Student from Turkey Told about the Semester at Polytech under Erasmus+ Program
Yagmur KUCHUK, a student from Turkey, studying Mechanical Engineering at the Cukurova University. As part of the Erasmus+ program, Yagmur came to Russia for the spring semester to communicate with different people, get new impressions and improve her knowledge of English and Russian. Today in our interview: how Polytech tutors help international students get used to life in Russia, tours of literary and historical places of St. Petersburg and other interesting activities.
- Yagmur, it’s nice to see you! Tell us, please, was it hard to decide to go study in Russia?
- I strongly felt that studying in Russia will be very relevant to my practice and I thought it would definitely be a very efficient and successful method to improve my English and Russian language skills. I also hoped to gain insight into the various aspects of Russian culture and history. Especially, I always wondered about white nights and wanted to visit St. Petersburg, which is a place of cultural, historical, and architectural landmarks that everyone have to see.
- Did you have any problems while preparing to the trip?
- No, I don’t remember any serious problems. Hence, I would like to thank international department coordinator Elizaveta SUKHOVA and institute coordinator Natalia DÖNMEZ. They guided and helped when I needed it.
- What was your first impression of Russia and Polytechnic University?
- I had heard a lot about the cold weather in Russia and had prepared myself for it. However, the moment I first came here, I took a deep breath and said, “Oh, it's not that cold!” And when I first saw the Polytechnic university, I was impressed by its structure like a museum.
- Was it easy for you to get used to life in new country?
- As for me, I have always loved to discover new places by following my nose in different countries. There were other students who came to a new country who have inquisitive questions in their head like me when I arrive, so I didn’t feel alone. The international department, which always encounters these situations, prepares everything as a guide for you and you don’t feel lost.
We were lucky that on the first moment we arrived, the volunteer student community ‘Tutor Forces’ welcomed us. They organized many events for us to get used to here. They made a lot of effort and thanks to them, we adapted easily.
- What can you say about the education? Which courses did you enjoyed the most?
- Before the quarantine period, we were taking classes in equipped classrooms and laboratories of the university. Then we continued our education online. Although it was a different beginning for all of us, I don’t think that we missed any lesson topic.
I think I have learned a lot of useful information about my field from this semester. Especially softwares I learned in my faculty contributed a lot to my thesis studies.
In addition to engineering courses, taking courses such as Russian language, Saint Petersburg culture and history has benefited my personal development and general culture.
- What places in Russia did you visit? Which of them did you like most of all?
- Since I coincided with the pandemic period, I didn’t have the opportunity to go out of St. Petersburg. However, I traveled here a lot. I was very impressed by the Kunstkamera Museum. This is one of the most interesting museums in the world!
I have to tell you that; yes, Saint Petersburg is a beautiful city. But this city is not just beautiful buildings and museums. Behind every building has a great history. It becomes more interesting and meaningful when you try to learn the history of here. In addition, it is a great feeling to look for Raskolnikov's house, Akaky Akakiyevich's overcoat on the bridge and famous places like them in Russian literature, or to have a drink at the last cafe where Pushkin visited before the duel.
- How did you continue your studying while the coronavirus pandemic?
- I continued to stay in the dormitory of the university. This place provided necessary checks and was cleaned regularly, so I didn’t hesitate. We continued with online education from here. We got used to the system after a few lessons. And at some points, I liked this new system.
- How did your life change with distance learning?
- It was good to be able to listen to lecture records again and not to waste time on the way to class. In fact, I think that some courses should continue online when normal education will start.
Since we lived with our friends in the dormitory, we were able to study together when necessary. For the questions stuck in our heads, our teachers were just one mail away.
- What would you advice to students who are planning to study abroad under the Erasmus+ program?
I recommend them to join this program without hesitation. They will expand their horizons and return with great memories, experience the educational conditions of another country and have the opportunity to get to know people and their culture from many nations who have shown courage to live in another country like them.
- Yagmur, thank you for this fascinating interview! Wish you good luck and may all your goals be achieved!
Prepared by the SPbPU International Office. Text: Olga DOROFEEVA