January 10th, 2015
Hello blogging universe! This is my first official post as an IES blogger! A quick intro: my name is Naomi, I am from Colorado, have a cat named Smudge, and I go to school in Rochester, NY. I am travelling to Istanbul on the Sabanci University direct enrollment program.
Well, the big day is finally here! I am getting on a plane in roughly five hours to begin my study abroad adventure! I don’t really know what to expect from my time there, but I am positive that it will be an incredible experience. I feel like I have been preparing for this trip for such a long time, that it doesn’t feel real at all that I’m leaving TODAY. I started the application process over the last summer, found out that I was accepted to go to Istanbul (my first choice!) in October. Since then it has ben a whirlwind of filling out forms, applying for my visa (easily the most stressful part of studying abroad), and researching the city and the program.
Here are some nuggets of study abroad wisdom that I have learned over the past three months:
1. Don’t try to find any useful information about Turkish student visas online. It just doesn’t exist. Trust me.
2. Sabanci University kids are incredibly friendly and helpful. They started an awesome facebook group for all the international exchange students coming this semester and have been super welcoming online.
3. Don’t stress too much about the visa. Mine came back after only a week. It was magical.
4. The bank near your house can order foreign currency for you fairly cheaply, and it arrives within a week. I now am the proud owner of some Turkish Lira!
5. When packing, roll up all your clothes to save space and don’t try to bring all your clothes. It will be a disaster.
Since this blog was not a video, I have included some pictures of Colorado, my cat in a giant chair, and me with my little sister Sara in London (I am on the right). The next time I post it will be a much more exciting video of me in Istanbul! It feels so surreal that in 24 hours I will be in such a different place.
Until then, Hoşçakalın!
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<p>I am originally from beautiful Boulder, Colorado, but I am currently a junior at the University of Rochester double-majoring in Film and Honors Anthropology. While growing up, I lived in Shanghai for three years, but I have never been to anywhere in the Middle East before - a fact which I am very much looking forward to changing. I love exploring different cultures, making movies, eating delicious food, and being outside. While in Istanbul, I intend to extensively taste-test Turkish food, delve into the city and culture, and learn what it is like to go to a local university. I honestly have no idea what my future job will be, but I am passionate about eliminating institutional discrimination and hope to one day change the world for the better in some way.</p>