November 3, 2021
Every summer, Tyler Wilson, freshman, visits his grandparents in Istanbul, Turkey. He said having the opportunity to visit them on a regular basis has allowed him to develop strong relationships with his family. Wilson spent his entire eighth grade year in Turkey because of online learning.
“[Due to the eight hour time difference], I would be up doing virtual school until around 11 p.m.,” Wilson said. “My day would be all before school, then I would go to bed right after I finished school at night. ”
Because Wilson visits each summer, he has been able to form strong friendships. “Turkey is very similar to [the U.S]. Most of the time I hang out with friends and just chill with them.” Wilson also met a lot of his friends on a summer soccer team in Istanbul which he plays on every year.
Being able to visit them has given me a certain level of comfort that not everyone has [with their grandparents].”
— Tyler Wilson
While he enjoys visiting Turkey, Wilson said the language barrier between the U.S. and Turkey can cause confusion. “When I first came back to the U.S., I [spoke] Turkish to people [by] accident. It was so weird — I was like, ‘why are they looking at me so weird?’’
Wilson plans to continue his annual visits again during summer 2022 and may also take advantage of flexible online schooling to spend an extended winter break in Turkey. He said there was no specific reason he started visiting his grandparents, but he’s glad he did.
“I get to build a bond with both of my grandparents, especially my grandfather and all the stories he tells. When I was born, my grandparents [took] care of me while my parents were at work. Being able to visit them has given me a certain level of comfort that not everyone has [with their grandparents].”