24 April, 2012. Sadia Suhail isÂ currently pursuing Bachelors in Business Administration â€“ BBA (Hons.) at Hajvery University (HU). She was awarded a scholarship to Study Abroad for 1 semester at Sabanci University, Istanbul, Turkey. The scholarship includedÂ Return AirTicket, Comprehensive Insurance, and 5000 Euros Stipend Money for daily expenses among other things. The following essay is written by her, whichÂ presents a glimpse of his Experience of Studying and Living Abroad in the mesmerising city of Istanbul.
â€My name is Sadia Suhail, and Iâ€™m doing Bachelors in Business Administration in Hajvery University (HU) Euro Campus. This is my 7thÂ semester here and until now I have really enjoyed my time @ HU. It is a matter of great pride for me that my University is a member this prestigious Consortium of Universities from Europe and SAARC countries. This honor has been given to only two universities in Pakistan, HU and Islamic University, Islamabad and thatâ€™s whyÂ I feel proud to be a student of HU.
At first, when I heard about these Exchange Scholarships, I didnâ€™t believe in myself and refused to apply. But one of my teachers, who is my favorite and according to me an ideal teacher, Mr. Usman M. Ghauri, gave me strength to apply for this life time opportunity. I applied and got selected which made me and my family very proud of me. I was selected for Sabanci University, in Istanbul, Turkey. Turkey is a very beautiful country and Istanbul is the most visited tourist city; it has many beautiful sites and historic monuments.
The majesticÂ Blue Mosque, which is a UNESCO world heritage site, is the most famous monument/mosque in Istanbul. Next to Blue Mosque is the awe-inspiringÂ Hagia Sophia, which was initially a church, then a mosque and today it serves as a museum and showcases the artefacts and architecture from past 1500 years.
There are the swords of Our Beloved Holy Prophet Hazrat Muhammad SAWW, His tooth, Hair of beard, drinking cup. Besides this, there is also the soil of Karbala, the swords of Hazrat Imam Hassan (A.S), Hazrat Imam Hussein (A.S), Hazrat Ali (R.A), Hazrat Usman (R.A), the clothes and the praying Rug of Bibi Fatima (R.A) and Hazrat Ali (R.A), the shell of Hajery Aswad, the first hand written Quran e Majeed etc.
There is also an Ottoman Palace along the Blue Mosque which represents the beautiful past of the Muslim Royal Families who conquered Constantinople which is now known as Istanbul. There is another museum that I visited in Istanbul known as Panorama. It is beautifully designed according to the war patterns which were held to conquer Constantinople. The architect of the building and the interior itself tells the visitors how intense the war was and the strategies used. Apart from the monuments there is Istanbul Forum, the former biggest shopping mall in Asia, there is an ice museum in the mall known as Magic Ice and an Aquarium. These were my favorite places and I along with my fellows made some everlasting memories there.
The city is more beautiful than words can describe. It has two sides separated by water: the Asian side and the European whereas the Marmara Sea divides the 2 sides. For transportation between these two side the people use Ferries or the Bridge connecting both sides. I spent a lot of time going from Asian to European and from European to Asian side and that was the best part of my whole trip, the Ferry Tours.
The Turkish people have modern lifestyles. They are very helpful and friendly to the foreigners. There is a huge language problem, Turkish people mostly donâ€™t know English at all, the communication is tough, but still they do their very best to help tourists. The attitude of Turkish people towards Pakistanis is really fascinating. They treat Pakistanis as their family members and call us â€˜kardeÅŸâ€™(pronouncedÂ as: kar desh) meansÂ BROTHER.
Weather is cold in Turkey. In summers, day is as hot as here in Pakistan, but nights are cold; one can easily sleep without a fan or sometimes even needs a blanket. But in winter, it is freezing, it snowed thrice during my stay!
My daily routine in the dormitories of the Sabanci University was quite fun. There were no restrictions except for smoking. I used to visit a nearby mall, best for shopping called VIAPORT almost daily. There were three more girls with me in the same room and they were Pakistani too and we used to have a lot of fun together and with other Pakistani fellows.
Now I should talk a little bit about the academics tooÂ ðŸ˜€Â I took four courses there, 3 of which were my majors and one was the Turkish language course. The thing which I liked the most about the university was the method of teaching and the hard work of the teachers. They were completely and truly devoted to their profession, very friendly and kind to the students and strictly following the code of ethics. Their teaching style was very motivating for the students to learn. And these two are the main things of the success and good image of the University.
During my stay in Turkey, I also experienced the republic day of Turkey. I was surprised and glad to see the true patriotism of people. They were very calm yet very excited. They celebrated the day with amazing showcase of fireworks and later with parties and other stuff. I stayed in Istanbul only. I did not go to any other city or country.
When I was in Turkey, I did not experience any cultural shock. Instead I enjoyed and loved the life there. I was independent and had complete freedom of everything. But when I came back the first week went superb and then I faced a cultural shock â€œA REVERSE CULTURAL SHOCK.â€ It may sound a bit stupid to some people but this is the reality. Life here and in abroad is completely different.
In my university, there were some other exchange students as well. I made some Chinese, Indonesians and offcorse Turkish friends. We shared the cultures by telling stories to each other and sharing food.
I didnâ€™t eat a lot of Turkish food, but there was one dish known as ISKANDER KEBAB which I was fell in love with and miss it a lot now. It was made of beef kebabs with very tiny pieces of naan, served with tomato and butter sauce. Besides this, Turkish Pizzas, Donors and chicken burgers were mind-blowing.
There were not many difficulties, but I would like to share a few that I faced. Firstly, mobile phones, which were blocked twice due to their policies. Secondly, obtaining a residence permit, which I cannot forget ever. It was really tiresome process and when I had to collect it from the office I got lost on my way. That was the most frightening day of my whole life. And after that I never went anywhere alone.
About my experience, the thing that I miss the most is independence, the country, all the places I visited and planned to visit but couldnâ€™t. This experience has made me Confident, improved my Communication skills and changed my view about life and many other things.
The impact of this experience on my life is that now I deal things maturely, and I always have confidence in me while deciding important things. And towards my goals, this lifetime opportunity has made my vision more clear and I am more motivated.â€
HU is a joint-signatory of EM 2009-2013 Consortium of 20 Universities from Europe and SAARC countries, which allows the partner universities to send and host students between the consortium members. HU is grateful for European Commission for such initiatives and the funding to make this all possible, moreover to all our Partner Universities for co-operating to make this a success.
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For Further Information, Queries regarding Study Abroad opportunities at Hajvery University (HU), and Study Abroad Scholarships contact:
Office of Foreign Affairs & Planning
Hajvery University (HU)
Email : [email protected]