Semih Isik from Turkey: Studying in the Intensive English Program at Indiana University Bloomington

Semih Isik from Turkey: Studying in the Intensive English Program at Indiana University Bloomington

Interview:

Why did you decide to study in the USA?

Studying in the USA has been my dream since being at the college in Turkey. I believe gaining a degree from an American university differentiates me from my peers. I can make a good career, as well as improve English language skills and learn American culture.

Why did you choose Indiana University (IU) Bloomington Intensive English Program (IEP)?

It was not a hard decision studying at Indiana University Bloomington, which has a very good reputation. I found that IEP at IU is a perfect fit for my professional goals. It provides a wide range of courses, aimed mainly at preparing international students to study English in an academic way.

How has this program helped you to handle future study at a U.S. university?

I have been studying for two months, but what I have learnt so far is innumerable. We have highly trained, professional instructors, so I can ask all my questions and find its answers explicitly. One thing that I have learnt makes me very comfortable in my future studies is writing an academic paper.

What do you like best?

Indiana University Bloomington has fascinating environment offering many free events from music to technology. Lastly, I like that I can make contact with my instructors anytime without hesitation.

What do you miss most?

Although I miss my family and friends, we overcome longing by video chatting. However, my mother’s dishes that I cannot find are missed a lot.

What was your biggest surprise?

My biggest surprise about U.S. life is tipping. People tip for almost everything in the USA, while it is not necessary in Turkey. Also, size of classes is smaller than I experienced in Turkey, yet we can communicate with our instructors easily in this way.

... your biggest disappointment?

I think the weather condition is the biggest disappointment of me as it changes quickly.

How have you handled:

... language differences?

Firstly, Intensive English Program (IEP) is helping to improve my English. Secondly, I have joined Practical English Tutorials (PET). I talk with native speakers who are eager to share their knowledge of the language and culture in the tutorials. Lastly, I made lots of American and international friends by joining a student club.

... finances?

Honestly, living expenses are lower than I expected. I live in on-campus and rental rates are not high at all. Also, both campus and city buses are free for students in Bloomington. I have scholarship from Turkish government and get along easily.

... adjusting to a different educational system?

I go to every class that I have. If you are a responsible person, there is no educational difference for you. I listen to my instructors and do what they tell me to do carefully.

What are your activities?

Bloomington has very good location, so I go on small trips whenever I have free time. I got involved a group and we get together every weekend to do activities such as cooking, bowling and sports. You never get bored in Bloomington.

How easy or difficult was making friends?

To me, making American friends is pretty easy. People who I have met so far are easy-going and eager to know different cultures and people. The important thing about making American friends is that you need to make an effort to meet new people instead of sitting at home all the time.

How relevant is your U.S. education to your personal goals and to the needs of your country? 

My career goal is being a knowledgeable scholar at a university upon completing my Masters of Science and Ph.D. degrees in the USA. I believe the United States of America is the best place to excel in my professional and academic life because universities in the USA are frontrunners in the academic world.

What is your advice to other students who are considering a U.S. education?

Firstly, you need to make the right choice; therefore, you need to carefully search about universities to find the best place is for you. Secondly and most importantly, improve your English skills as much as you can, while you are in Turkey. Lastly, get ready for exams that are needed for you futures studies.

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