Lessons from Abroad: Study Abroad Returnee Conference

End of the First Semester

March 26, 2016

It’s been a while since I’ve added anything on here. I have a valid excuse. I poured pomegranate juice on my laptop and destroyed it. I can’t be trusted with fancy things. Anyways, that basically made me a Luddite.

Nevertheless, I managed to finish my first semester. I haven’t talked much about my actual courses abroad but now that they are done I can give an overview. They were all taught in English with the occasional Turkish word that doesn’t translate well. My professors were mainly Turkish graduates from US universities. I learned a lot (specifically about the Middle East and everything seemed to have a Turkish emphasis history wise despite my what I would consider relevance)…etc.

Christmas was admittedly sort of depressing. New Years, however, is celebrated in Turkey. Oddly enough they have adapted many Christmas traditions into New Years celebrations. There were still Santa hats on sale on the 26th. Christmas tree were visible in a few windows before January. I brought in the new year with the Turkish Uc – iki – bir – Mutlu Yillar!

It’s still snowing here. As is often the case in Turkey, whether it be tear gas, extreme heat, or snow, Turks can’t be stopped from going about their business. The busses still run. The cars still attempt to climb the icy hills. People are still out and about. And I will say that Turkish driving used to terrify me but Turkish driving in the snow is a sort of religious experience where you have to accept your own mortality.

I haven’t been posting many photos but luckily my sister came to visit which gave me the excuse to act like a vulgar tourist. We traveled to Georgia and stayed on Buyukada ( an island close to Istanbul.) Her visit made me realize how poor my Turkish is. Hopefully next semester I can summon the energy to work harder. Right now I’m at about the stage of interaction where I begin the conversation in Turkish. The other person then begins rapidly and enthusiastically speaking to me and in a few minutes I have to explain that I only know a little Turkish. I’m not actually a Turk. So basically I know enough Turkish right now to create even more confusion. My next post will be about my Princes’ Islands entrapment and Georgia. More pictures to follow!

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