I am Hina, a Pakistani girl that came to live in Turkey — Kayseri to be precise — 2 years ago, in order to study at the Abdullah Gul University (AGU), a really good university for education, research, extra-curricular activities and even personal development (you can check photos of the University on Pinterest and Instagram).
With this blog article, I would like to share with you one particular aspect of my AGU experience, which is living in Kayseri, my new hometown. It is a wide and interesting topic to know about and by the end of the article, you will hopefully know more about Kayseri from the perspective of an international student.
Kayseri is situated in the heart of Turkey. It is one of Turkey’s main industrial hubs and is famous in Turkey for its influent companies and businessmen. It is a modern and busy city, but we can also feel the strong traditional and cultural atmosphere surrounding us. Kayseri is located on the ancient Silk Road and played a major role in many civilizations’ history like the Hittite, Persians, Romans, Arabs, Seljuk Turks, Mongols, Ottomans, etc.
Before coming to AGU, I didn’t know that the city even existed. In Turkey, I was only familiar with the capital cities like Istanbul or Ankara. When I got accepted to AGU, the first thing I did, was to check out the city on the Internet. I looked at what the city had to offer in terms of the sightseeing, transportation, food, etc. I realized that there are nice things to discover.
After I arrived, I started exploring the city and found it to be quite amazing in terms of transportation system, proximity to shopping malls/restaurants and above all, the sightseeing places!
To begin with, lets start with the transportation system of Kayseri. We have buses and trams as the main means of public transportation. They run throughout the city and allow us to easily go around without having the need to get a private car. I really like the Kayseri bus and tram system as it can take you anywhere within the city. On top of it, international students living in Kayseri have a pretty good advantage, as they only need to pay 105TL (approx. US$30) and can use the bus and tram for free the whole year round. This is a great advantage!
Shopping in Kayseri is quite easy, affordable and fun. The city has many nice shopping malls. My favorites are called “Kayseri Forum” and “Kayseri Park”. The malls contain variety of shops and restaurants, from local to branded ones. I often go to these malls for shopping, eating, watching movie, play bowling or simply hanging around with friends. Apart from the malls, the city center is also one of the best places to find shops, eat and shop around.
Kayseri is famous in Turkey for its food like Mantı, Pastırma, Sucuk, Yağlama and İçli Köfte. My friend and I often go the Turkish restaurants in Kayseri to try the various varieties of food that they have. The taste is really good.
In Kayseri, we can find many sightseeing places from modern to historical ones. One of my favorite places is Kayseri Harikalar Diyarı. It is a region which contains an amusement park with a wide variety of swings from slow ones like Ferris wheel to fast ones like roller coasters. The region also has an ice skating rink. We can even play laser tag there or try cable kite surfing. I usually go there for ice skating or playing laser tag with friends. It’s really fun 🙂 !
Talas is another nice part of Kayseri. The region has a lot of entertainment opportunities and nice cafes for spending time with friends or family. The nightlife in Talas is also quite amazing. What I like the most about Talas are the many historical places and museums. I really enjoy walking along the streets of old- Talas as we get a sense of historical background and Turkish culture.
The Erciyes Mountain is a magnificent place to visit as well. They is a sports resort for people interested in snow sports like skiing or snowboarding. I often go to the mountains for skiing. AGU organizes ski courses for its students and staff, which are really fun and quite cheaper than actual cost if we go alone. This is a great advantage as I get to enjoy skiing in the mountains at cheap costs. The experience is truly unique.
Ali Dagı is another famous mountain located close to Kayseri. The mountain is famous for Paragliding. Although I have never been there yet, my friends told me it is a nice spot for picnic and above all Paragliding! I’ll definitely go soon.
One of the greatest advantages of living in Kayseri, perhaps, is that you are located 30 minutes away from the world-famous Cappadocia region, a World-Unesco heritage site and major touristic destination in Turkey. It was one of the first places that I got to visit after I came to Kayseri as AGU organized a trip there during the orientation week of the new International Students. The place is very beautiful and culturally rich !
There is probably still more to discover and say about Kayseri. The city has so many nice places to visit. It is a touristic and industrial hub. It is historical while very modern at the same time. The people of Kayseri are very nice and helpful as well. Even if you don’t know their language, they will be there to help you to their fullest.
I already knew I had picked the right University, and am now convinced that its environment (Kayseri, Turkey) is right for me !
If you have any questions about Kayseri or AGU, feel free to contact me. Also I would be very glad to show you all places in person that I mentioned about in my article.
See you soon 🙂