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SU Abroad in Istanbul offers students double dose of culture, experience

September 07, 2010

Daeya Malboeuf
(315) 443-2007

The mega-city of Istanbul is an incomparable hybrid. Honored as a “2010 European City of Culture” by the United Kingdom’s Telegraph, this “Metropolis on the Bosporus” literally straddles the continents of Europe and Asia. Round-roofed mosques stud hills full of high rises, and trendy cafés and clubs share the shoreline with floating vendors, busy markets and gracious homes. It all adds up to a geographic and cultural powerhouse that offers SU students a double dose of perspective and experience.

Applications are already being accepted for the Spring 2011 semester SU Abroad in Istanbul program. The SU Istanbul program will be based at Bahçeşehir University, a private institution known for its progressive climate and innovative programs. Bahçeşehir is housed in renovated warehouses that sit directly on the European shore of the Bosporus (the 20-mile strait that links the Black and Marmara seas) in Besiktas, and students attend classes taught in English alongside Turkish and international peers.

Students begin with an extensive three-week, pre-semester seminar that includes survival Turkish for beginners and a focus on the many “layers”—historical, cultural, artistic, political—of the city. They’ll also enroll in a required interdisciplinary seminar on “Contemporary Issues in Turkey,” and then select up to three additional courses from the wide array of Bahçeşehir offerings. Areas of particular strength at the university include international relations/political science (democratization, the European Union, the Middle East and security studies), communications (visual communications, design, film), management (finance, entrepreneurship) and a wide range of interdisciplinary, complementary electives (Orientalism; nationalism; music, food and sport; global energy crisis; and others).

“The curriculum is designed for those craving a non-traditional study abroad experience,” says Sue Shane, program director for SU Abroad. “It responds to increasing interest in this dynamic region and provides perspectives on Europe, Asia and the Middle East.”

The new program will also offer one-of-a-kind field study and internships. And there are numerous course offerings for almost every discipline, which will allow students to fulfill requirements for many minors or majors. 

At the helm of the new center in Istanbul is director Erika Wilkens-Sozen, a resident of Istanbul who most recently served as an assistant professor at Okan University in Istanbul. Wilkens-Sozen earned her master’s degree and Ph.D. in political science at SU’s Maxwell School of Citizenship and Public Affairs. 

Students are encouraged to apply immediately. The program is to open undergraduate students across all disciplines enrolled at SU and other U.S. colleges and universities. A fall semester-only graduate program for international relations will open in fall 2011.

For more information on the new Turkey program, visit .

Syracuse University Abroad (SU Abroad) consistently ranks among the highest quality international education programs in the United States.  More than 2,000 students from both Syracuse University and colleges across the country study abroad with SU every year. SU Abroad programs foster scholarship in action through a combination of world travel, academic excellence, internships, and community collaboration. The University currently operates eight centers: Beijing, Florence, Hong Kong, Istanbul, London, Madrid, Santiago, and Strasbourg. Through the World Partners program, SU students may also study in over 20 additional countries including Australia, Chile, Ecuador, Israel, India, Japan, Korea, Russia, Turkey, and a variety of locations in Africa. Visit to learn more.

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