Here is my first blog about my stay in Istanbul! It includes trips to the awesome tourist sites (Hagia Sophia, Blue Mosque, Topakapi Palace, the Grand Bazaar, etc), and a general overview of what the program has been like so far. In my first two weeks I made tons of new friends, discovered just how much Istanbul loves cats, drank so many cups of Turkish tea, and learned how to order a dürüm or baklava in (far from perfect) Turkish. I have already fallen in love with seeing the stunning minarettes everywhere, the breathtaking bosphorus at sunset, the incredible food, and the colorful and friendly people.
I am convinced that Istanbul is one of the greatest cities ever, and I hope you agree!
In addition, here are a few of my favorite pictures from the first few weeks:
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.
Preparing to leave the country for a semester can be hard and stressful. We all deal with that stress in different ways. What to pack is always a tough question because you're not only packing physical things like clothes and products, but also prior knowledge.
It’s been a little over a week since I first arrived in Quito, and there have already been too many sights and experiences to count. Every Ecuadorian I’ve met so far has been incredibly kind and welcoming, and I can already feel myself falling in love with the culture.