How did you benefit from the Erasmus program?

I did my internship in Leipzig Germany, at the Max Planck Institute on Neuroscience between July-August of 2022.

How did you decide to apply to the Erasmus + Internship program?

It was a project that I wanted to be a part of for a long time. I was eager to do my internship abroad and believed that the experience would have many benefits for me. I was researching and trying to find ways to get accepted.

Which part of the application process was most challenging for you?

One of the things that challenged me the most was accommodation. It was hard for me to find somewhere where I could stay comfortably and economically.

How was the process of picking where you wanted to do your internship?

I wanted to do my internship in Neuroscience, Cognitive Psychology which are related to my field. I researched scholars and schools which were famous and successful in this area. I listed the universities and laboratories based on the countries that I wanted. I emailed the scholars of the places that I found and finished my list until I got approval.

What advice would you give to people who want to benefit from the Erasmus internship program about receiving an invitation letter?

You should really reflect on your motivation and write an attentive CV. Pick your field and the institution you would like to work with carefully. Be careful not to pick places where you would be under a lot of workload or one that is below your expectations. State how much you would like to do your internship with them and how decisive you are. You will get rejected many times but don't let it discourage you, it is not hard to do especially if you are eager to do it.

How many places did you send an application to and from how many did you receive a positive answer?

I sent around 30-40 emails. I got two positive answers from Spain and Germany. However, we were not able to arrange the dates with Spain, so I accepted Germany.

What did you do during your internship? Can you walk us through your normal day?

I would go to the institute when we had experiments, we would have four to five experiments per week. I would prep the participants for the experiments, also help out my teacher while executing the experimental procedures. I wasn't very busy, somedays we would have many participants others days we it would be less. The part of my position that challenged me the most was the communication issues we faced due to some participants not knowing enough English. In those situations my teacher and the assistant students would help me out. The most pleasant part of my internship was getting to use the Neuroimaging machines to stimulate the brain. This was one of the things I wanted to experience the most, and I was very pleased.

Did you have any challenges about accommodation?

Yes, accommodation was one of the things that challenged me the most. It was challenging for me to find somewhere I would be able to stay comfortably and somewhere that was within my budget. Especially because it being summer time the students did not want roommates and the dormitory did not accept me.

Considering your own department, what advice can you give to people who will participate in the Erasmus program in the future?

Especially if you want to do your internship abroad, it may make more sense to do an internship in Human Resources and or laboratories. If you want to get your internship experience in the clinic area, this can be challenging because the other party may want you to speak their language at a level similar to your native language. For this reason, it can be challenging to conduct clinical interviews through a foreign language.

Can you talk about the features of the city that you went to?

Germany was one of the countries where students from Turkey could live very comfortably. There were a lot of Turkish people, and when you had any problems, you could easily find a one of them. Apart from that, economically, It was not challenging among other European countries either. It was close to many places, and thanks to the frequency of transportation lines, you could easily get to and from many places.

Can you evaluate your Erasmus experience in the country that you went to ?

I was overall pleased. Maybe my internship would have been better if I had done it in a much bigger and well know city in Germany. But I did not have negative experiences.

How was the profile of erasmus students where you were?

There were many people from many different countries. Such as; Italy, China, Poland, Austria, and Mexica.

Can you tell us about the friend environment you created during your stay?

I met different people from many different nationalities. I've made some good friends. While we were chatting together, we were also contributing a lot to each other academically. Thanks to the experiences we gained, it increased the amount of information we exchanged with each other. We also spent time together on days when we didn't have an internship.

What was the hardest part of living in a foreign country?

Sometimes the culture and rules of the country would sound different. The Germans were sensitive to the rules, which, on the one hand, brought discipline and order, and on the other, it could be exhausting. While I was doing my internship, I didn't take part in an intense and exhausting pace, but in general, their lifestyle was regular and prescriptive.

What was the best part of living in a foreign country?

I think I have added a lot to myself and widened my horizon. The knowledge and experiences I gained have been very good gifts for me. I got to know different people and had a lot of great times. It was great to be in a new culture.

What have you done during this process that you've never done before?

In the time left from my internship, I started to travel around the city and other countries as much as I could.At this point, it made me feel very confident and proud to be stepping out of my comfort zone. My self-confidence had improved.

We know this question is hard to answer, how has the Erasmus internship experience benefited you? :) 

It actually helped me in uncountable ways. Fundamentally, it added knowledge, skills and experience for the field I want to work in in the future. It allowed me to meet beautiful people. It allowed me to widen my horizon.

Was the grant that was given enough? Did you spend any extra money?

The grant was enough, but I did also receive support from my family. I may have spent the most money on traveling and experiencing different things.

Is there any information that you found useful to you, that you would like to recommend? 

Regularly check internet sites such as Flixbus, Ryanair,, and Skyscanner.

Did you have any information about ESN in the country that you went to?

No, I did not. 

Finally, are there any messages that you would like to convey to those who read this interview and/or to the ESN AYBU family? :)

Thank you for all of your efforts.