1- Erasmus Exchange
Erasmus is an European Union supported exchange programme. For one semester or for one academic year students go abroad to study there. EU is paying students some scholarship, which is quite enough to live. All the ask for is to success your lectures, even not all the lectures, just some percent of them is enough.
Erasmus was one of the best experiences I’ve ever had till today. I started to stand on my own feet. I learned to keep my budget. I learned to properly cook, clean, iron etc. all by myself. I learned about Italian culture, (some German culture also). I taste different foods, experienced different teaching methods, learned new languages, got new friends, saw too many cities with little money. And became a confident, self-aware guy.
In Turkey, you need a GPA and also you need to pass some exams to participate in Erasmus programme. My advice is, whatever it takes for you participate in Erasmus exchange.
Erasmus really changed my life, and the way I see the life. I feel more open-minded, more independent, more welcoming now. And it is too hard to stay in a place for a long time without traveling now.
2- Part-time work or long-term internship
Having a part-time job or a long-term internship will make you more experienced. especially a work in the branch that you want to become professional will be a good choice.
You will taste making money, you will become less dependent to your family.
You will start building your network. You will learn the difference between university life, university projects and the real life, real projects.
You will have some experience to write on your CV. And probably you’ll get your first job, if you are lucky and hard working enough.
3- Join student clubs & organizations
Students clubs & organizations will improve your network and soft skills. I got most of my non-IT friends thanks to student organizations. I’ve been in two different student clubs through my university life, the first one is EHAVK (Ege University Aviation Association Paragliding Team). I’ve been in this association for 5 years. I started my journey from the base to the top. From beginner pilot to instructor & tandem pilot. This association taught me about organizing events, leading a group, instructing to people, team work, presentation skills.
My second association was AIESEC. I’ve only stayed for one year in AIESEC, but it improved me alot. Because it gave me lots of responsbilities, I had the roles of Project Manager and Communication Responsible of Local Committee. I was leading a team of 3 persons. We were organising events, recruiting new members, publishing newsletter, keeping our website updated, participating in weekly meetings. It taught me a lot.
Being a member of student associations will teach you lots of things, improve your network, let you improve yourself in every manner. Try it.
4- Go to events
One of my regrets about my university life. I’ve begun attending to events in my job life. But there is never enough time to participate in the events I want.
Attending to events will let you enlarge your network, stay updated about your professions matters and development. My suggestion for IT sector is to attend events like hackathons, Google Developer Group events, hackerspaces/makerspaces and vendor events.
5- Chose graduation project / thesis wisely
Another regret for me.
Your project/thesis will effect your job. It will effect your chance of getting selected for jobs and Master/PhD programmes. Choose your thesis/project on your branch, make contribution to this area.
6- Have fun
Study hard, work harder but have fun even harder. It was our motto in AIESEC “Work hard, party harder.” It is one of the best proverbs I’ve ever heard. Party hard, have fun hard, enjoy your university and social life while you can.
Keep in mind that these days will not come back. And there is another thing, every person I met says they were richer when they were students. Some how it is true. I was not earning money like I am doing today. But I was living a better life. Also I had much more time for everything.
While you still have time and money, enjoy your life. Get out with friends, get crazy.
7- Move out
I also suggest you to move out if you can. Leaving without your parents will teach you so much. You will learn to plan a budget, being tidy, cooking, cleaning, washing, ironing etc etc. You will stand on your own feet. You will face with bitter truth of bills, rent, house maintenance etc. But you’ll grow up by handling them. You’ll get mature.
That’s all from me. Thanks for reading.
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