Sunday, December 30, 2012


Hello All!
        I hope your break has been relaxing and enjoyable as mine was. But, now I'm just about ready to go back to school and on to Istanbul!  While I'm sure all aspects of our journey will be intriguing and mentally stimulating, I'm most excited about going to the University.  Even though I have traveled out of the country before, I have never really considered the amount of similarities and differences in the educational system between the United States and other countries or had a chance to visit one.  Last year in French class, I briefly compared and contrasted different aspects of French and American universities such as cost, level of difficulty, and manner of education (like the amount of people who go in to trade school).  It should be really interesting to study the differences between the United States and a country such as Turkey where the yearly schedule is completely different due to different celebrated holidays and a culture that is almost independent of the United States unlike France.
        Koç University was founded very recently in 1993 due to the resources of the Vehbi Koç Foundation which has won many philanthropic awards such as Carnegie Medal of Philanthropy (the equivalent to the Nobel Peace Prize for Philanthropy). While the University has only be around for 19 years, it has quickly become of one the best universities in Turkey. So far, I have found many similarities between Elon University and Koç University.  For example, they practice many "green" actions such as all lights, heating, and cooling is controlled by motion sensors where they turn off after 15 minutes of inactivity.  Also, the University is a liberal arts college where they encourage and require courses outside of the major while also demanding a specialization in the chosen field so that the students may be well-rounded.  Finally like at Elon University and many other colleges in the United States, social media is an important factor in the Turkish education system where they encourage all students to like, comment, follow, etc on a variety of networks such as Facebook and Twitter.  
      I can't wait to learn more about this incredible university!! For more information, visit their extremely easily navigable website. Enjoy the rest of your holiday! See you all next year. ;)


  1. Unfortunately, we'll be at Koc during final exams and right before the winter break, so we might not get to engage with as many students as we'd like. However, I'm sure that we'll still see and learn a lot. And, the similarities between the university and Elon are interesting. I'm curious about the differences as well. It might be worth someone's time to see if Koc is a typical university . . .

  2. Oh, one more thing! I'm sure that when we visit the ancient cities I'll probably talk some about ancient education--it's one of my many interests! (I'll probably say something when we're at the Library of Celsus, which Melina discusses in the next post.) One of the thing I always tell my students is that in the ancient world it was assumed that the student should want to be like his (students were typically male) teacher, intelligent and virtuous. The way a student became like his teacher, moreover, was to embody the practices of his teacher (e.g. his dress, comportment, ways of speaking). Once the body was trained, the mind/ character would follow! In light of this, Mike and I will be posting planned clothing choices for our time in Turkey! Ha!