Middle East and North Africa

Junior Ramirez ’13, Istanbul, Turkey, Winter 2012 — Studying abroad in Istanbul Turkey was more than a great experience – it was one of the best decisions I’ve ever made.  Istanbul is an incredible city,  full of life, colors, and history. Turkish people are not only nice, but they become your friends, inviting you to their houses to drink Turkish tea at first acquaintance.  Turkey has always been clichéd with being “the bridge between the East and the West” but in reality Turkey is far more complex and interesting and it deserves its own place in the Middle East.  Being here in Turkey made me a more mature student because I was able to debunk many stereotypes related to this part of the world.  Turkey’s proximity to Europe, Africa, and Asia makes it really easy to travel to other countries.  Thanks to Turkey, I became aware that the Middle East is not one culture but a crucible of different cultures, foods, geographies, and beliefs. At first I did not know anything about Turkey and now, I leave a country that I was able to know from different kinds of foods to the different historical places it has.  I did not have a good time; I had an incredible time.