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Program Overview

The Aya (Haghia) Sophia

The SIUE Summer Travel Study Istanbul Program offers students a unique learning experience. Students live for one month in Istanbul, Turkey, a city of profound historical and cultural importance. Istanbul straddles Europe and Asia; consequently, this cosmopolitan region is a nexus of influences, and boasts some of the most important and astonishingly beautiful historical sites.

Through a combination of living abroad, classroom studies, guest lectures, on site visits, hands-on activities, and much more, this program aims to immerse SIUE students into a culture other than their own. The duration of our stay in Istanbul allows participants to shift out of the 'tourist' mentality and, instead, we envision participants as Resident Scholars. SIUE students participating in the program are not merely there to 'look and see' from a distance - i.e., with an Orientalist's gaze; rather, we integrate into this vibrant city, becoming culturally literate residents. Participants live and study alongside Turkish and other international students. Participants travel within Istanbul using public transportation (not a chartered bus). Participants engage in activities and social outings that encourage dialogue with locals and adhere to local customs. As Resident Scholars, participants are encouraged to make the most out of their time in Istanbul, through rigorous academic study and firsthand experience of the culture.


To watch a video made by Rachel Parkin, SIUE Travel Study - Istanbul 2007 alum, click on the following link: Istanbul 2007 Video.

A View of the Ferries Crossing the Bosphorus


Click on the following link to read past program participants' testimonials.

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