Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Exchange plans

I haven't written for a long time, among the reasons I can say is that blogspot is unreachable from Turkey and whenever it is reachable, it has a long response time. That's not the only reason of course. I've been very busy. I've completed my Pardus Internship and received my TOEFL scores. I've scored 105 (R:27, L:27, S:22, W:29) in iBt. That's a great score for me, I needed 92 to apply for exchange to Carleton University in Ottawa,ON,Canada. Then I applied and I was the only student nominated for this exchange agreement. I sent a course list that I'd like to take and after some iterations, they registered me to Computer Vision and Applied Cryptography with 3 additional social courses. But I will consider dropping some of them when I arrive there, figuring out their course loads and the study time requirements. I need 2 courses to take and I'll graduate when I return back to Turkey if I don't face any problems.

After the registration, they sent me the letter of acceptance and I applied for Canadian Visa with Student Permit. I've sent the application documents wednesday afternoon and my visa had come back the next tuesday! It is wonderful that they are that fast! The next step was to look for a plane ticket. I've spent my 2 days in searching for the cheapest and the best alternative and finally I've found one on The plane will take off on 1st of January and fly to Frankfurt and then Ottowa waiting me 6 hours in Frankfurt airport. My return flight is on 28th of April.

Meanwhile, I had made some research on the accomodation and decided to stay in the residences with the suggestion of some friends there. Hasan, Serhat and other people I've found through facebook has helped me a lot in deciding what to do in the preparation process. I want to thank all of them, especially Hasan. I've applied for the residences on the Carleton Central web site and specified my preferences (quiet, wake up and sleep early etc.) and they offered me a single suite Leeds residence room. Rooms are great as far I see on the net. There are 4 single rooms around a common kitchen and there are 2 bathrooms which are shared by 2 people each. The residences get open on 3rd of January and I'm flying there 2 days before so I will need to stay somewhere. We'll look at it when the time comes. But the only thing I know for now is that Ottawa is freezing cold around -19*C.

Nowadays I'm looking for the payment options for the residence fees and the health insurance. And I have started to pack up slowly. I won't bring my laptop there as I need a new one so I have to organize my files and take the important ones with me. I also started to-know, to-bring, to-do lists to avoid any surprizes on the way. Hope I haven't forgotten much to tell :)

We're now on holiday and we have already passed half of it :( Now I have to do the master application organization and study the courses I'm currently taking: Bioinformatics, Software Engineering, Computer Networks, Cultural Anthropology and the Final Thesis. I and my friend Remzi are working on the Driver Recognition project of Assist. Prof. M. Taner Eskil. I'm planning to focus on that issue in another post but as far as I can sum, the project aims to recognize the car driver by analyzing the driving features (acceleration, velocity, engine RPM, brake, steering). We're trying to do PCA on the features to find the most dominant features to reduce the processing time.

Hope to write soon! :)