Shahla was born in Bilesavar, an Iranian city that borders with Azerbaijan. Being close to the Caspian Sea, Bilesavar has a temperate climate. The majority of its population is of Azerbaijani origin. Her father provides for his family through farming. Shahla is the eldest of seven siblings. Being the oldest child in her family, Shahla aspires to live an exemplary life her siblings can look up to. Her youngest sibling is still in high-school, and the others have graduated from university, which makes Shahla proud.
Turkish TV series are very popular in Bileksavar. She says she formed her first opinion about Turkey through these series. “Turkey is very close to Iran, but it is a different country. That is why I decided to continue my academic studies in Turkey,” she says. She graduated in psychology from a university in Ardabil, away from her family. After graduation, she worked there for 10 years as a psychological counselor. Nevertheless, her dream career was to be an academician, so she left her job to come to Turkey.
Although she came to Turkey only three months ago, Shahla has had no problems adapting. She is currently learning Turkish at Ankara University’s TÖMER (Turkish Language Learning Center). “My friends from the dormitory and TÖMER are all inviting me to their home countries. I’ve never felt alienated. Everyone has been very helpful to me.”
In the upcoming semester, she is going to start her PhD studies. She has been going to university interviews these days. “I think I am at the right place for my education. I plan to be one of the best academicians in my field by combining what I learned in Iran with what I am going to learn here.”
She points out that she attaches great importance to human relations because of both her education and personality. “I love listening to people and finding solutions to their problems. As I improve my Turkish, I want to talk more with my Turkish friends and help them too.”
She is excited about going back to school desks after such a long time. “Maybe my sister will also choose to study in Turkey, so we can enjoy being students at the same university.”
After she gets her PhD, she wants to return to Iran and share her knowledge with other university students there. “Time will tell everything. I strongly believe that it is the best thing for me.”