Özge Doyranli lives in the megacity of Istanbul. “When I arrived in Steinfurt, I was initially shocked,” said the 20-year-old Turkish student, laughing. “It seemed like a village! Detached houses do not exist in Istanbul … But nature is beautiful here, everything’s so clean, and I can hear the birds singing!” That was the very first thing she told Professor Thomas Schupp’s team in the Laboratory for Organic Chemistry and Biochemistry.
In the Laboratory for Organic Chemistry and Biochemistry, Özge has mainly learned how to prepare and set up experiments herself. (Photo: Theresa Gerks)

This is where she will spend the next two months conducting a number of experiments. She makes chemicals react using the traditional method of placing a hot plate under a fume hood, for example. She then repeats the process in the microwave. Two methods, but do they generate the same result? “I compare the substances resulting from the chemical reaction, i.e. the products, and analyse the proportion of each substance. By infrared spectroscopy, for example.” In the process, she has above all learned how to set up her experiments herself. “In practical courses at our university, the experimental setup is always complete, so I had no idea about how to set up experiments. Here, I have to do everything myself. Which is great!”

Özge fetches substances from the chemicals cabinet for her experiments. (Photo: Theresa Gerks)
In the Laboratory for Organic Chemistry and Biochemistry, Özge has mainly learned how to prepare and set up experiments herself. Özge fetches substances from the chemicals cabinet for her experiments.

In Istanbul, Özge is studying Chemical Engineering, which involves two practicals: a lab practical and an engineering placement. “Professor Schupp visited our university in November and introduced us to some of the labs at Münster University of Applied Sciences,” explained Özge. “I was so impressed by his presentation that I sent him an email expressing my wish to do a lab practical under his supervision via Erasmus. I was so happy when the acceptance came!”

Özge soon learned that “home is where the Dom is,” when exploring Cologne. (Photos: private)
Özge soon learned that “home is where the Dom is,” when exploring Cologne.

She is now living in student accommodation for the months of July and August. At the weekends, she takes trains across the country, visiting Düsseldorf, Aachen, Osnabrück, Enschede, Kiel, Hamburg … She is particularly keen on large cities. “I suppose it’s all I know: Istanbul is just so enormous,” she said. She is particularly fond of one particular city because her grandfather lived there for years: Cologne. “When I sent him the photo of me and Cologne Cathedral, he was incredibly excited,” Özge said. “He talks a lot about the time he spent in Cologne, and always wanted to come back at some point and visit the city. Who knows, maybe we’ll do it together one day!”

By Theresa Gerks


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