Hello world! My name is Erhan Ozcan, and I wanted to share my experience in Leeds where I lived from December 2010 to July 2011 to study “International Studies”.
While I was studying in Middle East Technical University (METU) in Turkey, I planned to spend my last year abroad with ERASMUS programme. Based on the subject I wanted to study and the universities that METU had ERASMUS agreements with, University of Leeds was the best, both in terms of recognition and respectability.
Studying in the UK for a while was always my aspiration, but I didn’t want to do it in London as the majority of international students do. I wanted to be a part of a more local community up north, and was considering Leeds and Manchester. I ended up in Leeds and had an amazing time.
My favorite module was “Security Studies” in which we assessed the importance of security in international relations. The course started with theoretical information around realism, constructivism and continued with contemporary security threats. Seeing the implications of these theories in the current world politics was the most interesting part of the course for me!
Big shout-out to Professor Graeme Davies who was doing a great job by asking open-ended questions to students which made sure the class environment was highly interactive!
The best part of the campus was its proximity to the city center. My favorite place in campus was the Edge Fitness Centre where I spent a huge amount of time working out, and learning Jiu-Jitsu I was also part of the Mixed Martial Arts (MMA) and Street Dance Club.
I am not really into touristy attractions, yet Royal Armouries Museum is a must see!
My most memorable experience in Leeds was when we did the traditional Otley Run with a group of friends! Everybody dressed like an animal, and I was a cat!
I currently work at Google Headquarters in Silicon Valley, California as a Business Development Executive. I work with mobile app developers across North America to help them monetize with mobile advertisements using Google products such as DFP, ADX, and AdMob.
Studying abroad had been my dream since I was a high school student, and I was finally able to do it in my last year at University. One certainly learns a lot by exposing oneself to a different culture, language, society, and life conditions. Studying abroad enables you to learn how to take care of yourself in another country. All the obstacles you overcome during your experience increase your level of resilience which becomes a valuable asset that sets you up for success for the long term.
by Ihsan Erhan Ozcan – Middle East Technical University – Turkey