Impressions from Faculty Members who Attended the NOVA Summer Program
Associate Professor Salih ŞAHİN
I had lots of opportunities to travel to many European countries thanks to various projects, conferences, and other types of activities from June, 2003 to 2014. My friends who had been to the USA expressed that the USA was different in many ways. At last, I had an opportunity to go to the USA for 3 months in the scope of the NOVA summer programme.
Although there are some similarities between the countries I have been to and the USA, there are various differences as my friends have also expressed. As for location, the USA, which is quite a far-away country, gives you some signs that you are going to a different place during the travel. In this process, one of the major things the USA taught me once again was that the possibility of having a problem is very low as long as you adhere to the rules strictly. For example, if there is meat or seed in your luggage, it is inevitable that you will have problems in customs. However, if you have products except the ones specified, you can pass through the door safely. On the other hand, I think there is no need to panic if there is no missing document in your passport and visa papers.
I had the opportunity to meet a geographer who was working in NOVA. I attended the courses "Cultural Geography" at the summer school and "Political Geography" during the fall semester. Meanwhile, I was requested to deliver a one-hour presentation on Turkey. I gave a presentation concerning information on “Turkish Geography” supported by photos, maps and graphs. I received positive feedbacks from both the students and the instructor. They asked many questions about Turkey. Considering the questions, I understood once again that Turkey has a highly important position in the world.
As well as our programme in the university, I had an opportunity to go to North Carolina, Ocean City, New York and see the living museum nearby the Niagara Falls where George Washington’s house is also located. Furthermore, I participated in a walk of 20 km with a team in the Shenandoah National Park, one of the largest nature parks of the USA.
For me, one of the most significant impressions about the USA is the high number of museums. I have never had the opportunity to visit so many and large museums in the same city. I would like to thank everyone who enabled me to take part in such an organization.
Associate Professor Sevil KAHRAMAN
I could not decide whether to participate in NOVA summer programme or not, considering the contribution of the programme on ‘education’ and the non-existence of a faculty related to my field. However, now I can say that I am very happy to have participated in such a programme. First of all, being a student, doing homework and studying after so many years has been a pleasure. We learned about the higher education system of the world, particularly that of the USA. In the programme I attended in NOVA, I also learned that I or we did not know anything about how to keep the attention of students alive because I did not receive such a training on such techniques. Of course, it is impossible to learn everything in 3 months, but at least I have learned how important it is and how I can improve myself. Now I am trying to implement these techniques in my courses, or I am making an effort to do it. Additionally, I had not learned about the American culture in such details before although I had been to the USA many times. In this regard, the information our instructor gave on American culture was very useful. We gained more experience in listening to and speaking English. We learned by experience about many daily activities such as renting an apartment, subscription to internet, phone lines, electricity, and opening a bank account. Maybe because of having a psychology of being a student, we had so many good friendships, and I am sure that they will be long-lasting. Consequently, I had a wonderful summer experience, I would like to thank Gazi University very much for this.
Assistant Professor Hüsnü YÜCEKAYA
We always said that the programme was very successful. During our talks with my wife as well, we realise that we have really had a precious time as the time goes by. I would like to state that there have been various gains on our side. Differently from Europe, we had the opportunity to observe how the mentality was and is still being shaped in the USA, which is a trend-setting country. We have acquired confidence. We observed how a university and its research institutes should be, the necessities to be done in our country, and the priority. Even in a limited time, we had the opportunity to observe people and societal structure which formed such a country. We had the chance to compare ourselves with our colleagues in the modern world. We detected our deficiencies and the ways we behaved unjustly to ourselves. I think that the selected centre and region was perfectly chosen. Its proximity to the capital enabled us to gain numerous experiences. We saw some of the central institutions of American system (Capitol and the White House). For instance, we participated in the celebrations of the 4th of July. We felt the importance of democracy for American people and the growth of democracy on this land. I had the chance to meet and share very important things with Luis Galambos in John Hopkins University, a world-wide known 83-year-old scientist.