My knowledge of Germany is actually not based on the past. As with almost everyone in Turkey, what I knew about Germany was nothing more than the fact that a close/far relative had gone to Germany to work. I know that my uncle worked in Germany for a short time (I was very young). So I was very ignorant in this area.
After I got married, I had a relative in Germany thanks to my husband. My husband’s uncle lived in a small town called Bremerhaven in northern Germany. Nevertheless, for many years I did not have the opportunity to go to Germany. Over the years, we traveled abroad many times. We made so many wonderful memories and met such wonderful people that it is hard to believe.
Let us come to Germany. When we got a Schengen visa for free movement in Europe, we wanted to visit relatives. Bremerhaven, where my wife’s uncle lives, is a port city on the North Sea coast. Generally, fishing and port activities are carried out. Our first trip to Germany was to visit relatives in the form of city and neighborhood visits. Although we liked it very much, we could not stay long, but we promised to come back. Then we had the opportunity to visit one or two more times. We continued to get to know Germany by expanding the circle a little more.
As time passed and my son grew up and started school, our goals for university became clear to us as German-speaking countries. We had visited many other countries in the meantime, but many regions and states in Germany remained a mystery to us. My son’s determination to study in Germany made us want to get to know Germany even better. We had wanted to travel all over Germany before, but this situation gave us extra motivation. We started with Berlin, and I fell in love with the city that justifies John F. Kennedy’s words “Ich bin ein Berliner”: the city of freedom, where incredibly beautiful, organized and friendly people live. I say smiling, because you won’t see so many smiling and polite people anywhere in Europe. (If you see people sulking in Germany, they are probably foreigners or immigrants. Even when the police give you a ticket, they smile and are polite).
Over the years, we then started visiting different university cities so that my son could get an idea of his university choice. I can tell you that we liked Germany better in each city we visited. When visiting the cities, you can’t help but admire the fact that a country that survived a major war and was destroyed has rebuilt all of its buildings. In each city we visited, we researched how to live through the eyes of a student, what the schools were like, what the cost of living was. When researching universities, I tried to create a database by taking short notes (I’m getting older now, it’s hard to keep everything in my head).
Perhaps the weakest part of the Germans are digitization and websites. German university websites tend to be very confusing and complicated. You may have to gather information from many different sources and websites. Finally, I have decided to write about my experiences and knowledge that I have gained over the years in the hope that it will be useful to others. I will try to write articles introducing the city and the universities, giving information about planning, applications and living conditions when I find time. If you have questions and I know the answer, I will try to help you. I wish you good health.
If you have any questions, you will probably find the answer on these pages, but you can still contact me at recep[at]recepdayi.com.tr and on my social media accounts. I try to improve my articles according to your feedback, so please send me your comments. Thank you in advance.