Pamperin gains global perspective on life

February 19, 2003

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PLATTEVILLE- UW-Platteville senior Jill Pamperin returned Sunday, Jan. 19, from studying at Middle East Technical University in Turkey with a larger perspective on life.

Pamperin is native of Kewaskum and daughter of Lloyd and Amy Pamperin. She is majoring in electrical engineering and minoring in physics with an expected graduation date of May 2003.

On Sept. 1, Pamperin began the journey to Turkey. She spent the first week in Istanbul with Oznur Yucelen, a Turkish friend she met at Platteville. The next two weeks were spent at METU in a crash course on Turkish. Classes began for Pamperin Sept. 23 and ended Jan. 17.

Pamperin did not know anyone else on the trip prior to leaving. She was the first person to go to Turkey from UWP. When she arrived in Turkey, she met about 40 other exchange students from around the world that studied at METU with her. She met a UW-Madison student, Molly Mitten. It was funny that I had to travel across the world to meet a girl from Madison. Pamperin, lived in the dormitories on campus. Pamperin lived in a room with three other girls.

One of Pamperin's most memorable experiences is the first time she drank Turkish coffee.

"The girl I was with told me not to drink the sludge. About half of the cup was filled with coffee grounds and sludge," said Pamperin. "I was glad for the warning."

Pamperin attended courses in Turkish language, Turkish culture, very large scale integration design and medical imaging systems and linear algebra.

"I had no trouble finding classes in Turkey that I wanted to take or transferring them back to Platteville to fulfill my major requirements. Since METU, is larger than UWP, the campus offers many courses that cannot be taken at UWP," said Pamperin.

Pamperin traveled extensively around Turkey. One of her priorities was to see the Hittite, Greek, and Roman sites in Turkey. Pamperin felt that the most beautiful sites were along the Mediterranean Sea.

"You can see the sea in front of you, ruins at your feet, and the mountains behind you making a breathtaking sight," said Pamperin. "I also visited a few sites of Biblical significance, including the city of Ephesians."

Pamperin studied abroad because she wanted to experience a different culture and language. Her international experiences began in high school, where she participated in an exchange program to Holland. During college, Pamperin worked in Switzerland at the European Center for Nuclear Research where they have the world's largest particle accelerator. Pamperin worked creating software for the detector. After these experiences, Pamperin wanted to go somewhere more exotic. Turkey offered an opportunity to study engineering in English and to be exposed to a different culture.

"The fact that modern day Turkey is located on the same land as the heart of the Hittite and Roman civilizations made my decision to study there," said Pamperin.

"There is no experience that compares to studying abroad, I recommend the program." said Pamperin. "Turkey's different culture and religion helped me understand people's different values. I will now be able to better work with people from Muslim countries because I have a better understanding for what is important to them."

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