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Gratitude for a Virtual Start

Padilla Katrina Photo

By Katrina P., YES Abroad 2021-2022, Turkey


This fall, as our YES Abroad program to Turkey started virtually, I learned an incredible amount about the Turkish language and the country’s culture. In our language lessons, we learned common greetings, about popular foods, and celebratory holidays. The process of learning a new language virtually challenged me in a good way. I’ve also really enjoyed getting to know and learning Turkish alongside my YES Abroad peers from around the U.S. During our cultural activities we have unpacked some of Turkey’s wonderful culture, like the history of the Galata tower in Istanbul, making Turkish coffee, and even a traditional Turkish dance!

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I’ve enjoyed learning about Turkish hospitality and history the most. When I am with my friends here in the U.S., I am so happy to share some of what I’ve learned about Turkish culture! These conversations allow me to integrate the YES Abroad lessons more into my daily life and it’s an honor to open my friends’ eyes to another part of the world. These moments also help to inform my understanding about the importance of intercultural communication.