The inspiration for this post may well come from my longing for Bogazici University and Istanbul. I will always cherish the memories of the time I studied towards an MA degree at Bogazici University, Istanbul. The Department of Foreign Language Education provided me with an academically stimulating and challenging environment, which enabled me to gain a wider perspective into second language learning, applied linguistics and sociolinguistics. For instance, we had the opportunity to take a course on World Englishes, which was not offered in the similar programmes at other Turkish universities at that time. Almost each course required a final research paper in addition to reflection papers and presentations. I greatly benefited from writing research papers since they substantially improved my research and academic writing skills. More importantly, after having received feedback, I expanded on some of the research papers that I wrote for assessment and presented them at the conferences. For my MA thesis, I enjoyed the privilege of having two co-supervisors. I had the chance to obtain more feedback and moral support during the writing process in comparison with my peers. Best of all was the 5th International Conference of English as a Lingua Franca at Bogazici University. It was an inspiring learning experience for me to attend the plenaries and talks delivered by notable scholars including Prof. Jennifer Jenkins, Prof. Tim McNamara and Prof. Anna Mauranen. Finally, when I look back on those years, there are few things that I would have done differently:
1. Many distinguished scholars come to deliver talks and seminars at our department from all around the world. Unfortunately, I could not go to some of them. If any new MA students are reading this post, I strongly recommend you to attend them even if they are not directly related to your research interests. These talks and seminars are vitally important to broaden our knowledge and widen our horizons.
2. I didn’t study abroad as an exchange/erasmus student during my MA studies. The department has an agreement with many prestigious universities, including University of London and Georgia State University. It would be a wonderful opportunity to collect your data or even write your thesis at the host university since you may have an access to different student/teacher groups and a wide range of resources.