On Wednesday we woke up in Ankara and prepared for our first meeting at Middle East Technical University. As many of the universities here in Turkey the campus is really big and we learned that this campus also had it´s own lake. Imagine that, huh?
Just as all the previous places we had visited the students were interested in applying and asking all sorts of questions. It´s so nice to see that our scholarships are so attractive.
After METU we went to Bilkent University, another huge one, to meet with Professor Elisabeth Özdalga and her students.
Professor Özdalga is working at the Department of Political Science but when I first met her she was working in METU. It must have been around 2007, I guess, and between these universities she has also been the Head of The Swedish Research Institute in Istanbul.
When meeting with her students we also got help from of our scholarship holders, Giray Sadik, who is now working at Yildirim Beyazit University in Ankara and also Digdem Soyaltin who is doing PhD in Germany but just happened to be in Ankara for a conference.
This was the first place where we really filled up all the seats. The presentations are also much more colourful when you can add the perspectives of those who have previously been in our program.
After the presentation at Bilkent Giray took uf for some tea out in the sun. As Swedes we could not have enjoyed that more. So great to feel the sun on your faces in late November and at the same time getting reports about the snow in Sweden :)
On Tuesday the 26th we went to Istanbul´s oldest university; Istanbul university. It was founded in 1453 and is therefore just slightly older than Swedens oldest university, Uppsala university, which was founded in 1477.
Istanbul university is situated beautifully in the Beyazit area and has an impressively big campus.
We got to meet with Professor Aysegül Komsuoglu and with some of her students. As a extra plus she also arranged for us to meet with their career center so that we could discuss with them how we could reach even more Turkish students and spread the information more widely.
The career center was situated in an old red and green building just outside campus, as soon as I can get all the technical things to work here I will post pictures here so that you can see it.
The afternoon was spent together with Head of Section for Turkish-Swedish cooperation at the Consulate General of Sweden in Istanbul, Sevil Özmen, who joined us for a presentation at Istanbul Bilgi university.
The students there were really actively showing their interest by asking lots of questions. I´m guessing we might get some applicatons from students there :)
The best thing of the day though was that after the meeting at Istanbul Bilgi university me and Tove went to the airport to catch a flight to Ankara. Just after going through security a former scholarship holder, Burak Haciahmetoglu, approaches me. Burak was granted the Swedish Institute Scholarship for Human Rights Law in memory of Anna Lindh, which is a scholarship within the Swedish-Turkish scholarship program. He was granted in 2008, I think and I haven´t seen him since he returned to Turkey. That was really surprising but I guess, if you have more than 200 alumnis in a country you would sooner or later walk in to any of them.
Unfortunately our time before boarding was so short so we didn´t really have time to talk but still, that really made my day :)
On Monday 26th we started off with our first university meeting here in Istanbul by visiting Bogazici university.
Our presentations focuses on Sweden as a study destination and about the Swedish-Turkish scholarship program which is open for applicants from Turkey. As a bonus, one of our former scholarship holders, Bilge Mehpeyker Uluyol, came with us to also give her perspective on Sweden and her time as a student and scholarship holder.
Due to exams at this time of the year students were a bit busy but those who came was really interested of the scholarships and asked a lot of questions.
After the meeting at Bogazici we took a taxi from the European side of Istanbul and went to the Asian side. We had lunch at a really crowded student restaurant just outside of Marmara university before meeting number two which was at that university.
At Marmara University we met with Professor Dr Hamza Kandur and Professor Dr Suut Dogruel. They had never previously heard about our scholarship program but were very happy to get information about this. They were very friendly and helpful, Prof. Dogruel took us on a tour to see the campus at Göztepe and they also arranged a driver to take us to our next meeting. That was more than we would have wished for, thank you so much!
Next meeting was held at Sabanci university. Sabanci is very far out on the Asian part of Istanbul and it was quite a drive to get there. The university is relatively new and it´s huge even though they have quite a low number of students, only around 2000.
The students attending the meeting asked a lot of questions and we could answer most of them. Some are still to be updated on our website www.studyinsweden.se until Saturday when the applicaiton period officially opens at universityadmissions.se.
After the meeting at Sabanci we got on the university shuttle bus taking us to Kadiköy from where we took the ferry over to the European part. That is really the fastest and easiest way to travel in Istanbul so no wonder there are so many boats on the Bosphorus :)
We have really wanted to keep you updated about our trip to Turkey but the internet connection has been very poor. But, don´t worry; I promise to make it up to you ;)
This Sunday we arranged a dinner at Leb i Derya in Beyoglu in Istanbul for former scholarship holders. I learned that Leb i Derya means “view of sea” and there are no questions why the restaurant has chosen such a name; the view of the Bosporus is really stunning from up there.
20 Alumnis attended the dinner and it was great to catch up with them and learn what they have been doing since they returned from Sweden.
It´s almost 50/50, half of them are working in the field they have been eduated and the other half are still in academia, continuing with PhD studies or post-doctoral research.
I´m happy that we can be in touch with our alumnis when they return and I am already looking forward to meeting them again.
Me and my colleague Tove will be going to Turkey this Saturday to arrange dinners for our Alumni’s and also visit universities to inform about Sweden as a study destination and the scholarship program we offer for Turkish students/researchers.
Here´s our schedule for the university visits:
Istanbul, Monday 26/11:
- Bogazici University 10.30
- Marmara University 13.00
- Sabanci University 15.40
Istanbul, Tuesday 27/11:
- Istanbul University 10.30
- Istanbul Bilgi University 15.00
Ankara, Wednesday 28/11:
- METU 10.00
- Bilkent University 12.30
Ankara, Thursday 29/11
- Hacettepe University 10.30
Izmir, Friday 30/11:
- Dokuz Eylul University 10.30
- Izmir University of Economics 14.30
There might be additional visits as we are still waiting for response from some universities. All updates will be posted here.
For more information about the Swedish-Turkish Scholarship Program go to www. studyinsweden.se.
Spread the word about our visits to anyone that might be interested in studying in Sweden and follow our week in Turkey on the blog.