An Outstanding Semester in Turkey Past Review

By (History And Political Science, Middlebury College) - abroad from 02/03/2014 to 06/09/2014 with

Duke University: Istanbul – Duke in Istanbul

What did you gain/learn from your experience abroad? Was it worthwhile?
I learned an immense amount about Turkey and about the region - I can't wait to go back. It was incredibly rewarding to venture to a study abroad location that I had previously studied in classes at my home university. My Turkish skills improved throughout the semester and I was able to take classes that were challenging and interesting alongside highly capable students. The program administration always went the extra mile for the Duke in Istanbul students. You can't go wrong when choosing this program.

Personal Information

How much international exposure did you have prior to this program? 1 month - 6 months

Review Your Program

* Overall educational experience

Academic rigor, intensity, resources, etc.

The courses at Boğaziçi University and the core course taken with other Duke in Istanbul students were outstanding. My classmates at Boğaziçi were excellent students and it was a challenging and rewarding semester.

* Host Country Program Administration

On-site administration of your program

The program administration was superb, everything ran smoothly and they were always available to answer questions or concerns raised by Duke in Istanbul students. Additionally, they were truly committed to helping students on the program experience Turkey and learn about all of the different sides of the country. It was a pleasure to travel with them on the two excursions and also on weekend events around Istanbul.

* Housing:

How satisfied were you with your living arrangements?

The living arrangements were great - very comfortable and in a good location.

* Food:

The cafeteria at Boğaziçi served good food and the prices were very affordable.

* Social & Cultural Integration:

How integrated did you feel with the local culture?

The people who go to Boğaziçi are not only excellent students, they are very friendly and welcoming to foreign exchange students. I would encourage all Duke in Istanbul students to talk to their classmates at Boğaziçi and befriend them, you will learn a lot and it will be a great experience. I would also encourage Duke in Istanbul students to travel in Turkey - there are a ton of fascinating places to visit and you will find the culture is very different and unique in all of Turkey's various regions.

* 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)

Despite living in an upscale neighborhood of Istanbul, costs and expenses were minimal.

Not including program expenses, about how much money did you spend on food and other expenses each week? $75
Do you have any general money-saving tips for future study abroad participants? Eating in the Boğaziçi cafeteria can save a student a lot of money.


* 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? Intermediate Spanish
How many hours per day did you use the language?
Do you have any tips/advice on the best ways to practice the language for future study abroad participants? Find an app or a dictionary and practice some basic Turkish phrases before you depart for Istanbul - it will benefit you immediately upon arrival in restaurants and stores. Try speaking in Turkish outside of your Turkish class as much as possible; our group invented some games to practice the language.

Other Program Information

* Where did you live?

Select all that apply

  • Dorm
* Who did you live with?

Select all that apply

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

Select all that apply

  • Local Students
  • Americans
  • International Students
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?
  • Academics at Boğaziçi
  • The two excursions and independent travel in Turkey
  • Learning about Turkey through meeting local students
* What could be improved?
  • Long wait for a student ID card
* What do you know now that you wish you knew before going on this program? I would have practiced more Turkish before I left. Although many people speak English, it would have been helpful for me to have some basic phrases on hand when I arrived.

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 Academic or Linguist
You went abroad with specific academic goals in mind; the program credentials and rigor of your coursework abroad were very important to you. You had a great time abroad, but never lost sight of your studies and (if applicable) were diligent with your foreign language study. Good for you!

Individual Course Reviews

Course Name/Rating:

POLS 456: Topics in European Integration

Course Department: Political Science
Instructor: Başak Kale
Instruction Language: English
Credit Transfer Issues:
Course Name/Rating:

POLS 309: Political Economy of Contemporary Turkey

Course Department: Political Science
Instructor: Mine Eder
Instruction Language: English
Credit Transfer Issues:
Course Name/Rating:

TKF 111.04: Elementary Turkish for Foreigners I

Course Department: Turkish Language & Literature
Instructor: Bilgen Erdem
Instruction Language: English
Credit Transfer Issues:
Course Name/Rating:

HIST 390: History of Ottoman Empire and Modern Turkey

Course Department: History
Instructor: Yavuz Karakışla
Instruction Language: English
Credit Transfer Issues: