Sinan Guleryuz and Ayca Kaplan went west for fall break; now they tell the Terrarium about their experiences traveling and as international students at Beloit.
Hometown: Istanbul, Turkey.
How long will you be here? One semester.
What is the biggest difference between Beloit and your hometown?
Sinan: The biggest difference is that Istanbul is a big city (17 million people) and Beloit is very small. It was hard to get used to at first, but now I like it. Now I don’t know how I will deal with all of the traffic in Istanbul when I go back home!
Where is your favorite study spot on campus?
Sinan: The library
Ayca: The big sofas in the back of the first floor of the library
What has been your proudest/most exciting moment abroad?
Both: Carrying our country’s flag with all of the international students at Convocation.
What is the funniest instance of culture shock that you've experienced during your time abroad?
Both: Realizing that the word “Beloit” is pronounced differently depending on the region you’re in. Our first day in the U.S., we went to a Citibank in Chicago. The bank teller asked us which college we were going to. When we said “Beloit,” he gave us a blank stare then after a long pause asked, “Is that in Iowa?” When we told him it’s in Wisconsin, he replied, “Oh, BELOIT” with a hard “buh” sound in the beginning of the word.
How did you spend your fall break?
Both: We traveled with our friends to Los Angeles and San Francisco!
What are the three most important things you packed in your suitcase? Why?
Sinan: Passport, college ID, and camera: You need a passport everywhere, a college ID helps you to get discounts, and a camera makes those memories unforgettable.
Ayca: Passport, documents, and makeup.
What was the best part of your fall break travels?
Sinan: Seeing new places, especially Universal Studios.
Ayca: Universal Studios and Hollywood were amazing!
What is the most unexpected thing you've encountered so far in the U.S.?
Sinan: I knew that there is a difference between the culture and economic situations of neighborhoods, but I never expected it to be as big of a difference as I experienced in L.A.
Ayca: People always want tips.
What's the best meal you've had abroad?
Both: Mexican food! We had amazing Mexican food in San Francisco.
What is your favorite place in the U.S. so far?
Both: Chicago and San Francisco.
How does San Francisco compare to your home city of Istanbul?
Sinan: Istanbul and San Francisco are very similar. Both of them are big cities near the sea/ocean, which makes their weather beautiful. The people and traffic are also similar.
Ayca: There are no big differences between San Francisco and Istanbul: the people, the places, even the bridges are almost the same!
What is one song from your home country that you think everyone should listen to?
Sinan: Rapsodi Istanbul by Teoman
If you would like to learn more about Istanbul and Turkey, come to Sinan and Ayca’s presentation at International Club TONIGHT (Wednesday, Oct. 24) at 7:30 p.m. in the Porter Brown Auditorium (SC 150). After their presentation, Abigail Bohstedt’13 will talk about her experiences studying abroad as an exchange student in Istanbul last year. All are welcome!