Mesa Community College’s (MCC) International Education (IE) department has reached an agreement with Karabuk University near Istanbul, Turkey to establish an exchange program, giving students international education opportunities.
The agreement with Karabuk University will allow MCC students to participate in an exchange program historically exclusive to faculty and staff. Directors at MCC and Karabuk hope to foster collaboration on research projects and academic studies and promote student and faculty exchanges.
Aziz Alhadi, Director of International Education and Student Services at MCC, worked with the Head of International Cooperation at Karabuk University Oya Onalan in achieving the agreement.
Alhadi said community colleges across Maricopa County are looking outward for student success, and globalization is something colleges must provide for student success.
“We need to establish our own pipelines, and we need to promote globalization on campus… It’s a necessity for community colleges if they’re to remain relevant,” Alhadi said.
One of Alhadi’s goals is to give MCC students the opportunity to learn and compete in the global job market.
“It’s very exciting. Plus, it’s the right thing to do. The continued relevance and the progressive nature will increase the profile of the colleges,” said Alhadi.
Barry F. Vaughan, the director of MCC’s Ireland study abroad program, said, “It looks great on a transcript and resume that you studied abroad, and it would be a real benefit if you were going to graduate school, or if you’re going directly into the workplace.”
According to Vaughan, more Americans are wanting to study abroad because it makes them more competitive in a global economy.
Most international MCC programs are study abroad programs, where students can study in countries like England, Ireland, and France. In addition to Japan, Mexico and Costa Rica. Distinctly, in the new exchange program, someone from Mesa would study in Turkey, and a Turkish citizen would study in Mesa.
According to Alhadi, the exchange program would be the first offered to students in more than a decade. They chose Karabuk because of the university’s geographical location as a bridge between the east and west.