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Turkey

Tur

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Saad Samir


Home country

Germany

Internship city and country

Izmir, Turkey

Internship employer

Ege University

University study field

Plant Protection

Year of internship

2019

Internship length

8 weeks


Work

I have been working in several areas of the department such as virology, entomology and bacteriology. Next to that i have also been on the field and had to take care of plants and trees. Speaking in a different language (in this case in english) was quite funny despite the fact that i actually mainly speak in german in my homecountry. Being in the lab and also at the field at the same time gave me the feeling of not being caught into a routine as i was used to (i usually study food chemistry and why mainly work in the lab only). I saw both sides, the infected unprotected and the unharmed plants which gave me better understanding and feeling of the importance of the work i was performing.

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Experience

Since i was the only one from Germany this year i had to get through many challenges on my own. Many people in Bornova dont speak english which made communication a true challenge that i somehow managed. In the student village there are a few people that speak english with which i was able to spend some time but my trips were mainly on my own. Living in Izmir is indeed something i would consider to do again. Izmir is a huge and beautiful city. But if you dont speak the language as i mentioned earlier you may get into a few problems. For example i didnt know that there is a washing machine in the basement so i had been washing my clothes with my bare hands... i realized that it is there 2 weeks before my departure yet i was never able to use it since the laundry room opens at 7am and closes at 5pm. I always woke up at 8am and had to be at 9am at the university and always came back from work around 5pm. Due to lack of sleep (i had to do my own studies from germany while i was in Izmir which caused me to work until the late night) i often forgot that i should bring my clothes to the laundry room... It was quite difficult to buy a bus ticket for example to Denizli to visit Hierapolis at Pamukkale to which Google Translate was an actual help. Next to that the following problem was to find the minibus that goes from Denizli to Pamukkale but i had the luck that i also speak arabic and met someone who told me where to take the minibus. I also had a few friends from the university who went with me to Ephesos of which one of both didnt speak english which is just another proof that language barriers mustnt necessarily mean that we cant get along and become friends. Turkish restaurants are incredibly good and despite the fact that i was often eating the same at different restaurants i never really got tired of the food in turkey. One warning for whoever is reading this and is vegetarian! there was one day where i was kind of tired of eating meat all the time so i decided to look for a restaurant where i can eat something vegetarian (i told myself when i came to Izmir that i dont want to eat at a restaurant twice to see a variety in locations and foods/recipes) which became a problem since most restaurants mainly serve meat so i went literally 10km from my home until i found a place where they sell Pide where i havent been before so i could eat Pide with potatoes which was a nice change of pace (as mentioned the main problem may have been that i didnt want to eat at a restaurant where i had been before but the warning is still that even if i wouldnt have done that there wouldnt be many restaurants where you can eat something vegetarian! If you find a restaurant where they have something it is often not much so you may have a hard time being vegetarian in Izmir).

Discover

This has been a journey that challenged me in many ways no matter if in term of social activities (my first weeks have been very lonely since a few days after my arrival have been islamic holidays for four days which not only caused all people i just met to go visit their families outside of Izmir but also my family was far away so i had nobody to spend time with which forced me to try to start a trip on my own) or in term of my own responibilities and possibilities I was already known for my selfconfidence around my friends in germany but being on my own and getting through the obstacles of the unknown made me grew more than before. My time management also changed due to this internship. Before i was in Izmir my time management was fixed on the lessons i was having or on the internships i had in the university but when i was in Izmir i had to manage my private time for relaxing and for my studies from germany independently from the actual internship in Izmir and the difference lies in the fact that i didnt have to finish my work for the university in germany at the same week but rather within a longer timeperiod. This gave me the opportunity to see what would be if i change my study time plan and i easily realized a positive change. I changed my plan like this: i keep studying until i feel tired or bored. When that happens i go outside and do whatever i want which sometimes resulted in being in the park for 5 hours. whenever i forced myself to study i didnt get far with it even when sitting for 5 hours straight while when i studied after i had a break i managed to improve my memorization of the studies and was more efficient in only 1 hour. This may have helped me to get my work from germany done but it mainly taught me one thing and that is what it means to be alive! We often focus so hard into studying and success that we forget why we actually do it and for many it is to be able to earn the money to start a family while for others it is to change the world yet i wonder how do we want to achieve these if we forget what life itself is and how to live it? Some people study so hard that they ignore their illnesses and there are many examples of other issues that are caused because of the incredible priority many people put into work and studying while forgetting that we mainly work to live but do we actually live to work?