Turkey / Greece
|Arrive:||New York, NY|
|Depart:||New York, NY|
|Grade||9th, 10th, 11th & 12th|
(Students Grouped According to Age)
*Airfare for group flight from New York additional
Turkey & Greece 2015 | Video By John Ray
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Unfortunately, due to the current political situation in Turkey and the surrounding area we have decided to cancel our 2017 Turkey Greece program. Our thoughts and blessing go out to our wonderful partners in Turkey and Greece! We look forward to running the unique program in the near future.
- Embrace Turkish Culture during a Village Homestay & Service
- Participate in a Turtle Conservation Project with a University
- Explore Cappadocia’s Fairy Tale Landscape and Cave Dwellings
- Sail the Majestic Turquoise Coast on a Traditional Gulet
- Discover the Wonder of Ancient Athens
- Visit Istanbul’s Blue Mosque, Spice Bazaar and Intricate Palaces
- Experience the Charm of the Greek Island of Rhodes
- 35 Hours of Community Service
Located along the idyllic ‘Turquoise Coast’ of Turkey, we meet the perfection of the Mediterranean Sea and the fragile nesting site of the soft-shelled Nile turtles and Caretta caretta turtles. As a direct result of continued construction and development, traffic, pollution, and changing ecosystems, these giant creatures are facing a decline in population. We combine our efforts with researchers and several expert biologist of Mersin University to face this problem hands-on. Working both in a turtle hospital and along the beaches, we see our hard work rewarded as the hatching turtles complete a safe journey to the sea.
Embark on an inspiring journey as you traverse the landscape of two diverse ancient cultures on the Turkey & Greece summer service program. Join hands with a Turkish community working with children and exchanging stories and laughter. Support biodiversity on the fragile Mediterranean coastline while assisting a conservation project to save Turkey’s Loggerhead and Green Sea Turtles. Experience the warmth of Turkish culture as you immerse yourself in a village homestay. Marvel at Istanbul’s famous mosques adorned with intricate minarets as you wander through these vibrant streets. Savor Turkish delights while strolling through bustling bazaars full of color and local flavor. Enter the fairy-tale landscape of Cappadocia, winding through valleys of cascading cliffs and mysterious underground dwellings. Learn age-old pottery techniques and paddle down the picturesque Red River. Sail the Aegean Sea from Turkey to the Greek Island of Rhodes as you explore small villages along the way. Step back in time in the ancient city of Athens filled with endless archaeological wonders. Return home with a sense of accomplishment having truly embraced these enchanting Mediterranean cultures.
Our Turkey & Greece summer service program begins in New York where our group meets and flies together to the fascinating city of Istanbul. We retrace the steps of Byzantine and Ottoman emperors as we explore the winding streets of the historic Sultanahmet District. Here we stroll through vibrant bazaars, take in the wonder of cascading domes and intricate minarets of the Blue Mosque and Hagia Sophia, and unveil the secrets of Topkapi Palace.
Village Homestay & Community Service
Traveling to a rural village outside Cappadocia, we begin a meaningful service project and immerse ourselves in the welcoming Turkish culture during a homestay (groups of 3). During the day, we work together on various projects such as painting a school and/or bridge, interacting with local children, working in garden/vineyards, teaching English and leading activities. At night, we stay with our host families and learn about their traditional way of life.
We enter the fairytale landscape of Cappadocia where we are surrounded by honeycomb cliffs, bizarre rock formations, dreamlike valleys, underground cities and cave dwellings. We explore this mesmerizing landscape that takes us out of the ordinary and into an experience that won’t be forgotten. Embracing all of Cappadocia, we also kayak down the picturesque Red River and learn traditional pottery techniques in the charming town of Avanos.
Sea Turtle Service
We make our way to the stunning ‘Turquoise Coast’ of Turkey where pristine beaches meet fragile ecosystems. Here we begin our service project at one of the most important nesting sites in Turkey, home of the soft-shelled Nile turtles and Caretta caretta turtles. In addition, we spend valuable time rehabilitating injured sea turtles, educating visitors on the importance of minimizing beach impact to prevent natural habitat disruption, and closely monitoring hatching turtles at night guiding them through a safe journey to the ocean.
Greek Island Sailing
Working our way from Turkey to the mainland of Greece, we board our traditional gulet (wood-masted liveaboard sailboat) for two days of adventure. We take advantage of delightful summer sailing conditions and cruise alongside picturesque villages offering miles of golden beaches and stunning vistas. There are countless opportunities to swim or boat ashore to experience village culture and explore the hidden coves we pass along the way. Our final destination is the stunning Greek Island of Rhodes.
Our group concludes this inspiring journey in Athens, home to ancient history and modern Olympics. We stay just downhill from the famous Parthenon in the fascinating Plaka district of Athens. We step back in time visiting monumental sites such as the Acropolis and colossal Temple of Olympian Zeus. We spend the last night of our Turkey & Greece summer service program together with a final feast and closing celebration before heading back to the United States.
“The itinerary and trip were wonderful!”— Parents of Katelyn R. Downingtown, PA
“Our daughter had an absolutely amazing time. She went on her own and made wonderful friends. The group leaders were incredible. This trip will have a life long impact on her (in a good way) which is exactly what we wanted.”— Parents of Rachael G. Philadelphia, PA
“Louise had a fabulous experience! She loved the homestay (after worrying about it), the turtle restoration project, the sailing, Athens, and of course her leaders! She felt she got along with everyone and came back more confident with herself and her ability to try new adventures. Thanks for all you did to make the trip a success!”— Parent of Louise S. – Evanston, IL
Group Journal Excerpts
Below you will find several Group Journal excerpts, written by ARCC students during their summer program with ARCC:
2 countries, three continents, 4 days!
Today was a very exciting day! Since we are staying on the Europe side of Turkey we took a tram to the Asia side! After some window shopping we picked up fruit smoothies and yogurt for lunch. Next we walked across the bridge separating the two sides of Turkey, so now we can say we…
Local communities really appreciate the service work that we do!
As our group worked together outside, we were thanked even by locals passing by with a mix of car honks and waves! They greatly appreciated our efforts to make a beautiful area in front of the hospital. After a savory watermelon brake and a little more work, our service was complete. After working for hours…
New Chapter, more culture.
The scorching sun woke us up on this bittersweet Sunday morning. We cherished our last moments with our host families as we said good-bye. Though we were upset to leave, we were excited to embark on the next part of our journey. We spent a majority of the day embracing a challenging, yet rewarding hike…
Turkish and Greek culture
I will take away not only Turkish and Greek culture, but a different perspective of the world and how people outside the US live their lives. It was amazing to be able to be immersed in new cultures and I will always hold onto these experiences in the future.
We witnessed a miracle of sorts, as we watched multiple turtles emerge from their ‘nest’ that was buried deep in the sand! We placed shields around the turtles nests to create a clear and less treacherous journey for the turtles as they made their way to the sea!
What is the weather like in Turkey and Greece?
The weather in Turkey and Greece can get very hot in the summer (80’s – upper 90’s) and is typically sunny and humid. When sailing in Greece, the weather is typically in the mid 80s. Some days you will go to bed with only a simple cover as it is often warm enough to sleep without your sleeping bag.
What are the service projects like?
Students will experience a variety of service projects that take place during the Turkey portion of this program. Our group works hand in hand with a traditional Turkish community painting a school or bridge, assisting in the squash fields, teaching English and leading activities with the younger children. Students will experience traditional Turkish culture as they stay will a family for two nights in groups of three. We also partner with a National University, professors and biologist at a sea turtle center/hospital preserving turtle habitats, night-monitoring along the beach to protect nesting sites, and help hatching turtles make their way to the ocean.
What kind of health precautions should I take before traveling to Turkey and Greece?
ARCC recommends that you take some health precautions before your program to Turkey and Greece, which are the same as recommended by the Centers for Disease Control (CDC). When you enroll in the program, you will receive more complete information on pertinent travel vaccinations and immunizations. Please also refer to the Traveler’s Health section of the CDC website for Turkey and Greece. Our leaders carry a full first aid kit, and are all certified Wilderness First Responders (WFR).
Where do we sleep?
During our adventure we stay in a variety of different accommodations. The most common is in hostels or guesthouses where you will have a room with group members, but will most likely be sharing a bathroom with other guests on your floor.
Other accommodations are on a traditional gulet (sailboat), where each student will have access to a berth (though many groups opt to sleep on deck as the nights are quite warm) and homestay (in groups of 3 for two nights).You will almost always have access to showers, running water and flush toilets.
What is the transportation like once we are in Turkey and Greece?
We use a variety of transportation on the Turkey/Greece: Mediterranean Initiative program. We travel by plane, metro, private coach, ferry and local buses. Keep in mind we are moving quite a bit and recommend you strictly stick to our packing list
What is the food like?
The food in Turkey and Greece is Mediterranean with a variety of breads, fresh fruits and vegetables, meat, olive oils and whole grains. Vegetarians and medical dietary requirements (i.e. allergies) are catered for. It does help if we are informed of this prior to the departure date.
How much spending money should I bring?
We suggest you bring approximately $75 per week on your trip. This is for souvenirs, laundry and other incidentals. ARCC pays for all meals, lodging, transportation and activities. There is time to shop for souvenirs in Istanbul and Athens.
We recommend you travel with an ATM card. Travelers checks are not widely available in Europe, Cirrus and Visa/Plus being the major international money networks. Credit cards are also widely accepted, but be aware that you will need a four digit PIN to withdraw cash.
As with any international travel, we strongly recommend talking to your bank about its
Do I need a passport?
Yes, you will need a valid passport for travel to Europe. Please make sure the passport expiration date is at least six months after your date of travel.
What is the packing list for this program?
Each program has a specific packing list that has been designed to fit the trip’s activities, length, climate and cultural differences. Please click here to view the Turkey/Greece: Mediterranean Initiative packing List.
Do I need a visa?
Students are responsible for a $20 USD visa fee when entering Turkey, this can be paid in cash or with a credit card. If you are a non U.S. citizen, please contact ARCC immediately at 415-332-5075 so we can review entry requirements for your country of residence.
What is the time difference between the United States, Turkey and Greece?
Turkey and Greece are on Eastern European Time (GMT plus two hours). They also observe Daylight Savings Time from April – October. In Turkey and Greece you will be seven hours ahead of New York, eight hours ahead of Chicago, and ten hours ahead of San Francisco.
What type of luggage do I need for this program?
On this program we recommend either a backpack, travel backpack or large wheeled duffle bag with straps (4,500-5,000 cubic inches). We ask that you do not bring a suitcase as they can become very hard to manage with our frequent travel, cobblestone and unpaved streets and walking up stairs.
What kind of goods and supplies can we bring to donate for the people we meet (optional)?
Although completely optional, if you want to bring smaller items for our homestay families we recommend: photos or mementos to share from home, small games, books, stickers and/or art supplies.
What type of boats are used for sailing?
Our boats traditional gulets and are privately chartered with a Captain. Each group will have two boats and they typically range in size between 44 – 55 feet and comfortably sleep 8-10 on each boat in the cabins. Most students choose to sleep on deck to take in the beautiful weather and sea breezes.