Erasmus+ experience in Turkey

Monday, 9. april
Sabīne Miglāne, the 2nd year student of study programme “Applied Communication and Translation” at Rezekne Academy of Technologies (RTA), admits that she is fascinated by languages and one of her goals is to become a polyglot. “It looks like I am on the right track, because there are such languages as Latvian, Russian, English, German, and Lithuanian in my language luggage. Studying at RTA, I have learned the basics of Latin and currently actively study Polish,” says the energetic young woman, who spent four months studying in Turkish university thanks to the mobility programme Erasmus+.


Radically different study process

“When I was at the first course, RTA was paid a visit by a guest lecturer from Turkey. I was very impressed by his presentation about the Abant Izzet Baysal University. When I started my 2nd year studies, I got the opportunity to use the mobility programme Erasmus+ offered by the academy. After a rather long contemplation, we - I and my three other course mates - decided that we would go to this university for four months, because it turned out that the Turkish professor`s presentation had inspired not only me, but also other girls. The fact that Turkey was radically different from Latvia and we wanted to see these differences with our own eyes played a rather big role in our choice,” says Sabīne.

According to Sabīne, the differences can be seen also in the study process. “One lecture lasts only 50 minutes. It was rather unusual, because in Latvia I was already accustomed to the long lectures for 90 minutes. There were some things that made difficulties during studies in Turkey, for example, large student groups of up to 50 or even more students; the open lecture halls, as the study process is quite open, teachers usually leave the door open so that students who miss the lectures can easily enter the lecture hall; an excessive amount of Turkish in English lectures,” remembers the student.

Sabīne remembers also that sometimes with English alone was not enough. “Only students and professors spoke English, the rest of the population did not know even simple basic phrases in English. The fact that we did not speak Turkish and the rest- English, significantly impacted our everyday life. Of course, we started to learn Turkish at the university, but four months are too short period, so we had a lot of misunderstandings,” Sabīne remembers with a smile.

Meets a namesake

The first day in the university Sabīne remembers as the most remarkable moment of the study process. “When we came for the first lecture, we became local superstars- other students immediately noticed that we did not look like Turkish and started a conversation with us. I will never forget their facial expressions when they listened that we were from Latvia, that this country is on the other side of the world, and that we had come to study. I never thought that being so far from Latvia I would meet a namesake. I did! There was a girl from Russia, called Sabine, in my course. It was a very pleasant that I could speak my mother tongue in Turkey,” says a young woman.

Sabīne lacks her course mates` friendship, as people in Turkey, and especially young people, are very friendly and helpful. “Thanks to the course mates, every day at the university was filled with laughter and fun events,” says the student who longs for beautiful and picturesque nature of Turkey and Turkish food.  

Sabīne encourages other young people to use the opportunities offered by the Erasmus+ mobility programme, “It does not matter which country you go - far or near, just do it! In any case, it will be an unforgettable and unique experience.”


Inga Kaļva-Miņina,

Information Specialist, RTA Public Relations Department


Photos from S.Miglāne`s personal archive

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