Hello OW Community!
Let me just start off by saying that I absolutely love it here at Bogazici University and quite honestly, I wouldn’t mind continuing my education here – and I’m not the only one who thinks this! There are many exchange students right now wishing they could stay for one more semester and some who have already been here from the previous semester! It’s just impossible to not fall in love with this school. The university is in such a perfect location – right off the coast of the Bosphorus strait – which just adds more to the liveliness of the atmosphere of the school. I mean just picture this: every morning you walk to school, you get an amazing overlook of the beautiful strait and the two magnificent bridges that connect the Anatolian and European coasts together – because of this view, I actually don’t mind waking up early!
Other than how beautiful the school is (I know I’ll keep rambling on and on about it), let me give some background information about the education system (specifically about the universities) in Turkey that I recently just learned about! Well first things first, to get accepted into a university in Turkey is not only a huge accomplishment, as it would be anywhere else in the world, but it is much more difficult and the sole reason for this is because of a standardized test that defines the outcome of whether or not you can attend a university. And no, it’s not like the SAT that we have in the U.S. because your acceptance to a university does not solely depend on the SAT. This standardized test, called Higher Education Examination-Undergraduate Placement Examination (Turkish: Yuksekogretime Gecis Sinavi-Lisans Yerlestirme Sinavi or YGS-LYS) are two multiple choice tests for the admission to higher education in Turkey. Because of the Turkish education system, the only way to enter a university is through this exam. If a student succeeds at passing this exam, he/she will continue with his/her studies at a university. Finally, some universities ask for an additional year of English preparatory study to be completed before the start of their studies and Bogazici University is one of them.
Now that I have overwhelmed all of you with all this information, I can move forward in talking about my experiences here! First, I’ll explain the assimilation process to Bogazici University and Istanbul, then I’ll discuss what I did for spring break, and finally I’ll explain the courses I am currently taking.