Surreal! Simit and Some Ground Rules

After months of applying, and hoping that everything works out, I am finally flying to Turkey tomorrow morning! My plans were on hold until I finally received my Student Visa only ten days ago. It feels very surreal, but a very long-awaited for trip! So far, I have learned Turkish only through online resources, private tutors, and TV shows. But in only 24 hours, I will be speaking and hearing Turkish in-person, and this time it is not through a laptop screen. In only 24 hours, I will have a view of the Bosphorus from my dorm room and Simit (Turkish bagel) sellers minutes from where I stay. Surreal!

As excited as I am, I want to ensure that I truly engage in this experience fully, and experience all the opportunities that come with it. During my time in Turkey, I want to be able to use every opportunity to enrich my Turkish language. To do this, I have decided to set some ground rules for myself:
1. I will try my hardest to communicate my thoughts and ideas only in Turkish, even if the person I am talking to speaks English.
2. I will not be discouraged by the inevitable language mistakes that I will be making. After all, it is a natural and important part of learning!
3. I plan to be open and welcoming to new experiences.

With these set as a guide throughout my stay in Turkey, I hope to not only maximize the language benefits but also gain a new perspective to view life with. During this experience, I will step outside of my comfort zone to challenge my language skills and make deep connections with new people. Overall, I very excited for all the growth that will occur during the program and in Turkey.

Hawraa Al Janabi