Archive | October, 2010

Study abroad in Turkey: SLU’s new program holds new opportunities

6 Oct

Katie Ullman gazed up at the breathtaking ceiling 20 stories above her in amazement. The tiled mosaics, intricately carved columns and sheer beauty of the architecture made the inside of the Hagia Sophia in Istanbul, Turkey much more like a work of art than just a room. Ullman thought of the empires, battles, sultans and kings that made the mosque’s history just as enchanting as the building itself. She never imagined that she could study in such a beautiful place.

Ullman had been interested in studying abroad, but had not been able to fit it into her busy schedule. Last year, a three-week program was added that made her dream a possibility. Students can earn credit for school while experiencing a culture different from their own without having to spend an entire semester away from home.

During the program this summer, Ullman and 12 other students earned credit for History 111 and History 112. The classes often took place in museums, mosques, and castles. Dr. Hayrettin Yucesoy, a history professor at SLU, traveled with the group. He had been pressing SLU to sponsor a course there for several years. The program was finally created last year and intended to be a one-time offer. Because of its success, SLU is offering it again this year and is discussing making the Turkey summer session a permanent part of the university’s study abroad program. Ullman glows when speaking of the experience and encourages every student to take advantage of this opportunity.

“It’s an awesome way to travel and get credit for classes at the same time. It’s hard for me to express how much I loved the program because it is so indescribable,” she said.

One of Ullman’s favorite aspects of the session was that it allowed her to immerse herself in another culture, which is helped her grow as an individual by widening her perspective of the world. Another SLU student, Michelle Missak, agrees that students studying abroad learn from the new environment.

Missak is a nursing student and unable to study abroad for a whole semester because of her intense course load. She loved the idea of a three-week session.

“It is wonderful to offer a shorter program because many students may feel apprehensive about being out of the country for an entire semester,” she said.

She was excited upon learning about the new program, which is more than just an alternative to longer study abroad sessions.

Ullman used these words to sum up her experience: “I would do it all over again next summer if I could because every time a person travels, they only learn more.”

For more information about this, as well as other study abroad programs, visit