Preparations and Expectations

Welcome to the travel blog of my international adventures in the fall of 2011. I will be spending roughly four months traveling around Turkey, based out of the McGhee Center for Eastern Mediterranean Studies in Alanya (highlighted in white on the map).

In less than a month, I arrive in Istanbul. Armed with knowledge from travel books, novels, and conversations with friends, I have some idea of what to expect. The purpose of this blog is primarily to keep everyone in my life up to date on my adventures, but also to add a bit of my own commentary and sense of humor to the world as I experience it. I recall reading somewhere that “keeping a study-abroad blog is really easy because you’ll only have to write three entries, then get bored and forget about it.” Hopefully this blogging attempt will prove more successful. (For basic questions like “where is Turkey?” please see FAQs)

Why Turkey?

Probably the most frequent question I get when explaining my travel plans. Aside from the obvious “who wouldn’t want to spend 4 months in a villa on the Mediterranean?” I have a several legitimate reasons.

  • Turkey is the bridge between Europe and Asia. As someone of mixed Asian-European heritage, I am perpetually engaged in exploring and contemplating the links between east and west that forge the fabric of my identity.
  • I want to be in the Middle East during such an historic and exciting time, but I also don’t want to have to evacuate half-way through the semester. Turkey offers the perfect balance of exposure to Middle Eastern culture and Western amenities and stability.
  • Turkey is the future. The country had the highest economic growth in the world for the beginning of this year, and it is on track to keep growing even while powerhouse industrializing like China and India have faltered.
  • Much as I would have enjoyed a semester of “partying abroad” somewhere in Western Europe, I wanted a real personal and academic challenge.

Classes: At the McGhee Center, I plan to take the following classes:

  • Issues in International Migration: Turkey and the European Union
  • The Ottoman Empire and Modern Turkey
  • The Eastern Mediterranean Since 1911
  • Turkey’s Relations with the European Union

I’ll also be taking a class in Turkish language and I’ve been trying to get a little head start:

Crash course in Turkish language

Textbooks on my Kindle

Tentative Schedule:

 

 

 

September 1: Istanbul

September 4: Bursa

September 10: Edirne

September 12: Ankara

September 15: Alanya

September 23: Yayla

September 30: Konya

October 6: Antalya

November 17: Cyprus

I also have a week-long break at the beginning of November, so if you have travel suggestions or if you are in the region and would like to meet up, let me know!

My next entry will be from Istanbul!

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