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Five EUAS students share their Erasmus experience in Turkey

Five EUAS marketing and hotel and restaurant management students – Chris, Jan Markus, Lisa, Marili, Melissa took part of the Erasmus short-term study abroad program organized by the Istanbul Aydin University. The program took place between 20 January – 3 Feburary 2024 in Antalya and Istanbul, Turkey.


What were the reasons that made you want to participate in an Erasmus+ Blended Intensive Program (BIP)? 

We wanted to get new experiences and meet new people. The Erasmus+ program allowed us to meet new people with interests in the same field as we do. It helped us make new lifelong connections with people from completely different countries. Another huge factor was discovering new cultures and comparing them to each other. It was an eye-opening experience for all of us and made us think about taking more Erasmus programs. Many of us even started thinking about taking longer programs to experience and discover more.

Describe the days of your mobility (classes, trips, free time).

The days there were unforgettable. In the two weeks we were there, every weekday we had classes and almost every day we had the chance to take trips or enjoy free time. In the morning we had classes, and after classes we had planned trips (if we chose them) after that we had free time just to connect with other students while playing some games, karaoke or just hanging out. On some days after classes it felt like sleep would be a really good idea and not take part in the trips, but the bus rides, exploring new places, and eating out, were the things that made the program more unforgettable. Just the feeling of exploring places with all the students made us closer. In classes we were more like in our little bubbles – just trying to learn and listen, not so much chatting with other students – while in our free time, we could connect more openly and discuss our differences and similarities.

The first and last trips were one of the most memorable trips. On the first trip, it was the first time we saw everybody and made our first friendships. Everything was just getting started, we were excited and thought that those two weeks would be a long period. In reality, on the last trip while we had our Farewell Dinner we realized that the two weeks we spent together were not enough. At the dinner all the 77 students that participated became a family, expressing everything they felt about the program, the people, who they will miss, and plan to visit. We shared our thoughts about the classes and what we should have done differently to become closer right away.

What was the most unforgettable memory of your short-term mobility period?

There’s only one correct answer to this question. It’s the people we got to meet during this short-term mobility period. They’ll all remain in our hearts and we hope to see them again soon.

Would you recommend Erasmus+ blended short-term programs to other students? Why?

We think Erasmus+ programs are one of the most exceptional programs that the EU has come up with. It’s one of those things where everybody tells you beforehand what to expect, but you can not sink the depth of it in, before actually participating in the program.

They tell you that you can learn about other cultures, languages and meet other people but the thing you can’t put into words is the warm emotion you leave the program with.

It also puts a lot of things in perspective, of how other people in the world live and see the world. As we live in a very healthy and wealthy country compared to a lot of other countries and parts of the world it can also burst your bubble and illusion of how the world works and can bring a sense of gratitude to your everyday life.

But in our opinion what makes every Erasmus+ program that awesome are the people that come together. Since the group is always quite big, you can be certain that you will find your people to hang out with and enjoy the program.

What do you think this experience gave you (new skills, friendships, new perspective, new ideas)?

We all had different expectations before attending the program. Some of us joined an Erasmus program for the first time, so there was a lot of excitement already before it began. Two weeks is on the one hand a pretty long time, so there was enough time to connect with other people from different nationalities, learn more from the course we chose, go on a lot of tours and excursions, get more familiar with the country we visited and learn it’s culture. On the other hand at the end of the program, we all felt like it all ended too soon and it was harder to go back home.

We all got so many new friends that we didn’t all expect to get and now many of them are very close to us, with whom we’ll continue our friendship for a long time in the future. With some of them, we’ve already made plans to meet in the following months or whenever we visit eachother’s home countries. This was one of the best parts of this Erasmus program – so many people with kind hearts from all over the world, that we can cherish for the rest of our lives.

In the courses (brand management and online marketing) we attended, there were many subjects we had already studied beforehand at our home university. Nonetheless, there were still some things that were new to us and everything was in English, not in our mother tongue,  so we did learn new things. We were also very satisfied with the lecturers we were assigned with. They were all so kind, helpful and made all lectures fun and interesting, which we are very grateful for.

A couple of us had been in Turkey in the past, but for everyone, the program offered us unforgettable experiences and new perspectives. We got to see different sides of both cities, Antalya and Istanbul, which we’d never had the chance to experience before. We got to see both cities and the nature around them and got to experience a lot. There’s so much we took with us to our home – so many great stories, warm feelings and memories. Most of us, if not all of us, are already thinking about the next programs we can join. Winter school in Antalya and Istanbul will always have a place in our hearts.