The Department of Politics and International Relations, in collaboration with the Democratic Education Network, recently organised a five-day field trip to Turkey.

Students enrolled on the module Oil, Globalisation and Development in the Middle East and Central Asia, as well as the wider department, visited the country from 1–6 November.  

Twenty Politics and International Relations students joined academic staff and students from Kocaeli University for two days of a workshop on Engaging with Contemporary Issues in Turkey. This was followed by three days of cultural actives, including visits to printing factories and museums in Istanbul. 

The study trip was led by Dr Farhang Morady from the University of Westminster and assisted by Dr Ismail Siriner from Batman University in Turkey. The participants saw the experience as “fantastic”, both in terms of academic content and social and cultural interactions. This joint academic activity provided students with a rare opportunity to be taught by specialist staff in Turkey.

One student said: “Reading is one thing, but seeing, hearing and feeling is a completely different mode of learning and enhances our understanding of how these individuals live. The field trip to Turkey has made me look at the world through a different lens.”

According to Professor Dibyesh Anand, Head of Politics and International Relations, “the Department supports such study trips because they provide not only an international learning experience to our diverse body of students, but also contribute towards the development and maturity of these students.”

Students felt the trip deepened their understanding of one of the most dynamic regions in the world. A student said: “Overall, the trip was very impactful. Many of the students found the rare opportunity to bond with each other in ways London does not accommodate.”

Dr Farhang Morady said: “We are thankful to the Quintin Hogg Trust for supporting various field trips and enabling our students to have such great learning experiences. This is one of the many trips that are organised by the department under the aegis of the Democratic Education Network. We are committed to sustaining a globally engaged student community.”

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