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On the Green

This past summer, I spent a week in Istanbul with some of my high school friends. We enjoyed visiting museums, going on river cruises, and trying local cuisines, all of which I made sure to capture on my social media. Although I didn't think much when I posted them, they would eventually lead me to some of my best friends at Dartmouth!

I went to Turkey in June, and college seemed far away at the time. I was focused on having fun with my friends, making the most of my summer, and taking in all that Turkey had to offer. Therefore, I was surprised when I received a Snapchat from an incoming Dartmouth freshman, who asked me if I was in Turkey. When I said I was, he introduced himself as Egemen, and asked if I would be interested in meeting up. I jumped at the opportunity to make a new friend and learn more about Turkish culture, so we made plans to have dinner.

I met up with Egemen and another Turkish freshman, Umut, in Istanbul. As we walked around the city, introducing ourselves and talking about our lives, I began to feel more and more comfortable with the strangers I had just met. We went to cool spots I would have never otherwise visited, including a restaurant that was famous for its İskenderkebab, a Turkish delicacy I still crave to this day.

İskender kebab
The delicious İskender kebab I had in Instanbul!

Egemen and Umut gave me recommendations for places to visit, Turkish songs to listen to, and through our conversations, we connected over our similarities and differences. Meeting these incredibly kind and interesting people gave me the confidence that I had made the right decision in choosing Dartmouth, and I went home feeling even more excited about all that awaited me in the fall.

Jumping forward to September, I see Egemen and Umut almost every day at Dartmouth. We caught up on everything we did over the summer during International Student Pre-Orientation and have continued to grow closer and learn more about each other since then. Whether we're studying together, listening to live music on the Green, or grabbing a meal, I can always count on having a good time with Egemen and Umut.

Although Dartmouth is physically in Hanover, it has already made impacts on my life from around the world, with Turkey being only one example. Because of Dartmouth, I was introduced to İskender, fun and beautiful places around Istanbul, and most importantly, two friends I can look forward to experiencing Dartmouth with!

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