Dilara is pursuing her Master’s degree in European Studies at the European University of Flensburg. She found the programme and enrolled via StudyPortals. We asked Dilara about her experience of searching and applying to a university abroad.
About youTell us a bit about yourself. What is your name? How old are you? Where are you from?
My name is Dilara (25) and I am from Turkey.Where are/were you studying and what programme? What degree and how long is your programme?
I studied Business Administration as my Bachelor degree in Izmir, Turkey at Dokuz Eylül University and currently I am pursuing my Master’s degree in European Studies at the European University of Flensburg. It is a 2-year programme and held fully in English.
Why did you want to study abroad?
After studying one year abroad with the Erasmus Scholarship during my Bachelor, I wanted to continue this experience, but this time with a more intensive way.
Deciding for a universityWhat were your main priorities when choosing your university and your programme (e.g. academics, accommodation, university services & facilities, personal & professional development, city & culture, cost & funding, practicalities, social life)?
The quality of the university, living costs and the language of the studies were the main priorities for me. Flensburg city and the university here have made all these determinants match.Was this your first study choice? What other universities did you consider? What was the main reason for your final choice?
It was not my first choice; however I cannot say that I am unhappy with the final outcome. I have applied for the Sociology Master studies, which requires a high amount of credits from sociology related courses, at the Free University at Berlin. Because of a highly business and economy related curriculum in my Bachelor, I did not have enough credits in sociology subject. However, the European Studies Master programme at the EUF is a mixture of economics, politics and sociology where I can combine my Bachelor theoretical knowledge with new eras of professions.
Did you know from the start that you wanted to study in that particular country and city? Why did you choose this particular location?
From the beginning, Germany was my only option to study my Master. As I stated before, I wanted to come here again a year after the exchange experience. Nevertheless, I got to know Flensburg during my university research. Firstly, I like the double degree option that the university offers to its students and secondly, I like that it lays right at the German-Danish border that is a perfect place to observe the social life especially when you are studying European Studies.Did you take a language test (e.g. TOEFL, IELTS) when applying for the programme? If yes, which one did you choose, why and how was your experience with it?
Yes, I took IELTS. I chose it because as far as I know TOEFL is an exam which you can use just computers and I am totally not used to that kind of exam. I feel more relaxed when I use just paper and pencil.
RecommendationsWhat would be your advice for students from your country that consider studying abroad?
First of all, they should start looking for studies’ requirements a bit earlier so that they do not miss the deadlines of the universities that they really want to apply. The level of language is also very important, therefore, it is always safer to take your first language test a bit in advance so that you can still have time if you do not like your score or if it is not enough for the subject you want.How did you finance your stay abroad and what financial advice would you give to future students?
Because I was not very well informed about the scholarship deadlines, currently, I am financed by my family and until lately, I was working in a café. Therefore, my advice would be: research about the different scholarships and inform yourself about their deadlines and requirements in advance so you can have time to do better with your courses which is very important for your average and the scholarship.Why would you (not) recommend this particular city / university? How would you rate your experience on a scale from zero to ten (0 – It was a total disaster, 10 – I had the time of my life)?
There are not many universities which offer their students Master studies in English, double degree and a first-hand border experience at once. Therefore, it is a unique combination for a Master programme. Moreover, the city of Flensburg is a place where two cultures are coming together, so you can feel like you are living both in Denmark and Germany. On the other hand, it is a small city and as a student sometimes it is not enough if you are coming from a big city. Therefore, I would give Flensburg 8 out of 10.Is there anything that you would do differently if you could do it over again?
I would inform myself better about the scholarships. But apart from that, I would not do anything different.What was the biggest surprise in your study abroad adventure?
It is hard to believe that there is an organisation, which is founded by European Commission, in this small city where I had the chance to do my internship. It is perfect for those who study European Studies.
Were you inspired by Dilara's story?