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Study Abroad

Turkey: East & West in Istanbul

                 Conducted in English

If we could take a perch above the Bosphorus and speed the centuries in reverse, our eyes would catch on the darting movement of masses.  Caravans, pilgrims, artists, embassies, and armies upon armies – explorers of all stripes – have zipped back and forth at this crossroads of continents, trading Europe for Asia, or Asia for Europe.  Here the Ottomans found a center for their polyglot world; here the Byzantines moved the Roman mind in a new direction; nearby Hector and Achilles fought the Trojan War.  In the twentieth century, modern Turkey took shape and emerged as an arbiter of international diplomacy.  And today Istanbul continues as a vital laboratory for the interaction of ideologies, religions, and cultures from disparate populations.  Even as a locus for study abroad, it is hard to classify: do we file it with programs in the Middle East, or does it fit with the European capitals.

In this course, we will explore the history and culture – or, pluralized, histories and cultures – of this vibrant and exciting city.  Students will visit sites that illustrate the blend, productive or controversial, of varying points of view, whether in a millennia-old mosque, centuries-old palace, or spanking new shopping mall.  Topics of study will include the histories of Istanbul in the pagan, Christian, and Islamic periods, as well as contemporary Turkish politics, which encompass immigration and ethnicity, economic development, gender roles, religious values, and international relations.  But our time won’t be entirely consumed with politics.  A critical objective of the course will also be to immerse ourselves in Turkish culture, from cuisine to music to film and the arts.  However weighty the city becomes among global power-brokers or captains of industry, it is, at the end of the day, simply beautiful.  As Orhan Pamuk put it: “Life can’t be all that bad... Whatever happens, I can always take a walk along the Bosphorus.”


Locations: Istanbul, Izmir, Ephesus, Turkey

NY departure and return dates: July 1 - July 30
Arrive in Istanbul morning of July 2

Course offered: 3 credits, HIST/Comparative Literature

Housing: Apartments and hotels

Program Costs

Cost (includes all expenses below except airfare): $3295

CUNY tuition (for in-state, matriculated undergraduates): $645

Housing, excursions, welcome & farewell dinner: $2600

Travel Insurance: $50

Total cost with airfare: $4295

Airfare: $1000 (estimate)

Additional costs:

Minimum budget for meals and personal expenses of $20 to $25 per day (approximately $600)

Application Deadline: April 2, 2012

Programs are open to all undergraduate students from all CUNY campuses (unless restricted by level of study, language fluency, or other program criteria). Travel on Fridays and some Saturdays for some programs.

Education Abroad Office
Kiely Hall, Room 183
Queens College, CUNY
65-30 Kissena Blvd.
Flushing, New York 11367-1597 
718-997-5055 (FAX)  
Email: Education Abroad


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