Tellus: (tel’us), n. 1. [Latin] earth, soil, and the land; a country; the world. 2. a collection of Willamette University student’s insights, stories, photos and thoughts from their experiences studying abroad.

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Where East Meets West

This was taken outside of the Blue Mosque.

We went with the entire group of exchange students to all of the touristy locations.

Somehow I never made it back. That is one of biggest regrets about my trip.

During a trip organized by a group of Turkish grads, we were stopped at a shady beach town.

We went exploring and found this coffee shop with a beautiful view of the water.

This experience was very reflective of my entire trip in that we always had to dig a little deeper in order find interesting things in certain areas.

This picture was taken very quickly because we were terrified of being criticized for being touristy and commodifying the culture. But we really loved the hats and wanted some documentation of it. This was a common trend of for cultural things we wanted to experience.

This was in Cappadoica, one of the most beautiful places I’ve ever seen with my own eyes. This is the only picture I have from this day which I really regret. The rock formations were indescribable.

This is Lake Tuz, a massive salt lake. During the rainy months, the lake becomes a giant mirror. With only a few inches of water on the ground, you can walk across it. Unfortunately we weren’t there during that time but we still got to watch the sun rise over the hills surrounding the lake. I really want to go back during the raining season at some point though.

One of the most shocking things about my exchange were the amount of stray cats and dogs that littered the streets. The locals were disgusted by them and it was hard to watch them interact with them. I eventually became numb to it, but I never really got use to it.

This was one of the most exciting days of my exchange. We attracted a crowd of over 50 bystanders in the process of trying to recreate the final scene from Dirty Dancing for my photography class.

This was what they were looking at.

I went to Budapest for my birthday in December. It was the only time I was able to leave the country during my exchange because of issues with my residence permit. I’m so glad I chose to go to Budapest though because it is such a beautiful city. Also because Turkey is a Muslim nation, this was the only taste I had of Christmas this past year.

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