Established in approximately 660 B.C., Istanbul is one of the oldest cities in the world and has been the capital of the Roman, Byzantine, Latin and Ottoman empires.
Students have a rare opportunity to experience this ancient, culturally rich Turkish city over spring break from March 1-7 for three credits. The trip costs $1,995 and includes airfare to Istanbul, hotel, airport transfers, museum admissions, daily breakfast and some evening meals.
Dr. Dennis Hupchick, the coordinator of the trip, said students will spend about six hours per day taking tours of the city to experience different mosques, churches, bazaars and palaces and the overlapping western and eastern cultures that are prevalent throughout the city.
In addition, students will keep a journal while they are there and must complete a final paper when they return to Wilkes.
The trip is not only for history majors; any student from any major may attend as long as he or she registers for the course and receives permission from the supervisor of the trip, Hupchick.
This trip will be the fifth time in Istanbul for the Wilkes history professor. He has been published numerous times on the subject and he said it his favorite city in the world.
Wilkes sponsored a study abroad to Istanbul four years ago and Hupchick said he, Dr. Mark Stine, chair of the Communications Studies Department, Dr. Evene Estwick, associate professor of communications, and their students had a great time in the Greek-founded city.
“It’s a very inexpensive city, it’s bigger than NYC but it’s much cheaper,” Hupchick said.
He said that four of the people on the trip went for lunch and spent the equivalent of what would be $6 in the U.S. for all four people to eat.
Though Turkish is the native tongue in Istanbul, English is commonly understood so there aren’t many communication mishaps.
“People are friendly; they go out of their way to say hi …,” Hupchick said. “People sometimes will see you walking down the street and invite you in for tea. They trip over themselves to be nice and helpful.”
A nonrefundable deposit of $500 is due by Dec. 1 and the remainder is due Jan. 15. Students must register for the HST 398 course in order to go on the trip. They must also have a valid passport and can purchase a visa at the airport for about $20 if they do not have one.