Turkish center is now ready for students

Leila Archer

Last spring, Kent State opened the Turkish American Cultural Center in Van Campen. The old residence hall was renovated to include two classrooms, a library and dorm rooms.

Nearly six months later, the Turkish American Cultural Center is ready for students.

Last weekend about 40 students from Bahcesehir University, a private university in Turkey, moved into nearby apartments. Project director Ediz Kaykayoglu said the Turkish students will be here until early July and will eventually live on campus.

“The semesters in Turkey start late,” Kaykayoglu said. “So the semesters are not the same semesters like here in the United States.

“We hope they will be open to Kent State, that they will be integrated into the Kent State campus culture,” he said.

Kaykayoglu said they will take classes here just like everyone else, with the addition of classes from their university back in Turkey.

“You must go to class and stay at full-time status,” Kristi Campbell, international student and scholar adviser, told the students at their orientation on Tuesday. “Even though you’re taking classes with your university, you are still a part of Kent State.”

Campbell’s job is to maintain the status of international students and keep up with current immigration issues. She also makes sure the students are going to their classes. She spoke with the students on Tuesday about the office of international affairs.

“We are the ones that will help you during your short stay here at Kent State,” she told the students.

The students are taking mostly English and American culture courses, Kaykayoglu said, adding that while the program is short-term, the students can come back and study here if they choose.

“Kent State and Bahcesehir have been having relations for over seven years.”

Because education is one way to improve relations with other countries, Kaykayoglu said having this program will provide good links.

“We like Kent,” he said. “It is actually one of the best places for education, and we like the university because it is a very, very well-known university in the world and also in Turkey.”

International Affairs reporter Leila Archer at [email protected].