Dear companions,
my name is Agnese and I'm an italian student in biology, just coming back from my Erasmus period at Harran University.
I've been living in Urfa for 4 months and I found it an interesting and particular experience, in many different ways:
this reality is very different from the one of big western cities like Istanbul, and this brings good and bad aspects, and some additional prospects. Urfa is a quiet city, maybe not so exciting about entertainment, but at the same time living and moving here is easier, not so crowded, and people are much more interested in contacts with foreigners, a more “real” contact I would say.
The Campus is very big and new, providing several services such as cafeterias, fitness areas, public library and many laboratories which are used for courses and researches: it's been possible to assist to many of these activities usually “closed” for students, thanks to the availability of teachers and graduate students.
In general, all the academic personnel and the Erasmus office staff are very kind and helpful.
This institution has entered the Erasmus Program recently, and if this means there might be some difficulties with language and organization, it also brings a sincere attention and dedication to solve any problem.
Also other students are very cozy and hospitable, and will enjoy to hang around with guests in the beautiful city center, showing them the historical places and the shopping areas, which are the local favourite destinations for free time.
About that, I advice (especially girls...) to bring almost-empty bags, as there are lots of unmissable occasions for clothes and accessories, but also for mobiles, cameras etc. !!
But I would also recommend to spend week-ends visiting the many interesting places in the neighborhoods: spectacular natural areas, historical and archaeological sites belonging to several ages (being this area the location of some of the most ancient human civilization, and a cross-point of ethnycities and cultures ), and fascinating cities (by the way, remember to buy a student museum-card, which allows free entrance for 1 year to any museum in Turkey).
My favourite city has been Diyarbakir, rich in culture, history and movement, also for lovers of night-life.
This area is a humanity melting pot, hosting together many different ethnic and cultural environments, and travelling here is a great occasion to expand knowledge and points of view: I met students and people from many turkish cities, from Syria, Iran, Africa...and spent great time with all of them.
Then...take your courage and curiosity, your wish to grow and exchange, and this will be a rich experience that you will really enjoy!
Have a good trip, my best wishes to all of you!
(and my gratitude to all the amazing people I met!!!)