Coming into my freshman year here at OU, I had absolutely no idea where I wanted to study abroad. When I thought about where I wanted to study abroad, my line of thought looked something like this: “Norway! No, India. No, Peru.” and so on and so forth. So, as you can see, I had no concrete idea of where I wanted to go whatsoever. However, a few weeks into my Becoming Globally Engaged seminar I began to realize that I was extremely interested in Eastern Europe and the Middle East. I have been passionate about helping the Syrian Refugees since the weapons crisis in 2013. However, up until recently I had never considered how learning their culture could better enable me to help them. It is with this sentiment that I decided to travel to Turkey with the University of Oklahoma’s Journey Program.
Turkey and Syria have extremely interconnected histories and during Journey to Turkey 2016 Dr. Jill Irvine is scheduled to teach a course on Turkish history. Ironically, Dr. Irvine is one of the professors that I have been working closely with while planning the Off the Market Symposium on modern slavery and human trafficking, and I am very excited that she is also one of the professors sponsoring the trip! After going to a few meetings with a study abroad advisor I began to realize how multifaceted country and has an extremely rich and diverse history. I hope that while in Turkey I will be able to learn a lot about the Turkish culture and history and expand my worldview and broaden my global perspectives.