Turkish-Americans Open First University in the US

Image Sezai Kalaycı, New York -  Today's Zaman -  A recently opened university in Houston, Texas, demonstrates what Turkish immigrants have accomplished in the United States. North American College (NAC), launched in 2007 by Turkish-American entrepreneurs, was converted into a university in 2009, becoming North American University, the first institution of higher education sponsored by Turkish-Americans in the US.
NAC, opened under the auspices of the Gulf Foundation, established by Turkish entrepreneurs in Houston, serves not only American and Turkish students but also students of many nationalities. NAC will begin the 2011 fall semester with students from more than 40 countries and 25 states, and seeks to increase the number of students enrolled to 3,000 over the next five years.

The vice rector of the young university, Professor John C. Topuz, in an interview with Sunday’s Zaman, gave extensive details on the school’s future plans, noting that 70 percent of NAC’s students are American, with the remaining 30 percent being international students. He said students coming from Turkey have no difficulty adapting to the environment at NAC, and language course are offered for those who are not fluent enough in English. Professor Topuz also noted that the staff at NAC does its best to help international students get settled in, including providing assistance with finding accommodation and obtaining a driver’s license.

Topuz said NAC holds city tours for students every week, and organizes and sponsors a wide range of events, including seminars, trips, camps, conferences and film festivals on campus. He also called on Turkish students, asking them to consider studying at NAC. “I want them to come not only for the good of our institution but also to prepare them to better integrate with the world at large. One of our slogans is to train students to be ready for the world.”

Noting that the faculty and staff of NAC are proud to be the first to work in the very first university opened by Turkish-Americans in the US, Topuz also said: “It is a great pleasure to make this contribution to our people. I would like to make an open call to all Turks who are considering studying in the US; they now have a university in this country ready to host them.” Topuz said NAC currently has three departments (business administration, computer science and education), and will launch additional departments soon. NAC is beginning to offer fully accredited four-year bachelor’s degrees. Speaking on this matter, Topuz said: “Achieving this accreditation is a great accomplishment for us, indicating that we have done something huge in a very short time, and it also demonstrates our promise for the future.”

Kerem Fidancı, who came to the US from Sakarya this year to study at NAC, said the school was there for him during every stage of his application process. Stressing that his school offers assistance to students in the Turkish and English languages as well as Japanese, Russian and French, Fidancı said: “I received an acceptance letter [I-20] within a week after I sent them my high school diploma, passport information and financial statement. The school has been of great help to me.”

Fidancı said representatives of NAC picked him up from the Houston airport. “I sent my flight information and itinerary; they picked me up at the airport. They even arranged a phone card for me so I could call my parents to tell them that I was OK. It only took me a few hours to settle in at the dorm. They took me to the bank, where they opened an account for me. … They told me how to get car insurance in Houston as well as a driver’s license. … They were there for me all the time. It is a modern university.”

At NAC, the professors and staff pay utmost attention to make sure that the students receive an excellent education. Topuz said the university’s current 25 faculty members all received their PhDs from prestigious universities in the US. Noting that new classrooms and buildings are added to NAC’s campus every year, both for social activities and educational purposes, Topuz said: “Our goal is to expand our campus and use our current facilities to the fullest. We also want to make sure that our expanded campus will be a great social environment for all.”

Quick facts about North American University

 The total annual cost of attendance at NAC is $17,000. Tuition is $7,000, with accommodation and other costs ranging between $5,500 and $7,500.

 Student dormitories are located 10 minutes from campus; the university plans to merge the dorm buildings with the university complex. NAC’s dorms are described as the most elegant in Houston.

NAC’s contact information:
Web address: www.northamerican.edu
E-mail: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
US phone number: 1 (832) 230 5555
Turkey phone number: +90 537 913 59 50
Turkey email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

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Last modified onSaturday, 06 May 2017 10:07