Student Spotlight: Elifnur Tuğaç

Elifnur Tuğaç
AMER 2022

Spring Semester 2021 Erasmus Outgoing Student

Technical University of Dortmund, Germany


My five months Erasmus experience at Technical University of Dortmund, Germany is an unforgettable memory on my mind. Yes, this journey can seem long and challenging but it became easier thanks to my home university advisor Dr. Joshua Bartlett, and Bilkent University’s Office of Exchange Programs. For those who would like to learn more about the preparation part (necessary documents for Erasmus, official papers, visa, Covid regulations, etc.), I have recorded videos about my hardships and other experiences before my mobility. There is also a Vlog where I share some clips from my travels to Stuttgart, Dortmund, Hamburg, and so on.

Living abroad as an exchange student is completely different than traveling as a tourist. My Erasmus city, Dortmund, was not home for me for a while, but it is still home even after the mobility is over. Its people, customs and lifestyle changed me completely in a good way. When you get immersed in the new lifestyle, it becomes easier for you to have closer friends, cooking traditional food and making wonderful memories while traveling together to the cities near Dortmund. My perspective became broader when my network of friendships became wider. Learning a culture first hand contributes to your understanding of that culture most effectively. Even though I’ve taught American Culture by native American professors, it was different to hear about America from my American friends, Elsie and Wesley.

Since I have attended intensive German language course before the semester begins, I got used to have daily conversations in German. Talking in country’s official language is also really helpful for you because all conversations around you in the supermarket, bakery or at school are in German. Yes, people turn to English when you ask them to do but it is always kind to learn their language as much as you can. While studying at TU Dortmund, I took courses mainly from cultural studies and international relations departments. All courses were in English. Because the scheme of things in the university was quite similar to Bilkent, I have never struggled academically. Instead, it was interesting to hear opinions of those mainly from Germany on controversial topics such as the world’s politics, environmental issues, pandemic, and so on. Learning about Germany’s education system can also be helpful for those thinking about going to graduate programs in Germany. I highly recommend you to visit some university cities like Berlin, Heidelberg, Münster, Aachen, and Munich.

Since I’m interested in baking, I have tried some traditional German foods and here are some of them that I highly recommend you to give a try;

  1. Any kind of bread and croissant, really
  2. Vanilleeis mit heißen Kirschen und Mandelblättchen
  3. Dresdner Christstollen
  4. Ofenkartoffel mit Kräuterquark
  5. Hänchen-Schnitzel
  6. Tomatensuppe mit Sahnehaube

For more about the Erasmus Program, go here.



More Posts in Student Spotlight


Share this Post