My Experience at AGU – From Freshman to Graduation

Hi everyone! I am Hina, a newly graduated student from Abdullah Gül University (AGU) studying in the department of Mechanical Engineering. In this blog, I would love to share with you my 4 years’ experience at AGU from freshman year till graduation. A meaningful positive transformational journey from my high school in Pakistan to my Master program in Canada.

Hina first meeting with Emeric
My first meeting with Emeric in Islamabad, Pakistan.

I joined AGU in the year 2015, which was the first batch of accepting international students at AGU (I even was the 1st Bachelor international student to be admitted). I am from Pakistan and came to know AGU while searching for top universities in Turkey. Inspired by the universities’ third generation thinking and excellent opportunities provided to students, I applied and within 3 days, got my acceptance. At the same time, I got accepted to other world-renowned universities in Turkey and Malaysia. It was quite hard to choose between the universities for pursuing my bachelor studies until I met Emeric, AGU international office director at a university fair in Islamabad, Pakistan. His vision and explanations of AGU together with the excellent opportunities provided to AGU students truly inspired me to join it for pursuing my bachelor studies.

After all the decision and paperwork processes, I finally came to AGU to pursue my bachelor studies in the Department of Mechanical Engineering. My first few days at AGU were relaxing and full of fun as it was the orientation week in which the International office arranged many different activities for the internationals in order to familiarise them with the university and the surrounding atmosphere of the city.

Hina Flashbakcs from Orientation
Some flashbacks from the orientation week at AGU including photo of the trip to Cappadocia.

The studies at AGU were always inspiring and challenging starting from the first semester. During the first year, we had to take some common courses such as humanities and personal/potential development activities that were not directly related to the Mechanical Engineering department. However, those courses enhanced my critical thinking skills and developed in me a deeper vision of the world and of myself. I used to complain about the fact that we had to take these non-technical courses, which, I thought, didn’t belong to my area of study. But now I realise that all the courses that I took contributed to my personal, academic and professional development.

After my first year at AGU, I got the chance to go to Greece to complete an Erasmus+ semester exchange program at Piraeus University of Applied Sciences. AGU had always been working with the European Erasmus+ program, each year sending students on exchange and internships to different European countries. My Erasmus experience in Greece was unforgettable and one of the best experiences of my life. It was a chance for me to learn different things (I even joined Taekwondo classes), make friends from different European countries with different cultural backgrounds and even explore the beautiful Greek islands.

Hina Erasmus highlights
Some highlights from my Erasmus experience in Greece

(To know more about my Erasmus experience in Greece, you can read my following blog: “Hina’s Erasmus Exchange Semester in Greece“).

My academic progress and records at AGU had always been good. Because of it, towards the end of my 5th semester, I got the chance to carry out an internship at Koç University located in Istanbul, Turkey. The internship was carried out in the manufacturing and automation research centre and arranged by my AGU department professor. It was a great opportunity provided to me to explore the world of research in an academic environment. Soon after the internship, when I came back to AGU, I started working with one of my department professors on his research projects. The greatest thing that I liked about AGU was that the professors were easily approachable and allowed students to actively get involved in their research field. My work with the professor was very fruitful and I even got the chance to present and publish a conference paper towards the end of my third year. The conference was held in Izmir, Turkey and my participation was mostly funded by AGU.

Hina Conference in Izmir

One of the best opportunities provided to me at AGU was the chance to go to Japan for an internship at a research laboratory. At the end of my third year, my AGU professor, with whom I actively collaborated on research projects, arranged the internship at the Kyushu University located in Fukuoka, Japan. The experience was unique, something that I could never imagine in my whole life. Japan was a different country and amazing in its own sense. The laboratory I worked in was heavily equipped with different advanced equipment at my use. In Japan, during my internship, I even got the chance to visit the beautiful city of Tokyo. The experience was unique.

Hina in Japan
Images from Japan

My last year at AGU passed in the blink of an eye. The studies were very challenging but fascinating and worthwhile. Throughout the years, I learned many different things. From being a shy coward girl, I became a strong and courageous lady. The staff at AGU, especially the international office, was very helpful and supportive. Whenever I faced some difficulties during my stay at AGU or in Kayseri, the international office always helped me find a solution to my problems.

Currently, I am in Toronto, Canada and going to pursue my Masters in Mechanical and Industrial Engineering at Ryerson University. All of this is because of my excellent academic record together with the career developing opportunities provided to me by my AGU professors and the whole university.

Hina in Toronto
Photo from my current stay in Toronto

AGU is a young university and, therefore, does not have yet the world fame it deserves, however, it is a university that has great prospects to prosper in the future due to the tremendous staff, facilities, student support, etc. provided by the university.

I will always miss the 4 years that I spent at AGU and hope that I can spend some time there again, someday, sometime.

Hina Last days at AGU
My last days at AGU with my research group and with the International Office.

If you have any questions regarding AGU or regarding my experiences there, feel free to contact me at hina.najam@agu.edu.tr email address.

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