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I always knew that I wanted to do an LLM abroad after my first state exam, I think this is just the typical thing to do after you study a long time in Germany, you want to see a different culture and different experience. So I took part in an LLM event in Munich and there I met Esra and Koç University. I fell in love with the campus and everything was so beautiful! I have never been to Turkey before, and especially not to Istanbul. I wanted to experience something very different from what we see here on holidays when we go to Spain or Italy. I decided to give it a try and apply to Koç University and the whole application process was really smooth. It was super quick and really good guided with all the emails, webinars, and tutorial videos. I felt their support throughout the whole application process.
As I knew that I will go to Koç University in September, I started to look at some flats there. Of course, Istanbul is a really really big city so you have to think carefully about where you want to stay. It is typical that you have 2 hours to come to the university when you are in the Asian side of Istanbul, so I decided to stay near the university and it was very good, specifically in the beginning when you come from a city in Germany that is not relatable to Turkey or Istanbul. So it was good to have a kind of short way to university.
I enjoyed that the classes took place on Fridays and Saturdays so you have a lot of time to enjoy the city and go out and do something else during the weekdays. It is a great chance to do everything you want to do in this one year you are abroad. It was really nice for me. So about university in specific, as I said I love the campus, unfortunately, when I started studying the second semester the whole Covid situation occurred. We had a lot of online classes but actually, it was really fun and smooth so I stayed in Turkey and enjoyed it as well. I didn't experience any problems with the online classes, Koç University is really flexible when it comes to this so I felt that this was not a problem.
Regarding the students in the LLM program, I think most of them lived off the campus because we were all master's students and I think most of the students on campus are bachelor's degree students but you can get in touch with a lot of people anyway. Of course, there were a lot of Turkish-speaking students, it is their typical master's degree in Law. But it is so good because they used to live in Istanbul, so when you meet them you can stick together and enjoy the city and experience the city like a local, which you would never have the chance when you are not living there.
And of course, we had many international students coming from other countries such as Afghanistan, Pakistan, and Germany. It was great to join a community in which people were talking about Law with their perspectives from different regions, not only from Europe or the US. It was a remarkable experience to discuss and compare different law systems. As for social life in Istanbul, it is hard to say just one real good highlight because there were a lot of highlights. Every time you go out in this city you experience something new and meet new people. I have to say that friends that I made at koç university, I’m still in touch with them and every time when I come back to turkey I meet up with them and we are talking about what's going on right now because most of them are living in Turkey and this is a really big highlight that I met friends that I’m still in touch now. We did really nice things with them, went out in the evening, or during the day, enjoyed the study, there are so many highlights… I can't say what is the best because the city is crazy, you can do everything you can imagine!
Naomi Niedermeier
Graduate School of Social Sciences and Humanities - LLM alumna
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