Lowercase “L,” Not Uppercase “I”

Lauren Bender
September 30, 2013

After a wonderful four weeks of learning Turkish, exploring the city, and establishing myself in Istanbul, I began the registration process at Bogazici University (pronounced Bo-ah-zi-chee — Turkish pronunciation is weird). Registering for classes in a university of 12,000 is different than registering for classes in a college of 2,000 students, I discovered. My registration process has been pretty ugly, so hopefully this will provide some insight for those of you arriving next semester! Basically, the way it works is that you are given an ID and a password. At 10:00 AM, the system opens for registration and all 12,000 students try to add the classes they want at the same time. So I got on my computer at 9:50 with my classes all picked out, and at 10:00 tried to enter my ID and password.

No dice. “Wrong Username or Password” I was told by the website. I looked at my little slip of paper and tried over and over again for about an hour, getting more and more frustrated. I finally gave up and made the trek from my apartment to the Bogazici campus to get some help, freaking out that I wasn’t going to be able to get into any of my desired classes because they would all be over-enrolled.

I entered the international students office. “Here’s the password I’ve been entering,” I told the lady who was there. “h9od7IFH.”

“Did you try changing some of the letters to see if something different works?” she asked. “That could be an ‘L’ instead of an ‘I.’”

And it was. Feeling like the biggest idiot ever, I logged on and added the classes that I could. Some were already fully enrolled, but others required that consent be requested from the instructor, so I sent in three consent requests and prayed.

I was accepted to all three classes that required consent requests, and when I showed up to the other two classes which were fully enrolled online, I was told I could enroll in the class during the add/drop period. So, lucky me, I’m enrolled in all of the classes I had originally wanted: Problems and Issues in Turkish Politics, The Politics of Nationalism and Ethnicity, Byzantine Art and Architecture, Elementary Turkish for Foreigners, and Creative Reading and Writing.

I was so excited by my first week of classes. All of my professors are great lecturers, and are passionate, interesting people who clearly have top-tier knowledge and understanding of the subjects they’re teaching. The caliber of class discussion was really high, and classes were generally a nice mix of Turkish students and exchange students. I don’t think school will be quite as hard as it is back at Williams College, but I’m really looking forward to the “study” aspect of my “study abroad” trip. I’m going to be learning quite a lot!

Till next time.

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Lauren Bender

<p><span style="color: rgb(29, 29, 29); font-family: Arial, Verdana, sans-serif; font-size: 12px; line-height: normal; background-color: rgb(237, 237, 237);">My name is Lauren, and I&rsquo;m a west coast transplant currently studying at Williams College in Williamstown, Massachusetts. I&rsquo;m a double major in art history and political science, and I hope to become a journalist after I graduate, focusing on the politics of the Middle East. In my spare time, I enjoy reading, singing, cooking, spending time with family and friends and watching TV shows as diverse as &ldquo;Doctor Who,&rdquo; &ldquo;The West Wing,&rdquo; and &ldquo;How I Met Your Mother.&rdquo; I love traveling, learning, and writing, and I can&rsquo;t wait to share my adventures in Istanbul!</span></p>

2013 Fall
Home University:
Williams College
Art History
Political Science
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