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Two decades of two degrees: Dual Diploma program with SUNY New Paltz and Turkish universities celebrates 20th anniversary

On April 24, SUNY New Paltz’s Center for International Programs marked a milestone anniversary of giving current college students from Türkiye the opportunity to study at the University, commemorating the occasion with a celebration mixer in New York City’s Antalia Restaurant.

For 20 years, the SUNY-YÖK Dual Diploma partnership has brought hundreds of students from Istanbul Technical University (ITU), Middle East Technical University (METU) and Izmir University of Economics to SUNY New Paltz, offering international students the unique opportunity to earn another college degree as they experience life studying in the United States. 

“Graduating as bilingual students with international experience gives our alumni an advantage in the job hunt for careers with multinational companies,” said SUNY New Paltz Dual Diploma Programs Director Kathleen Geher. 

The Turkish programs are part of a group of Dual Diploma programs—with the others in China, Brazil and Ecuador—presenting international students a unique educational opportunity: full matriculation at two universities, and a chance to earn two diplomas after just four years of study. More than 1,000 graduates have emerged from these programs since their inception.  

Alumni of these programs are working at prestigious companies around the world including KPMG, Ernst and Young, and Turkish Airlines, attending well-known graduate programs in the United States and Europe, and earning fellowships and awards including Fulbright scholarships. 

As a demonstration of the program’s success, the anniversary celebration served as a networking event with current Dual Diploma students mingling with the program’s best and brightest alumni. 

“SUNY New Paltz changed my life in the best way possible,” said Zeynep Onaran Cincotti ’12 (General Business), now a senior account director with Financial Times. “I’m thankful for the education and, most importantly, the overall experience the University provided me while navigating life in a different country.” 

The SUNY New Paltz Turkish Dual Diploma program held another reunion networking event to commemorate their anniversary on June 24 in Istanbul, Türkiye at the Istanbul Technical University campus. Graduates from other SUNY Turkish Dual Diploma programs were invited as well.  

Click here to learn more about the Center for International Programs at SUNY New Paltz.