This is maybe my most favorite subject to discuss. Food has always been an important part of my life. Raised by the best cook, I experienced the most delicious meals of Turkish cuisine. On the other side, I was confronted with german cuisine as well as other cuisine found in Germany, which is known for its meat dishes and sweet pastries. During the second half of the 20th century many people from different parts of southeast Europe, the middle east, and North Africa migrated to Germany as so-called guest workers. They have brought their cuisine and culture into Germany, which shaped the food culture, especially street food culture there. The reason for me telling this is to clarify my wide-ranging:) knowledge about different food cultures and flavors. To summarize my following text before describing the different delicious experiences I had in Turkey, I have eaten the most delicious street foods there so far. Ranging from hearty to super sweet dishes, Turkey has a lot for every type. Also, Turkey is known for its meat dominant dishes, there is an exact variety of vegetarian dishes. The same dish can be prepared in diverse varieties according to the desire of the person without changing the originality of the dish. There is a famous dish called "Mantı", which is a dumpling famous in Turkey and other central Asian countries. This is served with meat filling as well as seasoned mashed potatoes. Another popular dish is "börek", pastries filled with minced meat, brine cheese, or seasoned mashed potatoes. For most people, the first thing coming to their mind when thinking about Turkish food is the Kebab. The seasoned meat is served in several ways. Some sources say that there are up to 100 different kebap types found in Turkey, from which no more than 10 types are served in many restaurants found in the tourist cities. My favorite kebab is the "Beyti Kebab". As in many countries all around the world international known fast-food chains like McDonald's, Burger King, or Pizza Hut are also found in the fast-food culture in Turkey. So if you do not find suitable food for yourself, which I would not think of;), you can also fall back to these opportunities, meaning that you will not starve there. As I can tell you from my personal experiences, Turkish cuisine is a very suitable kitchen for diverse cultures all around the globe. It is not exotic as many people would think. It had been influenced by many diverse, especially the central Asian, middle eastern, and east European cuisines Turkish cuisine is integrated into the fast-food culture, meaning, you can find takeaways serving traditional dishes in a broader public suitable manner and a quicker serving.
Clothing is not expensive in Turkey when you earn in a much more valuable currency such as in euros and dollars. Brand-name clothes are not expensive as well then. There is a markable gap between the price for foreign branded clothes and native brands, even when both are produced in Turkey. The reasons are a fixed profit margin of the foreign countries and price-associated reputation. I prefer buying clothes from local brands due to their cheap price. Many people who have bought clothes in Turkey can most of the time state that local products are more qualitative than clothes from widely known products, produced in countries in South East Asia or even in Turkey. Maybe it sounds weird to say that so-called faked clothes from global players are more qualitative than their original version. That is just my experience! Clothing stores are found logically close to the city centers. It is not new that clothing stores have moved from the traditional clothing or fashion streets to the huge and modern shopping malls due to the simplicity of having all your needs in a building plus the lack of parking placed near the crowded clothing streets. With the people I have met we usually hang up in the shopping malls, where we can choose between cinemas, fast-food chains, and clothing stores. Most of the time other activities are offered such as go-kart and laser-tag as well.
There are many different ways of public transportation in Turkey, of which some I have never seen or experienced in any country I have visited in Central Europe. A minor one is a ferry as a type of public transportation within a city. This is what I have experienced in Istanbul. I have been on a ferry a few times in Amsterdam and London for touristic purposes, but the use of it as a daily mode of transport was new for me. This is something specific for Istanbul and the coastal parts of Turkey. The major way of public transport that surprised me has been the so-called „Dolmus“ in English „full“, which is a type of collective taxi, where a medium-sized van with no limitation in passenger number drives you to the most outlying areas of the city. It can be said that public transport is sufficient in nearly every part of Turkey, except rural areas and small towns in some parts of Turkey. Large metropolises are unique for their well-developed infrastructure as seen in Istanbul, Ankara, and Izmir, where a huge variety of transportation opportunities are offered such as the metro and railway. There is not a mass amount of railways for public transport purposes as it is seen in Germany and other Western European counties, instead they are few connecting the large cities along the major routes in Turkey like the Istanbul-Ankara and the Izmir-Ankara route with stations along their route. I can reach my faculty through the metro, bus, or dolmus. I prefer taking the metro due to its punctuality and fastness. I can also take the bus, which is reliable too but takes more time in traffic.
How is the housing in Turkey? What are the prices for flats and dormitories? As in other countries all over the world, students prefer two types of housing, which are comfortable flats and practical dormitories. There are many flats and dormitories found all about Turkey. The difficulty is to choose between the two, followed by the search for the best place. When I moved to Ankara, we already knew that I was going to stay in a dormitory. The reason for our choice back then was that it had been the first time for me to live in another country for a longer period and it would have been better for me to start my new life there. They thought that a dormitory would make my beginning easier and exclude me from daily challenges like food, bills, and cleaning. Housing is an important aspect to consider especially for students of challenging subjects of study like medicine. It would be difficult to study medicine in a new environment and at the same time take care of daily tasks. I have to admit that I am a lazy person when it comes to tasks like taking care of the payment of the rent, ancillary costs, and other subjects of charge. I do not regret being stood in a dormitory. I have met many people and became good friends with them. The students I have met, whether native from far parts of Turkey or foreign, prefer to stay in a dormitory at the beginning to get used to the new environment. After they have learned about the city and have met new friends, they start to think about moving into a flat with other students. This is a method I would recommend to everyone, who had moved to another place for study. During your stay in a dormitory, you can get familiar with the city and learn more about the district, which fits your profile the most. There are criteria you can set before searching a flat by asking yourself questions like: Do I prefer simple, quiet places or hotspots? Am I able to take larger distances to my faculty or does it have to be close? Does my home have to be near cafes or shopping malls? Which public transports do I want to use?
The prices for single rooms in private dormitories in Ankara vary between 1500TL and 2000TL. In my first year in Ankara, I stood in a room for two in a quite expensive dormitory. I paid 1500TL for the room itself. Services such as laundry and room cleaning were included in the price. The breakfast was exceptionally included in the price. The dinner cost 380TL per month respectively around 13TL per day, which was half of the price of an average meal outside. Compared to other dormitories in Ankara, the price was quite expensive but could have also be considered luxurious regarding the modernity and the service offered. Some of the foreign people in my class stood in dormitories of a similar price and others in dormitories three fourth of my price. Few directly decided to rent a flat for themselves. Many foreign students, who had chosen to stay in dormitories, decided to move to flats in the next years after they have acquired enough knowledge about the city, daily processes, and the language. The reason for this housing transition is that people felt more comfortable in their flats and reduced their cost when moving together with familiar people.
The average rent for a flat stretch between 1500TL and 2000TL per month, highly dependent on its location and the building year. A flat, which is by bus 30 minutes away from my university, 120 square meters in size and 29 years old, cost a price of nearly 2000TL. Flats close to the city center especially in big cities like Istanbul and Izmir or Ankara in my place are smaller, older, and more expensive compared to new buildings made in suburban regions. There are new buildings like student apartments built in some peripheral areas of Ankara offering cheap and more student-friendly housing but are personally far away from my university. People staying there told me about an hour's drive by bus to university. As I have noticed long distances are not new to people living in big cities, which was different for me. I was born in a small city in Germany of 150000 people and have not left longer distances behind during the years besides some exceptions. The people in Ankara or Istanbul are different concerning distances. It has become normal for them to calculate more time for the daily routes. I got used to this very quickly. My dormitory is located in Balgat, a small neighborhood in the city district Cankaya, which makes up most of the central part of Ankara. This small neighborhood was near to the bigger neighborhoods and the two main roads passing through the city, referred to as Konya and Eskisehir roads. One of the neighborhoods is Bachcelievler, translated to houses with gardens, which contains the largest library in Ankara and streets known for their student-friendly cafes and restaurants. For those people living in Ankara, they have probably heard about "yedinci" cadde translated to the seventh street😉. The other neighborhood is Sögütözü, a known business district that contains several shopping malls including cinemas and clothing stores.
Foreign medical students in Turkey assemble! We are a group of foreign medical students in Turkey, that build this webpage to help future students on this very same path... More
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