For Students Considering Turkey

Go! Go! Why are you still here? Go!

My trip to Turkey was the most amazing experience I’ve had. Five months later, I went back to spend the Christmas and New Year holiday! I believe that everyone should visit Turkey at least at one point in their lives. If you are or know anyone who is considering a study abroad experience, please check out the TCA scholarships that are available.

Here’s the link:

I will forever be indebted to the TCA as if it weren’t for their scholarship opportunity, I would not have had one of the most enriching experiences of my life.


Day 22 – Istanbul

Today would be our presentations, but also a rare opportunity to survey Turkish University students and find out the answers to burning questions about Business culture and practices.  So, we missed out on visiting a Mosque (Cammi) in order to prepare the survey.   We spent the morning compiling questions for the Professor we be-friended and a survey for his students.  We had a limited time span to get the questions over to him as school would be out today!

The time flew by.  When we finished the questions, I headed down from the terrace restaurant at the Golden Horn and got dressed for this afternoon’s presentations.  By bus, at 2:30 we headed to Taksim to meet with the Turkish Cultural Foundation.  We arrived at 3pm and were greeted hospitably with the offer of beverages and cookies.  If I didn’t know any better, I’d say the Turkish people were trying to make me fall in love with them.

Shortly after, we were treated to 2 presentations.  One by a representative at Armaggon who educated us on the textile patterns currently in use and the natural dye techniques.  Then, by a top Professor and famous expert in the area of Ottoman textiles and art history.  She gave us an indepth presentation on life in 1582 and if I didn’t know any better, she’s a reincarnation of a person who lived during these times.  The past 3 weeks exposed us heavily to textiles, motifs, and art that links to the Islamic and Ottoman traditions of Turkey.  So by the time we sat down to her presentation, we had a nice background to really appreciate her lecture.

We then had dinner.  It was peda time!  Yum!  After a short dinner break, we all started our presentations.  There were 14 of us that were supposed to speak for 5-10 minutes each.  But sometimes, nerves get the best of you and that time is shortened or extended.  🙂  Watching the presentations made me quite sentimental.  I had memory replay’s through the other students presentations.  The tulip motif’s, the water systems, the domes all brought me back to the cave pottery store, Ephesus, and the first time we entered the Hagia Sophia.


This had been an amazing trip and I felt like my presentation on Intellectual property was random against the background of so much art, history, and culture.

Luckily, my presentation went well enough that I was recommended to go to law school afterwards.  I don’t know if that was because it was long and boring or if I showed my passion for IP.  :-p  It’s quite funny as I have been debating becoming a lawyer over the past couple years…

Regardless of the next step for me, I know that my time in Turkey is greatly appreciated.  Around 9:40pm, it was time to head back to the hotel.  The pressure of presentations was off our shoulders and the reality of leaving was upon me.  But we needed to celebrate in dance for the presentation being over and a drink of sorrow to say goodbye to the country that’s been so amazing for us to visit…

We went to a nearby bar where the Aussie’s were determined to out dance us.  We held our own, but were out numbered.  Oh well, we have a couple days left to leave a positive American stamp in Istanbul…

Day 21 – Istanbul

A morning cruise up the Bosphorus was just what I needed.  Who knew?  It was nice seeing the view from the opposite angle as we passed palaces, homes, and businesses.  Some of the people were sick from the motion and missed out on the grand sight of bridges and passing ships.

Palace off the Bosphorus

After docking, we went to the Sadberk Hanim Museum where we weren’t able to take pictures, but caught a great look at art and textiles collected by the Museum’s founding family.

Ottoman Exhibit Poster

Afterwards, we grabbed lunch and watched couples walk along the Bosphorus and kids dive fearlessly into the water.  A short lunch, we then headed to the Sakip Sabanci Museum where we saw wonderful collections of calligraphy and art.  This museum was much larger than it appeared and had a collection that extended to current times.  The basement featured an exhibit that connected ancient Greece and Turkey.  At one point in history, they were the same land and same people.


Both the museums we saw today are to be added to the list if you’re ever visiting Istanbul.  They are not to be missed!

Tomorrow still holds presentations, so we headed back to the hotel to have the rest of the day to prepare.  Traffic was jam packed and it took us 2 hours to get back to our hotel which was 30 minutes away.  LA traffic now seems non-existent.

When we returned to the hotel, we worked on our project presentations.  After completing mine, I was exhausted and sought sleep as fast as I could.