-Top UDEF official Visits Liberia
Traveling the world in a moment became a reality for scores of Liberian students who converged over the weekend in the auditorium of the African Methodist Episcopal University in Monrovia where they were provided basic information about education opportunities in Turkey.
The a ceremony, which commemorated the 11th International Students Day, celebrates the diversity and cultural identity of international students studying in Turkey and the Liberian students could have found themselves in that country after being lectured about the educational system and culture of the Turkish people.
The day is also celebrated annually by beneficiaries of Turkish scholarships in their various countries.
However, this was the first of its kind in Liberia as the Liberian-Turkish Alumni Association, led by its president; F. Momolu Dorley urged the gathering, many of them college students and youth leaders, to take advantage of the many academic opportunities that are being provided by the Turkish government.
Also gracing the occasion was Yunus Tatli, a representative of the International Students Association in Turkey.
Dorley said that Turkey is gradually becoming an educational hub with recent developments in educational opportunities for international students, and that country’s Federation of International Student Associations, known as UDEF, is doing everything possible to keep them safe and comfortable during their period of studies.
He disclosed that UDEF supports to foreign students include teaching the Turkish language, counseling, arranging accommodations, and the provision of health services. He also spoke about the cultural, religious and social lives of the Turkish people are how foreign students can gradually acquaint themselves with these.
“Turkey has a rich culture and its educational system is magnificent. We are indeed grateful to have had the opportunity to study there. You too can obtain similar opportunities and make maximum use of them. Turkey is indeed a place to be,” Dorley told students.
“UDEF’s main aim is making students feel at home in Turkey,” he added. Upon highlighting the activities of the federation, Dorley further disclosed that the group has 56 offices in 48 provinces across Turkey.
International Students Day not only gets people acquainted with cultures that may be different from theirs, but also allows for international students to get involved with their own cultures while away from home.
Speaking though an interpreter, Mr. Tatli, who was also the guest of honor, said he was glad to be in Liberia and meeting the alumni was heartwarming.
Explaining that Turkey’s education system has a global standard, Tatli told the gathering that international students can easily come to Turkey and get admitted to Turkish universities.
The Turkish government provides fully-funded scholarships. Students can apply there. Students can come to study with self-financing or even only to learn the Turkish language.
Another member of the alumni association, Emmanuel Togba, drilled the students through the process of obtaining a Turkish education and major fields and courses on offer. He also spoke of the requirements and taught the students the strategies to follow in their applications if they want to be successful.
Meanwhile, UDEF was founded on Dec. 14, 2012, by 11 associations dealing with students across Turkey and currently operates through 56 offices in Turkey and more than a dozen abroad.
Turkey currently hosts around 120,000 university students from more than 150 countries, compared to 2004, when there were only 10,000 international students studying in Turkey.
There are predictions that the number of foreign students could easily increase to 300,000 by the end of 2023. There are also calls for government to provide more opportunities to foreign students, underlining the importance of establishing a fully authorized institution to deal with all international students.