A young Turk fell in love with Czechia on Erasmus. Now he is a Muni student

Orçun Can Yücel first came to the Czech Republic as an Erasmus student and liked it so much that he couldn’t wait to come back. He is currently a student of the MU Faculty of Economics and Administration and has nothing but praise for Masaryk University and Brno. Orçun was astonished by the wealth of opportunities that have opened up for him thanks to his studies in the Czech Republic and has no plans to go back home after graduating.

Orçun originally came to Czechia on the strength of a recommendation from his university coordinator back in Sakarya. As Orçun explains, “He came for two weeks as a visiting professor and was very excited by his visit. He loved the quality of the university education, the local student life, and the professional opportunities for young people here in Czechia.”

As a second-year student of sports studies, Orçun, therefore, chose Palacký University in Olomouc for his Erasmus stay. “After this experience, I always wanted to come back, mostly because of the social and academic freedom. In Turkey, I would have had to continue in my field for my master’s whereas, at Masaryk University, I could change it to specialise in business management.”

While he enjoys his studies at Muni, Orçun admits that he has a lot of catching up to do. “I have to study much harder than during my bachelor’s studies in Turkey. For example, since I’m focusing on management, I’ve had to learn both micro and macroeconomics from scratch. I was worried about it at the start, it wasn’t easy, but thankfully, my teachers and fellow students have been very helpful and so far, my studies have been going well,” he says with a laugh. In his own words, he has also learned to be more disciplined since he arrived.

He is not sure exactly what he wants to do once he’s finished with his studies; he wants to take a good look around first to get a better idea of his options. “There are a number of international companies here in Brno, which opens up a lot of options for people whose Czech isn’t that good. And it’s easy to start to gain experience as a student,” says Orçun, who has been working for IBM since June and is looking forward to attending Czech lessons at work.

So far, Brno is a clear winner for Orçun, who does not plan to relocate. “It already feels like home. When I’m coming back from somewhere else, riding through the familiar streets of Brno always makes me happy. I was particularly struck by the local student life. My hometown of Sakarya is more conservative. And moreover, the quality of local services is absolutely comparable to somewhere like Vienna,” he says.

Orçun also feels at home among Czechs. Even though he finds them less chatty than Turks, he respects that and appreciates how unassuming they are. “Where I’m from, everybody’s an expert in everything – there’s a prevalence of the ‘Been around the world twice, talked to everybody once’ attitude. The way I was brought up is closer to the Czech attitude. So when I first came, it was a pleasant surprise rather than a cultural shock.”

Masaryk university