You are here

My Blogging Debut and Pre-Departure Advice

January 12, 2015

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!


From Our Blogs

Aug 17 11:20am

My (Probably Incomplete) Black Girl Guide to Packing for Amsterdam

by Taara

I'm not packed for Amsterdam yet. BUT when I am packed, these are the things I will bring with me.

Learn more
Aug 16 11:51pm

Home is Where the Coffee is

by Maddie

I’ve mentioned this earlier, but I’m a coffee fanatic. I love having a go-to coffee shop that is my ‘comfort place’ to grab a reliable cup of—not Dunkin Donuts watered-down— coffee.

Learn more
Aug 16 11:55am

Education & Health Care to Transform Lives: Thoughts on Global Citizenship from Sydni Williams

by IES Abroad

For many, Spain is a destination. For Global Citizen of the Year, Sydni Williams, it was a launch pad.

Learn more
Aug 14 5:28pm

Peanut Butter and Delayed Flights

by Makai

Right now, I’m sitting at the airport waiting to board my 5am flight to New York.

Learn more
Aug 14 2:02pm

Student Voices - A Song Inspired By a Year Studying Abroad in Morocco

by IES Abroad

For singer-song writer Philip Baites studying abroad not only increased his French and Arabic abilities, but also gave him the inspiration for his first single “Tangier to Casablanca.”

Learn more
Aug 14 1:31pm

Opening Eyes to the World

by Joshua

Guten Tag!  

Learn more