I am Fırat Mert ASLANDEREN, a 21-year-old from Turkey, studying in the department of Political Science and International Relations at the Ankara University, a public university in Ankara, the capital city of Turkey. I spent the Erasmus+ semester in Estonia during my bachelor’s 3rd year (2nd semester). I studied at the Estonian Entrepreneurship University of Applied Sciences from January to July 2022.
I wanted to participate in the Erasmus+ program to gain new experiences. I wanted to live in a different country and learn about other cultures. I have always been curious about the countries in Northern Europe, their people, and their cultural affinities. I had never been to Estonia before, and when my school allowed me to travel to Estonia for the Erasmus+ exchange program, I thought it was just the opportunity I was looking for. I must say that Estonia is not a typical Baltic country but essentially a northern European country. When I researched Estonia, it said that people are not friendly and they are cold. I say Google is wrong, and it’s not so. On the contrary, Estonians are very hospitable and friendly.
If I had to describe EUAS in one word, I would most certainly use the word ‘team’. At my university, our teachers teach us very well theoretically, but at EUAS I had the opportunity to learn everything by experience. Even if you are not from the same department, the international and multicultural classes and the world’s most sincere teachers and staff will make you feel like a part of the same team. Everyone here has been accommodating. I met so many beautiful people from around the world, which is my favorite experience I have not found anywhere else. At EUAS, I enjoyed exemplary learning, where I could experience practical facts, and work on cases one-on-one.
I must say that the Erasmus+ program means having lots of adventures, discoveries, travel, fun and friendships with students who I otherwise would never have met, and also brotherhood for me. Even if you face challenges when you speak different languages because there are students from the other side of the world, everyone should experience the magic of the common emotions and enjoy an unforgettable and significant semester with an Erasmus+ program.
My self-confidence has increased exponentially during my mobility. I am confident that ‘I can now live alone in any country. I think students who want to improve themselves and their worldview must step out of their comfort zone and embark on a new adventure by participating in an exchange program for a while. Everyone must experience different cultures as much as possible, keep up with their way of life, be friends, and get to know and observe them. Apart from all these, they should get away from their perspectives and experience different perspectives to become a global person.