Izmir is the 3rd most populous city of Turkey with 4.3 million habitants. It is the western end of Turkey on the Aegean Sea coast, facing Greece. The weather is almost always warm and sunny.
Unfortunately, when you google Izmir, you will see only a clock tower, an old (traditional) indoor bazaar, and the city view with many buildings but Izmir should get introduced better because it has many beautiful sites. I think youtuber David (youtube.com/@DavidinTurkey) introduces Izmir very well (except in his real estate videos) so if you want a walk through different sites of Izmir, his videos are quite good.
Izmir is always life-full. You can find many people in the streets until very late. You will be surprised about how close the distance between strangers passing each other while walking in the streets. Also, eye-contacts are very common between people even though they don’t know each other. In general, despite the recent economic problems and political polarity, the people are very open to communicate.
They are modern and secular, I don’t know about other parts of Turkey but if you expect bigotry in Izmir, you are definitely wrong. Most tourists are surprised about how modern is Izmir and they say, in their words, Izmir is the Europe of Turkey.
In addition to people, you will see a lot of cats and dogs and they are all friendly since they are in interaction with many people every day.
Public transportation is very cheap and working perfectly. Izmir has 2 local train lines which are 136 km and 20 km longs. Of course, other transportation options are available in addition to trains. You can reach every region of Izmir via public transportation.
Eating will be your best activity in Izmir because Turkish cuisine is the best! You can find some examples (don’t watch if you are hungry):
Izmir has many coasts with crystal clear waters in which you can see the sea floor at any depth. The temperature of the sea water is appropriate to swim before mid-November and after end of March.
My recommendations would be visiting Mordogan/Karaburun, Çeşme/Ilica and Çeşme/Alaçati and also having a boat trip in Çeşme.
Research and Workload
My 9 weeks long traineeship in Izmir University of Economics (IUE) was under supervision of Prof. Canan Başar-Eroglu, a former Professor of University of Bremen who has been teaching and working brain oscillations with Electroencephalography (EEG) for more than 40 years and is currently working at IUE in Turkey. Experimental psychology laboratories of IUE were well-equipped with EEG, eye-tracker, and computers for cognitive psychology experiments. My workload in those 9 weeks was as following: learning physiology of EEG, reading papers about EEG research of every week and discussing in scientists and student group, participating in EEG research as participant, recording EEG of other participants, processing data of the self and others (group data analysis), observing spontaneous EEG of participants, presentation on cognitive-functioning and aging, time-domain and time-frequency domain analysis of Sustained Attention to Response Task (SART), Final presentation about Event-related Theta Oscillations During SART. Even though the duration was not that long, I learned a lot from both Prof. Canan Başar-Eroglu and M.Sc. Kurtuluş Mert Küçük. I gained presentation skills as well as good amount of knowledge in EEG.