Istanbul: I can't wait to go back! Past Review

By (Anthropology, Grinnell College) for

Duke University: Istanbul – Duke in Istanbul

What did you gain/learn from your experience abroad? Was it worthwhile?
Yes this was definitely worthwhile. I was able to learn to live abroad and feel confident that I can do it again.

Personal Information

How much international exposure did you have prior to this program? 0-2 weeks

Review Your Program

* Overall educational experience

Academic rigor, intensity, resources, etc.

It was much more challenging than many study abroad programs from what I have heard, but the workload was not so strenuous that you couldn't explore the city and have time for nonacademic activities.

* Host Country Program Administration

On-site administration of your program

This program was run very well. The woman in charge was a duel citizen of both America and Turkey, so she knew both cultures. She lived near campus and was able to help us at a moment's notice. We were also able to participate in two week-long excursions around the country that were both very fun and informative.

* Housing:

How satisfied were you with your living arrangements?

I did not particularly like the dorm we lived in, but it was in a good location and I enjoyed living with Turkish students. The Duke program provided sheets, cookware, and towels.

* Food:

The food in Turkey is exquisite. There are a ton of local restaurants near campus and the dorms that are very cheap and delicious. I would recommend dining at Urfam or Yenice, both near campus.

* Social & Cultural Integration:

How integrated did you feel with the local culture?

We took two week-long excursions with the program. The first excursion was to Southern Turkey and Kapadokya and the second trip was to Eastern Turkey and Van. Both were very fun and we had a tour guide, Sevim, with us for the full extent of both trips. We were flown and bussed around with both Sevim and Karanfil (another program adviser) and it helped us get to know both them and each other at the beginning of the experience.

* Health Care:

How well were health issues addressed during the program?

* Safety:

As with any large city you must be careful at night. I never personally had any issues, but I definitely felt safer in groups. Healthcare was wonderful. I had an allergic reaction while abroad, and the program directer took me to a clinic, where I was immediately helped by a doctor on site. The fees were minimal and the prescriptions were cheap. I was also able to stock up on other medicines because prices were about 1/6 of the cost.

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)


* Did your program have a foreign language component? Yes
If applicable, to what degree did your living situation aid your language acquisition?

Language acquisition improvement?

There was no language requirement prior to going abroad, but we all had to take elementary Turkish while studying at the University. Most people who were not related to the university did not speak English so it was very important to learn at least basic Turkish in order to communicate.

Other Program Information

* Where did you live?

Select all that apply

  • Dorm
* Who did you live with?

Select all that apply

  • Local Students

A Look Back

* What did you like most about the program?
  • Program Advisers
  • Excursions
  • Classes
* What could be improved?
  • nothing

Individual Course Reviews

Course Name/Rating:

Political Anthropology

Course Department:
Instruction Language: English
Comments: This class was somewhat challenging. It was lecture based so there was very little student participation. The teacher was extremely knowledgeable and well prepared. I really enjoyed this class.
Credit Transfer Issues: No issues.
Course Name/Rating:

International Relations

Course Department:
Instruction Language: English
Comments: This course was very challenging, but taught by an extremely intelligent man. This class was also lecture based so there was not much participation, but I learned a lot.
Credit Transfer Issues: No issues.