"I am already an Immaterial Being" Past Review

By (History And Political Science, Macalester College) - abroad from 02/04/2014 to 06/09/2014 with

Duke University: Istanbul – Duke in Istanbul

What did you gain/learn from your experience abroad? Was it worthwhile?
For the adventurous "Indiana Jones" type of dude or gal, Istanbul is definitely the place to be. That being said,Istanbul (the "old city", the stuff you usually see in post cards) is a treasure cove of historical relics, palaces, imperial mosques,museums, unique food, and art. I learned foremost that history is more powerful, enhanced, and meaningful when it is personalized through actually exploring the city at your pace. I also discovered that I have an addiction to Ottoman palaces and mosques, and that I am partly obsessed with "catching them all".

Personal Information

How much international exposure did you have prior to this program? None

Review Your Program

* Overall educational experience

Academic rigor, intensity, resources, etc.

* Host Country Program Administration

On-site administration of your program

* Housing:

How satisfied were you with your living arrangements?

* Food:

* Social & Cultural Integration:

How integrated did you feel with the local culture?

* Health Care:

How well were health issues addressed during the program?

* Safety:

If you could do it all over again would you choose the same program? Yes


* Money: How easily were you able to live on a student's budget?

(1 = not very easy/$200+ on food & personal expenses/week, 2.5 = $100/week, 5 = very easily/minimal cost)

Not including program expenses, about how much money did you spend on food and other expenses each week? About 50$
Do you have any general money-saving tips for future study abroad participants? Eat at the cafeteria as much as possible.


* Did your program have a foreign language component? Yes
How much did the program encourage you to use the language?

0 = No encouragement, 5 = frequent encouragement to use the language

How would you rate your language skills at the beginning of the program? None
How would you rate your language skills at the end of the program? Beginner
What was the highest level language course you had completed prior to departure? French 203
How many hours per day did you use the language? 0
Do you have any tips/advice on the best ways to practice the language for future study abroad participants? Chat up turkish people.

Other Program Information

* Where did you live?

Select all that apply

  • Dorm
* Who did you live with?

Select all that apply

  • Local Students
  • Americans
* Who did you take classes with?

Select all that apply

  • Local Students
  • Americans
About how many local friends did you make that you will likely keep in touch with?

A Look Back

* What did you like most about the program?
  • The old city, which is unreal
  • Excursions
  • Weekly cultural activities/ institutional support
* What could be improved?
  • More localized activities that involves interacting with Turks
  • Food subsidies!
  • Announcing the departure dates of hotels during the excursions
* What do you know now that you wish you knew before going on this program? I wished I knew the registration process was a complete nightmare and that we didn't get our student cards for the cafeteria till 3 weeks in the semester.

Reasons For Studying Abroad

To help future students find programs attended by like-minded individuals, please choose the profile that most closely represents you.
The Nearly Native or Trail Blazer
Craving the most authentic experience possible, perhaps you lived with a host family or really got in good with the locals. You may have felt confined by your program requirements and group excursions. Instead, you'd have preferred to plan your own trips, even skipping class to conduct your own 'field work.'