When Ahmet Kursad Demir realized that he could receive an education and continue to play tennis like he has been doing for most of his life, Ahmet made the journey to the U.S.
"I am from Turkey and right now I am attending Ferris State University and I decided to come to the United States mainly because I have been playing competitive tennis for a very long time and my tennis coaches mentioned to me that in the United States I would be able to get a scholarship and also get an education so that is the main reason I came to the United States so I can play really competitive tennis and get my education," he said.
Ferris State University is located in Big Rapids, Michigan. Political science is Ahmet's major and he said he likes that the university is expanding and bringing new opportunities to the students there that will impact the world globally.
"Here, I enjoy my political science department. I meet with my teachers and they are very experience and intelligent people and the reason why I chose political science is because I have always had a passion for politics," he said. "Also, living in Turkey usually people in Turkey are very involved in politics and stuff compared to the United States. Our tennis team here is very competitive and we do really good usually and it was a good opportunity for me to come here and do both of the things that I love."
Two Passions Tennis and Politics: Enjoying Them Both at Ferris State University
"Ferris State has a lot of opportunities for students and I think they are growing and a developing university and they are trying to open up to the rest of the world actually. There is this new program that is called Global Initiative and Global Awareness and Ferris State University is putting a lot of money and time into this and actually we just got confirmation from the Turkish consulate general in Chicago I have personally invited him and also got permission from the president, he is going to come to our university and do a speaker day about Turkey, Middle East and European Union relations and these kind of things are also of concern to my field," he said. "So, there are a lot of things that are being tried to build for students to be more apart of the global world."
When it comes to playing tennis, Ahmet has played the sport in many other countries other than his own and he said the tennis scholarship is what aided in him being able to come to the United States to play and study.
"I started playing tennis when I was seven years old and my mom she is interested in tennis too and she loves the sport and she just inspired me," he said.
"I had a Russian coach in my hometown in Turkey and he was a very talented coach which helped me out a lot to grow and become a good tennis player and as I kept on playing and playing I realized that I was a competitive player and it opened up many doors for me," he said.
"When I lived in England I traveled many places in the world playing in tennis tournament like Bulgaria, Romania, Syria, Algeria and Ireland. I played tennis tournaments all over the place and I met new people and make connections and stuff and something that tennis helped me with is coming to the United States, as you might already know that it is expensive especially for an international student to go to college here in the United States and with the scholarship that I get through tennis it helps me a lot, so tennis has opened up many doors for me for opportunities," he continued.
Graduation for Ahmet is in the fall of next year and as he said playing tennis will be a part of his future.
"Definitely being in a different country and learning about American culture, American education system and everything else geting a degree here will definitely be valid back in my country so I am very lucky to be here and my goal right after graduation I want to look for some sponsorship opportunities and also being able to stay in the United States to do some kind of work with some tennis academy and travel a litle bit and play in some tennis tournaments," Ahmet said.