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.
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.