After many many months of anxiously waiting I finally arrived in Istanbul to participate in an exchange program with Sabanci University. Flying British Airways I had the great fortune to be upgraded to premium class which made the flight to London much more enjoyable, from there I connected on my next flight to Istanbul. Upon arrival I was very tired and found it difficult to figure out how to get to Sabanci which is far away on the Asian side of the city. After asking several times about what shuttle or bus I can take a gave up and divvied up the money for a cab which was much to expensive. Upon arrival I was very tired, met up with my fellow classmate Liz for dinner and then went to bed. In the morning I woke up beautiful blue sky’s and explored the campus for a bit.

The first day was spend on campus doing tours and making lots of new friends. The second day we hit the streets of Istanbul exploring the main attractions including the Blue Mosque, Haga Sophia, and then Topakpi Palace. All were very magnificent, and it was amazing to think how they were built so many years ago. The strange clash of Christian and Muslim culture also made it a very unique tour.

The night was finished with a pub crawl in Taksim. Overall impressions on my first day in the city was that it is a crazy place to live. There are so many people and everyone is moving very fast, but I have also decided that I will move out of residence and into the city (Kadikoy Region) so I can better experience the culture that Istanbul has to offer. The next day began with breakfast at Pierre Loti that provided great food and an excellent view! Followed by shuttles to Miniaturk, which is a park full of miniature versions of important building and places in Turkey

Once again of course this night was filled with beer and partying in Taksim! First impressions of Istanbul overall are very positive. It can feel like an Intimidating city, but I am feeling more comfortable every day as I become more familiar. I have no doubt that I will enjoy all aspects of school and living in Istanbul and can’t wait to experience more.