Istanbul, Turkey

Perpignan Partners

DATES: July 2 – July 30, 2015

PROGRAM COST: The cost is $4,995 plus airfare ($3,995 for the Internship Program). Includes: Three transferable undergraduate credits, all instruction, lodging, travel insurance, welcome and goodbye dinners, and multimedia equipment use, plus cultural events and activities, and a digital magazine.

GENERAL LOCATION: Venice, Italy and Istanbul, Turkey

MEDIA: TextBookPhotographyVideo



View Larger Map

Apply Now

Mary D'Ambrosio

Questions about the Istanbul Project? Contact Program Director Mary D’Ambrosio at:

Venice, Italy to Istanbul, Turkey

Venice, Italy to Istanbul, Turkey

Considered one of the world’s most beautiful cities, Istanbul is crisscrossed with sumptuous palaces, mosques and gardens where the sultans played; it’s also an energetic modern city of Greek, Armenian, Russian, Arab, religious and secular influences, where people from around the world still come to make their fortunes.

Under the guidance of award-winning faculty, students will practice working as foreign correspondents, and have their work published in a digital magazine. We also offer an Internship Program for college graduates and graduate students in journalism interested in covering Istanbul for English-language publications.

Our team is based at Bahçeşehir University, one of Turkey’s top universities, and home to Turkey’s leading journalism school. The campus is located on the stunning shores of the European Bosphorus, in the heart of Istanbul, and near all urban bus and ferry transport. Students stay in single and twin rooms in a comfortable university dorm a five-minute walk from the main campus. You’ll report, write and shoot video about Istanbul’s culture, neighborhoods, politics, life, people and arts. You can earn three credits you can transfer back to your home campus.

The Venetian Connection

Venice, Italy

We’ll kick off with four days in Venice, for more than a thousand years Europe’s maritime gateway to Turkey and the Orient – and today Istanbul’s sister city.

After settling into our centrally-located hotel, we’ll explore the Turkish-Italian relationship, visiting the stunning Basilica of St. Mark (modeled on Istanbul’s Hagia Sofia), the Islamic collections in the great Doge’s Palace, and the glassmaking island of Murano, where Turkish artisans learned techniques used to make the famous Iznik ceramics.

Bound by centuries of war and trade, Venice and Istanbul had a symbiotic relationship that helped both cities prosper, and gave rise to overlapping architectural and culinary styles. Venice’s secret lanes will remind you of Istanbul’s souk-like alleys, and the two cities share a culinary culture that celebrates appetizers, seafood and the sea. Foodies will revel in our walks through the open-air Rialto market, and romantics in our gondola ride along the Grand Canal.

The sultans commissioned portraits from Italy’s greatest artists, and Leonardo da Vinci (whose mother may have been a slave from Istanbul) designed a bridge for Istanbul’s Golden Horn. The first Koran ever published came from a Venetian printing press.

A warm relationship persists today, with Italy steadfastly supporting Turkey’s efforts to enter the European Union. Some 900 Italian businesses operate in Turkey – one reason for Istanbul’s new gelato craze.

This project will help you deepen your knowledge of both Italian and Turkish culture.


2012 GoAbroad Innovation Award

Academic Credit

Students will earn 3 upper-division journalism credits from the University of Jamestown. Credits are transferable, and may be accepted as journalism credit by your college or university.


Students will learn, write and report from Monday through Thursday. Except for the first weekend, devoted to orientation, Friday, Saturday and Sunday will be free for local exploration and travel.

Course Syllabus

This is a sample syllabus, which will be updated for 2015.

Past Projects

Check out the site students produced in the 2014 program, A Nation in Conflict.

Check out the site students produced in the 2013 program, The Battle for Istanbul.


Istanbul Internships

Graduating seniors, graduate students in journalism and working journalists are eligible to apply for our internship program in foreign correspondence. ieiMedia interns have worked at Istanbul’s English language daily, the Hurriyet Daily News, Worldpress, Time Out Istanbul, The Inter Press News Service, the United Nations-based MediaGlobal, and other publications, filing bylined articles under the supervision of award-winning journalists and faculty. Here are some of their recent publications.

In 2015, internships are available at:
MediaGlobal (A United Nations-based digital magazine reporting on the global south) (A respected New York-based web magazine covering global affairs)
Istanbul Eats (The acclaimed foodie blog and book about under-the-radar Istanbul eating)
Latitude News (You’ll cover Turkish issues for this digital magazine founded by a longtime BBC producer and editor)
Inter Press News Service (Global wire service focusing on developing country affairs)
Women’s eNews (New York City-based women’s issues publication)

We’d also be happy to talk with you about supervising an independent project that would qualify for graduate credit at your school.


Bahçeşehir University

The University

Bahçeşehir University, one of Turkey’s top universities, is located in Istanbul’s attractive, centrally-located Beşiktaş neighborhood, on the shores of the European Bosphorus. The language of instruction is English. The compact cosmopolitan campus draws students from around Turkey, and the world. We’ll have use of a fully-equipped multimedia lab.

The Food

Istanbul’s varied cuisine ranges from elegant dishes developed for the sultans, such as smoky lamb stew over creamy eggplant, chicken with walnut sauce, and honey pastries, to the plentiful addictive street food, such as spinach or cheese-stuffed pancakes, ravioli-like mantı and of course doner kebab, the ubiquitous revolving spits of meat cut with big knives, meant to look like the swords of the janissaries, the Muslim sultan’s Christian soldiers. A campus cafeteria serves three daily meals, and cafes and restaurants are plentiful both on campus and nearby.

Travel Opportunities


Around Istanbul

Students will have three-day weekends (Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays) free to explore the city, or to travel within Turkey. Istanbul is full of fascinating neighborhoods, clubs and shopping venues. The elegant island of Buyukada, an hour’s boat ride away, is one popular weekend destination. Students have also enjoyed visiting the historic ruins of Ephesus, near Izmir (ancient Smyrna); the Cappadocia region, with underground caves where early Christians hid from persecution; and Ankara, the capital. Those who want to tour extensively should plan travel time before or after the program.



At work in Istanbul

The program is open to up to 19 English-speaking college students and recent graduates, from any school. Students have joined us from universities around the country: New York University, American University, San Francisco State University, the University of Colorado, Iowa State University, James Madison University, Louisiana State University, Ryerson University, UCLA, University of Maryland, University of Wisconsin-Madison, Temple University, Arizona State University, Gonzaga University, the University of Arizona, the University of Montana, Loyola College, San Jose State University, Humboldt State University, San Diego State University, Rice University, the University of Nevada-Reno, Nanyang Technological University, the University of British Columbia and Baylor University. We’ve also hosted students from Japan, the United Kingdom, Puerto Rico, Thailand and Trinidad.

Most of our students are journalism or communications majors but those majoring in other subjects are welcome as well. Non-journalism majors should have a strong interest in reporting and some experience working for a college or professional publication. The program is open to English-speaking students from around the world.


Istanbul Faculty

Istanbul Faculty

Our faculty come from leading universities and news organizations. 

Program Director

Mary D’Ambrosio, the founding editor of Big World Magazine, is an assistant professor of journalism at Central Connecticut State University. She previously taught at New York University and Columbia University. A writer specializing in international issues, she has reported from the U.K., Turkey, Italy and Latin America. She was an editor at Global Finance magazine in New York, a reporter for the Associated Press in Venezuela and a correspondent and book reviewer for the San Francisco Chronicle. Her work has also appeared in Islands, Working Woman, Newsday and the Miami Herald. She holds a B.S. in magazine journalism from Syracuse University, and an M.Sc. in economic history from the London School of Economics. She edited ieiMedia’s Urbino Now magazine in 2010 and has directed the Istanbul program since 2011.

International Reporting Faculty

Steven D. Anderson is a professor of the James Madison University School of Media Arts & Design. He is also a former environmental reporter at KCNC-TV in Denver. His reporting often involved in-depth examination of local and regional environmental issues and an explanation of the science behind them. He also worked as a news photographer, weathercaster and news reporter at stations in Fresno, California and Fargo, North Dakota.

Suzy Hansen (Reporting) is a freelance writer who has lived in Istanbul for four years. She has written for The Atlantic, The New Republic, Bloomberg Businessweek, GQ, the New York Times, and many other publications. In 2007, she was the recipient of an Institute of Current World Affairs writing fellowship. Before moving to Istanbul, she was an editor at the New York Observer and Salon.

Venise Wagner (Reporting) is an associate professor of journalism at San Francisco State University. She spent 12 years as a reporter for various California dailies, including the Hearst-owned San Francisco Examiner and San Francisco Chronicle. While at the Examiner she covered education and issues in the Bay Area’s various black communities. She was also a religion and ethics reporter for the Orange County Register and The Modesto Bee. Her work has also been published in Parade, Mother Jones, and Hope magazines. At San Francisco State she developed a curriculum that focuses on marginalized communities and structural inequities. She is currently co-authoring a book that offers journalists reporting tools and strategies to improve coverage of racial inequities. Wagner graduated with a bachelor’s degree in chemistry from the University of Illinois, Champaign-Urbana and a master’s in Latin American studies from the Monterey Institute of International Studies.

Jack Zibluk is professor of journalism at Southeast Missouri State University, where he teaches multi media journalism. Previously, he worked at Arkansas State University, where he was the primary teacher in the state’s only photojournalism degree program. His professional journalism work has appeared in the Chronicle of Higher Education, News Photographer magazine, The Arkansas Democrat-Gazette, the Memphis Commercial Appeal, and Rolling Stone.

View complete faculty biographies on our Istanbul Faculty Page



Students live in Bahçeşehir University dorms.

Students will live in attractive university dorms in single or twin rooms in Istanbul’s upscale Beşiktaş neighborhood, within easy reach of all program activities. Dorms are equipped with cooking facilities, high-speed Internet, TVs, dishwashers and washing machines, and are protected by 24-hour security. There’s a campus meal service, and many inexpensive cafes, restaurants and shops nearby.


Students are expected to bring a laptop computer, and at least a consumer-quality digital camera. ieiMedia will provide access to several shared Canon Rebel digital SLRs, which function as both still and video cameras; to Kodak zi8 video cameras; and to shared microphones.

Turkish Instruction

Students will receive daily instruction in conversational Turkish. Classes cover the basics of meeting and greeting, interviewing, ordering food, shopping, counting, directions and grammar, and provide some insight into Turkey’s culture and way of life.


Bahçeşehir University students will act as your interpreters. Students say meeting and working with their Turkish colleagues is one of the most rewarding experiences of the program.

Program Cost

The cost is $4,995 plus airfare. The price includes elegant welcome and goodbye dinners, housing, instruction, basic travel insurance, and special cultural programs and activities. It also includes the web magazine.

Financial Aid

Be sure to check with your school’s financial aid office to see if assistance is available, and, if you are a Pell Grant recipient, to apply for a U.S. State Department-sponsored Gilman Scholarship, which provides awards of up to $8,000 for study abroad. Turkish is one of the state department’s “critical needs” languages, and several Istanbul Project students have received full state department scholarships. The Turkish Coalition of America also offers scholarship awards. Here’s a summary of financial aid options.

Application Process

Students must fill out the online application and include contact information for two references (academic and/or professional) using the “Apply Now” link below. A $500 deposit is required with the application, but will be returned if a student is not accepted into the program. The application deadline was March 1, 2015, however some space is still available. Students should apply as early as possible since admission is on a rolling basis. (Programs with available space will accept applications until March 30).

More Information

More questions? Please contact Program Director Prof. Mary D’Ambrosio, at, or 212-920-5625.

For more information, fill out our contact form.

Apply Now

ieiMedia Blog: Browse Topics

Subscribe to Latest Blog Posts
email iconBy e-mail | rss iconBy RSS feed

Get our Free e-Newsletter

Please enter your e-mail address below.

Our Students Get Great Gigs

Where do ieiMedia grads end up? Check our alumni news page.

Students Say...

Urbino has stretched my reporting and writing skills to a new level and taught me that getting the story is so much more than simply asking the right questions. It is about absorbing the details around me. In Urbino, I gained confidence in my writing and photography skills, but most importantly, I created memories and friendships that will last a lifetime.
by Leah De Graaf, Iowa State University, Urbino Project 2012