EYEAFRICA TV: Istanbul, TURKEY:- For the past few months, Pa Modou Drammeh has been breaking records as an international student in Turkey.
He first made headline in December 2020, after winning an essay competition under the ‘International Students Academy Award’ organised by the Presidency for Turks Abroad and Related Communities (YTB), a competition for international students studying in Turkish Universities at all levels of higher education.
Recently, Mr Drammeh becomes the overall best graduating student in the Department of International Relations at Ege University. He is also the first international student to set the bar that high.
The Gambian embassy in Turkey congratulated him for his record breaking achievements and for making his country proud.
“The embassy wishes to congratulate Mr Pa Modou Drammeh for being overall best graduating student in the Department of International Relations, Ege University and the first International student to break such a record,” the embassy said in a statement.
Masanneh Fatty, the President of the Association of Gambian Students in Turkey (AGAST), described Pa Modou as a determined and sharp-witted individual who is fully motivated to rise above situations to reach the height.
“I was delighted when I heard about his unparalleled achievement, but I was not very surprised by the news because I know him for his diligence, resilience, and defiance,” he said.
“He never ceases to amaze us! His achievement is uplifting and stimulating, and thus inspirational to all of us.”
To Pa Modou Drammeh, who was born and raised in Fass Njagga Choi, one of the villages in the northern part of The Gambia, the success defies description.
“It’s one of the most memorable moments in my academic life. It’s a brilliant, awesome feeling, and it’s a target realization moment,” he told Eye Africa TV.
“The path to being the best graduating student was a fascinating one; it was daunting at times and enjoyable at others, but I can confidently say that it was well worth it.”
He said despite the difficulties and drawbacks, being at the top of one’s class, especially a world class university like Ege, is indeed a great accomplishment.
“This achievement is an integral part of my growth as a young person and is necessary for my personal development,” he said, adding that it prepares him “both intellectually and socially, for my career prospects and academic journey.”
Success in academia wasn’t a new thing to Pa Modou. He swam through the field of Liberal Arts in Nusrat High School, one of the leading senior secondary schools in The Gambia, and graduated as one of the best students in his field.
In order to quench his thirst for quality education he proceeded to Turkey, where he recently received a degree in International Relations from Ege University, one of Turkey’s leading universities.
Mr Drammeh said getting this degree necessitated a significant amount of sacrifice, but his desire to outcompete himself keeps him moving.
“This accomplishment is the result of many struggles, tears, frustrations, betrayals, disappointments, hard work, and dedication. It wasn’t done on a silver plated surface.”
To him, going to university and getting a degree is one thing, but traveling to a foreign country and studying in another language is a whole other level. “It’s not easy to study in a language that isn’t your native tongue, and which is difficult to comprehend,” he noted.
“My first year was difficult because, despite the fact that all of my courses were not taught in Turkish, I did not have a complete understanding of the language,”he remembered, acknowledging that he was lucky to have some very helpful friends.
As part of his insatiable taste for knowledge and willpower to expand his intellectual horizon, he also completed a certificate program in Global Diplomacy – Diplomacy in the Modern World with University of London, and other certificate programs with Dumlupinar University, Association of Leadership Educators (ALE), and The American Institution of Higher Education and Accreditation (AAHEA).
According to him, the recent success was just a tip of the iceberg as his academic journey continues.