Adna is a Bosnian from Sarajevo. She lives together with her family in Breza, a small town of 17,000 inhabitants. Her father works in the country’s capital which is not far from their town, and her mother works at a factory in Breza. Her sister studies architecture in Bosnia.
Adna’s story in Turkey begins with an advice from a close friend. Three years ago, a friend of hers convinced Adna to apply together for a scholarship exam to study in Turkey – the exam that would change their destiny. “I never thought much about studying in Turkey, but as soon as I learned about the scholarship exam from my friend, I started seriously planning for it,” says Adna. In fact, she had already started taking university preparatory courses to study in her country, but when she got the scholarship, she opted for Turkey. “Studying in Bosnia does not provide you an advantage. Opportunities are very limited. Furthermore, I know that education and a diploma that I will receive here will enable me to make a better life for myself in my country.” Adna’s father did not want her to miss this opportunity, and her mother, although saddened by having to part with her daughter, agreed that going to Turkey was the right choice for her future.
In the first year, she was placed to Izmir for preparatory courses in Turkish. “With its culture and people, Izmir is very similar to where I come from. It helped a lot while I was trying to adapt; still, I think I cannot live in any other city in Turkey apart from Ankara,” she says. At the moment, Adna is a sophomore student of Business Administration at Ankara University Faculty of Political Sciences. “At the end of my fırst year I took a university placement examination, and I got Political Sciences. I obtained some information about it from a friend who studied at Gazi University. I must admit I had very little knowledge before I started with my studies, but later, I realized that I had made a very good choice.”
“I am not thinking about an academic career, but I am well aware of the opportunities that I would have with a Master’s Degree from METU which is one of Turkey’s finest universities.”
She is also active in the Young Bosnians Association that was established last year. “Our goal is to bring together the students from Bosnia and Herzegovina who study in Turkey, create solutions for their problems, and organize various informative activities. Next year, a census will be carried out in Bosnia and Herzegovina. This is very important for Bosnians, as it will determine the representation rates of each ethnicity in the Federation Government. We are taking action and trying to keep the students here informed.”
After graduating from the university, Adna is planning on enrolling in a graduate program at the Middle East Technical University (METU). “I am not thinking about an academic career, but I am well aware of the opportunities that I would have with a Master’s Degree from METU which is one of Turkey’s finest universities,” she says.
She notes that there are major differences between her education here and education her friends in Bosnia receive, and remarks: “In Turkey, I’ve grown and learned how to be an individual and how to live on my own, yet my friends are still immature.”
According to Adna, our traditions and habits are quite similar. “One of my favorite things about Turkey is how you are proud of your history and yourselves. In Bosnia, however, there is still a lot of segregation and division. You, on the other hand, cling to each other. Bosnians and Turks are brotherly nations. I hope that we can also succeed in being like you in the future.”
“Studying in Bosnia does not provide you an advantage. Opportunities are very limited. Furthermore, I know that education and a diploma that I will receive here will enable me to make a better life for myself in my country.”