Indiana University
Bloomington

When the tables are turned and I’m the foreigner

Being in a foreign country can be fun, but sometimes you miss some things about home. With the Christmas season upon us and my Facebook feed full of my friends writing about how excited they are to be flying home this week, I can’t help but be a little bit jealous. This will be my first Christmas not only away from my family, but also away from my country and culture and traditions. There’s some small consolation in going to the local Starbucks and hearing the cheery traditional Christmas carols and songs playing there, but it’s not the same without …

Rome and Dubai

Greetings everyone!  I apologize for the delay – the last couple of weeks have been pretty hectic between finals and traveling.  Anyways, I’m back home (I will probably talk about my feelings associated with that in my next blog) so I can finally relax.  In Spain, the 6th and the 8th of December are holidays so they do what is called “hacer puente” where they take weekdays off between holidays and weekends.  Since the 6th and the 8th were Tuesday and Thursday respectively, Monday, Wednesday, and Friday are taken off, and the whole week is treated as a break during …

Home for the Holidays

I am back in NY for the holidays and preparing for my study abroad to London! I am leaving in less than 3 weeks now. Even when I am back in New York, my entire family watches IU basketball! This season is so exciting, with IU being 10-0 and ranked for the first time since 2008! Unfortunately, I did not have tickets to the Kentucky game last week but watched the amazing win with friends in downtown Bloomington, and celebrated the win with the campus after!

Last night, my family decorated our Christmas tree while watching the IU game. This …

Honors Thesis, Part II: Near Completion!

Well, I’m nearing something that looks like it might resemble a document close to a rough form of a completed honors thesis.

And by that I mean: after a long process and a lot of doubt, I finished my first draft, and it doesn’t look like it’s going to turn out too terribly.

You know, given the daily onslaught of e-mails full of cool opportunities that an IU student faces (from advisors, programs they’re in, committees they’re on, lists they’ve signed up for, etc.), I just don’t believe there’s any way to truly make “rational” decisions about which to ultimately …

The Culture of Food

Maybe one of the most common underrealized great things about living in a foreign country is your opportunity to try so many different and interesting foods. Coming from Bloomington with 4th Street chock-full of ethnic restaurants, I think I’ve become conditioned to try the strange and the foreign when it comes to eating. Since freshmen year, it has been my personal goal to try each and every place on 4th Street before graduation, but I’ve still got quite a few left on my list..

However, since I’ve come to Istanbul I’ve made it a point to carefully document the things …

Time Flies When You’re in Spain

The title couldn’t be any more indicative of the truth.  I am not quite sure that I’ve been here for nearly 3 months already.  I’m a skeptic – it’s very hard to believe, more so than all the other scenarios in which I find myself overusing that bromide.  When I initially got here, I discovered not only the excitement of being in a completely different environment but also the frustration that comes with placing oneself outside of one’s comfort zone and having to readjust.  I remember specifically questioning myself as to whether I had made a wise decision in coming …

Traditions and Translations…

Now like I had said earlier, back in Eskişehir we had decided to go to an old Ottoman house. The outside was adorned with the bright crimson Turkish flag, emblazoned with Atatürk’s stern face, but the house was quaint despite its small claim to fame. The cream walls and neat wooden paneling around the windows gave the house a peaceful, quiet look, and it wasn’t much different on the inside with its dim lighting and ornately carved Armenian ceilings.

The house didn’t take too long to explore either. It was a simple duplex and most of the rooms were big …

The Old City, Eskişehir

For Kurban Bayramı, or Eid al-Adha, last week a group of friends and I decided to take a small day trip out to Eskişehir, literally the “Old City” in Turkish. It was only a short four and a half hours away from Istanbul by train and we all woke up around 4:30 in the morning in order to get to the Haydarpaşa Station in time for our 7:00 train. It was still dark when we left but we were able to catch the morning Ezan (call to prayer) echoing across the water and an amazing sunrise against the backdrop of …

Traveling in Andalusia

Greetings everyone!  I have been in Spain for a little over two months now, and I´m loving every moment of it.  To those of you who are prospective students out there, I´d like to remind you that IU has one of the most extensive study abroad programs in the country with over 250 possible trip options!  If you are strongly contemplating studying abroad at some point during your undergraduate years, IU will offer you plenty of places to choose from, including destinations that would typically be considered more obscure.  I can speak from experience that coming to Spain is, quite …

The point of being abroad

Your study abroad experience is supposed to be about so much more than just your classes and studies; this is your opportunity to explore a different country, discover a new culture, meet interesting people. That’s why every chance I get I try to be out and exploring Istanbul. Problem number one, the city is massive. Number two, the traffic is unbelievable. But I manage to get by.
So yesterday, joined by a rather eclectic group of friends, we made it out to Kadiköy, an area on the opposite side of us across the Bosphorous, on the Asian side. To get …

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