International Office - Aberystwyth University

I am Freeeeeee…For Now

Hello to ALL the wonderful people who are reading this, How are you? I’m fine! I’m actually beyond FINE because I just submitted my last assignment! I’m currently assignment FREE! I know that to some of you this may not seem like a big achievement, so I wanted to provide an insight into Australian universities… Continue reading I am Freeeeeee…For Now

International Office - Aberystwyth University

Things I wish I knew when Arriving to Aber…

Make use of Student Societies – it is not only a perfect opportunity to develop your hobbies and passions but also meet new people and socialise! You will never have more free time than on your 1st year so make the best of it and do some great stuff. Know your bank balance – at… Continue reading Things I wish I knew when Arriving to Aber…

International Office - Aberystwyth University

Does she even Blog though?

– Soimgoingtotrytotravel So….. I’ve been in Bergen nearly a week now and I think it’s time I actually start updating all of you with what I’ve been doing here since then. I left Gatwick airport at 11 am and reached Bergen at around 2 pm after catching the Flybussen (the airport bus) which drops you… Continue reading Does she even Blog though?

International Office - Aberystwyth University

Happy Hump Day Everyone!

  Happy hump day everyone! I’m now half way through my second week in Bordeaux and the time is flying by! Everything is new and exciting, the weather is unbelievable (even the thunderstorms are spectacular) and I’m just having such an amazing time. Apart from the weekend I got here I haven’t shed a single… Continue reading Happy Hump Day Everyone!

International Office - Aberystwyth University

The Bordeaux Saga….An Unexpected Journey

So I’ve just finished my third real day in Bordeaux (that is to say the third day of my course) and I think I’m in love! The city is so beautiful. It has everything you could hope to find in a French city with the old and quaint literally face to face with the more… Continue reading The Bordeaux Saga….An Unexpected Journey

International Office - Aberystwyth University

Lydia The Explorer….

Just had an amazing day exploring Bordeaux, I can tell this is going to be a wonderful summer 🙂 Everything in the centre is so beautiful and we managed to crack travelling by tram straight away. There are 14 stagiares from Aberystwyth (Wales) including me and we are fast becoming a new little ( well… Continue reading Lydia The Explorer….

International Office - Aberystwyth University

Saying Goodbye (For now)

Name: Sophie Beckett

Department: International Politics

Host Institution: Bilkent University


It’s under week until I will be flying out for my semester abroad at Bilkent University in Ankara, Turkey. I’ve finished exams and my packing as well, which has been a useful procrastination tool! I’m starting this blog whilst still in rainy Wales because preparing to go is a significant part of the experience.

This weekend I’ve been saying goodbye to my amazing group of friends. Particularly sad has been bidding farewell to my third year friends, who will have graduated when I return. In true Aber fashion I threw a goodbye pre drinks house party, though I think it fell short of expectations for some of my more party orientated friends as I’m not incredibly well versed in hosting parties, nor do I know many drinking games beyond Showdance’s “Chicken Goggles”.

I’ve also had to bid a temporary goodbye to my wardrobe. I don’t think of myself as having a particularly large wardrobe, but alas, the DofE style pack that I’m taking would only just fit my t-shirt collection. A problem whist packing is the climate in Ankara. Currently it is hovering around 5 degrees Celsius. When I return to Britain in May it will have climbed to 35 degrees! I’m having to console myself over the short-term loss of my 15 Harry Potter t-shirts with the promise of spending a significant portion of my Erasmus grant on clothing!

Sorting out exchange has been drawn out. After we had applied Bilkent changed their application process, but in the change our applications became invalid, which was only discovered by both parties when our log in details didn’t arrive in November. Cue panicking and a very long Christmas break sorting out the issues caused by this. Everything is finally sorted, and all that’s left is to find out our room assignments on Thursday.

A lot of people ask me if I’m scared about going. My usual answer is: of course I am – I’d be bonkers not to be! The thing about dreams is, if they don’t scare you, then they aren’t big enough.

I’m going to be in a country where I don’t speak the language, with a veritable war zone on its borders. That alone should be enough to scare anyone. But I’ll also have all the normal challenges of moving to a new place like making friends and finding my way around. Ankara is a big place, and I’m used to tiny Aber or Birmingham.

But I’m just relieved I’m going at all. The placement looked touch and go for a while. The violence preceding the elections could have stopped it. Thankfully, everything seems to have calmed down (cross fingers), though I am keenly aware that the country borders Syria and I am prohibited by the Foreign Office from travelling to any of the districts along the border. At the end of the day, I chose Turkey precisely because I knew it would be a very different experience than anywhere else offered. I’m an International Politics student, I study war every day, but this trip is the first time I am anywhere near one. I’m going to take this as a learning experience, to see how differently Turkish People consider war when it’s on their door step.

So it’s goodbye Aber! I’ll probably pen another post next Sunday once I’ve arrived. It will include the delights of grocery shopping, which makes me very happy as anyone who knows me will know my love for cooking and food in general.