By Muhammet İkbal Arslan
International students who receive scholarships to pursue their education in Turkey shared their experiences on studying in the country.
The Turks Abroad and Related Communities (YTB) provides scholarships to international students every year.
Given to the most qualified students, the scholarships are financed by the Turkish government.
The scholarship aims to cement cooperation between countries and promote a mutual understanding between people.
The students talked about their studies and social lives, hailing student life in the country.
Sabbir Hasan from Bangladesh who studies International Security at the Police Academy said that he fulfilled his dreams with the scholarship when he started his studies in Turkey in 2015.
Stating that the scholarship differs from other international scholarship programs, Hasan said it gives many opportunities to students such as networking and traveling across Turkey.
Amanda Rewerts from the U.S who studies political science and public administration at Ankara University said despite the challenges she faced because of the different language she learned Turkish.
"The scholarship opportunity is very good. I can say that there's no scholarship like this in the U.S. I feel very lucky,” she said.
Rewerts, who arrived in Turkey in November 2015, said she enjoys the company of her Turkish friends with whom she goes to grab a coffee or shopping, stating that she loves Turkish coffee.
“I went to the village of some of my friends and I loved every part of Turkey, “ she said, stating that she also went to northeastern Trabzon province.
Muhammed Ranjit from Mozambique who studies theology at Ankara University said YTB takes care of the international students not only financially but also morally.
"YTB is like a family,” he added.
"Turkey has become my second home and my country," he said, adding he came to Turkey in 2012.
Ranjit said he never witnessed racism and discrimination in Turkey, but he had difficulties learning Turkish in the beginning.
- International students chose Turkey in 2018
About 135,000 students applied for the Turkey Scholarships in 2018. There are a total of 17,500 scholarship students from 160 countries in Turkey who currently benefit from this program.
Turkey launched the program in 1992 and YTB has been coordinating it since 2012.
Thanks to this scholarship program, many international students serve their own countries after completing their education in Turkey and form friendly ties between their countries and Turkey.
Every year Turkey awards scholarships to an average of 7,000 students.
After the application process, students are invited to interview in nearly 100 locations worldwide.
Candidates who are successful in interviews, which are conducted by scholars and YTB experts, come to Turkey and take Turkish classes in their first year.
The scholarships include accommodation, food, stipends, as well as insurance and flights to Turkey and back home.