Turkey - SUNY OGA
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Study Abroad in Turkey

Study Abroad in Turkey

Imagine yourself studying at the crossroads of Europe and Asia! SUNY has many opportunities for students to spend the summer or a semester Turkish university, studying with students from all over Turkey, and around the world. Or, enroll in a short-term faculty-led trip focused on a specific academic area.

Frequently Asked Questions - answered by students who studied in Turkey

In the spring of 2019, a group of 16 Binghamton students spent spring break in the capital city of three former world empires: Istanbul, Turkey. For nearly two millennia, Istanbul has been the crossroads between East and West in terms of peoples, trade, culture, learning, and civilization. It was an end point of the famed Silk Road that stretched across Eurasia. Designated as a "Cultural Capital of Europe" for 2010, Istanbul's roots are among the richest and deepest in the world

Today, it is the cultural and economic capital of the Republic of Turkey, containing over 17 million inhabitants, and acts as one of the centers of globalization in Asia, Europe, and the Middle East. Students were introduced to the peoples, cultures, religions, history, and splendor of this incredible city through written texts and direct experience.

Students traveled as a group to Istanbul with Professor Kent Schull and Katherine Bouman, Associate Director of the Binghamton University Scholars Program.

Find out what SUNY students say about studying in Turkey...

New Perspectives
Unexpected Adventures
Trusting the Process

New Perspectives

Told by Derya Rodoplu from SUNY New Paltz
Major: Marketing
Studied at Koc University, Spring of 2015

A major motivation behind my decision to study in Turkey was the cordiality of the Turkish people I had experienced in summers past.  When I went abroad in the Spring it was not my first trip to the country.  The gracious acceptance and willingness to share tradition I experienced during my previous visits allowed me make more meaningful connections with local students and mentors.  I was encouraged by friends to join family dinners and was never sent off without some leftovers!  Hearing family members share stories around the dinner table about Istanbul thirty or forty years prior gave me fascinating perspective on how the shift from the former Islamic Ottoman system to a more Secular Western value system has affected the socio-economic status of modern day Turkey.  I was able to confirm what I had learned in the classes I was taking abroad with locals who share the same appreciation for their heritage as I do!

turkey - balloon over fairy chimneys These pictures were taken on my trip to Cappadocia during my time abroad.  Behind me are the regions iconic Peri Bacaları "fairy chimneys", formed after hardened volcanic ash erodes and then is sculpted by wind and rain. I toured "love valley" near the city of Göreme where these rock formations are located via hot air balloon. I was hung up between appreciating the skill required to maneuver the balloon and basket delicately through the massive natural formations as our pilot was making look so effortless, and looking out towards the horizon to watch the sun rise along with the rest of the hot air balloons take flight.

Never had I felt so small in the world until I started to float slowly farther and farther away from the earth. After taking this trip I gained appreciation for natural phenomenon and realized the earth is grander and more vast than one would think standing on the ground. I have much more traveling to do!

Unexpected Adventures

Told by Amauris Ortiz
Graduate of SUNY Cobleskill with a degree in Business Administration
Studied Abroad at Izmir University of Economics, Spring of 2013

I knew after going to Canada that I need to go on another study abroad and so I had two residents in my hall who were from Turkey specifically from the connect college in Turkey. I was an RA and when I found out about the cost I knew it was something I could definitely do.

turkey - study abroad - rocks When I realized I was going to be there for a while I was super excited and happy because I knew I was going to make so many new friends and have an experience of a lifetime.

One day, my German friend Daniel asked me to go to the beach in the neighboring city and so I agreed. I remember waking up very early and we got on the local bus which only cost $1. We were on the bus for quite some time and I remember we both fell asleep. When we woke up we were close to the border of the neighboring city, which after we got out of the bus, we noticed we were a bit far from the sea. We decided to grab some food in that town and from there walk to the sea which we could see at the distance, but was actually about an hour and a half walk. While walking there we stopped in a few antique stores but we also asked for directions multiple times. I felt like I had no care in the world, I loved the walk, the view, the area, and of course people.

Turkey has definitely given me an appreciation for other cultures and has also pushed me to learn more about the rest of the world. I have since visited Egypt multiple times and my next excursion will be South America if not Europe. When looking back on my experience, one of the most interesting things for me was food. The Turkish food is world renowned for being delicious and extremely mixed with so many blends of middle eastern and European culture. 

“Studying Abroad in Turkey 100% helped me grow in a way I wouldn't have if I didn't choose the program I had.”

Trusting the Process

Told by Jessica Colvin from SUNY Cobleskill
Major: Early Childhood Education
Studied Abroad at Izmir University of Economics in the Fall 2015

 I decided to study abroad in Turkey because my uncle lived there for two years and truly loved it. I had friends that went to Turkey the year I was deciding where to study abroad, and they really enjoyed their experience. As well, both SUNY Cobleskill promoting Turkey for studying abroad, and my desire to learn more about the culture, made me decide to go to Izmir University.

My initial reaction when I landed in Turkey, and realized that this is where I will be living for the next semester, was “wow.” I couldn't believe I was actually there and actually doing it.  I missed my family and friends, but I was happy for a new beginning.  When I got off the plane I said out loud  “this is happening, this is really happening!”

turkey - study abroad - university building There were some major differences in the classroom setting in Turkey compared to the US. One being that in Turkey the teachers would teach in English, but if the students weren’t understanding she had to explain the lecture in Turkish as well. Another difference is that in Turkey you only take notes, while in the US you take notes and have homework in most classes.

Some of the most interesting things I experienced while abroad in Turkey were: the bazaars, the food, and the sightseeing trips I went on with my university. The bazaars were like an outdoor mall with really cheap, but good quality things. As for the food, I am a very picky eater when I am in a new environment and I remember for the first 3 ½ months I would just eat American food. The last half of my trip I finally tried Turkish food and I fell in love with the mussels, and some type of wrap with some type of meat in it. The sightseeing places we went were absolutely breath taking. I was able to travel to Cappadocia but do wish I had done more sightseeing during my time abroad. 

As for the future, I feel more confident with working outside of the US because of my experience studying abroad. I was able to learn that I can get through anything and stick through things, even when times get tough. Studying abroad in Turkey helped me grow in a way that I wouldn’t have if I didn’t choose to study abroad because I was afraid at first. I was happy that I chose my program because it changed me as a person, making me more confident in knowing that I can accomplish anything I put my mind to. This experience allowed me to break out of my shell and build my confidence. I now want to study abroad again, but this time somewhere new!

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