Istanbul versus Berlin
April 26, 2014 10:26 PM Subscribe
I've been accepted to two summer programs in two great cities! I am indecisive and have only a few more days to decide which travel grant to accept.
I've been awarded funding from both programs. My out-of-pocket expense will be slightly higher for Istanbul, but overall, expenses will remain minor so they shouldn't be the deciding factor. Both programs occur at the same time, so going to one after the other is not an option. Both programs will have participants from all around the world, although the Istanbul program draws more heavily from an American student population, and I believe the Berlin program draws more from a European population. My impression is that the programs are overall similarly selective, and besides, there is not much pressure as to what I, as a first-year medical student, ultimately do in my first summer.
Career-wise: both programs are related to medicine. The program in Berlin touches on topics related to my current area of medical research, which could be exciting and a good way for me to piece together some additional information. The program in Istanbul reviews topics related to my undergraduate major, which I really, really love and have missed thinking/learning about since medical school has started. It could be refreshing.
I'd like to do one week of traveling on my own after the program is over.
I've been to Berlin, have family there, and have worked in Germany/German-speaking countries long enough so that Berlin won't be completely new to me. I really like Berlin. It has been a while since I've been there, and it'd be nice to hear German again, and to visit some of my family and friends in Western Europe.
I've never been to Istanbul and have heard amazing things about it! I don't think it's a place I'd go on my own in the future, so I sort of see the program as a unique opportunity to see Istanbul while learning cool things about science. In other words, there are relatively more "science"/"medical" opportunities open to US students in Germany than there are in Turkey. I know that I could easily and comfortably visit Germany/Berlin in the future on my own, whereas I don't think that's the case for Istanbul. I was thinking that I could visit one or two other cities that I've never been to (any suggestions? I was thinking of Belgrade and Split) if I picked Istanbul.
I'm very happy to have these great options! I'm just bad at saying no to funded travel opportunities and wish I could do both. Is there anything that I'm not considering that I should be? Does one seem like a better option than the other, and if so, why?