Name: Kira Hamilton
Home University: University of Texas at Austin
Summer 2014 Courses at DIS: Health Delivery and Prioritization in Northern Europe, Children in a Multicultural Context, and European Genocides
Wow! What an amazing week in Istanbul! We had a wonderful but busy study tour this past week in Istanbul, Turkey for my Children in a Multicultural Context class.
At first, it was kind of intimidating because we had only been in class for a week together and now we were all going to a new country and living together in a hotel for five days. We had two DIS guides, Jen and Sarl, and our tour guide Koray. Sarl has known our teacher, Maja, for years and he grew up on Istanbul so he made the perfect guide and translator. It is hard to put into words how amazing this trip was and the impact it left on me.
Some of the amazing highlights of the week include going to the Hagia Sophia, being in between two continents on the Bosporohus Cruise, having one of the most human experiences of my life at the Turkish baths, swimming in the Black Sea on the Asia side of Turkey, and, of course, all of the food. During our study tour, we also did went one some academic visits to Turkish schools, both in Europe and in Asia. We visited two middle schools, a high school, and a forest preschool–these visits were a huge deal! It is very hard to visit schools in Turkey; our teacher has been working on these visits for two years, so it was quite an honor to be welcomed by the teachers, administrators and students at all of these schools.
By the end of the week, I was more in awe of the city than I could have ever imagined. There is so much culture and history (and people -17 milllion!) in one lively city. I was surprised that it, at times, felt like an American city – more so than Copenhagen. The main thing that made it feel the most foreign was the language. As much fun as I had in Istanbul, by Friday (our last day), I was ready to come back to Copenhagen. Now half way through my summer in Denmark, Copenhagen feels like my home-away-from-home, so it feels good to be back and to be able to share my experience with my friends here. It’s hard to believe that Session 2 is almost over and that Session 3 is just around the corner, and with that, another study tour! I can’t wait to continue my travels and learning around Europe!