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Experience in Ankara, Turkey by Alvina

Published by Alvina Umatova — 11 months ago

0 Tags: Erasmus experiences Ankara, Ankara, Turkey

What is it like to live in Ankara? Would you recommend it? What is the city like?

It depends on which university you will be attending. You should not expect anything exciting from Ankara. While the food is amazing everything else is just too ordinary. Eveywhere is government buildings and police officers. Diversity is too little. A calm place to focus on your work or studies though. However, there are some good university campuses where life is crazy and adventurous!

What is the student lifestyle like in Ankara?

IT also differs from one universty to another. The best campus belongs to the Middle East Technical University. The campus is like a small town surrounded by forests and small lakes. The environment at the campus is amazing, there are a lot of student activities and cheap accommodities to spend your free time. Overall, Ankara does not have much to offer for fun student life.

How much does it cost to live in Ankara?

Compared to many European countries it is quite cheap to live in Ankara. I study at the Middle East Technical University which is a public university. My accommodation in the campus costs me 50 Euro (I live with 4 people though), the food ranges between 1-7 Euro-maximum. To rent a room in a shared apartment in average costs 100 Euro. In general, prices for food can be as cheap as 1 Euro and the most expensive ones can be 15 Euro. Since the local currency is falling it might get even cheaper for those who earn their money in dollar and euro.

Is it difficult to find accommodation in Ankara? Is there any advice you can give?

It is not difficult to find a good accommodation here since in the city supply exceeds the demand. My advice would be first to contact the university or any insitution that you applying for. Secondly,there are some cool Facebook pages as "100.yil evleri" with over 20.000 members most of whom are students or young professionals where you can post your request and find people who can easily help you. The only problem with this group is time for an approval of a request to the group and also if a requesting foreign person is a female some creepy men might hit on her via messages. Just ignore such individuals. I strongly do not recommend any facebook groups with Ankara expats or the ones oriented towards foreign people living in Ankara. Usually in these groups people overcharge foreigners since the latter do not know local prices. Be careful!

What is the food like? What are your favourite dishes?

The food is amazing. Almost anywhere restraunts offer good quality of service and food. I recommend Şimşek ASPAVA Sezenler (Merkez) in Ankara it might be a little more expensive than in other places but you will not regret going there. There is a wide diversity of Turkish, Arabic and European cuisines. Unfortunately, due to locals' lack of interest in Asian or other 'exotic' cuisines it might be extremely hard to find nice restraunts with reasonable prices. I miss my glorious Philadelphia sushi rolls ! :( (wait, are they Asian or American??...)

What places would you recommend visiting in Ankara?

My favorite places are Anitkabir, Museum of Anatolian civilizations, Ankara castle.

Is it good to eat out in Ankara? Can you tell us your favourite spots?

Certainly! You should try street food especially ice cream (Maras) they are extremely delicious. Note that in Turkey restraunts usually specialise in specific dishes as in if you like kebab in a certain place there is no guarantee you might like other dishes from the same place. Therefore, for kebab my favorites are  "Muslum Kebab" and "Kebab 49". For nice wine and desserts is "Villa restraunt". "Ankara Künefe - Hasır Künefe ve Katmer" is the best for the fans of turkish desserts.

Is the nightlife good in Ankara? Where is good to go?

Nightlife is not the best in Ankara. However, everything depends on your social circle. For girls I would not recommend clubs since there are a lot of men who will constantly try to get your number and etc which can be quite exhausting and irritating. However, around 100 yil region there are many bars which offer some cool concerts that you can easliy enjoy. Moreover, sexual harrassment is strictly controlled there so less chances of being annoyed by weirdos. Also, alcohol is relevantly expensive here due to high taxes. So yeah to get drunk you have to have money unless you have other cheaper alternatives in your mind.

What advice would you give future students heading to Ankara?

Do not expect much from the city. All your experience will probably depend on your university and social circle. In general, people do not speak well English so make sure you know some basic Turkish. Some regions can be conservative so make sure you act and dress appropriately. Majority of the population is Muslim but moderate type which means you should not expect everyone walking around in hijabs and being closed to 'western lifestyle'. Turkish society is a mixture between European, Middle Eastern and Asian cultures so expect a lot of confusion. However, such mix can be interesting to learn about. Do not talk on topics related to politics and religion in public! Travel around since Ankara is almost in the middle of Turkey so it is easier to reach different parts of the country by bus or train. Go to Capadoccia, Istanbul, Black Sea region and Izmir (all Aegen region especially during summer!). Turkey has so much to offer! Transportation+accommodation prices for travelling are very reasonable. Join communities within university that you like it is the best way to make friends. Turkish people are extremely polite, friendly and welcoming of foreign students. If you need help with directions do not hesitate to ask locals they will most likely help you. Enjoy Turkey- it is unforgettable experience!

Share your Erasmus Experience in Ankara!

If you know Ankara as native, traveler or as exchange student... share your opinion on Ankara! Rate different characteristics and share your experience.

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