Merhaba, Istanbul

Simran_KhadkaName: Simran Khadka
Home University: University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
Summer Session 1 Course: Health Delivery and Prioritization in Northern Europe
Summer Session 2 Course: Children in a Multicultural Context 

For the first week of my Session II class, I visited local Danish public schools to study the differences between the Danish and American systems. It was crucial to know that Turkish immigrants made up the majority of Denmark’s immigrants, making the schools increasingly multicultural. Therefore, my study tour focused on studying the Turkish education system to be knowledgeable about the changes in the system and analyze the perspective of Turkish immigrants in Denmark. The study tour also included visiting numerous historical sites like the Hagia Sophia, Blue Mosque, Topkapi Palace, numerous Arcades and the Chora Church. Every tour included a wonderful narrative that promoted discussion and brought the class closer together.

Simran-Khadka-istanbul
From the balcony of Hotel Arcadia, it was a phenomenal feeling to be able to see the Hagia Sophia on the left and the Blue Mosque on the right.

Furthermore, it was a new experience exploring the Grand Bazaar and Spice Market since none of us were accustomed to bargaining and being persuaded into buying goods by the outgoing Turkish shopkeepers. On the other hand, we still got a break from the city life by going to the Sile beach on the Black Sea in the Asian side of Turkey.

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Overall, the study tour was packed with continuous activities, and I was always fascinated, but the heart of Istanbul was the hospitality. When we visited schools, we were always served tea, and the Turkish teachers were so excited to talk to us even though we needed a translator to communicate. That effort to make us feel welcome is one of those lessons I have taken back with me, and I hope to carry on this Turkish tradition.

Most of the classrooms were large due to population. This was a typical classroom of a primary school, which is equivalent to an elementary school in the United States.
Most of the classrooms were large due to population. This was a typical classroom of a primary school, which is equivalent to an elementary school in the United States.

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