EMUNI’s amazing Erasmus intern, Ceyda, is about to conclude her experience at our University. Since the beginning of September, she has assisted the EMUNI team with dedication, competence and willingness to learn. Ahead of her departure, we decided to interview her to learn more about her projects after her time at EMUNI and discover what she thought of this experience.

Hello Ceyda, we are sad to see you leaving, but before you do, tell our readers a bit about yourself and your background

Hello, my name is Ceyda Gün. I am 23 years old and I come from Antalya in Turkey. I recently graduated in International Relations at the Social Sciences University of Ankara. I am interested in politics and believe in a better future which can sound ironic.

Why is that Ironic, Ceyda?

Because people tend to think of politics as something that complicates matters for the worse. Instead, I think politics is still relevant to achieving a better future.

Speaking about the future, what are your main interests and your ambitions?

There are plenty of different concrete, material goals that one could wish to achieve in their life. But if you ask me about “ambition”, then mine is to have a positive impact, on anything, person, animal, plant… at least once. When it comes to mentioning my main interests, I can list them as politics, economy, philosophy, and sociology. I am interested in every discipline that allows a better understanding of the world and that helps in making a difference.

What drove you to EMUNI when you were looking for a traineeship position?

I did not know EMUNI when I saw the traineeship vacancy on Linkedin, so my first reaction was to gather more information about the university. First I was interested in EMUNI because it had published research and organised initiatives about Blue Economy and sustainability. Then, browsing through its other activities on EMUNI’s website I saw that the university was also involved in Euro-Mediterranean regional cooperation, and on issues of migration, sustainable development, violent extremism and prevention of radicalism. All these topics immediately drew my attention because being Turkish and interested in politics, every aspect of Mediterranean geopolitics is key in Turkish public debate and also resonate with my interests.

How was your experience here? What did you find most stimulating, what will you take away with you from this experience?

From the perspective of my experience, at EMUNI I had my first real taste of a professional environment. The team involved me in many of the Universities activities: from staff meetings to the organisation of conferences. I had to learn quickly how EMUNI operates. All of this made me more aware of what I can expect from my professional future and it broadened my horizons. I was also impressed with the particular structure of EMUNI: it is a University with courses and students and mobility programmes but it also has a political mandate of fostering cooperation in the Mediterranean and working on science diplomacy. This was another aspect that resonated with my background. Overall, I will take away with me the experience as a whole.

How do you think this experience will serve your professional objectives? 

A professional career has many different variables that can lead you to unexpected outcomes, however, for me, the important part is how passionate one’s attempts are to improve themselves throughout an entire career. Therefore, this Erasmus+ Mobility experience at EMUNI will surely contribute to shaping my professional objectives, which become clearer with each new experience. For example, I was not familiar with the concept of science diplomacy before I started my mobility at EMUNI. This was an unexpected connection with my background in International Relations. Getting involved in diplomacy is one of the professional objectives that I set for myself in the future, so learning and contributing to EMUNI’s work on science diplomacy really helped in widening my perspective.

Did you enjoy your stay in Slovenia? What would you carry with you to Turkey if you could? What will you definitely not miss of Piran? 

I definitely enjoyed my time in Slovenia. Meeting new people that are coming from different backgrounds, cultures, countries always makes me happy. Furthermore, Slovenia has amazing nature, everyone should see it once in their life. Probably, if I have a chance, I would carry the cosy environment of Slovenia to Turkey, especially Piran’s Landscape. On the other hand, I will not miss the windy weather in Piran.

Next month the UFM will celebrate the first-ever day of the Mediterranean, you worked at EMUNI now, but above all, you are from a Mediterranean city yourself. What is the Mediterranean to you?

I am coming from Antalya which has a huge coast on the Mediterranean Sea; therefore, the answer to this question has a few dimensions for me. The first one is that it is my hometown where I grew up, so there is an emotional bond with the Mediterranean, which made me who I am today. The second dimension can be illustrated as the Mediterranean’s chaotic nature, full of political issues, especially in the Eastern Mediterranean. It reminds me of households with many siblings that cannot even share a cake without conflict. Lastly, the geostrategic significance of the Mediterranean is the other nexus coming to my mind. After a series of major natural gas discoveries, it became one of the hot points for Mediterranean countries and also for external forces. So to maintain the metaphor, the Mediterranean is also like the youngest child in a chaotic household. It is the cutest but also the one that is causing the most headaches.

It has been an absolute pleasure for us to have Ceyda ad EMUNI. Now that Ceyda’s mobility internship comes to an end, we bid her farewell and good luck for her future. At the same time, EMUNI remains open to all recent graduates and students who wish to challenge themselves with a professional experience at our institution.