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Seeking a UAE university for exchange with Turkish uni

 
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maenad1



Joined: 31 Oct 2009
Posts: 11

PostPosted: Thu Jul 26, 2012 12:02 am    Post subject: Seeking a UAE university for exchange with Turkish uni Reply with quote

I'm a teacher at Istanbul Technical University and am interested in setting up a small exchange with a UAE university class. Ideally it would work like this:

Sept - January - a dozen of my students (aged 18-20, IELTS level 4-5) and a dozen of yours do key-pal exchanges to practise their English.

February - your students come to Istanbul and stay in my students' homes for a week or two. (For the first year of the program, I'll make sure to set it up so that only students living with their families can do this. Respectability and all that!)
Then my students go to the UAE and stay with your lot for a week.

In the future I'd like to make this a bit bigger: ideally we can see the number of students grow and also arrange for both groups of students to attend a few classes at the other university.

Interested? Obviously you the teacher would come along to Istanbul, and I would go to the UAE with my students!

The students at ITU are about 70% male so if you work at an all-female or all-male university it would be easy to set things up.

This program is likely to work best - frankly - if your students are not too well-off. My students are attending a state university and their parents are teachers, bank tellers, middle-managers, etc. The students tend to be intelligent and hard-working but rather conservative and sheltered. There are exceptions of course!

It's very important that your students must be over the age of 18. I'm happy to coordinate an exchange like this but I don't want the headache of dealing with students who need legal guardians.

If you are possibly interested in doing this, please send me a private message or email kjapanton at (what else?) hotmail. If you are unsure to start with, I'd be happy to do a key-pal exchange for one year first... there's no rush.

Kathy
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2buckets



Joined: 14 Dec 2010
Posts: 349
Location: Middle East

PostPosted: Thu Jul 26, 2012 4:06 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Sorry to disappoint you, but something like this is pretty unprecedented and very unlikely to happen, never with women students.

The men wouldn't want to leave their comfort zone, expensive cars, mommy/housemaid looking after their every whim, that funny Turkish food etc.

Nice idea, wrong country.


Last edited by 2buckets on Thu Jul 26, 2012 6:31 pm; edited 1 time in total
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nomad soul



Joined: 31 Jan 2010
Posts: 4310
Location: Terra firma

PostPosted: Thu Jul 26, 2012 4:31 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I agree with 2buckets; a no-go for the UAE, especially considering the cultural and logistical issues. Highly unlikely for other Arab countries as well. Typically, these types of student exchanges are approved and arranged through the appropriate university offices and governmental agencies and not by some expat teachers posting on a forum. But seriously, what's the objective? How would these EFL students benefit since both groups would be going to countries where English isn't the official language? Anyway, I'm just shakin' my head on this one. Confused
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maenad1



Joined: 31 Oct 2009
Posts: 11

PostPosted: Thu Jul 26, 2012 9:22 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

well, ideally they'll benefit by -

1. Using English to communicate with people whose 1st language is something different. (After all, that's what they'll be doing when they start working.)

2. Having a chance to travel to a place where someone local will be looking after them.

3. Seeing another "muslim" country. (I know that Turks basically feel that the UAE is just desert with a bunch of high-rise buildings and camels. I imagine that Emiratis have just as limited an idea about Turkey).

I do want to get my Turkish students a chance to realistically dream of travelling, seeing the world, and using their English to make friends and enjoy life. Does anyone have any ideas?
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nomad soul



Joined: 31 Jan 2010
Posts: 4310
Location: Terra firma

PostPosted: Fri Jul 27, 2012 7:59 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

maenad1 wrote:
well, ideally they'll benefit by -

1. Using English to communicate with people whose 1st language is something different. (After all, that's what they'll be doing when they start working.)

They get that already in their own countries since both places have high tourism rates with folks from all over the world visiting. Even more so in the Emirates where expats greatly outnumber nationals. But really, they're already communicating with people whose L1 isn't English---their classmates.

and wrote:
2. Having a chance to travel to a place where someone local will be looking after them.

They're looked after when they travel abroad with their family members. Being supervised by a stranger while visiting a foreign country wouldn't sit well with them nor with their parents. Same for staying in strangers' homes.

and wrote:
3. Seeing another "muslim" country. (I know that Turks basically feel that the UAE is just desert with a bunch of high-rise buildings and camels. I imagine that Emiratis have just as limited an idea about Turkey).

I'm not sure what this has to do with English language learning. And why the UAE anyway? It's not a country that quickly comes to mind when I think "Islam."

and lastly, wrote:
I do want to get my Turkish students a chance to realistically dream of travelling, seeing the world, and using their English to make friends and enjoy life. Does anyone have any ideas?

You obviously care about your students' continued learning and growth. Although many of us inspire our students, our primary job as teachers (of any content) is to provide them with the tools and knowledge that will guide them in making their own choices as young adults. Then we let go. Perhaps they'll get jobs in their country's tourism industry where they'll get to use their English. But they'll travel if and when they can, make new friends via the Internet and communicate using Skype, and possibly even study abroad.

Ideas? Start with your own university higher ups and ask about student exchange programs they might have with other countries.
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