Summer study in Istanbul: 2016 edition

Koç University offers language programmes and courses on the urban environment

By Emma Harper | March 20, 2016

Once summer rolls around, the make-up of Istanbul’s population shifts ever so slightly. While many residents decamp to summer houses and small villages to escape the heat and humidity, the city receives an influx of (mainly foreign) students who enrol in the various summer courses on offer.

This year Koç University is organising four courses that will be of interest to Cornucopia readers. The first is its Ottoman Summer School, which is in its second year (not to be confused with the long-running Intensive Ottoman and Turkish Summer School in Cunda). Taking place at the Research Centre for Anatolian Civilisations (RCAC) in Beyoğlu, the programme will run from July 11 to August 19. Instruction will concentrate on the skills of reading and understanding a variety of Ottoman texts. Some knowledge of Ottoman is required, and classes will be divided into two levels: intermediate and advanced.

Going even further back in history, Koç is organising a new intensive summer programme on the ancient languages of Anatolia from August 15 to September 4. Also held at the RCAC, the course provides graduate students (and advanced undergrads) with a comprehensive introduction to the Hittite and Akkadian languages, and the cuneiform script in which they were recorded. Instruction in these subjects can be difficult to come by, so we image this course will be popular with students whose work requires knowledge of Hittite and Akkadian.

Finally, there are two programmes focusing on the city of Istanbul. ‘Istanbul Through the Ages’, an innovative five-week summer course open to graduate students of history, art history, archaeology and urbanism, will be held at the RCAC from July 11 to August 19. Beginning with the Neolithic Age and ending in the 21st century, students will learn how the city worked and how monuments were integrated into its fabric.

The other Istanbul-centred programme is ‘Urban Political Ecology on the Road’, a three-week summer course on the relationship between the contemporary city and its natural resources. This subject is especially pertinent to the current situation in Istanbul, where the threat of development constantly looms over the city’s green spaces and waterways. As a part of the ‘on the road’ concept, the class will adopt a hands-on approach to the city, with a series of guided fieldworks. Not a graduate student? Don't worry: the programme is open to graduate students and young professionals alike. The course runs from July 11 to 29 and will be held at the main campus of Koç University in Sarıyer.

Applications for all four programmes (as well as the Intensive Ottoman and Turkish Summer School in Cunda) are due on Saturday, April 30 (the deadline, which was previously April 15, has been extended). For more information on curriculum, application requirements and programme fees, please visit the individual course listings shown below.

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