izmir and i enjoyed my staying there, so this time i thought that this is an opportunity for me to practice the Turkish language and to come even closer to their tradition, culture and history.
As an International Relations student i found it very challenging and yet interesting in the same time. Throughout my stay at METU ( Middle East Technical University} in Ankara i had the chance to participate in the MUN conference which was organized by some student of METU and i also became member of the International Relations Club. I was surprised by the high level of English and also the academic background of the professors. So as a consequence the level of class difficulty was high and and the professors required a lot of writing and research papers. But however their attitude towards the international student was really nice and they were willing to help us with the courses. Professor Ozgehan of foreign policy that we use to call him “hocam” used to tell us that we should enjoy our experience in Turkey because life doesn’t give us a second chance to do the the same mistake twice. And by this he meant that we had to travel, to meet new things that are unknown to us, to try and even if we fail as least we tried. And despite our obligation as students we also had a lot of fun and we traveled a lot. We used to organized mini trips of the most attractive areas in Turkey like Cappadocia, Istanbul, Antalya, Izmir, Black Sea etc.
As for the campus, it was huge and we used to take the dolmus ( minibuses) to go to the different departments and classes. What i really like the most was the fact that the campus was like a small town but student one where you feel like home. METU offers accommodation for students and also different facilities within the campus like bank, market, coffee shops, restaurants, mall center, sport facilities. and of course the Library which was like the whole building that UNYT has. It was big and it was always crowded not just for mid-term or finals.
Overall what i want to say is that there is some uniqueness of METU that makes it different from other Universities in Turkey and it is its liberalism and it let its students to speak out and express themselves freely. Students are encouraged to organize clubs and to politically identify themselves with different political ideologies.