Turkish Classes and Koç Culture

Classes started on Monday and have been fine. Everything is taught in English and fairly easy to understand, but some questions and things are explained in Turkish.  I am taking 4 Koç classes and a two credit CIEE exchange seminar. I need to fulfill my Pro-School entrance requirements for OSU, so I am taking Organic Chemistry, Differential Equations, Material and Energy Balances and Basic Turkish. My Turkish class is all exchange students, but I am the only foreign student in my other three classes. In math on Monday one student wanted to ask a question, but wasn’t comfortable enough with his language skills to use English. the professor made him ask my permission to ask a question in Turkish so that I would not be offended.

As you can see, everyone is very nice and helpful here which is really welcoming and nice. There is at least one girl that I have all three of my core classes with as well. She is nice and we seem to have several things in common.

I am including some pictures of the campus so you can get a feel for what it looks like. The campus is 62 acres (twice the size of my family’s property at home) and very modern since it was built in 1995.

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This is the Engineering courtyard. I am sitting in one of the below ground level seating areas.

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The Science Building Courtyard. Many seating areas and places for students to hang out.

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More of the Science courtyard. The campus is situated on a large hill so there are many sets of huge stairs separating the buildings. (My OSU peeps can understand how this is a disappointment… haha)

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The Social Sciences courtyard. I love these benches!!!

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The walkway in the Social Sciences courtyard. There are many pieces of marble architecture used as decoration for this building.

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Another view of the courtyard.

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A view of the side of the library and another courtyard area.

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Mom! They have Crape Myrtles that are just blooming!

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The clock tower and the Turkish flag which is seen everywhere. I am buying one before I go home!

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The main fountain where we meet for all events.

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The dorm area. The trees are surrounded by dorms A-S I think.

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My dorm! I live on the first floor which is a luxury after climbing all the stairs all over campus. We have laundry facilities in the basement and a large kitchen on the 4th floor with a balcony and a nice view.

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This a view from the bathroom door. 3 sinks, 2 stalls, and 2 showers for approx. 10 people.  Very nice and clean.

I wanted to mention that one of my biggest shocks has been the European chicness of everything. Being from Oregon, I almost never have the need to dress nicely except for church. Here, everyone dresses up in what I would consider VERY nice clothes every day making me feel underdressed.  I brought my Birkenstocks which will be fine once the weather cools down (It’s been in the mid 80’s with a bit more humidity than I’m used to), but right now I am wearing my only pair of shorts with sneakers and my more dressy t-shirts that I brought almost every day.

I brought fairly modest clothing because I wasn’t sure how much I needed to cover up. On campus students wear anything from short shorts to spaghetti strap tops and fancy sandals (A lot of birks, but the colorful thong-strap style). This weekend I am going shopping with two other exchange students from Norway and Bosnia.

I am making friends with many exchange students and have met some very nice Koç students mostly from the engineering department.

My roommate is from Izmir, Turkey (about 6hrs away) and is a senior in Industrial Engineering. I am her third exchange roommate from the US (but first engineer!) and we are getting along great!

Turkey is different than Oregon for sure, but I really like it here. Feel free to buy a plane ticket and come visit me!!!!

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