We pick up again where we left off two weeks ago (check the interview part 1 here) with our international student Omar, from Tanzania!
Here is the second part of his interview, enjoy:
1. What do you think about
the professors at AGU?
“They are very approachable and friendly. In other universities it’s not as easy to approach professors, let alone the heads of departments. Here, you can contact them easily and they answer fast.
That’s the thing about AGU; the professors are renowned and have international experience, but stay very humble.
I had applied to other top universities, where I also got accepted, but I chose AGU, especially because of the professors. They work on a lot of interesting research projects and they are very inspiring. I spoke to a student studying at another top ranking university and I can see that there is no difference in the quality of research between the two universities.
Last Monday, one of our professors took us to the food control lab’. We didn’t ask for it but he just took us there and we even got to talk to the lab supervisor. So we can say that our professors really mentor us well.
Another reason I joined this University was because I wanted to work with ambitious researchers and you can definitely feel this kind of ambition at AGU.”
2. How do you like the Student
Village and the dorms?
“It’s great. Actually even the Vice-Rector checked on me regarding my situation in the dorms to make sure that everything is fine. I didn’t know he was the Vice-Rector at that time, he was so approachable.
The Student Village is a very nice place.
When my friends ask me about the dorms, I tell them that it is exactly what I was hoping for when I left home to study abroad:
a self-contained place, with balconies, a kitchen to cook, etc. And very close to the classrooms.
It’s very nice. “
3. And how do you like
the Campus in general?
“I like the fact that it is a very green campus where all the buildings are easily accessible.
The main building is very high-tech. It usually impresses visitors a lot.
The equipment is very good with great classrooms and well-equipped labs.
I usually eat lunch at the canteen. I think the food there is satisfactory and the meal is just 2TL ($0,50). In the evenings I cook at home. When I don’t have a lot of time, I just grab a sandwich and milk pack from the Café.
There are also nice sports facilities on campus. I’m not very good at it, but I like playing table tennis and billiard in the main building.
I spend most of my time in the Library. It’s a nice place to stay; it’s very comfortable inside.
I think that the Electrical and Electronics Engineering material is really good in the Library.
I either use them there or check some out to take back to the dorms. I used the online databases once or twice but most of the time I use the books.
I also heard about the new campus being built outside of the city. It will be an even bigger Campus with brand new facilities.”
4. Can you tell us more about your classes?
What do you think about Education and Research at AGU?
“Most of the courses are explained using slides and discussion sessions. The number of students in the class depends on the courses. For some of them we will only be 3 students. For others the maximum number of students is around 8-10. I know that in all the other universities there are a lot more students per class.
We learn theories in class and systematically get to practice them.
For example I was taking an anatomy class; we were learning about the heart, the brain, etc. and we later on got to cut them open and explore the insides of those organs. It’s the same for Computer Science or the other classes.
When it comes to Research, most of the things I’m doing right now in the Lab are the application of what I learned during my classes.
I really get to do the research and practice everything. It helps me feel more confident in my learning and ability to implement real projects and experiences.
The workload is challenging but we really feel that we learn a lot. The English level of the professors is also very good and they are definitely experts in their academic & research fields.
My academic experience at AGU definitely matches my expectations. We are really offered a great learning environment here.”
5. Do you get the opportunity to
work on projects with your professors?
“It’s very easy to work with professors on projects.
They are actually looking for students to help them carry out the many projects they work on. I’m actually currently working on one that involves “Biosensors”.
Once finished, my professor and I will also write a paper about it.”
6. What kind of knowledge have
you acquired since you came to AGU?
“I get to learn about a lot of things like BioMEMs, underground/underwater sensor networks, silicon manufacturing, etc.
I knew about the software program MATLAB, but coming to AGU, I got to work on it even more. I also regularly work on the microscope and the laser.
We also do presentations in every class and I can feel that I’m improving on my presentation and communication skills.”
7. In terms of personal development,
do you feel that you have
developed since the beginning of the year?
“I can say that I have improved on different aspects. You know when you get to spend time with different professors, you get to hear their stories, they tell you about their experiences, you automatically start having some different perspectives.
When you work on your own projects, you learn that the important thing about experiments is that they fail sometimes, but when they fail, you gain experience. When you change the routine of how you try to solve the problem, the set of skills that you apply there are also the set of skills that you can then apply in real life.
It’s a win-win situation, you don’t lose, you just always win.
I also feel more confident about myself. When I was in my undergraduate studies, I was just thinking to myself “How can anyone trust me with their projects?”, because I had never had the experience to work alone.
But now I’ve been able to integrate more theory and practice and by extension it has also made me more confident in my life in general. “
8. What are your plans after graduation?
“I have one more year of courses and I need to write my thesis. But I’m planning to study for a PhD.
I’m thinking about staying in Turkey, or about going to another country, such as Japan, Sweden or the USA.
Graduating from AGU will enable me to further my study anywhere in the world.
After I finish my studies, I want to work as an academician. As a second option,
I can also work as an engineer, but I definitely want to teach.
I was motivated by the presentations that I made here as an AGU student; when you succeed at a presentation, it makes you feel confident, you feel like you can teach.
Our Head of Department, who also teaches us, is a really good professor. He comes prepared; he knows his subject and is a source of inspiration in terms of pedagogy as well.”
9. What do you think about AGU’s potential
on the national and international markets?
AGU is rising and it is obvious that the University is really recruiting high profile students nationally and internationally.
The University has a very promising project and I think that they can already compete with the best Turkish Universities ranked in the top 5 in Turkey and the top 200 worldwide“
10. Would you recommend your friends to join AGU?
“Of course! I would have been glad to complete my Undergraduate Program at AGU as well if the University had existed at that time (N.B. AGU opened its gates to students in 2013).
I actually often recommend this University to my friends. One of them got accepted and will be joining us in September.
I regularly meet some students from other universities who want to come to AGU. It is true that academically, it’s a good choice. “
11. What advice would you give to future AGU students?
“I can advise them to get ready to evolve in a good learning environment, good professors, a comfortable and secure campus, friendly people across Departments but also a challenging workload that will make them experts in their field.
I was talking to one of my friends about the time when we had to choose our courses; I wanted to take three courses in the semester but the professors advised us to only take two. I was surprised, I thought “it’s just three courses, I was taking around 9 when I was an undergraduate student”, but now that I have started, I understand that 2 courses in AGU involve a huge knowledge base and heavy workload.”
12. On Final word to describe your
AGU experience so far?
“I think I can say “Great”!”
HAVEN’T READ THE FIRST PART OF THIS INTERVIEW YET?