Alanya: McGhee's Gift
Since 1989, the McGhee Center for Eastern Mediterranean Studies in Alanya, Turkey, in conjunction with Koc University in Istanbul, has been providing select undergraduates with the chance to spend a semester in Turkey immersed in the study of Turkish language and culture as well as the history of civilization in Anatolia and the Eastern Mediterranean. The Alanya program was founded when former US Ambassador to Turkey and Germany George McGhee donated his home, an Ottoman-era mansion within the city's historical district, to Georgetown University.
In addition to their interdisciplinary studies, students have the opportunity to travel extensively in Turkey over the course of the semester. In 2007, a community-based learning option was added to the program, allowing students to earn an extra unit of credit upon completion of a service project in a local school or environmental organization.
Permanent faculty at the McGhee Center include SFS Associate Professor Scott Redford, who specializes in the history of art and architecture in the Seljuk dynasty and late medieval Anatolia, and academic director Dr. Kathryn Ebel, whose research focuses on the cultural and historical geography of the Ottoman Empire as well as modern Turkey.
Over 200 students from around the world have participated in the McGhee Center program since its inception. In 2007 it was selected as a U.S. State Department/CAORC Critical Language Summer Institute site for Intensive Turkish.