Can't wait to come back Past Review

By (Duke University) - abroad from 09/01/2014 to 12/22/2014 with

Duke University: Istanbul – Duke in Istanbul

What did you gain/learn from your experience abroad? Was it worthwhile?
I learned the importance of going out of my comfort zone to grow. My semester abroad gave me perspective and gave me the room to refocus my priorities and focus on my goals for the future.

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.

While the two mandatory course (Turkish and Ottoman History) were both interesting and well-run, I found my other two classes to be difficult in the sense that I struggled to get any feedback from my professors on my assignments. That said, I found all of my courses to be engaging and added to my experience in Istanbul and were not overly demanding.

* Host Country Program Administration

On-site administration of your program

The DII administrators are all incredible. They (Alican, Kara, and Fazilet) made themselves readily available to us to help with any and all issues that might arise. In addition, they all worked to create opportunities for us to engage with Istanbul and Turkey in unique ways. I couldn't say enough how much they added to my semester abroad.

* Housing:

How satisfied were you with your living arrangements?

Living in the Superdorm is not especially luxurious but it's sufficient and the staff is friendly and helpful.

* Food:

There's not a whole lot to say other than just try it. You'll love it all.

* Social & Cultural Integration:

How integrated did you feel with the local culture?

I didn't do the best job of immersing myself in the Turkish culture, but that is more of my own fault rather than anything in particular about Turkey that impeded me from doing so.

* Health Care:

How well were health issues addressed during the program?

I thankfully did not have any health issues while I was abroad so I can't give the most accurate evaluation but from what I did learn about the health care system, I felt confident that I could have help if I needed it.

* Safety:

I think it's important to stress that while Turkey obviously has many cultural differences from the United States, it's a modern city. Before coming here, my family and friends all stressed to me that I needed to take extra precautions to stay safe, but I have not found that to be at all necessary. It was important to be smart about where I was going but not to any greater degree than I would be in any other city.

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)

4 I spent between $50-75 a week

Not including program expenses, about how much money did you spend on food and other expenses each week? between $50-75/week
Do you have any general money-saving tips for future study abroad participants? Eat at the cafeteria. While it won't be the best food you'll ever have, it's absurdly cheap.


* Did your program have a foreign language component? Yes
How would you rate your language skills at the beginning of the program? Beginner
How would you rate your language skills at the end of the program? Intermediate
What was the highest level language course you had completed prior to departure? Proficiency in French
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? Speak it all the time, even if you feel uncomfortable doing so.

Other Program Information

* Where did you live?

Select all that apply

  • Dorm
* Who did you live with?

Select all that apply

  • Local 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?
  • Exploring Istanbul
  • Turkish food
  • Alican's activities
* What could be improved?
  • Living Accomodations
  • Registration process
* What do you know now that you wish you knew before going on this program? Carefully budget your money and time.

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 Avid Adventurer
The wardrobe you packed was better suited for a semester of camping than club hopping. Outdoorsy, you might forgo a crazy night out for an early all-day adventure. You'd rather take in the rich culture of an old town than the metropolis of a modern city, but for you getting off the grid is ideal.