Student Reflections

Colo-Mosque“The opportunity to study architecture in two cities with such rich and prevalent examples has changed me. My expectations were superseded by the unexpectedly delightful. I thought I would see the Colloseum, try to sketch in the streets of Rome, then head on over to Istanbul to see a few mosques while completing some course work. Instead what I got was a love for two cities linked by their complex and engaging history yet alive and beating in the modern day. Beyond architecture, Rome and Istanbul taught me to live; to discover; to feel culture and humanity around me. It is imperative that a student has the desire to see, draw, and experience with an open mind on this trip; you will never be fully prepared for what Rome or Istanbul throws at you and that is the splendor of this trip. The faculty involved are highly committed to seeing students succeed and grow. I would not pick another study abroad experience. Period.”

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Bosphorous“Rome and Istanbul taught me how to live; something I thought I was doing right for twenty years of my life before I studied abroad. My first taste of çorba from Dürümzade after our first walk down Istiklal Caddesi, the most alive public space I’ve ever been, the monkey who climbed onto my shoulder weeks later on the very same street, the dueling geniuses Borromini and Bernini, my first taste of a raspberry Magnum bar, walking to the grocery store for the food you needed that night, touring the Bosphorus in a ferry, seeing the ruins of Ephesus, walking through fish markets, eating fresh bread, learning the architecture and history of two beautiful places made me realize I was starving for a pulsating life. I highly recommend the Rome / Istanbul study abroad program.” 

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Untitled-1To discover is to gain insight or knowledge of something previously unseen or unknown. The Rome-Istanbul program have been one of many great discoveries.  Living and studying within two of the most beautiful cities in the world, my life was enriched with knowledge and experiences that are irreplaceable.  The program engages students to become one with the cities and embraces everything it has to offer. With the guidance of the amazing faculty, architecture becomes more than just mere structure, but a piece of art, history, culture – very much alive.  From the life within the two beautiful cities; their rich and powerful history, language, culture, and cuisines, to the discovery of new friendships and, more than anything, of self, the Rome-Istanbul trip has truly been life changing.”

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Han2

“All I can say about this program is that it was phenomenal. It was a life changing experience that left us all thinking of our next trip back. Yes we want to go back ! Let me start by saying that this offered us the opportunity to learn and study not in only one city and country but rather in 2 magnificent cities linked by history but different in culture… Stopping to have breakfast and a morning coffee, taking the tram to class, walking through famous piazze and historic monuments (that you’ve only studied in books) every day, visiting the works of famous Italian architects, stopping at a pastry shop with the best sweets in the world, grocery shopping at local supermarket that is a 2 minute walk from where you live, and waking up to a sunday flee market that literally closes down a whole city block with merchants from all around Italy. Those are some of the things you will experience in Italy. We had some of Rome’s best faculty members to guide us in tours that made churches, buildings, and fountains come to life, or made me imagine my self living during a Renaissance Rome. In Istanbul, well things are even better, this lively chaotic city makes you never want to leave… Buying a simit from a rolling cart on the walk to class, actually buying meat and chicken from the butcher at the end of the street, taking ferries across from Europe to Asia (yes you can do that) while still in the same city to have cheaper food (still great quality) or simply going to Dürümzade every day to have çorba (soup), have a massive stuffed potato (that can feed 2) then eating a stuffed waffle sandwich for dessert (don’t get me started on dessert or else I will never stop talking), visiting markets, souks and of course the famous Grand Bazaar to shop for anything you would wish for, climbing on top of a Han to listen to the call for prayer echoing from all corners of the city (still gives me goosebumps thinking about it), taking a road trip on a bus to Cappadocia, climbing carved mountain caves that were once inhabited… going on a hot air balloon ride to enjoy the beautiful scenery at sun rise, visiting the famous ruins of Ephesus, and finally relaxing on a Mediterranean beach enjoying cold drinks and hot weather until the sunsets. Those are only a little of the things we got to experience. The best part of all is that I ended this trip having another family – another family consisting not only of the amazing students that came along on this program but also the faculty members and professors who directed us through out the trip, worried about us when we got sick, and supported us whenever we faced difficulties. To them I say thank you for making this the best trip of my life so far… Best wishes to future students on this program!”

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