Izmir & the English test..

This morning straight after finishing his night shift at the hotel Berkay headed to Fethiye Otogar and got the bus to Izmir.

The journey takes 5hours and 45minutes, so it’s quite far away and not the usual place he’d spend the day – he only went because that is where he needs to sit his English exam tomorrow morning.

This English exam is really the first step to applying for his visa to join me in the UK. The whole process is very long, very expensive and very time consuming, but as part of the requirements he has to pass the IELTS English life skills A1 test. It has to be taken at specific visa approved test centres in major cities like Izmir, Istanbul, Antalya, Ankara etc, and although Antalya is slightly nearer, Izmir was the only place with a slot available within the next few weeks, so that’s where he had travel to.

He was quite willing to get the nightbus, travel all night and arrive in the early hours of the morning and wait outside for the test centre to open but I convinced him to book into a hotel overnight so he could relax and get a good night’s sleep before the big exam at 9am Friday morning. He has a good knowledge of English, very understandable but not fluent, so he has spent weeks practicing for the exam, watching sample tests on YouTube and downloading English teaching ebooks on his phone to listen to while he sleeps. I’ve tried to help him as much as I can but I think he’s really nervous about it – he FaceTime’d me from his hotel room tonight panicking a bit and had all his pens, pencils, rubber and blank sheets of paper ready just in case, even though it’s a listening exam, bless him.

The exam itself cost us around 820tl / £200, so it’s not cheap. Plus the travel there and back, along with the hotel for the night. By the time we apply for the actual visa, we’ll have paid out around £3000, with no guarantee it will be granted, so it’s an awful lot of money. The exam only lasts for 18-25 minutes, so the 11 hour round trip is an awful long way to go just for that. I’m sure people don’t realise this when they’re complaining about ‘foreigners’ coming to the UK so ‘easily’ and ‘not even being able to speak English’. It’s really frustrating being on the other side, seeing the hoops we have to jump through just to live together and knowing that people are so oblivious and unaware of the effort, time and money it actually takes.

On the plus side, Berkay gets a day away from work, he won’t get another one until summer is over. He had a few hours spare this evening and went for a walk around Izmir – it’s very much a big, built up city, nothing at all like the places Berkay is used to, so it’s all very new and overwhelming to him although he did spend the first few weeks of his army service there last February. Whilst out on his walk he took a little detour and managed to get lost. “I lost myself in Izmir and found myself again” he said. Bless him!
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He’s had quite a busy week, my grandparents are out in Calis at the moment so he’s been meeting up with them most days – it’s probably nice for him to have some company. Straight after his exam tomorrow morning he’ll be making the 5 hour 45 minute journey back to Fethiye again, hopefully in time for dinner with them before they fly home tomorrow night.

We’ll know in a couple of weeks time whether he passes or not, but please wish Berkay luck for his exam tomorrow morning at 9am Turkish time… we really need him to pass to get the ball rolling visa-wise! It’s just the first of many nervous long waits!

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24 comments

  1. Tricia Stanley · · Reply

    Good Luck Berkay, I really hope you pass your English test and good luck with the rest of the visa application too.

    1. Thanks Tricia 🙂 He said it went ok, fingers crossed x

  2. Wishing Berkay lots of luck xxxx

  3. He will be in the middle of it now, Hope it is going well Berkay , good luck but i am sure u will sail through it x x x x x x

    1. THanks Bev he said it went ok 🙂 xx

  4. Jane Diment · · Reply

    Good luck Berkay. Thinking of you this morning. As it’s now nearly 10.30 hopefully it’s all over. x

  5. Good Luck xx

  6. Diane Clark · · Reply

    Good luck Berksy, I’m sure you will do it.

  7. Kath Lambert · · Reply

    Hope it went well, one step nearer to England

  8. Good Luck, I truly hope both your amazing future together will be soon. Thank you for sharing all this, your also helping many more people doing this during your journey. Stay blessed xx

    1. THanks Lisa, I hope so 🙂 x

  9. Good Luck dear Berkay, I hope all your dreams come true very soon xxx

  10. Good Luck Berkay I do hope you will get a pass. Did not realise how much you have to do to get a visa and how expensive it is.So hoping to see you in England soon. xxxxx

    1. Thanks Carol, yes people don’t realise just how hard it is! xx

  11. Hope berkay has had a good exam and he passes it
    It’s not fair you should be apart after getting married you deserve to be together.
    It will all be worth it in the end.
    I heard something about the person that lives here (you) should have a certain amount of money in the bank.I do hope he passes with flying colours Good Luck berkay xxx

    1. Thank you Sue, we will know the results around 12-13th July so a while still to wait 😦 Yes thats true, we need £60,000k in savings or I have to be earning above £18,600p/a for 6 months before applying x

  12. I sure hope he did well. How exciting to start a new life together. I hope that you ARE together soon again.

  13. I’m sure it will go well,but have you thought of the option of living in turkey Danni,reading through all your previous posts indicate how much you love turkey and its simple lifestyle. Wherever you both end up I know you will both be happy you’ve both come so far x x x

    1. Thought about it a lot! But money wise and practically it makes more sense to live in the UK.. we’ll see. x

  14. Sophie · · Reply

    Good luck. I am sure you will pass with flying colours xxx

  15. i commented on this as soon as you posted it, but my comment hasnt appeared x

  16. Hope it went well! Gosh, I really had no idea how much money was involved in the whole thing. More people should read this post!

    1. Yep I think most people don’t realise! It’s so hard x

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