Write: Mutlu Dursun Illustration: Necip Şahin
Today, in state and foundation universities in Turkey, various working programs allow students to both get prepared for professional life and earn some money.
Surely it would be no exaggeration to say that what a student expects from university in addition to an academic education is to develop oneself in social and cultural areas. Young people today want both to prepare for the future and to enter circles that suit them. The initial steps young people will take in university, which will allow them to be successful and active individuals in social life, will take toward this end are important. Creating the environment in which they will gain these skills is a responsibility that falls most of all on the shoulders of universities. Although this is indeed the case, students too have the responsibility to participate in all these activities and to undertake extra work that will nourish their education.
LEARNING FOR LIFE, NOT FOR SCHOOL
Today, in state and foundation universities in Turkey, various working programs that allow students both to prepare for professional life and to earn some money instead of experience. Thanks to these work/study or student staff programs, students enrolled in undergraduate and associate programs can—as they continue their educations uninterrupted—gain professional experience in a working environment within school and earn an income that will satisfy at least part of their needs. This first experience that students can write on their résumés will help them find jobs and adapt to them easily. Students thus take a first step toward learning for life, not just for school.
A DYNAMIC LEARNING PROCESS
Through this, in a dynamic learning process, students start from prep year, and until they graduate— addition to their academic development—they engage in educational activities relating to their interests, skills, inclinations, and career goals. University can thus make lives more colorful, more fun, and more enjoyable.
PRIORITY TO THOSE IN NEED
Aimed firstly for students in need to continue their educations, these programs help working students to finance their education and, as means permit, for students to gain experience relating to the major they study. Students participating in the program work in such departments as university libraries, Erasmus student exchange program offices, student affairs, computer/television/photography labs and studios, archives, gyms, promotion, and public relations. There are work-study programs in most universities today.
HOW TO APPLY
Every term, the required information about how to apply to such programs is made available on universities’ websites and bulletin boards. In some schools, there are offices directly involved in this task under the roof of the dean of students. Students can go to these offices and learn about the programs whenever they please.
MERVE İMAMOĞLU, INTERNATIONAL FINANCE SOPHOMORE (WRITING CENTER) I‘M GAINING EXPERIENCE
I learn as I teach. I started this job to gain experience. The pay and meal card given weren’t that important, to be frank. We don’t earn that much anyway. We help students who come here with their assignments. But one shouldn’t see this as a one-sided process—as I teach, I learn too. I improve my English. Furthermore, I learn about human relations and the working environment—this is a significant gain. Additionally, the work I do is important in terms of my goals for the future. For instance, I’m considering a graduate degree—to have such an experience on my résumé would present a better profile for applications.
SEVİLAY ALHAN PSYCHOLOGY SOPHOMORE (LIBRARY) I’M SUPPORTING MY FAMILY
We inform them on topics they are curious about
We inform and guide students who come to the library on topics they are curious about and interested in. Additionally, we are also responsible for organizing the books that are borrowed and returned. This job, which I started to make use of my free time, helps me to support my family too, if only a little. To me, this is quite important. Furthermore, by working in the library, I can closely follow newly released books in the field I am studying. It also gives me intense involvement with the many books and DVDs returned, and for me this is an enriching, nice thing.