Experience with Turkish Pen Pal Exchange

by Cassandra Lis

I had the pleasure of having Rana Ürek as my pen pal for my freshman English class. She is from Istanbul, Turkey and attends Robert College. She likes math and physics. Some of her favorite bands are Pink Floyd, The Beatles, the Rolling Stones, and Nirvana. She likes tv shows like The Big Bang Theory, House M.D., and others. She and I both enjoyed the experience of being pen pals, and hope to continue talking even though our assigned project is complete.

I asked Rana several questions about our exchange and her perception of American culture. She previously thought of American society as being heavily based on materialism. She also said that her viewpoint has not necessarily changed, because talking to one American student does not really represent our society as a whole. Rana thought that America would have huge Black Friday sales, big houses, lots of fast food, big portions, and large popularity of sports. A question that I was really curious to ask her was, “Was I what you expected from an American?” She told me that she did not really have a stereotypical image of an American teenager in her head and that she understands that everyone is different.

Both of us thoroughly enjoyed the exchange, and would gladly do it again. I really like being able to learn about another school and another person on a different side of the world. Learning about their education system was also very interesting and I hope that Rana and I are able to stay in touch.


Image Credit: http://tccnj.org/wp-content/uploads/2014/10/turkey-american-flag-620×330.png