My co-workers often ask me why I chose to study in Bosnia rather than graduating from one of the many universities here in Turkey. It all started with the hijab ban, which as a young Muslim woman, affected my life drastically. The ban placed by our government the same year that I was preparing to apply for college. The new law prevented women from wearing the hijab in many institutions within the country
My name is Bedriye Fank, and I was born in Kocaeli, Turkey. When I was in high school, a law was passed that banned women from wearing the hijab at universities, schools and public institutions around Turkey. For me, this meant needing to find an alternative way to study university- which course meant studying abroad. I received many scholarships from different colleges that I applied to, but none of them were as great as the offer I received from IUS in Bosnia.
One of the reasons I was drawn to IUS was because of its favorable reputation. I knew I would be in an international environment where the professors in my chosen department were well educated and experienced in the job market. I believed that studying at IUS would help me to improve and shape me into an ideal candidate for future job prospects.
Thankfully, I was accepted into the Visual Arts and Communication Designs department and was lucky to learn from great instructors and professors. Along with learning the required content, I also gained new perspectives. The professors always encouraged us to express ourselves through our artwork. The requirement to complete multiple projects in a week and present them to my peers also improved my public speaking and presentation skills. I believe the skills I attained from my degree has allowed me to meet the qualifications and secure a position at an international TV channel that hires professional journalists and talent from all around the world.
I successfully completed my Bachelor’s degree and continued on with my Master’s at the same university. Upon returning home, I realized that IUS not only prepared me for the professional world, but it also allowed me to meet the love of my life. My soulmate, who is a Palestinian, was also a student as IUS, studying electrical and electronic engineering.
I started working at TRT World-the first English broadcasting Turkish state channel-when I returned home. One of the main requirements for this position was to speak fluent English, be able to work in a diverse environment and to follow international news.
IUS easily prepared me for this position as they are driven to prepare students for different work environments. I am currently working as an assistant producer at TRT World. Four years in, and working with foreign journalists, plus staying up-to- date with current affairs, help me improve my skills every day. One of the perks of my job is that I get the opportunity to travel. My work requires me to travel from time to time, not just to other cities in our country, but also to other countries. Besides being employed full time at TRT World, I am also a freelance designer, designing brand identity, promotion videos and logos for clients. My department is flexible in the sense that I can work from home or on the field.
My advice to all the young and hopeful students out there: always take a step forward and seize every opportunity. There are many activities that you may possibly be interested in, so you should delve into them. Each experience will teach you a unique skill set that you will carry with you to your future careers. Always challenge yourself in order to improve yourself- whilst also setting serious life goals. We create our own path in this life and if we believe in ourselves, we can achieve our dreams, no matter how big or small. I am so excited to embark on the next chapter of my life and I believe the best is yet to come.
To see my artworks, you can visit my Behance and Vimeo accounts.