River, Outbound to Turkey

Today marks 5 months since I've arrived in Turkey, I think I can say for the past month now I am used to Turkey. I remember when I first got accepted and it feeling like forever until I left but now that I'm here time is flying by. So many things have happened the past few months I don't know where to start

Well here in Turkey I live in a small city called Ereğli. I live with an amazing host family with two daughters one seven years old and the other fifteen. I love having a host sister close to my age because it makes adjusting a lot easier. before my school started I had a month and a half of summer left I really liked it because it gave me a lot of time to adjust and explore my city. my host sister introduced me to some of her friends from school. one week of the summer we stayed in our family's summer house in a city 30 minutes away. Even though our house didn’t have wifi I had a lot of fun. While we were there I was able to make my host family smores which made me so happy being able to share something that I grew up eating and having them try it for the first time. now I'm not sure if the beaches are like this everywhere in Turkey but instead of the beach being golden sand like it is in Florida the beach is made up of tiny gray stones and when you walk into the water the stones gradually get bigger which I thought was so cool because it just looks so pretty. all of them are perfectly shaped and smooth. I did take a few home and later painted a few in art class. okay so that's enough about these stupid rocks I'm obsessed with.

Since I've been here I noticed that Turkish people love to eat but I don't mind it at all. for breakfast it’s like a buffet on the table. they typically have olives, cheese, bread, honey, boiled eggs, cucumbers, sigara boregi (which are my fave) and fried eggs with sausage like meat in a pan for you to take from to put on your plate. also for breakfast they drink Turkish tea. It is very unique tea it is served in a tulip shaped glass which symbolizes their countries flower the color of the tea is dark red. it doesn't matter what time of the day it is they always drink it. I've never really been a tea person but I do sometimes try to drink it's because it makes me feel more Turkish.

Now I know there is a lot of misconceptions about Turkey and Turkish people. I remember before I left a lot of people asking me why Turkey or didn't want me to go to Turkey. But now thinking about what they said makes me sad because I have so much love for Turkey I don't want people to feel that way about this beautiful country. obviously, there are going to be bad people in every group but as time goes on I continue to fall more in love with the Turkish culture and people. I am even starting to like them more than Americans. They are very hospitable and welcoming. Like when you go to someone's home they try their best to make you feel comfortable they usually will bring you a snack to eat and some time off for your slippers to wear so your feet don't get cold. Another thing I’ve noticed about Turkish people is that they will start a conversation with anyone. which I love about them but it makes me feel awkward when they try to talk to me and I don’t understand so I just tell them I’m a foreigner and look stupid but that’s just one of the many uncomfortable moments you will experience while you’re an exchange student.

If you are reading this and thinking about becoming an exchange student I would say 100% go for it. I remember last year reading current exchange student’s bios and I was thinking that it would be so cool to become an exchange student but I wouldn’t be able to afford it or that would never actually happen to me but it did. I am so grateful for to be here even if I have a bad day I never regret coming to Turkey. Don’t let your dreams be dreams just do it.

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