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Category: Turkey

Carefree lyfe man

During exchange, reality is suspended for four months. Being away from the pressures of student life at Northwestern along with significant distance from the responsibilities of reality produces a relaxed environment. This gives you opportunity to explore a new environment, experience a different part of the world, and meet new people. The çay breaks are long,

The return

Coming back the U.S was not exactly the parade of glory a self-proclaimed traveler such as myself would have expected. Despite receiving the red carpet warm welcome of the O’Hare terminal 5 McDonald’s, and a long in-depth interview with a Homeland Security Officer, I felt a bit off coming back. I went straight from Istanbul

Çay, the beautiful tea

Note to reader: Details in the story may or may not be exaggerated. Read at your own discretion In Turkey, I drink çay tea everyday. Usually like 3-4 glasses a day. A çay a day keeps the doctor away, right?! Anyways, the history of çay in Turkey dates back very long and has a sophisticated

Travel Bug (The bad kind)

I’ve always loved world geography and culture. My mother used to bring me to the library hoping that I would be consumed by novels, but instead I ended up spending hours looking at maps. I would memorize each country’s capital along with other odd statistics about their demographics and language. I loved imagining myself in

Language Barrier

Here at Koc University, I am enrolled in a Turkish language course for the semester. Turkish comes from the Altaic language family, so it’s grammer, structure, and vocabulary are very different from English or other Indo European languages. I’ll be honest, I’m not doing super hot. It’s sometimes hard to motivate myself to try to

Istanbul Suprises

It’s been four weeks now, and Istanbul continues to surprise me every day. One thing that is vital to survival in Turkey is patience. Whether it is dealing with Turkish bureaucracy, transportation, directions, weather, or other elements of day to day life, it is better to know that things will just not work out the

Ready for Istanbul (?)

Merhaba! I can picture it already, alone in Istanbul Ataturk Airport, completely and utterly lost. I try to decipher the signs using my copy of “Turkish for Dummies” only to find myself even more confused. I finally manage to make my way over to the baggage claim section. Baggage claim is always a stressful and

A Home Here and a Home There

Hagar Gomaa, Koç University Exchange, Fall 2013 My last few days in Istanbul were a mix of last minute to do items, cramming for exams, and a perpetual feeling of denial that I was leaving what had become a home to me. I convinced myself mentally that I was ready to go back, ready to see

Delicious Turkish Food

Hagar Gomaa, Koç University Exchange, Fall 2013 I felt that this blog post was necessary since I have neglected to mention one of my most important experiences in Turkey, the food! Overall I enjoyed the Turkish cuisine although I confess that I succumbed to American fast food a few times. Here are a few of my

Birthdays, Palaces, and Hilltops

Hagar Gomaa, Koç University Exchange, Fall 2013 It’s hard to believe that my time in Istanbul is almost coming to an end.  This past November, I celebrated my twentieth birthday in Istanbul. It was fun to be with my Turkish and exchange friends and to be sung happy birthday in many languages including Turkish. It seems