“Doing a Ph.D. in Germany is very prestigious, and Berlin Transnational Studies is very well known. I have a great office here on campus together with two other students.”
Digdem Soyaltin from Turkey
Source: Bernd Wannenmacher
How long have you been at Freie Universität?
I came here in September 2010 and will stay for three years altogether.
Did you come through direct exchange or a program?
Berlin Transnational Studies
What are you studying?
I studied political science.
Where are you from, and where did you study at home?
I am from Turkey. I did my B.A. in International Relations at Izmir Ege University, my M.A. in EU Studies at Dokus Eylül, and an M.S. in European Affairs in Sweden. Finally I got my M.Phil. in Political Science from Central European University in Budapest last year.
Why did you choose Freie Universität?
I planned to come here for my Ph.D. from the very beginning. I started to learn German three years ago and also wanted to improve my language skills. Doing a Ph.D. in Germany is very prestigious – you have great networks here. And finally the city of Berlin made my choice easier: Bremen, my alternative university, is much smaller. And as I applied with a Ph.D. proposal on Europeanization, the subject fit in very well here.
What do you especially like about Freie Universität?
Berlin Transnational Studies is very well known, at least in academic circles. And I have a great office here on campus together with two other students. And it is close to my supervisor’s office.
What do you like less?
Don’t get me wrong: People here are very friendly, but as I come from Turkey, I think people open up rather slowly. And they switch into English so quickly when they realize I’m not native in German.
Do you have any suggestions for someone new at Freie Universität?
It could be helpful to have German friends or people who know the place when you arrive. Finding an apartment and signing the contract is easier when you know what exactly you sign. And you should go to sports or dance clubs if you want to get to know people from outside the university.
Any suggestions for living in Berlin?
I live in Wilmersdorf because it is very close to the university, but I spend a lot of time in Kreuzberg and Neukölln, where you’ll find a lot of nice bars, cafes, and restaurants. And I enjoy the cultural offers in Berlin: International festivals, for example, can help you to survive the long winter. And it’s a cheap capital!
Last Update 10/28/2011
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