Critical Language Scholarship Program | Tucker Boyce
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Tucker Boyce

Tuck­er Boyce is an alum­nus of the 2017 CLS Turk­ish pro­gram in Baku, Azer­bai­jan. Tuck­er also stud­ied Turk­ish through the CLS Pro­gram in Ankara, Turkey in 2015. He grad­u­at­ed in 2017 with a bachelor’s degree in eco­nom­ics from the Uni­ver­si­ty of Geor­gia and worked on a post-bach­e­lor’s appoint­ment in inter­na­tion­al threat reduc­tion at Los Alam­os Nation­al Lab­o­ra­to­ry in New Mex­i­co. He will begin grad­u­ate school at the Uni­ver­si­ty of Mary­land this fall. In the future, he hopes to work in diplo­ma­cy and would like to focus on inter­na­tion­al security.

Cen­ter of Glob­al Issues
Turkey is at the cen­ter of a num­ber of intrigu­ing cul­tur­al, polit­i­cal, and eco­nom­ic issues. I am fas­ci­nat­ed by the vari­ety of these top­ics and how they inter­act with one anoth­er, from Turkey’s rela­tion­ship with the Euro­pean Union and NATO to its domes­tic his­to­ry of mil­i­tary coup attempts. The Turk­ish lan­guage is a great gate­way to study Turk­ish pol­i­tics and learn about the top­ics cov­ered on the news from anoth­er per­spec­tive. This is par­tic­u­lar­ly true because pol­i­tics is often a pop­u­lar top­ic of con­ver­sa­tion in Turkey, among all age groups.

Ramadan in Turkey
In 2015, dur­ing my first CLS pro­gram, I stud­ied in Ankara dur­ing Ramadan (Ramazan in Turk­ish). On a night late in the month, one of our teach­ers invit­ed our small class over for Iftar, the meal that Mus­lims eat to break their fast. My class­mates and I enjoyed prac­tic­ing our Turk­ish, eat­ing tra­di­tion­al dish­es, and spend­ing time with our teach­ers for this impor­tant occa­sion. In Turkey, some peo­ple are very strict about fast­ing dur­ing Ramadan, while oth­ers eat freely at restau­rants dur­ing the day. Learn­ing about the vari­ety of ways Turks cel­e­brate the hol­i­day was a great experience.

Incom­pa­ra­ble Expe­ri­ence
I would def­i­nite­ly rec­om­mend CLS for any­one who is seri­ous about study­ing lan­guage. Although there are a few U.S. uni­ver­si­ty pro­grams offer­ing a full slate of Turk­ish cours­es, noth­ing com­pares to the rig­or­ous and immer­sive nature of CLS. The pro­gram pro­vides stu­dents with a chance to work with local lan­guage part­ners and fel­low Amer­i­cans inter­est­ed in study­ing the lan­guage, and my Turk­ish would not be at the advanced lev­el today with­out my expe­ri­ences with CLS.

Shar­ing is Car­ing
I attend­ed the Uni­ver­si­ty of Geor­gia, which is about nine­ty min­utes out­side of Atlanta. Although many of my col­lege class­mates were inter­est­ed in inter­na­tion­al top­ics, almost none of them knew about Turkey and the sur­round­ing region. I enjoyed talk­ing about the diver­si­ty of Turk­ish polit­i­cal opin­ions and Turk­ish cul­ture with my peers, and I also worked with oth­ers on our cam­pus to dis­cuss Turkey and the Mid­dle East writ large. Dur­ing my senior year, I helped orga­nize an on-cam­pus dis­cus­sion cov­er­ing Mus­lim iden­ti­ty top­ics with pro­fes­sors and com­mu­ni­ty leaders.

Alumni Profiles

Tucker Boyce
Tucker Boyce
Turkish 2017
Baku, Azerbaijan

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Posted Date

July 23, 2018