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Claudia Carrera's Experience

Name: Claudia Carrera
Major: International Relations
Program: Partnership
Traveled Abroad Before: No

Q: What is the first thing that comes to mind when you think of your study abroad experience?
A: Amazing and life-changing. It was worth every penny.

Q: Why did you choose this destination?
A: I chose this destination because I wanted to experience a completely different lifestyle. I love challenging myself to step out of my comfort zone and experience something completely different then what I am used to.

Q: What are some things that surprised you about the campus, the classes, the culture, customs or traditions?
A: I was blown away by their hospitality. Turkish people are absolutely wonderful and warm. The first day I got there I didn't know that the school didn't supply toilet paper and as I went hunting for some I ran into a student on on my dorm floor. Once she realized I was an international student, she explained that we have to supply our own toilet paper and then she took me to her room where she gave me 2 rolls of toilet paper and a phone card so that I could call my parents and let them know I was ok. She also took the time to answer any other questions that I had. I was amazed and thankful to have such a wonderful welcome. I have never experienced that kind of hospitality at Grand Valley before. This hospitality can also be seen when you're shopping. Where it is customary for vendors to offer you Chai(tea) while you shop. I was surprised to learn that METU requires all of their classes to be taught in English. I was also surprised by the size of METU's campus they have a huge campus.

Q: What are some things you would like students to know about studying abroad in this destination or the program provider you studied with?
A: I would like students to know that although Turkey is in the Middles East their official language is Turkish and not Arabic. It is also a very modern country that incorporates their traditional roots harmoniously. The country in general also has amazing historical sites. So I encourage students to travel to different locations if they have the chance because the ruins and scenery you see are like nothing we have in the United States.

Q: What advice would you offer?
A: I would say that anywhere you study abroad you should have an open-mind because you'll come across things that maybe you haven't encountered before or things you've never seen before and it is best to have a flexible and adaptable attitude. It is also very helpful to have a great sense of humor and to be respectful,patient and most importantly to be positive.

Q: What was your academic goal while studying abroad?
A: I didn't have a specific academic goal. I mainly went abroad for the experience but my credits were still able to transfer back as electives.

Question? Email Claudia !

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