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American students and Turkish culture

Avrupa/London - American college students will for the first time attend a cultural exchange program in Turkey hosted by the Yunus Emre Institute (YEE) that organizers hope will foster a better understanding of Turkey.

‘I’m looking forward to learning the language and making it a part of my future career’ said Alexandira Green, who recently graduated from the University of California, Irvine, international studies program and was selected for the trip.

Green’s enthusiasm is the kind of excitement YEE wants for the program. "We aim to build bridges between the two countries with this kind of activities," YEE’s U.S. director, Halid Bulut, told Anadolu Agency.

Bulut said the institute has hosted hundreds of students from across the world since 2009, but sending students from the U.S. for the first time is even more exciting.

"YEE’s presence in the United States through cultural and exchange programs is very important," said Cevik, adding that the program will foster an interest in Turkish studies, its language and help create a more realistic understanding of Turkey among young Americans.

Green and four other students from the University of California, Irvine, who were among 12 chosen for the program, met earlier this week in Los Angeles for orientation with university faculty Dr. Senem Cevik and Vice Consul of the Turkish Consulate Aylin Senyüz Eleveld.

Seven students from the universities of Michigan State and Philadelphia will also participate in the month-long trip beginning July 24.

During their time at in Turkey, students will visit historical sites and experience its culture while learning the Turkish language.

The program will end with a visit to the Presidential residence and a festival in Istanbul.

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