Today is the 5th of July, and we have officially cracked into the last two weeks of our study abroad program! No matter how many times I look at the calendar, I still can’t wrap my mind around the fact that it’s actually been over a month since I left home. As to what we’ve been up to? A whole lot of everything!
This past week started off well, if not a little sleep deprived. A big weekend in Amsterdam with some of the other students gave us a great time and took away a lot of sleep. But even with slightly larger bags under my eyes, I have to say Amsterdam was well worth it. We were able to see and enjoy a good deal of what the city had to offer, and I only wish we could have done more. It was a great city, and I most certainly plan to go back soon!
As far as classes for the past week, we had only four days of work. It was a short and relaxing week, which was fine by me! We were able to finish up most of the curriculum concerning Turkey, and by 7a.m. on Friday morning we were headed off to Izmir.
We made it to Izmir without a hitch, and quickly moved into the dorms of Izmir’s University of Economics. After a quick campus tour, we went off to bed to recuperate after a full day of travel. An early bedtime was also a great idea considering we’d be spending the entire next day (the 4th of July) on the beach. I’ve always loved hitting the beach, but there’s nothing quite like 12 hours on a clean, blue-watered Turkish beach on the 4th of July with about 24 other slightly homesick Americans. After the mandatory Sing-the-National-Anthem-at the-Top-of-Your-Lungs session, we spent the whole day soaking up rays and listening to some essential U.S.A. tunes. For not even being in the country on Independence Day, it was an excellent 4th of July. To end the day, IES treated us to dinner on the beach, and even arranged fireworks for us after the light had faded! The surprise made all of our 4ths, because let’s be honest; an Independence Day without blowing stuff up is a real disappointment.
After our beach day on Saturday, we took Sunday to check out the ancient Greek ruins in Ephesus. We had an excellent guide take us through the ruins. She was full of interesting tid-bits of information which definitely helped us to make sense of what we were seeing. After our tour of the ruins we headed out to a neighboring village to see more of the Turkish countryside. I must say that it was a cool experience to be able to see so much history and also so much of a different culture in one day!
So far, Turkey has been nothing but excellent. Coming up we have speakers scheduled for a few lectures, as well as a trip to Troy. We may be getting closer and closer to the end of our program, but I’m sure we’ll squeeze the most out of what’s left for us!
More Blogs From This Author
<p>I'm a sophomore at NC State University studying Materials Science and Engineering. I've lived in North Carolina all my life, but my family and I have traveled all over the U.S. I enjoy spending time with friends, meeting new people, listening and making music, and working with kids through the outreach program the College of Engineering at NC State operates. I love to jump into new things, and can't wait to see what is in store for me in Germany this Summer!</p>