Finnish Embassy in Turkey hosts Erasmus students
Erasmus is a European success story that eliminates borders for younger generations, says Ambassador Ari Maki at event
Finland's Embassy in Turkey's capital hosted students who have been to or are heading to the Scandinavian country with the Erasmus exchange program.
Speaking at the event, Finnish Ambassador Ari Maki said the Erasmus program was a European success story and noted that its participants benefit from the experience, while institutions build bridges between countries.
During the gathering in Ankara, former students who had previously been to Finland recounted their experiences in the country.
Maki said 2,300 Turkish Erasmus students went to Finland between 2004 and 2020, while 491 Finnish students went to Turkey as part of the program, which includes all EU member states, as well as Turkey.
He added that over 37 years, the program served to eliminate borders for younger generations.
Ecem Gafuroglu, a graduate student from Middle East Technical University, and Basak Ayna from Gazi University in Ankara said their studies in the University of Eastern Finland in 2018 were the best time of their lives.
They said their most unforgettable experience in the subarctic country was sitting in the warmth of a Finnish sauna before running out and leaping into the chilling waters of the North Sea for a quick winter swim.
In December last year, the European Parliament and European Council approved the new term (2021-2027) Erasmus+ program budget, according to the Turkish National Agency, which handles the program.
Erasmus was founded in 1987 as an EU student exchange program and later turned into Erasmus+ -- a program to support education, training, youth, and sports in Europe. Turkey has been a member of the program since 2003.