November 14, 2014
Introducing the Rome-Istanbul 2015 study abroad crew. Say Ciao/Merhaba to the group of 16 – which officially brings our count of students brought to to Istanbul over the 100 mark. They’ll be posting to this blog as part of their coursework in Rome and Istanbul and you’ll get a chance to know them a little better. Stay tuned!
October 9th, 2014
Apologies for the delay in posting an update. We’ve had a busy past two weeks, trying to get organized with dates, contracts, meetings… We hope to publicly introduce you all to our Rome-Istanbul 2015 group very soon!
I’ve been taking students to Turkey now for about 8 years and this will be the third time we’ve offered our full semester program. This year we’ll cross the 100 mark for the number of students we will have brought to Istanbul… (108 to be exact). Each group is unique and dynamic in their own way, but it seemed important to mark this centennial passage (given that last year was the School of Architecture’s Centennial and that we just celebrated what would have been Ralph Rapson’s 100th birthday).
Many things, of course, stand out from these trips and as such, it would be too difficult to pinpoint a single instance that was defining; our experience and time in Rome and Istanbul has been so wonderfully diverse and immersive, that (in the words of Norman Maclean): all things melt into one and a river runs through it. Yes, we love the history of the Tiber and the Bosporous (okay, the Bosporous is technically a sea, but let’s not nitpick) and the cities they wind through, we love their food and their spaces, their unique Mediterranean light, their constant fluttering between past and present. We love the people that we’ve connected to over the years (both here and there); we love the special energies of these places, their vibrancy, their publicity. We revel in how much we are welcomed in these remarkable cities, for the genuine hospitality and warmth we receive when locals in Rome and Istanbul learn that we are here to learn, to immerse ourselves in these spectacular cultural, social and historical contexts; of cities both ancient and modern, old and new, textured and polished. But most of all, I think, generous. These cities are generous places, they offer us as wide-eyed onlookers, a chance to become generous ourselves. So maybe we can offer something defining: gratitude. So, in honor of our 100th + student to Istanbul… thank you to the people of these places who open your cities and your homes, your thoughts and your lives and your kitchens; who open up to us, who let us ask questions, draw, study, eat, talk, experience, live in and connect to and with.
Here’s a glimpse (not only of food), but also of the open hearts and faces of those we meet.
I usually tear up when I watch this next one (seriously). Better get your hankies out.
Buongiorno // Merhaba –
We just wanted to provide another update (hopefully these become regular now as we move towards our semester abroad in Spring). Enrollment is ticking up (13 confirmed students) and we’re close to closing enrollment and opening up the waitlist. Get in touch with Prof. Saloojee and/or Prof. Agee if you’d like to confirm your spot on the program. It looks like we’re on track for finalizing our group this week. We’ll be sending out information on enrollment, program fees, scholarships and other details, as well as scheduling a series of meetings for October, November and December to talk through program specifics, to meet with former program students, to get up-to-speed on social, cultural, historical and logistical program information. Stay tuned! (And note that you can scroll through previous updates below!)
But for now, something completely different.
So, this website is a pretty good resource for all things Rome+Istanbul, and we’ve written about this before, but we felt it worth mentioning again.
Yes – cats. There are lots of them in Istanbul. Dogs too. But, man, the cats… Turks love their animals and they go to extraordinary effort to help their street animals. There are books on Istanbul’s street animals, concerted civic efforts for tagging and housing (there’s a municipal sponsored cat-hotel just behind our center in Beyoğlu), local vets look after new litters, most convenience stores stock pre-bagged selections of pet-food for commuters to purchase and leave around the city… The city has embraced their local animals. Here’s a teaser-trailer for a movie coming out in 2015 – “Nine Lives: Cats in Istanbul.”
They’re loved in Rome too. A former student sent this link when we were first in Rome and we discovered, as a result, the Cat Sanctuary at Largo Argentina. A pretty major transit hub in the city, Largo Argentina is also part of the Theatre of Pompey (you know, Caesar, stab/stab/stab, “et tu Brutus?”…). As It turns out, its becom a pretty intense cat hospital (looking after over 250 cats at a time). Architecture, Ancient ruins, great history, a slice of pizza or a calzone (the spinach calzone is spectacular) from Delfino’s and cats, Possibly, a perfect day in the Eternal City. Apparently, there’s another cat sanctuary near the Pyramid of Cestius… Andiamo!
*My youngest daughter, who enjoys counting all the cats in Istanbul ( last year her tally was around 772), asked me to add a note to this update: “Tell them I really like cats.”
Enrollment is open for our Spring 2015 offering of the Rome-Istanbul Study Abroad Program! At present, there are 15 students who have expressed interest and of that group, approximately 10 students are committed to going. We will be closing enrollment once we reach our student cap this year (15-16). We’ve got 5-6 spots available on the “I AM GOING” list and a few more on the waiting list. Pop by room 151J in Rapson Hall and sign up on the office door. We’ll be broadly announcing the study abroad in a number of classes in Rapson Hall this week. Drop Professor Saloojee and/or Professor Agee a line if you want to get your name on the list or just swing by and pencil it in.
Although our page is not yet live on the University’s Learning Abroad Center we’ll be posting updates here on our blog! Study Abroad is a pretty amazing thing and we’d encourage you to think about it during your time in school. The Rome-Istanbul program is the only undergraduate, full-semester program led and taught by School of Architecture + Dept. of Landscape Architecture faculty in the College of Design. The curriculum was designed by our faculty with our undergraduate students fully in mind (BDA, BS, and BED). Coursework includes Liberal Education certifications and program specific objectives to make sure you meet your program course requirements. Did we mention you’ll be studying in Rome and Istanbul ?
Here are some highlights from our previous trips!