Posted by: mollyscafeistanbul | September 17, 2009

erasmus students in istanbul

as i write, there are several erasmus students sitting in molly’s cafe. over the years i have met many erasmus students, as i rented my flat to them and sometimes had them as flatmates.  here in molly’s cafe, i can eavesdrop as they talk.  it is such a pleasure to listen to these bright young people as they talk about what they are discovering about istanbul and turkey.

these students start their school lives here with a basic turkish course.  some of them today were saying that although they do not have a great grasp of turkish after their course, they do appreciate the opportunity to at least be polite in their hosts’ language.

these students come from many european countries.  today there are students from germany, austria, and denmark.  other i have met have been from france, italy, and holland.  it is a wonderful opportunity for them to learn about each other’s countries as well as about turkey.  turkey gets a pretty bad rap in europe, much like the mexicans do in the u.s., as the turks in europe are often the ones who are doing the low-level jobs.  these students learn more about this country and understand how varied it is.  many of them are studying topics related to the european union, as well as history and various kind of technology.

the students are at different universities around istanbul.  they are supposed to have classes in english, but some of the universities’ offerings in english are a little sparse.  in that case, some professors tell the students to just study on their own.  other courses are really in english and these erasmus students see how certain topics are presented and how turkish students deal with them.

like all international student programs, this is a great opportunity for international learning and understanding.  they have fun while they are at it, of course.  i am glad that some make molly’s cafe a regular part of their life here.


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