Fatma Sara Kara, a student of English language and literature at Ataturk University, participated in a five-week youth exchange program called Study of the U.S Institute for Student Leaders program on Social Entrepreneurship in 2012.
During the first five weeks of the program, Ms. Kara had an opportunity to increase her knowledge about social entrepreneurship by taking some classes such as micro finance, project management, leadership, cross-cultural communication. Besides taking classes, she volunteered for some community service activities. For example, she packaged food for poor families, cooked meals for homeless people, painted school walls and fixed furniture with students.
In the last week of the program, Ms. Kara travelled to New York, Boston, Philadelphia and Washington D.C. She visited some touristic, cultural and historic places in those metropolises. Empire State Building, Ellis Island, Harvard University, Rhode Island and Independence Hall are just a few examples to come to her mind.
Ms. Kara said of her U.S. exchange experience in brief: “In total, there were sixty participants, twenty of whom were from Turkey. I was really lucky, because I was one of them.
One of the things struck me in the U.S. was volunteerism. Upon my return to Turkey, I established a volunteers club for students at my university. The first project of the club was to have the paintings made by hearing-impaired students printed on t-shirts and to sell them to provide an income to meet their basic needs.
… I increased my knowledge about social entrepreneurship, met a lot of people and made many friends while I was in the U.S. Now, I see the world with different eyes. I feel more self-confident in speaking English and interacting with foreigners. For these reasons, I am saying: If you are a university student with good grades and have strong leadership skills, this program is definitely for you. Do not miss this great opportunity! See America with your own eyes. Do not forget! The dateline for applications is Wednesday, December 31.”
Please click on the link for more information: Study of the U.S. Institute for Student Leaders