Exchanges Holland-Turkey

Hello everybody,

We have had two wonderful exchanges in March and May. Despite the volcano in Island we had two exchanges with 20 students.

I think it was very good to do this. In Holland are many Turkish people and therefore it was good to see how they are in their homeland. Also the country’s are very different. Food, religion, climate, landscape and houses.

We learnt a lot about each others culture, not only by visiting city’s and musea but most of all by living with each other, talking about normal things like sport, family and by visiting the different schools and lessons.

After this exchanges we have made questions for the students. They are made for the Turkish and Dutch students but I think it’s nice if other students from the other countries also fill in the questions. If you do, make clear about with exchange it handles. And answer short and quickly.

These are the Questions:

  1. Did you like both of the exchanges?  Yes/ no  because……………………
  1. What did you like most in the exchange program ?

In Holland:……………

In Turkey:……………..

  1. What didn’t you like in the exchange program?

In Holland:…………

In Turkey:…………..

  1. What do you like most in the other  culture?
  1. What doesn’t you like in the other culture?
  1. What is the biggest difference between both cultures?
  1. What is the same in both cultures?
  1. Was this exchange program what you expected? Why or why not?
  1. Do you think your friendships will last by e-mail or chatting or else?
  1. In what ways this program contributed to  you? (short answer)
  1. Now write down in maximum two pages your experiences.

2 Responses to “Exchanges Holland-Turkey”

  1. Questions to fill in:

    1. Did you like both of the exchanges? Yes/ no because in my own country, Holland, it was also very nice to show our special buildings and habits to the Turkish people. And sometimes see them wondering what weird culture we have. But in Turkey it was more special. We saw a whole different world and a whole ‘new’ culture. So it was very special to join this extraordinary experience.

    2. What did you like most in the exchange program?

    In Holland: We visited Amsterdam and I think for the Turkish people and for us it was the most interesting trip. We made a walk through Amsterdam, our capital. We visited the familiar flower market, the ‘Anne Frank house’ and made a trip through the canals by boat.

    In Turkey: What impressed me a lot, is the mausoleum of Ataturk. He is just so important for Turkey. Everywhere we went we saw big flags of him and of the Turkish national flag. And his mausoleum was so big! I had never seen something like that before. So that was the most special and interesting thing we have seen.

    3. What didn’t you like in the exchange program?
    In Holland: Everything was well organized. And in the program there weren’t things I didn’t like and I think this is the same for the Turkish people.
    In Turkey: The long and bumpy ride with the bus. The roads in Turkey are not that good as they are in Holland, so those rides by bus weren’t so comfortable. But in the program itself there was nothing I didn’t like at all.

    4. What do you like most in the other culture?
    That’s not a very hard question in my opinion. I like their hospitality so much. Family and friends are always welcome and they’ll even sleep on the couch, so their friend(s) can sleep in their bed(s). That’s just so different from our culture. In Holland this is not so usual.

    5. What doesn’t you like in the other culture?
    There’s nothing I don’t like at all, but there is one thing that’s very weird for our world. Everywhere we went and everywhere we looked we saw Turkish flags and flags of Ataturk. He is so important in their culture and for us this is not normal. But there are no things I really don’t like. Because I can’t compare the importance of Ataturk with our culture, because we don’t have such an important person.

    6. What is the biggest difference between both cultures?
    There are two things I mentioned before. The hospitality is very different. In Holland there is less hospitality than in Turkey. And the importance of their native country and a person (in this case Ataturk) is also very different. In Holland this is less important.

    7. What is the same in both cultures?
    In the family I was, soccer was very important. And I think the importance of sport is not so different of that in Holland. In Turkey and Holland we like sport, especially soccer. And for the rest there’s nothing I can mention that’s really the same as it is in the other culture.

    8. Was this exchange program what you expected? Why or why not?
    In Holland I knew what we were going to do and I had expected those things. But I didn’t really have an expectation of the program in Turkey. I did just hope that we would visit Ankara and for the rest I didn’t know interesting things to visit. But after all I was very happy about the things we visited

    9. Do you think your friendships will last by e-mail or chatting or else?
    After we came back from Turkey, I sent an e-mail, but I didn’t get a response. Sometimes I’m chatting with him and I think we will still be chatting after a year or so, but I don’t think my friendships with the Turkish people will be very big. I just think that we’ll talk sometimes, but not very often,

    10. In what ways this program contributed to you? (short answer)
    I learned a lot about the Turkish culture and their way of life. I learned that it’s very different from our way of living and that the Islam is very important in their way of life.

    11. Now write down in maximum two pages your experiences.
    On Sunday we flew from Holland to Turkey and we ate something at school. After dinner I went to Aliosman’s house. The Turkish boy that had been in Holland was Kaan, but he lived in the dormitory nearby the school. So when I was in Aliosman’s house, his family great me and they gave me something to eat. His brother, father and mother couldn’t speak English, so I had to communicate to them by telling everything in English to Alios (his nickname).
    On Monday we went to school by school bus and the Turkish people stood for the school and sang the Turkish national anthem. After that we separated into different classes and we had some lessons. After some lessons we had lunch at school and in the evening we had a party at school. We learned the Turkish folkdance.
    On Tuesday morning we went to the salt mines in the mountains. We went into the ground which was very special. In the afternoon we went to a museum and had lunch in a café. After having lunch we walked to an old mosque. We visited it and after that we went to the city centre. We went to a big building and at the highest floor we saw a performance of the Turkish folkdance. This was very special to see and one of the nicest moments in Turkey.
    On Wednesday morning there would be festivities. I didn’t know exactly for who or for what the festivities were, but I did know it had something to do with Ataturk. But because of rain the festivities were canceled, so we went to a PlayStation Café. We played a lot of soccer games. And they didn’t want us to pay for the games we played, but they wanted to pay. That was the same with buying a small bread or something. We were the guests so they will pay, if you want of if you don’t want. I think that’s extraordinary in a culture to see. In the afternoon we drove to a small lake and had a barbecue. Unfortunately we had to barbecue under a small roof, because it was still raining. In the evening we went to a stadium. These festivities weren’t canceled and I think it was something like a talent show. We heard a lot of beautiful music and after the festivities we walked to our home. His father drove us to a restaurant where everybody was. A lot of people were smoking a waterpipe. It was very nice to talk with everybody and we had a great evening! Then we went home. I said I didn’t want to eat something, because otherwise you’ll get something to eat. I just wanted to sleep, because I was very tired.
    On Thursday we went to Ankara. After a two hour drive we reached Ankara. We went to a big museum about the history of that region. It was interesting. After that we were driven to the city centre. But after about an hour, we heard thunder and it began to rain. So we went into a restaurant and it started to rain more and more. And instantly there came water out of the lamps and along the walls. So the roofs and walls are not built to undergo so much rain. We left the restaurant and bought some things. After that we went to the place we would wait for each other. When the bus arrived, we drove to the mausoleum of Ataturk. It was so big! I just couldn’t believe it. We went into a museum and went into a big building. Somewhere in there Ataturk was barried. Then we went home and had dinner at eight o’clock! In Holland we usually have dinner at five or six o’clock, so this was very unusual for me, but quite normal for them. After that we went to a house of a Turkish girl. She also joined the exchange. With some other and Turkish and Dutch people we had a very nice, wonderful and special night. We talked a lot and ate something. Then we went home after 12 o’clock and I fell asleep immediately. But I think/thought that I will only be here once, so I don’t want to sleep so much.
    On Friday I had no trouble with waking up. I took a shower and had dinner. We went to school and we would have a day with a lot of sport in the gym of the school. But I still had a bruised ankle, so unfortunately I couldn’t join the program. After these activities we went into the city centre, bought some thing and some people went to the PlayStation Café again. But I didn’t want to do that, because I wanted to see as much as I could on the last day. In the evening we had dinner and then we went to sleep very early, because we had to wake up at 4 o’clock next morning.
    On Saturday we woke up very early, about 4 o’clock I think, because we had to leave at ten to six. But we were at school at 5 o’clock, because Alios didn’t want to be too late. That was funny, I think. But when we had to leave, his father almost flattened me, because he hugged me and lifted me. I had a great feeling and I said goodbye to Alios and Kaan, who wake up very early as well! I didn’t have to cry, but deep inside I had to. It was a wonderful experience and I would recommend such a journey to everyone. And I want to thank everybody in Turkey. They have all been so nice to us. Thank you! It was also nice to be home again, to see my parents and friends. But it was a wonderful experience I will never forget!

    Best regards,

    Hans Bartling

  2. We answered this questions and our results are very positive but I dont know Dutch stıdents answers