How did you benefit from the Erasmus program?
Within the scope of the Erasmus summer internship program, I benefited from the Erasmus program 2 times, last summer and this summer in Germany.
How did you decide to apply to the Erasmus + Internship program?
As a result of my department and the profession, I will be occupied with in the future, I could not ignore the importance of knowing a foreign language. I have been interested in Erasmus opportunities and programs since I started university. One day I saw the Erasmus summer internship announcement e-mail from our foreign relations coordinator and applied.
Which part of the application process was most challenging for you?
Of course, like everyone else, I had a hard time finding an invitation letter. Although we think that we can express and prove ourselves better even in the country we live in, it is difficult to find an internship, while it is much more difficult to arrange an internship from a country abroad.
How was the process of picking where you wanted to do your internship?
It would be better if we change the question not to choose the internship place, but them choosing us : D Because if you don't have any significant work in the relevant field, employers are a little hesitant even if you are an intern. From my perspective, I had to do my internship at the only company that accepted me because I had no other choice.
What advice would you give to people who want to benefit from the Erasmus internship program about receiving an invitation letter?
The most important advice I can give you here is to indicate that we do not have a financial obligation to the institution where you are doing an internship and that you will do an internship voluntarily, in addition, another thing I can suggest is that you want to contact the Turks working in that company and tell them that you want to do a voluntary internship and explain your situation. In addition, if you explain that you will not ask anything from the company about the visa (except for the invitation letter) while trying to get accepted to the internship, your chances to get accepted may increase.
How many places did you send an application to and from how many did you receive a positive answer?
I emailed more than 50 companies to find a place for the internship. I was not even taken into consideration in some of them. I received some with the title Sorry. But I was finally able to get a positive response :)
What did you do during your internship? Can you walk us through your normal day?
I took part in the software development and testing parts. I can't say that I did much except for work : D A day briefly went like this, coming to work at 9 a.m. breakfast and tea until 9.30, followed by a brief summary of what was done yesterday at the daily meeting, what will be done today, and then trying to complete the tasks assigned to me until noon. The thing I enjoy the most is being able to touch a human life and benefit from the improvements I have made.
Did you have any challenges about accommodation?
Yes, I had difficulties with accommodation just like everyone else, a large part of the expenses goes to accommodation costs. While universities provide facilities for international students in educational mobility, as far as I have come across, I have seen that these facilities do not really cover students who are doing internship activities. I applied to several dormitories by introducing myself, but they said they couldn't help me because I'm not a student of educational mobility, but I finally got accepted from a dorm, even if it was a little late.
Considering your own department, what advice can you give to people who will participate in the Erasmus program in the future?
Rather than working in corporate companies, I recommend small-scale companies, because startups' area for improvement in their work isn't very limited, in corporate companies it's very possible that they have boundaries and particular rules for everything. Unlike corporate companies, startups give oneself an opportunity to see their own limits.
Can you evaluate your Erasmus experience in the country that you went to ?
Since I went abroad with the Erasmus summer internship movement, I have not been in any school or educational environment. That's why my circle was limited to company employees and people I met in the dorm.
How was the profile of erasmus students where you were?
I did not come across erasmus students because I was doing an internship mobility
Can you tell us about the friend environment you created during your stay?
Unfortunately, since I took part in the internship movement, I was not able to be in an environment where there were as many students as in the educational movement. Since I was surrounded by my colleagues and students in the dormitory, there is not much of a friendly environment that I can personally talk about.
What was the hardest part of living in a foreign country?
I think it's being away from your family and friends you love. Some people may say this is nonsense, but this is how I think. If I am to give an example for myself, my summer internship coincided with Eid al-Adha, and spending a holiday away from my family and the people I love was painful for me. It wouldn't be a lie if I said that I felt like a man crying at the border gate saying know the value of Turkey :D
What was the best part of living in a foreign country?
I think opening a new page in the life you are heading to, people don't know the things that you have done in the past, people don't have a taboo against you because they don't know you, you have a clean slate as if you were born again. It's a good opportunity to try new things, not to repeat the mistakes you've made before. Another good thing, I think, is freedom. People are able to express their ideas, thoughts, orientations in a comfortable way. They are not subjected to any environmental and social pressure. People don't judge you based on your social status and your profession, at least these are the structures I encountered.
What have you done during this process that you've never done before?
Erasmus was not my first experience abroad, I had been in Europe for a short time before. Together with Erasmus, I felt like a partially European individual who continues his life there, not a tourist : D I traveled to different countries, met new people, had the opportunity to see many new places.
We know this question is hard to answer, how has the Erasmus internship experience benefited you? :)
I can say that I felt freer to leave the comfort zone that I had in Turkey, and go to a place where you don't know the language and people, adapting to the norms and culture. Most importantly for me, it made a great contribution to clarifying ideas that were not clear in my head about my career plan and goal.
Is there a memory that you would consider unforgettable that you would like to share with us?
It would be more appropriate if I said tragic comic rather than interesting : D I took a friend I met from abroad who is far from Turkish culture to a Turkish restaurant, he said yes when I asked the question of are you a vegetarian that came to my mind a few moments before arriving at the restaurant, we went into the restaurant with the of eating a kebab, we exited from the restaurant we entered, eating falafel : D
Was the grant that was given enough? Did you spend any extra money?
I can say yes to this question because I was able to arrange a cheap accommodation. I didn't spend any extra money.
Is there any information that you found useful to you, that you would like to recommend?
To find affordable accommodation in Germany, I can recommend the website Wg gesucht . I found the hostel I will be staying at through this site. There are many options for renting rooms and shared houses on the site. Another piece of advice is that after returning to Turkey after mobility, you should not sever your connections with the people you meet there at work or outside. Because a person you don't expect at a moment you don't expect can open very different doors for you. Therefore, it is very important that you maintain your network with the people you meet.
Did you have any information about ESN in the country that you went to?