Looking For a Way to Stay Longer
International student Sevin Yurdatap has her life to figure out in a short period of time. Graduating from SF State, she must decide to move back home or to stay in the States.
May 11, 2006 8:30 PM
With so many options and graduation right around the corner, marriage is just another idea for Sevin Yurdatap, an international student from Turkey.
Aside from completing their education, international students have yet another thing to worry about: finding a way to stay here longer.
Yurdatap, 25, will be graduating from SF State on May 27th with a bachelor’s in international business. With only a year until her student visa expires, she must make a decision to either stay here in the United States or move back to Turkey.
“My first choice is to stay here in San Francisco,” Yurdatap said.
As time passes, so will her options if she does not take action. She has currently sent out her resume to Victoria’s Secret and Sephora in hopes of landing a traveling job based in the United States. She either has to find a job where they will give her a working visa, get married to secure citizenship, or apply for citizenship through her brother, who has been here since 1995. If she still has not obtained a visa after a year, she will apply for an MBA program which will allow her to stay longer. If these options do not work out, then she will be forced to move back home.
“My immigration lawyer said marriage is the best option. But it is my last choice,” Yurdatap said. “It’s scary.”
Yurdatap loves the United States, and both of her parents want her to stay here and get life experience rather than worry about money.
“They believe I can have a better life here with the opportunities,” Yurdatap said.
Yurdatap originally planned to complete her education and move back to her home country. Seven years later, after making many friends and wanting job experience, she has changed her mind.
Moving to the United States in 1999, she began language classes at the UC Berkeley Extension. A year later, she started Foothill College in Los Altos Hills where she worked to complete all of her classes to transfer to a four-year school. She entered SF State in the fall of 2004, studying for a business degree in information systems. She quickly had a change of heart after she took an international business course in the spring of 2004, and switched her major to international business.
“I’ve always been interested in different countries and cultures, and realized I would do much better with international business,” Yurdatap said.
Among completing her degree at SF State, Yurdatap has also completed a reader titled, “Creativity for Managers,” with Professor Bruce Heiman.
“Sevin was a student assistant of mine, and she did an outstanding job helping me with the research,” Heiman said.
Although she pursues her goal for higher education, Yurdatap definitely misses her family and life back home at times, especially when she worries about school and work. Her brother is the only family member she has in the United States.
“Sometimes I compare the two countries, and sometimes I am so desperate here that I want to go back,” Yurdatap said. “I get stressed out, and I want to go home. Turkey is my escape.”
When the reality hits her though, she views Turkey as a vacation, and knows it’s better for her to stay in the United States.
“I feel so confident here. I can make more money, and be more independent, and I can express myself more in the U.S.,” Yurdatap said. “I can be myself, and trust myself. People respect you no matter who you are.”
Yurdatap said she would have a tough time moving back to Turkey after living here for seven years.
“I am stuck in the middle of American and Turkish cultures. I’ve been here since I was 19, and all of my friends are American. It has changed my life perspective and it would be hard to live in Turkey again,” Yurdatap said.
Senior international business major Krystelle Carroll, 23, has been Yurdatap’s close friend since she began attending SF State, and said that Yurdatap is always willing to help someone out.
“[She] is very kind-hearted and genuine... and fun to be around. Only [she] can pull off the outfits she wears,” Carroll said.
Yurdatap said that Turkey is a male-dominated society and everyone judges you on outside appearances.
“In Turkey, there are values for your job and social life. If I go back to my city, they judge your personal life and your experience. They don’t give you a chance to prove yourself,” Yurdatap said.
“For example, here, I wear what I want. Who cares, as long as I do my job,” Yurdatap said.
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