Pre-Departure Info

 

Introduction
Address and Postal Service
Phone Numbers
Packing and Weather Preparedness
Laptops, Cameras, and Cell Phones
Voltage and Electrical Appliances
Money
Turkish Food
Health
Cultural Preparation

Overview of the Fall Semester Program
Arrival in Istanbul
Istanbul 
Housing and Meals
Laundry
Turkish Families
Classes and Academic Life
Community-based Learning
Field Trips
Fall Break
Beyond the McGhee Center

General Program Information

Introduction

This document is intended to provide practical information for your upcoming semester at the McGhee Center. We do our best to keep this information up-to-date, but remember that in life things change unexpectedly and there are always exceptions to the rule. International travel requires you to be flexible, adaptive, patient, and realistic. One reason study abroad is such a powerful educational experience is that it teaches these skills.

A big part of having realistic expectations is being cognizant of the fact that as a student at the McGhee Center you will be living in a developing country. Things won’t always work the same way they do in the U.S. Buildings may not be well heated or air conditioned. Electricity and hot water may not be as reliable. Internet service will not be as fast or as reliable. Things that are cheap at home may be expensive abroad. Even everyday tasks like shopping, laundry, banking, taxis, and housekeeping can be frustrating until you figure them out.

Turkey is for the most part a comfortable and easy place to travel, and Turkish people are gracious and hospitable, but you can’t always expect the same stone-cold efficiency we get accustomed to in the U.S. You will have a better experience (and certainly learn more about the host culture) if you slow down, ask for help, and take time to build social networks rather than try to force things to work the way they do at home or the way you think they should. 

Address and Postal Service

The address for regular mail (i.e. where family and friends may write to you) is:

McGhee Center for Eastern Mediterranean Studies
P.K. 81
07400 Alanya / Antalya
TURKEY

The above address is a post office box. Some express delivery services (FedEx, DHL, Express Mail) require a street address. In this case, please contact Mia, and she will give you the appropriate address and information. 

Letters to and from the U.S. typically take 1-3 weeks to arrive, letters from Europe slightly less. For time-sensitive items we recommend that you use an express courier service. FedEx, DHL, and Express Mail all work in Alanya. Local Turkish courier services also offer reliable express shipping from Alanya to domestic and international addresses. For international express courier service allow at least 3-5 days.

It is possible to send and receive packages in Alanya. Packages sent to Alanya should be mailed to one of the addresses provided above, depending on shipping method. ( Important note: Do not ship electronics (computers, MP3 players, etc.) or any other expensive items to Turkey. Electronics are heavily taxed in Turkey and your shipment will be held hostage in customs until you go through the arduous and expensive process of importing it. Other items likely to be stopped in customs include prescription drugs and high value shipments.

If you wish to send a package from Alanya (or elsewhere in Turkey) to the U.S. there are several levels of service priced according to how quickly you need the item to arrive at its destination. Service is generally reliable, but items of great value should not be mailed. (If you purchase items you wish to have shipped home, such as rugs, arrange for the seller to ship it directly.) Please note that even the cheapest (i.e. slowest) level of service is not terribly cheap. If you plan to ship belongings back to the U.S. you should budget at least $100-$200 for that purpose. 

Phone Numbers
  • Lojman (Student Apartments): From the U.S. dial 011-90-242-513-1639. (From within Turkey omit the international codes and dial 0-242…) This is the number that can be given to family and friends. You will be able to receive incoming calls from anywhere and place local calls from this phone, which is located in a common area in the lojman. You can also use a phone card or calling card to make international calls, but most students will use their cell phones and use skype for international calls.
     
  • McGhee Center Villa: From the U.S. dial 011-90-242-513-7044 (phone) or 011-90-242-513-5502 (fax). (From within Turkey dial 0-242…) Please note that these are business phones for the use of McGhee Center faculty and staff and should not be used to contact students except in case of emergency.
     
  • Most of our students use Internet calling to stay in touch with family and friends. The most popular service is Skype – see http://www.skype.com. If you plan to use Internet calling, bring your own headset and make sure it works before leaving the U.S. You may not be able to find the right kind (especially for Macs) in Turkey.
Packing and Weather Preparedness

Detailed packing tips and information will be supplied to program participants in their pre-departure Orientation packet. Participants in all programs should bring comfortable and protective footwear suitable for urban walking and field trips to archaeological sites, plus swim- and sportswear and ample sun protection. The climate on the Mediterranean coast of Turkey is generally mild, but weather can be cold and wet between November – March, particularly on excursions in Istanbul, Ankara, and central Anatolia. Participants in summer and fall programs should be prepared for hot weather and strong sun.

Bed and bath linens are provided at the McGhee Center residence. Many familiar brands of cosmetics and a wide range of shopping for clothing and practical items can be found in Alanya. Basic pharmaceuticals are also easily obtained, often without a doctor’s script, though program participants with specific and essential prescriptions are encouraged to bring a supply.

Laptops, Cameras, and Cell Phones

Laptops
We have a public computer available for student use at both the villa and the lojman, but the McGhee Center is set up on the assumption that most students will bring their own computers and we therefore strongly recommend that students bring laptop computers. The villa and student apartments are set up for wireless internet access, which is reasonably efficient, though not as fast as what you are accustomed to in the U.S. Printers are also available for student use at both the villa and the apartments. Computer supplies like blank CDs, ink cartridges, flash drives, and so on are widely available in Turkey.

Make sure your laptop’s charger/AC adaptor is compatible with 220 voltage (or that you have a converter) and bring a plug adaptor to fit the wall sockets in Turkey. The best kind of adaptor is one that also offers surge protection. Find more information below on voltage, adaptors, and converters.

Cameras
If you bring a traditional 35-mm film camera, be aware that film is cheaper and more widely available in the U.S. than in Turkey, so it is to your advantage to carry a supply. If you bring a digital camera, plan on using rechargeable batteries, as batteries in Turkey are quite expensive. Make sure your battery charger is 220-voltage compatible. Also, bring a pouch with a neck or shoulder strap (or a bag with a secure pocket) to carry the camera in. In Turkey, as in every part of the world where tourists roam, thieves find digital cameras an attractive target. You might be surprised how easy it is to pluck a small digital camera from a wrist or pocket without the owner noticing. Use common sense and do not carry your camera unprotected.

Cell Phones
For reasons of security and convenience, all students MUST purchase a cell phone in Turkey. Most cell phones purchased in the U.S. will NOT work with a Turkish SIM card, or will only work for a limited period of time. This is true no matter what the manufacturer or retailer tells you. The reason: From a technological standpoint tri-band or quad-band GSM-enabled phones will work with a Turkish SIM card, but if you do not go through the troublesome process of formally importing the device and paying import duties, the Turkish phone system will eventually block the phone, rendering it un-usable. We can help you get a cell phone easily and cheaply. Count on $100 for the phone (cheaper models tend to break easily), $15 for the SIM card, plus the cost of buying points/minutes.

U.S. cell phones with international calling plans work fine for international calling. They do not work well for local calling, however, since they require the caller on either end to dial an international number and pay international rates. Most students find that they prefer a local phone, since this allows them to both receive international calls and keep in touch locally with host families and one another. Local phones also make it easier for program faculty to contact students in the event of an emergency. Please make sure that you always have credit on your phone at all times during the program.

Voltage and Electrical Appliances

Turkey has 220 voltage and European-style wall sockets. Because the U.S. uses 110 voltage and has its own style of plugs and sockets, you may need special equipment to use your American appliances in Turkey. Converters are devices that “translate” 220 voltage into 110 voltage so the electrical circuits in your American appliances don’t get fried by the higher voltages used overseas. Adaptors fit onto the plug of your U.S. appliance and allow you to plug it into the different wall sockets that exist overseas. Some devices combine the function of a converter and an adaptor, but make sure! If you bring a converter but forget the adaptor, you won’t be able to plug your appliance into the wall. If you only bring an adaptor for an appliance that also requires a converter, you will be able to plug it in… but then you will fry it.

Most laptop computers (and some other devices powered by rechargeable batteries, like iPods) are manufactured to handle voltages as high as 250, and therefore do not require a converter, only an adaptor, but you should verify this before departure. Hair dryers, shavers, battery chargers, radios, and other appliances vary – some are “dual voltage” (i.e. they work both in the U.S. and on 220-volt systems) and some are not. For machines that accept 220 voltage, you will need only a plug adaptor. For appliances that do not accept 220 voltage, you will need a converter as well as an adaptor. For computer equipment, an adaptor that provides surge protection is strongly recommended. Adaptors, converters, and surge protectors suited to your needs, as well travel-sized dual-voltage appliances like hair dryers can be purchased in travel stores or online at stores like http://www.magellans.com.

Electrical and electronic appliances are considerably more expensive in Turkey than in the U.S., and items like adaptors and converters are not always easy to find, so you should plan to bring these items with you. 

Money

The currency in Turkey is the Turkish Lira – “Türk Lirası,” or TL. Most merchants accept only Turkish currency. Some merchants at major tourist sites accept Euros, but they are the exception. You should always expect to pay in Turkish currency.

ATM / Debit cards from major U.S. banks work on almost all ATMs in Turkey. Most reliable are ATM cards from major banks linked to worldwide networks like Plus and Cirrus, or with the Visa logo on the card. Always inform your bank or credit card company of your travel plans before departure. Because international credit card fraud is a problem, many banks will freeze your card if they see unexpected international activity. Save yourself this hassle with a 2-minute phone call to let them know you plan to use the card in Turkey.

ATM cards are the safest and most reliable way for you to get cash in Turkey, and we strongly recommend that you use this method to access your spending money. Please note that some ATMs dispense ONLY Turkish currency, which will be withdrawn from your account according to that day’s exchange rate – always a better rate than what you get with travelers’ checks. Other machines also dispense USD or Euros – Alanya has many such machines, but you cannot count on finding one everywhere you go. ATM cards will also work on most machines in Syria and Cyprus, though it is also wise to have a backup supply of US currency on those trips.

Visa and Mastercard are widely accepted in Turkey. American Express is not as widely accepted and therefore not as reliable in case of emergency. Debit cards that have a Visa or Mastercard logo will also work in most shops, but are not as widely used for everyday shopping as in the U.S. Many merchants will balk at accepting a credit or debit card for small-ticket items, and you cannot barter if you intend to use a credit card. There are many small stores not even be set up to accept credit cards. Even for larger items, cash is often preferred – and you may be offered a substantial discount if you can pay in cash.

It is always a good idea to have a small reserve of cash in both TYL and USD or Euros for emergencies. When traveling you should keep cash and other valuables either in the hotel safe, in a locked bag, or in a secure pouch on your person.

Turkish Food

Turkey is home to one of the richest and most vibrant culinary cultures in the world. A wide array of fresh seasonal fruits and vegetables are available year round. Alanya is famous for its citrus fruits, pomegranates, and bananas. Grilled and braised meat (kebab) and fish (balık) are popular, as are soups, salads, stews, vegetable and rice dishes, yoghurt and cheese. Beef, lamb, fish and chicken are all staples. As Turkey is a predominantly Muslim society, pork and pork products are never used in cooking, though fairly realistic “ham” made from veal or turkey is offered in some establishments. All meats sold in Turkey are halal.

Turkish food is not very spicy. Some regional specialties – particularly those of the southeast – are known for their fiery seasoning, but even these are not very hot when compared with, say, Mexican or Southeast Asian cuisines. In general, Turkey is a “Mediterranean” food culture in which most seasoning comes from olive oil, fresh herbs, mild peppers, garlic, and sea salt. Tomatoes, onions, eggplants, and peppers are basic ingredients of many dishes and fresh bread is a staple. Familiar Mediterranean favorites like stuffed grape leaves, olives, grilled eggplant, feta cheese, dried fruits, milk puddings, and baklava are common.

Vegetarians usually have little difficulty adapting to Turkish cuisine, particularly if they permit themselves to consume dairy products. When eating in restaurants vegetarians should be aware that soups and vegetable dishes are sometimes prepared using meat or chicken stock, even if there is no actual meat in the dish. In eastern Turkey and when traveling in more remote areas, the cuisine becomes more meat-oriented, and vegetarians may find their options limited in those areas.

Health

Turkey presents no special challenges in terms of physical health (please reference section below for an explanation of mental health resources), and in general students should adopt a similar attitude to what they would when traveling in Europe or the United States. No special vaccines or tests are recommended prior to departure. The most common ailments our students report is the common cold or occasional mild stomach upset. The best defense is to dress appropriately to the weather, avoid excessive exposure to heat and cold, and take care of yourself – eat right, sleep soundly, and don’t overtax your immune system, which is already coping with a new environment and the intensity of travel.

Alanya has several major hospitals where medical care meets a Western standard. We have long-standing relationships with English-speaking doctors and dentists in town who can be called upon should the need arise. We also have a long-standing relationship with a private hospital, Can Hastanesi (web site in English: http://www.canhospital.com.tr/en), which offers state-of-the-art care and services for foreign patients. Istanbul has major American and German private hospitals (including a new, state-of-the-art branch of Johns Hopkins) that offer both walk-in service and specialized care.

Always let the program faculty know ahead of time if you have a medical concern serious enough that you feel you require professional medical attention.

For minor medical expenses, you should expect to pay up front and submit receipts as claims to your insurer for reimbursement. For major medical expenses, you will be covered by the International SOS policy provided by Georgetown’s Office of Global Education. Even the most elite private medical care in Turkey is generally not as expensive as in the United States.

Pharmacies in Turkey carry a wide range of common over-the-counter remedies, though the range of brands and choices may not be what you find in the U.S. Common prescription medications (including antibiotics) are easy to obtain, and in some cases may be bought on the advice of the pharmacist without a doctor’s prescription. However, if you require a specific prescription, we recommend that you bring a five-month supply. You should also note down the exact chemical formula (as opposed to the brand name) of the drug in case it needs to be matched by a Turkish pharmacist.

A note on water and food safety: we do not recommend that you drink the water in Turkey. As with all travel, if you are unaccustomed to local microbes your system may need some time to adjust. Many of our past students have found that the traditional Turkish prescription of plain yogurt, bread, seltzer, herbal tea works wonders for this problem.

Turkish tap water is chlorinated and does not taste very good, so many Turks prefer to drink bottled water, which is inexpensive and widely available. Bottled water is consumed at the villa and most students in the past have chosen to purchase it for use at home as well. Beyond this, common sense is usually sufficient to keep you safe: wash fruits and vegetables thoroughly, wash your hands frequently, and avoid food that doesn’t look fresh and clean.

If you have special dietary needs please indicate those needs on the form provided during pre-departure Orientation and communicate them directly with Mia prior to departure.

A note on psychiatric/psychological care: Students who have been diagnosed with psychiatric disorders requiring medical attention or who depend on psychological counseling should carefully consider what their needs are likely to be while abroad and how those needs can realistically be met. Finding English-speaking psychiatric professionals can be very difficult outside of Istanbul and Ankara, and is more or less impossible in Alanya, where there is little demand for English-speaking counselors. This means that interactions with a counselor will almost certainly have to be mediated by a translator, and communication may be difficult. Furthermore, very different cultural assumptions about mental illness, privacy, confidentiality, family support, and treatment may apply, and psychiatric medications commonly prescribed in the US may not always be readily available in Turkey. It is recommended that students who take such medications bring a supply with them, along with a doctor’s note containing the chemical name/formulation of the drug in case it needs to be matched. We also recommend that students who foresee a possible need for counseling arrange in advance to be able to phone their doctor at home. The McGhee Center has emergency contacts both locally and in Istanbul, and can create privacy for calls to U.S. doctors, but cannot guarantee that a U.S. standard of psychiatric care can be obtained in Turkey.

Cultural Preparation

While this packet prepares you for the overall program, you must take the lead in preparing yourself for your semester in Turkey. You are not taking a tour of Turkey, you will be living in a Turkish neighborhood and experiencing daily life in Alanya. It is important that you familiarize yourself with the customs, social norms and interactions, as well as the local laws of Turkey. Over the summer, please do some pre-departure reading about Turkey and Turkish Culture. One recommended book is Culture Shock! Turkey: A Survival Guide to Customs and Etiquette.

Overview of the Semester Program
 

Arrival in Istanbul

Your expected arrival date in Istanbul will be provided in your pre-departure materials. Please communicate your arrival time and flight number to Mia Pezzanite in the Office of Global Education. The information will be forwarded to the program faculty, who arrange your pickup at the airport. You may wish to coordinate travel schedules with other students in the program so that you can arrive together. Participants arriving in Istanbul early are responsible for making their own airport transportation and hotel arrangements until the start date of the program.

Late arrivals to Istanbul create problems for both the individuals concerned and the program as a whole, and except in very unusual circumstances will not be permitted. Participants are considered to have committed to the program dates when they commit to the program.

If for any reason you arrive at the Istanbul airport and have to proceed alone, just take a taxi directly to the hotel. The name and address of the hotel will be provided to you prior to departure. This hotel will be your home base during Orientation. Please always carry the address and phone number of the hotel with you during orientation- if you get lost, you can hand it to a cab driver and reunite with the group! Before getting in the taxi, don’t forget to get some Turkish currency at an ATM!

Istanbul 

The semester begins with a week-long study tour of Istanbul, Turkey’s largest city and economic center, and Ankara, its capital. During your time in Istanbul you will also make day trips to the neighboring historic cities. This is an integral part of the semester’s academic program and relates directly to the formal “classroom learning” you will be doing in Alanya. Your time in Istanbul is an intensive learning experience and definitely NOT a vacation – you’ll be getting up early and needing lots of energy and focus. You will have reading assignments. There will be social events, and you will be given time to relax or explore on your own, but when the group is together you are asked to pay careful attention to lectures and tours and treat them as seriously as you would a class.

We will be doing a lot of walking, including on rough or dirty streets. We will also be traveling by boat, metro, bus, and taxi. Comfortable, protective shoes are essential. There will also be several occasions where you need to dress conservatively, so have a nicer (but still comfortable) outfit on hand. Please see the handout on packing for more information.

During orientation, we will be out and about all day, so please bring the following items with you in a small bag (that closes!):

  • Bottle of water and snack
  • Medicine that you may need
  • Map of the city
  • Tissues (for bathrooms)
  • Business card of the hotel
  • Wet wipes
  • Charged cell phone with credit on it
  • Hand sanitizer
  • Small notebook with pens/pencils
  • Scarf for women
  • Sweater or jacket
  • Money
  • Itinerary of the day
  • Akbil (transit pass in Istanbul)
Housing and Meals

The lojman is a modern apartment building located about a 10-minute walk from the villa – about half way between the villa and the city center (10 minutes) / beach (15 minutes). Each apartment is a two-bedroom unit with a kitchen, bathroom, and large living room. Apartments are segregated by gender. In most cases bedrooms are shared with one other person, though depending on enrollment and gender distribution in a given year some single bedrooms may be available. Student apartments are furnished and include heating/AC, linens, towels, basic kitchen equipment, and weekly housekeeping service. A public phone, computer, printer, and television are located in common areas. All housing costs, including utilities, housekeeping, and wireless internet, are covered by the program fee.

Please note that overnight guests cannot be accommodated at the lojman. You may have visitors, but only with the permission of the resident director and your roommates. You may not entertain guests at the lojman for long periods of time. These rules exist to protect the safety and privacy of program participants, the security of the building, and the sensitivities of both your housemates and your neighbors. This is not to say we discourage your family and friends from visiting! On the contrary, over the years many of our students have received guests in Alanya and had a wonderful time. The faculty and staff at the villa are willing to help you find suitable accommodations for your guests in town.

During the semester program, lunch and dinner are taken together (or on field trips) Monday – Friday. Meals are optional on Mondays and Fridays, but students are asked to give advance notice (in other words, to sign up for the meals they want by Thursday evening each week) to allow our staff to plan. No meals are served at the villa on Saturday and Sunday. Please note that attendance at lunch and dinner is mandatory on Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday. Communal meals are an important part of the life of the villa, and offer a chance to interact informally with professors, guests, and fellow students. Meals also help students to get the most out of the villa experience by enabling them to stay there during non-class hours to use the library, gardens, or study areas. We also celebrate birthdays and Thanksgiving, and have wine with dinner once a week and on special occasions. Reasonable accommodations are possible for those with special dietary needs, including vegetarians.

Many weekends are free, and students are encouraged use weekends to travel and explore on their own, either in Alanya or close by in Turkey. Students may also wish to use the weekends to schedule visits with their Turkish host families or to engage in community based learning activities.

Laundry

The McGhee Center contracts with a local business in Alanya to provide laundry service to our students. The service will pick up laundry from the residence on a pre-arranged day and return it a few days later. Payment is by load (with a weight limit per load) and is due upon delivery. You should be aware that due to the higher cost of energy in Turkey, the cost of laundry service is higher than comparable services in the U.S., and there are no inexpensive self-serve “laundromats” as in the U.S. In planning your expenses you may wish to budget $10-15 per week for laundry. Drying racks are provided in the apartments and you may decide to launder some items by hand at home. Towels and bed linens will be laundered and changed by our housekeeper. While traveling, laundry service is arranged through our hotels. There is also a washing machine in the lojman available for your use.

Turkish Host Families

Each student at the McGhee Center will be paired with a local Turkish host family in Alanya for the semester. Your host family gives you a point of contact in the community and an opportunity to learn more about Turkish culture and society – as well as a place to practice your Turkish. Families often invite their students into their homes and to join them in activities and celebrations in the community. Your family can also be a resource in case you need help or advice about life in Alanya.

Students are strongly encouraged to take advantage of this link to the community and to get to know their family. In the past, the students who have established the most fruitful and lasting relationships with their families are those who actively sought to maintain contact and build the relationship. Students may also wish to consider bringing a small gift along to present to their family at the end of the semester.

Classes and Academic Life

Classes at the McGhee Center vary from year to year depending on which faculty members are teaching at the villa. The curriculum includes coursework on both the contemporary issues facing Turkey and the region and the historical backdrop against which present-day life unfolds. The curriculum is designed to make maximum use of the setting and to promote hands-on learning through field trips and excursions that educate students about the natural, cultural, and historical environments in which they are living. Courses on offer are updated regularly on the McGhee Center web site.

At the McGhee Center you will be taking Georgetown courses with Georgetown faculty for Georgetown credit, and you should therefore expect your courses in Alanya to be as challenging and rigorous as any other Georgetown course. This program incorporates a great deal of experiential learning, and you will also have free time to explore on your own, travel, and go to the beach. But there is also a serious academic component that will require you to work hard and follow through on your academic responsibilities. If you are looking for a mental vacation, this is probably not the program for you.

The McGhee Center offers a unique opportunity to work closely with your professors. At the villa you will interact with distinguished experts in a variety of fields on a daily basis. You will not only meet your professors in small classes but also travel with them on field excursions and take many of your meals together. Past students have often cited this as one of the most valuable aspects of their experience at the McGhee Center.

Community-based Learning

The McGhee Center offers students in the semester program the option of engaging in community service activities in the Alanya area. Community service options vary from semester to semester and depend on the students’ interests and level of Turkish language proficiency. The most common type of assignment (which requires no Turkish language background) is teaching English to children in disadvantaged area schools.

Community service offers an opportunity for students to work in direct contact with the host community to deepen their understanding of the culture and discover the “real world” dimensions of their academic experience.

Field Trips

Field trips are one of the most important aspects of the McGhee Center program, and most weeks you will be heading out into the world to see how it compares to what you’ve learned in the classroom. Field trips are normally held on Fridays and include excursions to archaeological sites, museums, nearby cities, and places of environmental, economic, or political significance.

Most field trips are day excursions, but there will be one or two overnight trips as well. Most field trips are required as part of the program, though some optional excursions may be offered. The cost of all mandatory field trips, including transportation, food, water, and lodging, is fully covered by the program fee. The schedule of field trips will be sent out prior to departure, and will be posted at the beginning of the semester on the bulletin board in the villa. Please note that the excursion schedule is subject to change.

Remember to come prepared for changes in weather and rough terrain – sturdy shoes, sunscreen, and an extra sweater or waterproof jacket are a good idea. 

Fall Break

Fall break offers students at the McGhee Center a chance to travel recreationally, either on their own or in small groups. By the time break rolls around in November, you should be familiar enough with the region and with the basics of travel in Turkey to make informed plans.

Many students use this opportunity to visit other parts of Turkey. Popular destinations include the eerily beautiful landscapes of Kapadokya and the beaches and monuments of the Aegean coast. Others have visited the bustling cities of southeastern Turkey, or returned to soak up more of Istanbul’s cosmopolitanism.

For some students, break presents an opportunity for family and friends to visit. Please note that visitors cannot be housed in the student residence, though the staff will be more than happy to help locate suitable accommodations in Alanya, or advise you on making travel plans with your family elsewhere in Turkey.

Traveling internationally is also a viable option for fall break. Air connections can be made easily from the nearby Antalya International Airport. In the past, students have met up with friends in the region, or have made independent travel plans according to their interests. Please note that you MAY NOT travel to a country on which the US State Department has put a Travel Warning without the permission of Katherine Bellows, Executive Director of the Office of Global Education. For the most current list of travel warning countries, go to http://travel.state.gov/travel/cis_pa_tw/tw/tw_1764.html.

Beyond the McGhee Center

Many McGhee Center students express an interest in extending their stay in Turkey or returning for the summer. If you are thinking along these lines, some of your options are:

  • Semester at Koç University in Istanbul: Georgetown University’s affiliation with Koç University in Istanbul allows students to transition from the McGhee Center to a more independent, direct-enrollment setting at a private Turkish university. The language of instruction at KU is English. For more information about course offerings and campus life see KU’s web site.
     
  • Language Study: Private language schools, private universities, and summer programs in Turkey’s major cities allow students the opportunity to continue Turkish language study during the summer or the academic year. One of the most popular and highly rated language schools is TÖMER, which has centers in Ankara, Istanbul, Izmir, Bursa, Trabzon, and Alanya.
  • Summer School or Summer Program: If you want to study something more than Turkish language, check out summer session options at Koç University or Boğaziçi University in Istanbul, both of which offer courses in English on Turkish culture and politics.
  • Internship: Finding an internship in Turkey can be a hit or miss proposition, particularly if your Turkish is not fluent. However, it’s not impossible, and some of our students have landed very good internships with corporations or NGOs. Talk to your professors, who may have ideas about how to proceed or connections you can take advantage of. Bear in mind that most internships will be unpaid, though some may provide lodging or food.
  • Archaeology: Students who are interested in archaeology may be able to participate in one of the many digs that take place in Turkey each summer. If you are interested in this option, be aware that archaeological teams apply for their excavation permits many months in advance, so if you want to work on a dig you should do some research and inquire with the excavation director far in advance. Because you will be invited to participate as a student or intern, you will probably not be paid – and in fact you may have to pay your own way.
  • Teaching English: By far the most common type of paid employment among young expats in Turkey is language teaching. Some private schools in Istanbul, Ankara, and Izmir recruit English-speaking counselors for summer camp programs, and these programs typically provide housing. It is also possible to find work as an English teacher in a language school, though you normally need a teaching certificate in English or ESL. If you have one, bring it. Another, less formal, option is to work for a family as a nanny, au pair, babysitter, tutor, English teacher, or some combination of the above. Many well-to-do families hire live-in au pairs who, as part of their job, are expected to speak English with the children. These jobs may include time spent at the family’s summer home.