Middle East Meets Mediterranean
You might imagine Turkey to be one of the more avoided, even forbidden destinations for student travel and studies, but the situation could not be more contrary. Bridging, as it does, the Middle East and the Mediterranean, Turkey offers not only a cacophony of environmental wonders, but it also provides an in-demand educational environment. Students visit Turkey for arts and culture, political science, religious studies, archaeology, and language studies, as well as the sciences.
The federal government is the foremost supporter of international studies in Turkey as well as those in other non-traditional and critical needs countries. The National Security Education Program, an invention of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, sponsors the David L. Boren Scholarships. Students view the Boren Scholarships as incredible opportunities to win generous scholarships, while the Feds see it as a chance to get some new blood into the needy defense system. Boren Scholarships are awarded en masse to undergraduate and graduate students who are willing to participate in international studies in such places as Turkey and other countries of interest to the Department of Defense. Eligible applicants must be engaging in a program that deeply immerses them in the common culture, including vernacular language studies. Scholarships may be as much as $20,000. In exchange for all this generosity, you must be willing to agree to provide your highly trained services after graduation with the Department of Homeland Security or the Department of Defense. It’s a one-for-one deal, so you’re not stuck with it for life, but these are great scholarships if you can qualify.
Another federal program, this one sponsored by the Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs, is the Benjamin A. Gilman International Scholarships. Undergraduate students from disadvantaged backgrounds are qualified, especially if they are pursuing non-traditional programs in countries other than typical Spain, France, Italy and Germany. Pell Grant recipients wishing they had the funding to trek off to studies abroad in Turkey may be surprised to qualify for up to $5,000 in Gilman Scholarships. The program aims to provide opportunities to over 700 students from disadvantaged backgrounds. A deeper goal is to diversify the field of global leaders by creating a more highly educated, multi-cultural work force. Besides financial need, applicants must be stellar scholars:
- The Critical Need Language Supplement may provide students studying Turkic languages with up to $3,000 more. Candidates must be engaging in studies that gain them experience with the common, or vernacular, language.
The Halide Edip Adivar Prize for Turkish Studies is given annually. Eligible applicants must be undergraduate students enrolled at any U.S. college or university whose goal is to pursue a first time study in Turkey. The program awards up to $1,000 to outstanding students. Candidates may be studying in any major, but must have experience with the Turkish language.
Rotary International is one of the largest providers of study abroad scholarships. Rotary Ambassadorial Scholarships are available to students pursuing humanitarian studies in Turkey. Rotary Scholars are held to the utmost standards, both academically and moral character. After return to the states, recipients of these generous awards must be willing to make a presentation on their experience to a local Rotary group.
The Eli Broad College of Business at Michigan State University offers the Bogazici University in Istanbul, Turkey program. Students are given the once in a lifetime chance to study international business in a Middle Eastern hub. Scholarships for this program are competitive and available under the Kellogg Foundation Scholarship. Awards are given to academically talented students especially those with a demonstrated financial need for travel monies. Up to $1,000 available.