My name is İlknur Gezer, and I am 21 years old. I am a Turkish Erasmus student coming from Kırklareli University to Dzemal Bijedic University of Mostar. I am 3rd grade student studying Translation and Interpreting in the Faculty of Arts and Sciences. However, in Mostar I am studying English Language and Literature in the Faculty of Humanities. These two departments are quite similar in terms of the lessons we are responsible from. That’s why, The lessons I took here helped me a lot to improve myself and develop in my field. Nevertheless, Mostar did not only contributed me in my education and language, but also this place touched every part of me in a way.
Bosnia and Hercegovina, especially Mostar firstly impressed me with the warm welcome of our teachers, classmates, and our Erasmus coordinator Mirsada. When I first landed here ı was nervous and afraid about the safety of the place, cuisine, and people whether they are gonna welcome me or not. Nevertheless, in time I fastly understood that I will have an amazing experience here because even before we came here they helped us to find accommodation and spoke with our landlords to make sure its safe which also relieved my family in Turkey. As a fussy eater, even in Turkey, I was expecting to be hungry all the time. Unfortunately, I gained 4 kilos here due to delicious traditional foods such as Burek, Pie, Cevapi, Çorba, etc., and easily reachable international foods from all around the world. My first recommendation to my slim friends thinking about coming here is not to come here if they want to continue life as skinny because of big portions and yummy foods.
Moreover, I had a chance to witness the beautiful nature of some places by going to Pocitelj, Blagaj, Kravice, etc, and learn its deep-rooted history by going to some museums in Sarejova and Mostar. As a person who is not interested in history that much, this place forced me to learn its history to understand them. Because, Even though, this country can be thought of as just naturally beautiful, when you enter this country it makes you learn more and more about their culture and history. As a funny story, one time my Austrian friend send me a beautiful landscape in Mostar by saying ‘’For a long time the Turks and Austrians fought for this beautiful land. Today, we are both just guests’’ which also explains namely how respectable and amazing the history Bosnia has. Every road I walk and every building I see here has historical value due to its rich history of rule under Yugoslavia, Croatia, Germany, and two important empires which allows Bosnia to experience every part of the history.
My Erasmus experience here contributed to my personality, my relationship with people, and my language a lot. I did not only make Bosnian friends here but also Spanish, Italian, Austrian, and Polish. Before coming here my only point of view on people around the world was shaped by my Turkish mentality however here, I obtained multiple perspectives about life and felt like every person I met here added something special to my personality. Also, I could manage to overcome my fear of speaking English and become more confident about speaking with people and building relationships. While before coming here I was worried and upset about the people I was going to leave in Turkey, Now I feel sadness for the beautiful Mostar and the people I will leave here. In just 5 months this place became my second home and made me addicted to itself with its warm people, Neretva River following you wherever you go, culinary which forces you to be fat, and history which never finishes no matter how much I learn.
In general, experiencing Erasmus in Mostar contributed to my personality, education, relationships, and my life. With its beautiful people, foods, landscapes, and history, Mostar impressed me a lot. The best advice for other students thinking about experiencing Erasmus here is that never afraid to come and discover here. I am sure that most of the people will embrace and help you here as they did to me. I had excellent experiences here, why not you?