Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Traveler Spotlight—Omer Aydin

Written by: Krista Baum

As I was wandering around the main lobby at HI-Chicago, I saw a young man on his computer, and he looked like an interesting person so I decided to introduce myself and ask if he would like to be interviewed for traveler spotlight. He humbly agreed, and we started talking and had a very enjoyable conversation J

Omer Aydin is from Turkey, and currently a PhD student studying Biomedical Engineering at the University of Michigan. I later told him that I went to the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, and that both the University of Michigan and the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign were in the Big 10. Currently at Michigan, Omer is researching cancer treatments and developing ways to use medicine that will directly target cancer cells and not the whole body of the individual who has cancer. What a brilliant student!

After discussing Omer’s studies, I was very curious to learn about where he has traveled. Omer left Turkey in 2010, and went to Alabama, USA, where he enrolled at the University of Alabama to take an English class, so he could improve his English skills. After Alabama, he traveled north to Michigan where he could start at the University of Michigan. I asked Omer if he had a preference between Michigan or Alabama. He said that he noticed political and religious differences between Alabama and Michigan, and as far as the social scene, he feels that downtown Michigan offers a lot more J

So what brought Omer to Chicago?

Omer came to Chicago for the 4th of July Weekend with an International group of students from the University of Michigan and was able to stay at HI-Chicago for a couple of days. It was Omer’s first time in Chicago, and besides seeing O’Hare airport, there was so much more to see and do! As a group they immersed themselves in Chicago, and were able to see the Field Museum, Shedd Aquarium, Adler Planetarium, Art Institute, the Skydeck and Millennium Park.

As far as cuisine goes, Omer says that he misses Turkish food, so during this trip here to Chicago, he was able to go to a Turkish restaurant called A La Turka and he said that it was really good place. I have never tried Turkish food before, so I think I will try that place sometime. What better way to learn more about a foreign culture than through their ethnic cuisine? J

Omer’s future plans are to go back to the University of Michigan to continue his education as a PhD student!

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