Greetings. I am Israfil UZUK from Turkey. I study Software Engineering at Firat University(Elazig) in Turkey.
When I was a child I had a goal to go abroad during my studying. At that time i wanted to go USA with Work&Travel. But later I learned there is another posibility to go abroad and with a scholarship so I started yo search something about it (This happens in high school).
In 2014 I started to study at Firat University. First year was prepatory in English. To be Honest I couldn't improve my language skill as I expect so I changed my way to learn and improving my English skills. After that I started to watch many TV Series and Films. Yes, before I used to watch only in Turkish. Also I started to chat with foreign people. Actually this was the best beginning for me. Because I started to speak on voice. Even in first time I wasn't afraid that if I can speak or not. Because I was totaly sure that I will do this and I decided to be BRAVE. After that day, every week I used to speak with my foreign friends about 4 hours maybe more. After a short time that feeling got bigger and I wanted to speak on video. Then we did. I didn't sit and study grammar! OK it is too important for speaking in real life. But in practice, it is totaly different. First step is CONFIDENCE and if you take this first step. then others will come thanks to this. ;)
In 2015, I was in first grade of education. End of second second semester I did not have enough grade even for having Erasmus+ exam. That was disappointment for me and that summer I did not have a vacation and stayed for summer school. That was not easy really. I had classes when my friends were sharing photos from their vacations. But end of summer I got enough grade to get that Erasmus exam and I had second semester. We did not have interview exam that time. My grade was about 70 as I remember and I had 3 different Universities on my list. First one is Katowice second one is Radom and last one is PWSZ Elblag. I remember well that time I tried to change my university with LODZ. :) and they accepted my request. But I was already accepted for Elblag so that was not possible to change. I asked some Erasmus guywho is studying at PWSZ Elblag that time. One guy told me that it is so small and so boring city. There is nothing to do here. Yes I was afraid when I heard that. For me Elazig was the same like he said about Elblag so that situation made me upset that time. I had one more friend who came to same university with me. I knew her from my student society at university. She did not want to come too. UNTIL COME HERE!
In September 2017 We reached to Elblag and that means a completely different life was waiting for us. We were 4 Turkish, 7 Spanish and 1 Portugese as Erasmus students in Elblag. We were so nice and get along with each other. I can easily say that PWSZ Elblag and all teachers really helped us and they are really nice people. They can figure out your problems and show you the way of solutions. during my mobility definetly I did not have any problems with them and I can't thank them enough. To be honest I have never seen that friendly "teachers" in my life. YES that's true.
As you know Erasmus+ is not only exchange program between universities. The aim of Erasmus+ gives students vision in their life. To give them a different perspective, encourage them so If you are part of the Erasmus + program, never make a shuttle between the dormitory and the school! This is the most important thing. GO AND SOCIALIZE! You are young!
So now Let's talk about How is this city this university.
Official population this city is 120,000 so you can say that probably there is nothing to do! NO! it depends on you. Because think that you are in Istanbul but you haven't been any nice place there so how will you say that Elblag is boring or nothing to do. Both city will be the same for you then. This is reason why I said BE SOCIABLE. Because If you are then you will do anything you want. Big cities have good things and bad things and the same applies to small cities. Alright we said many things about it but you will ask what you can do in Elblag? If you know how to ski then you are lucky because ski resort is only 10 minutes by walking from dormitory. If you would you like to ice skating there are a few place where you can do it. and one is in front of your dormitory or if you say that you are sporty person then you have fitness saloon in your dorm or if you wanna learn dance you have that chance in your dorm or maybe you do not know how to swimm. It is ok. ;) you can learn it with a trainer. if you wanna play football, basketball, voleyball you can do these in special fields . Maybe yo haven't ride a hose. You can do it here. all these are for free.
There is a old town which names call STARE MIASTO. You can go to the top floor of katherdal and see the city from there. If you are a crazy :) then you can parachute. There are a few night clubs where you can on weekends. Also Gdansk Sopot and Gdynia cities are close to you so If you are bored of staying same place then you can go by train with half price ;) it is just about 60 km or you can go tosee the biggest castle of wold. Yes it is in MALBORK and it is about 30 km from Elblag. Elblag is small and best side of this smallness is that you can save your money better because you do not even use bus for going to school because it will be 15 minutes by walking so it is nothing. :) University will organize some events and tours for you and for all students DO NOT MISS THEM. :) I was here for education for 4 months and that semester was the best one I've ever had. Beucase I made so nice friends and so different expenriences and have been many countries.
Consequently, If you are not sure that you should write this university on your list or not. I think you have to add in first! If my first experience passed bad in Elblag so I wouldn't come here second time for Traineeship in this summer (2018) :) so I think this second mobility demonstrates why i am here and if it is good or not right? :)
Studying abroad was an amazing experience. It was unique from the personal as well as academic point of view. Being for a 9 months in an international environment is the best opportunity to establish intercultural contacts, have a valuable insight into a different culture, learn a language and grow as a person.
There were four main traits of mine once I have passed some time at the university abroad, in this case, PWSZ Elblag:
- Culturally competent,
- Learning and improving foreign languages and possesing good communication skills,
- Mobile and flexible person
- I could develop my personality.
My year participation in the Erasmus exchange, concretely in Elbląg was highly enjoyable, exciting experience, which broadened my mind, and exceeded all of my expectations. Furthermore, I had the opportunity of meeting new schoolmates and friends who helped along of my all journey.
What did I most appreciate? Different things: you meet new and different people, different cultures, different ways of life... You can also visit new countries, new cities... From educational point of view, it's a new and very interesting experience participate in other educational system.