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 somehow complicated ordeal, no matter the country. My bag is the last one on the belt, as always, and I head over to the taxi pickup. Three cabs nearly collide trying to be the one to pick me up. After an inevitably awkward exchange with the cab driver, I’m off the Koç University, my home for the next four months.
Anyways, I’m still not entirely sure what to expect in Istanbul. I chose Koç University for its proximity to historic Istanbul, its international exchange hospitality, and its flexible course credit with my electrical engineering major. Turkey is a pretty unfamiliar place for me, so I am fully prepared for the inevitable culture shock that will come at me. Either way, I will be leaving tomorrow, so there is certainly a mix of different emotions. I’m looking forward to meeting both the exchange and Turkish students, seeming new places, and acclimating myself to a very different culture.