An International Student That Makes the Most out Of It at Bilkent: Nausherwan Aziz
- By Khaled Arabiyat
Nausherwan Aziz, one of the prime examples of an accomplished international student here in Bilkent. Aziz is 23 years old, majoring in Business Management here at Bilkent University, and is currently serving his second consecutive tenure as the president of the biggest international students’ club Bilkent International House (BIH). His achievements in the international community were not limited to this club, he also won the best delegate in the biggest Model United Nations of Turkey back in 2017, and was the general secretary of the Erasmus Student Network (ESN) in 2018. He also has been writing columns in Bilkent News interviewing international students across campus, as well as a seniors’ advice column. His excellence has been proven in both his extracurricular activities and academics as he is one of the top students of Bilkent’s Business Management department.
Small man, big world
Currently serving as the president of BIH, Nausherwan believes that the experience this position offers him has been without a doubt the biggest learning experience of his life till date. “Having to lead a diverse team of highly capable individuals brings such an in-depth understanding of different cultures” said Nausherwan. It also helped him improve his time management skills with having the challenge of juggling this responsibility with the academic intensity of Bilkent University. It is certainly a very rewarding experience for him, and is something that will be instrumental in his future, with Nausherwan’s aspirations of doing a master’s degree in communication and entrepreneurship.
New faces, new places
When asked about the best parts of being an international student in Bilkent specifically, and Turkey as a whole, Nausherwan mentioned that the number of travelling options along with their affordability is definitely at the top of his list. If you budget yourself properly, and manage your time well, Nausherwan believers that everyone could travel anywhere in this country and experience the unique flavor and charm of every city in Turkey. In Bilkent, however, he thinks that the best part is the huge number of random, diverse people that you run into on a daily basis. People who you can talk to and learn from. People who have had different experiences and offer different advice. Before coming to Bilkent, Nausherwan never could have imagined that he would learn so much about all the different cultures of the world, specifically the MENA, and post-soviet countries. But this experience has certainly been a highlight of Nausherwan’s undergraduate life here in Turkey.
Lessons of an influence
Nausherwan’s greatest influence is definitely the late Professor Couvas. He is one of the students at Bilkent who were fortunate enough to take two courses from him last year and learnt a great deal from both those courses. But it wasn’t just learning from him as a professor but even as a human being he had so much practical knowledge about the world and always showed that there was a kind and effective way to achieving your goals. “His death is a big blow for Bilkent in my opinion, but I’m glad to have been able to not only be Professor Couvas’s student but also to be able to have had many memorable conversations with him in his office about a wide variety of topics” Nausherwan added. Getting through this unfortunate mishap has certainly been challenging for Nausherwan in his life here at Bilkent.
Experience, learn, do better
As an international, there are many difficulties and obstacles that every student must go through in their lives at Bilkent, and Nausherwan is no exception. The biggest obstacle he has faced to date is trying to balance his time allocation between his extracurricular activities and his academics. He suggests that not having learnt a lot of the Turkish language, at least not to the point of fluency, has also been problematic for his undergraduate years. However, Nausherwan, with his optimistic nature, believes that every obstacle that you face is only there to make your experience better, and to make you a person that can handle any situation in his life, which Nausherwan clearly shows here at Bilkent.
A word from the wise
With a seasoned student like Nausherwan, who is now in his final semester at Bilkent, he advises future international students to put more effort into learning the Turkish language, as he believes he has failed to properly learn it himself, which he absolutely regrets. He also recommends budgeting yourself smartly so that internationals could travel as much as they want in Turkey, presenting them with an experience of a lifetime. Also, for Bilkent specifically, Nausherwan advises “to not come to University with any preconceived notions of what their college experience should be like. Bilkent has something for everyone but the happiest people especially internationals are those who manage to adapt to circumstances and recognize the unique nature of the experience on offer”. A veteran of internationals here at Bilkent, Nausherwan’s advice is certainly of high value and is definitely drawn out from various, life-changing experiences.