Teacher Study Tours 2013 – Group 1: Ankara – Istanbul

11 07 2013

⦁    Departure from Hotel & transfer to Ankara Esenboga Airport
⦁    Homebound flights from ESB through Istanbul


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One response to “Teacher Study Tours 2013 – Group 1: Ankara – Istanbul”

12 08 2013
Tour Admin (12:57:29) :

“The study tour to Turkey has inspired me in so many ways! As a teacher I see a multitude of opportunities to use what I learned in the classroom. The geography and history of Turkey are unimaginably rich! As a lifelong learner, I was rejuvenated in my desire to learn about other cultures and as a woman I was offered new opportunities to learn from and find common ground with sisters from around the world. I am so excited to share what I have learned with the people in my community, my friends and family as well as my students and colleagues. Many thanks to TCF and their fantastic program!” Kathy Blessing, Boulder High School, Colorado

“My experiences in Turkey as a guest of the Turkish Cultural Foundation far exceeded any possible expectations I may have imagined. The natural beauty, historical significance, welcoming culture and the food were all amazing. As a history teacher I understood Turkey’s place in history, today I understand more than just its place, I understand is global impact over time and its importance in the modern delicate balance that is our world. I additionally came to understand and appreciate the phenomenal achievement of Mustafa Kemal Ataturk as the voice of the people during the creation of the Republic of Turkey. Turkey has successfully created the secular government and open society that many Americans cannot fully appreciate or understand. I am now charged with the responsibility of communicating this gift of understanding and knowledge to my students so that in the future they will look upon Turkey not with skepticism and doubt but with astonishment and respect. Thank you Turkish Cultural Foundation from the bottom of my heart.” John Gallup, Arvada High School Colorado

“Touring Turkey with TCF is tremendously thrilling and tantalizing, even for a timid traveler. Through our travels, I learned that Turkey and Turks are tenacious, tolerant, and oh so talented. The food is tempting and terrificly tasty, so don’t expect to stay thin through this trip. Touring Turkey with TCF is something for which to be very, very, very thankful.” Jacque Kinnick, Webber Middle School, Colorado

“I feel extremely fortunate to have been a part of the TCF Study Tour. I enjoyed the food, the sites, and especially the people. Turkey is a country of rich culture and diversity. I am excited to share my experience and all that I have learned with my students and my community.” Rebecca Cofield, Hilliard Middle-Senior High, Florida

“TCF was overly generous in providing this tour for educators. It opened my eyes to the treasure that Turkey was, is and will continue to be. I was so blessed to be able to see, smell, touch and experience things and places that I had only read about in books or seen on TV. The beauty of the people and the country can hardly be expressed through words alone because it is the full immersion that one needs to experience in order to know how much history and how much culture are located in one place. Thank you TCF for this life-changing experience, which will allow us teachers to share your culture, history and natural beauty with our students, community, friends and as many people as we can talk to about it!” Alina Mar, Ponte Vedra High School, Florida

“There are few words to describe the emotions, sights, cultural and knowledge of Turkey I have experienced on the study tour. Being selected for the Teachers Study Tour was amazing and an honor, but the experience was priceless. My experience of Turkey was so unexpected because I did not know what was waiting for me, only what was in my history books and current news media. The vision I had of Turkey and its people of today prior to this tour was narrow and stereotypical of most peoples view. Now, because of this amazing study tour, it has changed my understanding of this vital part of the world (Turkey). Just its geographical location is amazing. I am packing my bag and moving to Turkey! So much history, so much passion by it people to take their place in the world. It is so refreshing to see a people care so much for their heritage and culture and the passion for shaping it’s future and its place in the global future. I have never experience such a wonderful place. Taking this strength and passion for Turkey back and being able to portray the true meaning of this country is so inspiring and FUN. Can’t wait to tell everyone!!!!!!” Heddy Duncan, Hawaii Technology Academy, Hawaii

“Land of Antiquity and Modernity – The Republic of Turkey and her citizens have truly preserved its natural beauty and traditions while embracing westernization. Being able to hear the stories of the land and its people, and to see and touch history “up-close” is unbelievable! Catalhoyuk, Ephesus, Ancient City of Troy were places that I’ve only read about in textbooks but to explore these sites brings a new perspective and meaning in my classroom. The visits to Hagia Sophia, Suleiman’s Mosque, and the Anatolian Civilizations Museum captured the essence of the Turkish peoples’ appreciation of its cultural arts. Hearing the language spoken, also taught me how to enunciate Turkish words effectively. The stories and perspectives shared by our travel guide, Orhan, and TCF coordinator, Zeynep, provided us with a richer and clearer lens about this place in history and modern times. Our visits to both private and public schools were very both informative and precious, too! Thank you TCF- for giving me a gift of a lifetime!” Janyce M. Omura, Maui High School, Hawaii

“Whether we visited a mosque, a museum, a Neolithic site, or a bazaar, the mystic spirit and love for Turkey filled me up. The breadth of knowledge I gained is phenomenal; moreover, the heartfelt feeling of welcome and happiness still rests within me. I am ever grateful for TCF, WACA, and my home PAAC for this opportunity. I see many lesson plan ideas coming into fruition that share and exhibit my experiences in Turkey. I hope to convey the richness and wealth of history and culture to the children and my community here in Hawaii.” Dorimalia Waiau, Roosevelt High, Hawaii

“The trip enabled me to see the progress Turkey has made in the last 40 years and to meet wonderful American and Turkish people. I especially liked Hagia Sophia and Ephesus because I am Christian.” Christine LaRue, Elgin High School, Illinois

“The Turkish Cultural Exchange Teacher Study Tour was truly a life changing experience. It is impossible to put in to words the feeling of seeing the magnificent sites I have taught about for years. However, I was more inspired by the things I would not have thought to include in my classroom, like the different art and performance pieces that are so unique to Turkey. TFC allowed me access to things I would not otherwise been exposed to had I planned a trip on my own. As a teacher, it was extremely beneficial to be able to spend that time with 26 other American teachers, along with Turkish teachers and various Turkish experts. It helped to engage my mind in an academic way throughout the trip and to be able to constantly bounce curriculum ideas off one another. The study tour was not just a gift for me, but for my students as well. Because of this trip, I have a deeper understanding and more complete knowledge base of Turkish history and the Turkish people. Not only will I benefit from this more profound understanding of another culture, but I can more accurately teach my students as well.” Rosamond Byrne, Academy of the Holy Cross, Maryland

“I did not know what to expect on this trip but the Turkish Cultural Foundation really outdid themselves from the moment we won the trip to the very last minute we were in Turkey. I could not believe how many cultural and historic sites we were able to visit with the help of Zeynep, Orhan, and his fantastic team. My favorite place was Ephesus, the architecture is beautiful. My favorite moment was flying in a hot air balloon over Cappadocia to see the sunrise. I cannot fully describe how fantastic this trip was and you will just have to see it for yourself!” Merida Friedman, Jones Lane Elementary School, Maryland

“The 2013 Teacher Study Tour was a total mind-altering experience. Simply put, it felt like stepping into History. My experience about Turkey’s History, Ancient Civilization, Art, Architecture, its people and cuisine will forever be remembered. I have already started sharing my experience in an interview with the Laurel Gazette newspaper and can’t wait to share with my school and community.” Kevin Holder, Laurel High School, Maryland

“TCF provided a mind expanding experience. My perspectives on Turkey have been altered in so many wonderful ways. By far, the most delightful part of the trip remains the warm, welcoming, generous people of Turkey. Every moment shared with them has provided insight on Turkish culture, past and present. Thank you TCF for this opportunity, it was Turkish Delightful!” Lenore Hopkins, North Bethesda Middle School, Maryland

“Hauntingly beautiful landscapes, hospitable, welcoming people, knowledgeable and personally engaging tour guides and leaders, stunning archaeological sites, inspirational religious shrines and ceremonies, and exquisite culinary treats. Add in the good friends made on this excursion and you have the ingredients for a “trip of a lifetime” – one that I will not soon forget. Turkey has certainly left an indelible mark on me. Though I plan to share her beauty and treasures with students this fall (and for years to come), I am already looking forward to a return trip to experience more of what she has to offer – hopefully as soon as next summer. Thank you TCF for orchestrating such a rich, eye-opening learning experience.” Chris Eadie, Sante Fe High School, New Mexico

“The tour of Turkey changed my life! It has provided me with a greater sense of self as I had never before traveled out of the country. Also, being able to leave two small children behind to do something to better myself was a great feat. I was discouraged not to go as many people shared what came to be their misconceptions of Turkey. What I found was a country full of very generous, kind and friendly people. I am still in amazement of all that I saw and the historic significance of all of the sites. Turkey is truly a gateway to the world and how it’s developed. The tour provided me with an insight that could never be gained from a book or a movie; it was an amazing experience to walk, touch and taste Turkey’s rich culture, as I – like many in our group would say – shopped my way through this beautiful country.” Christy Krenek, Capshaw Middle School, New Mexico

“I was surprised to learn how much Turkey had to offer in the classroom. You could teach all of the units in Human Geography using only Turkey as your case study and cover everything. You could also teach the entire course of World History using only Turkey and cover everything. Yet, we barely mention Turkey in our classrooms in the US. It’s a shame because the country has so much to offer our students. Turkey is complex, multi layered, complicated, and confusing. She is full of beautiful stories, religion, architecture, food, music and people. It’s the perfect country to introduce to your classroom because it represents everything that makes this world interesting. I am so grateful to TCF for introducing me to this beautiful place. I know my students will benefit from my experience on this study tour. I can’t wait to introduce them to Turkey.” Karen Alexander, International Leadership of Texas, Texas

“It will be with ease and joy to share with my students and everyone I know about my travels to Turkey. Simply because to share my travels to Turkey is to now share a new part of me. The fifteen days in this beautiful country was more than a memory because of all this country beholds. The priceless, ever changing landscape is one that can never be replicated on any postcard. From the mosque to the churches, no photograph can invoke the emotions that you feel standing within these walls. No quote can summarize the love and respect the people have for their history, founder and country. It must be seen with the admiration in their eyes as they say the name “Ataturk”. But most of all, it is the people of Turkey that change you. They are people that reflect their country. One of true beauty within. Their hearts are open and their voices are strong and to know them will make you a better person. This trip has meant the world to me. It will never be forgotten. For remembering it, is as if remembering a new love I have found.” Asiya Roland, Blalack Middle School, Texas

“As educators we strive to provide as rich and multi-faceted experience as possible to our students in order for them to strive for life long meaning and scholarship. TCF spared no expense in sharing this same ideology in which we truly experienced several weeks of continual life changing moments that feel as if we were enrolled in a graduate seminar of a historical narrative of Anatolia from pre-history through the contemporary social construct. It will take a lifetime to go through the contextual specificity of our shared journey, and upon arrival in Istanbul we truly hit the proverbial ground running. The tour was a marathon of awe-inspiring and evocative moments, each day seemingly surpassing the previous day’s agenda. Sadly, upon arriving in Ankara and realizing that although the travel phase of our journey was over and each of our lives were so drastically changed but another phase was about to begin, to serve as interlocutors and try to inexplicably describe the brilliance that is Turkey to our: students, friends, family, neighbors, to anybody. Turkey is such an amazing place and I will long yearn for the friendships, knowledge, culture, hospitality, and overall feeling of being at home that it provided. Words can not truly convey the amount of gratitude that I owe TCF, Zeynep, Orhan, Guler, Sebnem, Asli and to the warm citizens of Turkey. You will always have a deep place in my heart, mind, and will always have my friendship.” Gabriel Valdez, Rosemont Middle School, Texas

“It is hard to express in mere words my gratitude to the Turkish Cultural Foundation, and the amazing people who organized the study tour. Awesome, enriching, edifying, and mind-expanding barely scratch the surface of the two-week experience. I come away feeling like I will be a better teacher, not only because I am better informed about Turkey, but also because of all the great ideas and insights that were shared by the other teachers. After such a thorough emersion in the culture, arts, and history of such a fascinating country I will be able to give my students a much more comprehensive understanding of the importance of Turkey as a major player on the world stage both in the past and the present.” Kimberly Rogers, Episcopal School of Dallas, Texas

“The journey home, like the whole trip, was flawless. I am still ready to wake up and go at 3AM. My mind is full of memories, and I have spent most of my hours on the computer filling in facts about what we saw. In other words, I am still over-stimulated and loving the learning. It was the best-planned trip imaginable. I started by making a huge time-line of Turkish history of my own, personalized with what we saw from each period. Turkish history is quite overwhelming. Now, how can I explain it all to my students? I cannot thank you and your extraordinary staff enough – it was just great.” Carol Bolon, Robert E. Lee High School, Virginia

“I can’t thank TCF enough for giving me the opportunity to experience the architecture, culture and historical events that I’ve spent years teaching about. Each day was another amazing journey that increased my respect and admiration for modern Turkish culture and its rich history. The team at TCF did a fantastic job planning an itinerary bursting with all the wonders that Turkey has to offer. Before I left for Turkey I referred to it as the “Trip of a Lifetime”, little did I know that title wouldn’t come close to doing it justice when describing this incredible adventure.” Andrea Parent, South Lakes High School (Fairfax County), Virginia

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