Merhaba and welcome to Istanbul, Turkey!
I’m Lina Zhao, a fourth-year economics major, and I’ll be spending my fall semester at Boğaziçi University. I can honestly say these initial three weeks in this beautiful city has been everything I wanted and more. From the beginning, strangers and fellow peers have been nothing short of kind, helpful, and friendly. The people have really encouraged me to embrace uncertainty and make plans one day at a time. Turkish people value hospitality, which has been so beneficial for me in regards to making friends and feeling welcome. My Turkish roommate has been the best translator when ordering food and has inundated me with advice and knowledge about the neighborhood we live in.
Boğaziçi University is known to be the most scenic university in Turkey, which I can vouch for 100%. The campus is extremely close to the Bosphorus, which separates the Asian and European sides of Turkey. It’s crazy how one short ferry ride across the strait takes you to an entirely new area to explore. Many stray cats and dogs also wander around campus, which as an animal lover, I thoroughly appreciate.
Uprooting myself to a foreign city comes with an overwhelming feeling of eagerness where I want to see and experience everything. On the weekends, I have continuously traveled to places such as Kadıköy, Beşiktaş, Dolmabahçe, Fethiye, and Sultanahmet. Among these destinations, I’ve swam in a blue cave, paraglided during a sunrise, rafted down freezing waters, drove an ATV in the most picturesque hills, explored Hagia Sophia and the Blue Mosque, ate plenty of food, partied on a boat, and so much more. I could make a separate blog for each day I’ve spent here but I’ll spare you those excessive details; all in all, I have been living my best life. I am so grateful to have met international students from every country imaginable and travel around Istanbul together.
This post was contributed by Lina Zhao, a 2018 Global Ambassador.
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