On May 5, students and staff from SU Istanbul, along with students from other U.S. study abroad programs in the city, were invited to the home of Charles Hunter, the United States Consul General in Istanbul. Hunter, along with the consulate’s public affairs officer, Jeffrey Anderson, gave the students a presentation about their role in Turkey. They then opened the floor to questions from the students, resulting in a refreshingly open discussion on topics ranging from their own personal experiences in the foreign service, to Turkish-American relations and the complexities of regional politics and security. The students were also encouraged to share their experiences and perspectives on living and studying in Istanbul for the last semester.
Dr. Erika Wilkens-Sozen, the on-site director of SU Istanbul, is working with other U.S. study abroad providers in Istanbul, including AIFS, CIEE, and Aracadia University, to develop a study abroad council that works closely with the State Department in Istanbul.
“In forming this group, our aim has been to share best practices in study abroad in Turkey, including our protocols for minimizing and responding to health, safety and security issues,” said Wilkens-Sozen. “We all share a commitment to the importance and value of Istanbul as a study abroad location.”
The Spring 2016 students will wrap up their semester in Istanbul in early June, having completed a semester full of travel and cultural and educational immersion in one of the world’s most fascinating cities. Applications are now open for the spring and fall 2017 semesters at SU Istanbul.
“Istanbul is a magnificent city, steeped in the history of empires while at the same time is modern, edgy and dynamic,” said Wilkens-Sozen. “As a study abroad location in a complex and troubled region, it offers students an unparalleled opportunity to explore some of the most pressing, and challenging, issues of our time, to help them become more informed and globally engaged.”