I figured it would be good to introduce myself, and explain my situation before I spend the entire semester posting things about a place very far from Boulder and CU.
For the fall of this year, I am studying abroad in Istanbul at Bahçesehir University (BAU, I have no idea where the A comes from in that acronym, but that's what they call it) through the Syracuse Abroad Program. I am here with a group of 16 American students, representing 5 different universities (since it is a Syracuse program, about 9 of the 16 students are from Syracuse).
I am also fortunate enough to have already been traveling. Over the summer I took a job for Trek Travel, a cycling touring company. I spent the month of July working for them in France (it really beat getting a paper route), which was an unbelievable experience. From there, I met up with my longtime best friend, Max Nathanson (he is also blogging) who is spending his semester in Granada, Spain, and the two of us travelled through Europe together. We had backpacks and not much else, and it was incredible. We made it to Switzerland, Slovenia, Croatia, Hungary, Czech Republic, Slovakia, and Austria. So, I have already been out of the states for 3 months, and the adventure has really just begin.
Studying abroad is fairly popular at CU. In fact, I am almost positive that among flagship state universities, CU has the greatest percentage of it's students go abroad (but don't quote me on that). They have programs in every corner of the world for every major offered. The website is great in fact. You check it out here.
As part of my program with Syracuse, we participated in what is called a "Signature Seminar." Basically, for the past two weeks I have been taking a class on the history of Istanbul/Turkey while touring around and visiting all the different places we talk about in class. We generally woke up in the morning and had a two hour lecture followed by site seeing.
It was a nice way to ease back into the swing of school, while also getting to know my group and the city before getting thrown into classes. As a group we visited some of the city's most famous sites, including the Hagia Sophia, Topkapi Palace, and others in the old city. However, the group also took two trips into the Turkish coutnryside, and we got to visit some wonderful ancient Greek and Roman cities.
This is the Bosphorus Bridge that connects the Asian and European halves of Istanbul.
The inside of the Hagia Sophia
I try and avoid taking selfies, but I figured a selfie with Jesus and the Virgin Mary was pretty epic.
The library at Ephesus
This is my group in the Harem at Topkapi Palace. I will likely be posting a lot of pictures of these people as the semester progresses.
As the semester goes along I will post about what it's like to be abroad, and all the different opportunities it offers. I am very excited to share my experiences with all of you, and I hope you will enjoy what I have to say.
All the best,