Students with GSU's Dr. Cavusgil and Ms. Huntley in Istanbul

Note:See related stories from the trip on

Turkey was the destination of a Georgia State University summer study-abroad trip designed to give budding journalists a taste of global business reporting (and a lot of Turkish cuisine).

Ten students, primarily from Georgia State, but also from Clark Atlanta UniversityFort Valley State University and Carnegie Mellon University, were taking part in a Center for International Business Education & Research (CIBER) program on “Media, Journalism, and Business in a Global World.”

GSU-CIBER and GSU’s Department of Communication, in collaboration with CNN and the GlobalAtlanta news service, developed this program to provide aspiring journalists with “on the ground” experience in both domestic and Turkish media and communications.

The course enabled the students to witness the dynamics of media practices and gave them a chance to analyze journalism in the U.S. as well as Turkey.

The May 14-24 visit to Istanbul dovetailed with two weeks of preparatory classes in Atlanta on modern reporting in an international context. The students reviewed case studies, met with guest speakers from the Atlanta business community, toured CNN Atlanta and attended lectures on Turkey’s economy, culture and civil society.

These prior studies and emphasis on cross-cultural communication came to life when the group was in Istanbul.

It was during these 10 intensive days that the group made site visits to global firms (Coca-Cola, Co., CNN TÜRK, Turkcell, the consultancy Bersay, the Bloomberg newswire) and held panel discussions with Turkish experts and high-level executives including representatives of United Parcel Service, Inc.

They also met with Turkish officials from the tourism sector, retail industry, local media groups and several universities. The students engaged with these panelists in intimate roundtable talks, allowing a chance for critical discussion on the challenges facing modern media.

On May 14, the first day in Istanbul, the group found itself enveloped by the city’s largest, peaceful youth movement of the year, which was held in protest of Internet regulations. Consequently, the conversations throughout the program gravitated to focus on government imposed censorship practices, self-censorship among journalists and the influence of conglomerate parent corporations in Turkey.

The students also were immersed in many aspects of life in Istanbul, everything from tastes of delicious Turkish dolmas to waits in traffic thicker than that in Atlanta to celebrations of the city’s victorious futbol team.

The group benefited from the local insights and translations of five Turkish host students. These young hosts attended one of Istanbul’s leading schools, Marmara University, and joined in most of the activities.

The Georgia students received briefings from academics on Turkey’s rich and complex history, which complemented the group’s cruise on the Bosphorus, sightings of ancient Byzantine architecture, and tours of the Hagia Sophia, Blue Mosque, and underground Basilica Cistern water system.

They stayed in Istanbul’s thriving Taksim Square where the area’s energy represented the fast-paced and dynamic experience of GSU’s CIBER program in Turkey.

The students’ international business journalism course was developed by S. Tamer Cavusgil, Fuller E. Callaway professorial chair and executive director, Center for International Business Education at Georgia State’s J. Mack Robinson College of Business; Ilke Kardes visiting scholar at Georgia State’s CIBER; Shawn Powers assistant professor at Georgia State’s Department of Communication and Paula Huntley business manager, Georgia State’s Institute of International Business.

To view a related article on tourism in Turkey, go here; for a related article about UPS in Turkey, go here and for a related article about Coke in Turkey, go here.

For more information on CIBER at GSU’s Robinson College of Business, please visit

To visit GSU’s Turkey trip Facebook page, click here.

To see a GSU student’s updated blog on the experience, go to:

As managing editor of Global Atlanta, Trevor has spent 15+ years reporting on Atlanta’s ties with the world. An avid traveler, he has undertaken trips to 30+ countries to uncover stories on the perils...