Barbara H. Padnos International Center
130 Lake Ontario Hall
Q: What is the first thing that comes to mind when you think of your study abroad experience?
A: When I think of my study abroad experience one of the first things that come to my mind is "life changing". While studying abroad in Turkey I learned so much about a culture that was very different than my own and I feel blessed to have gotten that experience.
Q: Why did you choose this destination?
A: I choice to study abroad in Turkey for two main reasons: the classes that I would be taking and the fact that it was a faculty-led program. My minor is history and I have always had a great passion and interest for visiting historical sites and learning about people and society's from the past. I was also intrigued by the Middle Eastern Studies class offered because I felt that the Middle East is an area I knew little about but found interesting and I wanted to learn more. In addition, I wanted a faculty-led program because I wanted to step outside of my comfort zone but still have a support structure there traveling, exploring, and learning with me.
Q: What are some things that surprised you about the campus, the classes, the culture, customs or traditions?
A: While studying abroad in Turkey there were many things that surprised me about their society. Throughout my travels during study abroad I came across many "wild" cats and dogs that roamed cities, historical sites, and even campus. Growing up with a dog and cat as pets I was surprised to see them roaming around with out homes. When on the road traveling I would often glance over at other cars and would be shocked each time I saw a lady riding in the front passenger seat with a baby or small child on her lap. Growing up in a society that is so strict with car seat rules and child safety in cars seeing the children traveling in this manner would always surprise me because it is so different from my own culture.
Q: What are some things you would like students to know about studying abroad in this destination or the program provider you studied with?
A: For students thinking about studying abroad in Turkey I would want them to know that in my experiences I found a very welcoming and hospitable country. With a population that is about 98% Muslim, there is often some stereotypes and miss-conceptions that go along with that. I would like students to know that the many of the people I encountered were helpful and seemed very excited that I was traveling in their country and flattered that I wanted to learn about their culture. I would also like students to know ahead of time that even though it will be a lot of fun that it is a study abroad experience and not a vacation. Thus, students need to be prepared to go to classes, read, and spend time on class work.
Q: What advice would you offer?
A: The main advice that I would like to give anyone planning to study abroad is to go with an open mind. Try to take in as much of the countries culture as you can and try not to compare it to one's own culture.
Q: What was your academic goal while studying abroad?
A: My academic goal while studying abroad initially was to receive an A from both of the classes that I was enrolled in. However, once the experience started and realized the level of difficulty I made it my goal to aim for the best grade that I could receive and to learn as much as I can.
A: The people I meet and became friend with. I will never forget those people and how they helped make my semester great.
A: My friend went abroad to Turkey and she told me all of the amazing things she did and saw while she was there. It made me want to see everything that she saw.
A: The campus was huge. It was a beautiful place to be but you definitely needed to use the buses to get around. The food was really good but beware they have Tuna Pizza it's weird and smells kinda gross but its one of things they love to eat. The classes were hard but as long as you kept up on studying and studied for the tests you do fine.
I loved the culture it is so full of life and always awake no matter the time of night. The culture was definitely Middle Eastern a lot of Muslim customs but it was all for the experience.
A: You should be ready for a group of people who are ready and excited to meet you. You could be any where and as soon as they hear you speak all they want to do is to talk to you.
A: Don't be scared to try it. There are so many people who are just as scared as you are and are taking the leap and trying. It is a chance of a life time and you have to take it.
A: I went to study Math and Geology. I loved my classes and teachers while I was there they loved insight from the US and always wanted to talk about how things were different for me.
1 Campus Drive
Allendale, MI 49401-9403
USA - (616) 331-5000
Campus Maps & Directions
Schedule a Campus Visit