By Katie Battaglia, ISA Turkey Site Specialist
Istanbul is the economic, historical, and cultural center of Turkey. Known for its friendly locals, breathtaking sites, and cultural diversity, Istanbul makes for an overall unique study abroad experience. From the blue shores of the Bosphorus, to the chaotic bartering over apple tea at the Grand Bazzar, there is always something to new to see and discover in this city. Whether you love history, architecture, or just seeking new adventures, Istanbul has something amazing to offer and should be a top contender when choosing your study abroad location.
Here are 4 reasons why you should consider studying abroad in Istanbul:
1) A Mix of Cultures
Uniquely positioned where Europe meets Asia, Istanbul is home to a mix of people from all over the world. The city offers an unforgettable cultural experience where tradition and modernity mix unlike any other place on earth. In the city, there are many Western style restaurants and shops. However, visitors will still find the Turkish style haggling bazaars, delicious authentic dishes, and prayer time observed in stunning antique mosques.
2) There is a lot to do – without breaking the bank!
Istanbul is the largest city in Turkey and there is plenty to see and do. You can spend the day relaxing in the open tea garden after class or going to one of the many museums throughout the city. Some popular free museums include the Istanbul Modern (Art) or the Istanbul Museum of Painting and Sculpture. There are beaches nearby for the hotter days and during the spring there are beautiful tulips in bloom all throughout the city. Once a week, many neighborhoods even hold their own outdoor markets.
3) Rich History
Many civilizations and empires such as the Sumerians, Byzantines, and the Ottomans once thrived within Turkish borders. Turkey is now an open museum, featuring stunning monuments and architectural wonders from ancient times. Today, you can see amazing sites such as the Blue Mosque (Sultanahmet Mosque), Hagia Sophia, Galata Tower, and Topkapi Palace right outside your door.
4) And we can’t forget the food!
Turkish cuisine is often regarded as one of the best in the world. For starters, the Turks love a large breakfast. In the mornings, tables are covered in spicy sausage, breads, jam, and menemen- a mix of tomatoes, peppers, onion, olive oil, and eggs. For people on the go, an authentic doner kebab served on a pita with a tall glass of ayran (salty yogurt drink) is a for lunch. For dessert, you have some delicious baklava or rice pudding with a cup of Turkish coffee at a nearby café or restaurant.