Anas (22) lives in Wolfsburg and comes from a family of doctors. After graduating from high school last year, he initially enrolled at a medical school in Istanbul. In our blog interview, he tells us why he has been at EDU since February and shares his experiences and how they compare to his recent experience with classroom-based studies.
EDU: Hello Anas, where are you right now?
Anas: Hello! I am at the University Clinic Bonn: I am currently in week three of my first clinical rotation. I have already learned a lot during this time and it is really fun.
EDU: Has the Corona pandemic had an impact on the experience?
Anas: No, quite the opposite actually. Bans on visitors and lower occupancy status probably allow us to have a more relaxed rotation at the moment. My module was also without problems. I even get calls from teachers from my high school, because they are simply interested in the technical solutions of online teaching at EDU.
EDU: Where do you currently live?
Anas: EDU found accommodation for us, directly by the main station. I have my own room, own bathroom, and at a fair price for a city like Bonn, I think. The bus goes to the university hospital every ten minutes.
EDU: You knew about EDU even before your stint in Istanbul. Why did you decide to go to Turkey in summer 2019?
Anas: I wanted to get out of Wolfsburg and get to know the world. Since I love Istanbul and Turkey, I started studying medicine there, and stayed from September to December. I sat in a lecture hall with 200 other students and there were days when I got absolutely nothing out of this kind of teaching; none of it stayed with me. I also missed the direct relationship and interaction with the patients. It also startled me that my grandfather’s textbooks were practically still up-to-date with what we were being taught, i.e. that everyone was working with very similar books. I promptly made the decision to leave Istanbul and enrol at EDU.
EDU: Prior to your experience in Istanbul, what spoke against an online study programme for you?
Anas: My concern was that I might struggle with conducting a certain share of the theory component as an individual study effort. I could not imagine that at the time. I also wanted to experience university life and to be in direct contact with people every day. Then I made the experience that I also had to do a lot of studying on my own in Istanbul, even though I had spent so many hours in the lecture hall.
EDU: What is the difference between lessons at EDU and traditional study programmes, based on your own experience?
Anas: In the lectures at EDU I am one of five students. We learn in an interactive way;
, in class I am wide awake. At the university there were days when I would almost fall asleep. You were also not allowed to ask questions. At EDU, there is already much more of a connection to eventual patient care. I can always ask questions, I am always actively involved in the lectures and lessons. I am also more independent and self-paced. At EDU I have the feeling that I have arrived in the 21st century.
EDU: And the personal contact?
Anas: I do not notice any disadvantages with online learning. We are in contact with each other online in so many different ways that it feels very closely-knit and I have already made friends. The fact that we work on a case every week as a group also contributes to this.
EDU: What digital tools do you use on the online learning platform?
Anas: For example, we use an app that allows you to learn about anatomy from every angle and with 3D-views. For example, you can trace the path of each nerve or click on anatomical features and receive information about them. You just gain a better understanding, and you retain what you have learned better. Former fellow students from the university in Istanbul have started using this app as well.
EDU: As a private institute of higher education, EDU receives no state funding and has to finance its teaching operations through fees, currently 19.500 Euros per academic year.
Anas: Of course that is a lot of money. I think it is good that EDU offers student loans at conditions that are also available to people with less financial resources. I also appreciate that things are always in movement and that EDU staff, for example the Student Affairs Team, are enthusiastic about their work. You can always reach someone, by phone and promptly.
EDU: You spoke of friendships that you have already been able to establish. Or are these just some high school buddies from Wolfsburg that came along?
Anas: No (laughs), Wolfsburg is a pretty small place. I was very surprised, however, that on my first day I actually recognized a childhood friend from Wolfsburg online. Anyways you can definitely make friends with the other students at EDU. During the clinical rotations we are together as a group in real life. When I first met the other students in Bonn, it seemed like we had known each other for a long time. After all, we were in touch on a daily basis throughout the eight weeks prior. At times I see the other students more than I see my own family, you can tell that something is developing.