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I will tell you about my experience of Erasmus which has been benefited by many college students in the recent years.

When I was a student at Muğla University in 2011, I went in for Erasmus exam to go to  Cosenza,Italy for summer time and I passed it. The moment when I passed the exam, I had thousands of questions in my mind.I had never been to abroad and I did not know even a single Italian word, but on the other hand having the chance of observing a different culture and learning a different language appealed me a lot. The first thing I did was to buy a basic Italian book to be comfortable with everyday situations. I think it was a really good idea to buy that book because expressing myself to others was really important for me.

I got my visa and flight ticket and ready to go. I flew from Sabiha Gökçen to Rome Fiumicino. It was the first time for me to board on a plane and go to abroad. Before going to Italy I was suspicious about living there but when I arrived there, there was no fear in my heart. The only thing I was supposed to do was going to train station and buying a ticket to go to Cosenza. I had already talked to my housemates on the internet before I arrived there.They said they would meet me at the train station.

I got off plane and went directly to train station. I was in a really different place than Turkey especially in terms of dressing and speaking style of people.The first thing taking my attention was that people spoke too loudly and almost all men were wearing red trousers.Apart from this, I adored the architecture of buildings.

I travelled from Rome to Salerno by high-speed train which was quite luxurious and high quality.However, I travelled from Salerno to Cosenza by a really old train. Even there was no seat number in the train and almost half of the passengers travelled on feet. I had a seat because an Italian girl said that I should sit immediately or else I would travel on feet . She was very sympathetic and friendly like most of the Italians. Her English was not good but we managed to communicate somehow.

I was in great relief when I arrived train station and met my friend who was also a student of Muğla University. We knew each other before. Our house was one of the classical Italian buildings across the train station. I loved our neighbour Maria most. When we first met, I told her that I was Turkish. The first thing she asked was if I was hungry or not. I will never forget her perspective of life . Although she was 70 years old, she was full of life.

We were 13 people (8 Turkish, 4 Portuguese and 1 Lithunian) doing internship in Cosenza. We took basic Italian classes for 2 weeks. I am glad that we took those classes because there was noone knowing English in our office. I did my internship at Calabria TV. I was going to local news areas with my boss Pier Paolo. While he was filming, I was dealing with the editing process about which I had training before. At first I had difficulty in communicating with my boss but I managed to overcome this problem in time.

I and my friends had a week off and went on an Italy tour. The first destination of our tour was Rome which welcomed us with its gorgeous architecture, history, squares and outgoing people.We stayed in Rome for two days. We tried to see squares and museums during these two days. The most surprising thing was that everywhere was full of Turkish tourists. I realized that Turkish people travelled more than I thought. Even when we told street vendors that we were Turkish, they responsed with a few Turkish words such as “Merhaba (Hello), Hoşgeldiniz (Welcome)”.

The second destination of our tour was Florence. The church at square was in front of us with all of its glory. I enjoyed most when we saw the wedding of a French couple on our way. They invited us to see their wedding ceremony. It was the first time I had ever seen a church wedding. 

Our girlfriends did not want to stay in Florence any longer because they wanted to go Pisa and take interesting photos. Pisa was smaller than other Italian cities but it was so nice.

Our next destination was Venice. When we arrived Venice, we felt like as if we were in a film. We had a perfect view of Venice in front of us, which was the combination of masks, tourists and gondolas passing between canals. It was such a view that it aroused the feeling of staying there forever. Unfortunately it was the time for going back to Cosenza.

Our internship lasted for exactly 3 months. In this time, we met and worked with different kinds of people. I had no fear anymore but the desire of seeing different places. On the one hand, I did not want to come back to Turkey, but on the other hand I missed my family and friends so much. I am really thankful to Gökhan,Çağdaş and my housemates for having such a great time.

Fahri KAYIN      

Traslated by Beyza BAHAR     

Published: Thu, 29/01/2015 - 13:48

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