Study Abroad: Turkey

Course: Global Perspectives in Higher Education: Turkey 
Turkey Location
: Ankara, Istanbul, and Cappadocia
Session: March Break (with additional preparatory and debrief sessions) 
Professors: Dr. Ann Marcus and Dr. Teboho Moja


The Global Perspectives in Higher Education: Turkey program takes place over nine days and will focus on Turkey's ancient and very recent university traditions. A predominantly Muslim country, Turkey has a highly centralized government with strong control of education, including universities. The economy is robust, and Turkey is noted for having the 15th largest Gross Domestic Product. Turkey borders Europe, Asia and the Middle East and is increasingly seen as an important political and cultural force in both the region and the global community.

Turkey has several institutions of higher learning which date back more than 500 years, and has also seen rapid development and expansion among universities in the last few decades. Changes in national law in 1981 permitted the establishment of private non-profit universities. Today there are 102 public universities and 52 private universities, all under the jurisdiction of central policy agencies and a national testing and admissions system. Several top public and private universities are internationally ranked. The system also includes vocational colleges and teacher training institutions.

Global Perspectives in Higher Education: Turkey will include preparatory sessions here at NYU in late February and early March; travel to Turkey mid-March; return from Turkey late March; and follow up classes at NYU in late March. It is intensive trip, that includes some touring in Istanbul; visits to two public and two private universities in Istanbul; travel to Ankara for an additional university visit and meetings with government officials; travel to Cappadocia, a region with many ancient sites where we will have time for some touring and a visit to one regional institution.

 Full-Time Student Perspective: Jennifer Low (M.A. '14)

Visiting Turkey was my first time traveling abroad and I am glad I was able to share this experience with members of the Steinhardt community.  The visits to different universities were an amazing opportunity to speak with Turkish students, administrators, and faculty about their personal experiences in higher education.  In addition to these visits, we also explored Turkey by visiting mosques, trying Turkish cuisine, and touring the Hagia Sophia.  The experience allowed me to develop an understanding of the Turkish culture and higher education system, which has enhanced my multicultural knowledge and overall ability to support students in my career.

Jen Low 

Part-Time Student Perspective: Lesia Harhaj (M.A. '13)  

I consider my experience as part of Global Perspectives in Higher Education: Turkey study away program to be a defining moment for me as a part-time student in the HESA program at NYU. Participating in this course allowed me to take advantage of a unique educational opportunity, but to also connect with my fellow students and faculty. From the travel, to the university visits, to the food, and to the camaraderie that was established – this is an experience that significantly impacted how I view myself as a higher education professional and informs how I interact with my students today.

Lesia Harhaj 

Full-Time Student Perspective: Cameron Mussar (M.A. '14)  

Regardless of the brevity of the Turkish study away experience, the opportunity to examine a system of higher education outside of the United States, to interact with students, faculty, administration, and government officials provided a great deal of perspective to my understanding of the role that education plays across cultures, and beyond borders. This global opportunity widened my understanding of how higher education is approached, and has given me the skills to more critically examine our system of education at home.

Cameron Mussar 

*Turkey photos by Betty Tsang (M.A. '13)