That’s a question I’m asked often since Turkey doesn’t seem to be most exchange students’ first choice.
This is my standard answer: Well, why not? I wanted to see a different culture from the ones I already knew. Countries within Europe are different as well, that’s for sure but I was looking for another kind of different. I wanted to go live in a country whose language I didn’t know yet and experience what it feels like to not understand anything. I knew some Turks in Germany and the way they talked about their country made me particularly curious and interested. Without ever having been to Turkey, I imagined it to be a modern and clever society. And I was not disappointed.
This is what I told my mum when she first heard about my decision [which she didn’t like at all – both the decision and the justification]: I want to live in a sunny country!
This is what I also think but don’t mention in job interviews: I will be able to order my kebab in Turkish when I’m back in Berlin.
My conclusion: Turkey isn’t that different after all. It takes some adjustments, for sure, but it also reminds me of Colombia a lot which makes me feel at home. But then again, I think I can adapt easily to most places I go to. Home is not a place, it is a feeling I carry within myself.