Abdullah Gül University, International Student, Library, Morocco, Casablanca

Meet Sara, Moroccan Business Student at AGU

The AGU International Office has interviewed one of our five Moroccan students who joined the University in Fall 2015. See what Sara has to say about her AGU Experience so far:

TURKEY

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1. Can you start by introducing yourself?

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“My name is Sara, I am 19 years old and I am from Casablanca, Morocco. I am the oldest of 3 siblings.

I love running from my responsibilities, joking… I also love running, reading, music, makeup…”

AGU, Abdullah Gül University, International Student, Morocco, Business

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2. How did you come to Turkey?

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“I was introduced to the University through a friend… I applied and got accepted 2 weeks later and that’s how this surreal journey started.”

AGU, Abdullah Gül University, travel, Morocco, passport, Incoming, Students

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3. How do you feel about living in Turkey?

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I love living in Turkey; Turkish people are exceptionally nice, Kayseri is very safe, everything is very affordable and most importantly it’s the land of DONAS*!”

*Donas: a Turkish sandwich.

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4. Did you experience any cultural shock?

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No, not really.  It was relatively easy to fit in with the help of all the other international students and the Turkish students who were EXTREMELY helpful and were very happy to show us around the city and even invited us to their hometowns. Also the Moroccan culture and the one in Kayseri are quite similar.

On top of that, Morocco is now the most represented country in AGU (with 5 members). Being a nice group of Moroccans also helped us settling in our new Environment.”

AGU, International, Student, Welcome, Party, Turkish, Birthday, Study in Turkey
One week after meeting me, my Turkish friends threw me a surprise birthday party.
Abdullah Gül University, students, international, friends, welcome
Not one, but TWO surprise parties!

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5. Did you travel around?

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Yes, I went scuba diving for the first time in Fethiye with other Turkish students and the Moroccan students(and the AGU Outdoor Sports Student Club) . I also went to Istanbul for around 26 hours before going back home for winter break and I went to Cappadocia with the other international students and the International Office. It’s a very beautiful country!

AGU, Abdullah Gül University, International, Students, Welcome, Orientation, Week, Cappadocia, trip, Incoming
Two Continents, Three Countries meet in Cappadocia

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6. How is your Turkish?

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“My Turkish is not very Turkish to say the least… I would describe it as ‘beginner’… I still have a long way to go before I can say that I speak Turkish. But I’m progressing; It’s not a difficult language to learn, especially for Moroccans, since it has many French and Arabic words. But since all classes are in English and all our friends speak English, there is no need to learn quickly.”

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7. Do you sometimes go back home?

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Yes, I went back home for winter break for a week and I will go back soon for summer break for 4 months.

For winter break, I had a transit in Istanbul and Paris so the trip was VERY tiring, but this time I booked a direct flight just like I did when coming here and it’s a lot smoother and easier; it takes around 5 hours from Casablanca to Kayseri.

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8. One word to describe Turkey?

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“It’s two words, I know, but the first thing that comes to mind is ‘SECOND HOME‘… I have only been in Turkey for around 6 months and it has been the highlight of my life… it only keeps getting better!”

 

KAYSERI

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9. Do you like Kayseri? What are the good aspects of this city, this region?

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“I love Kayseri, it’s a great city for students…very quiet and peaceful, not that many distractions.”

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10. What do you like to do during your free time?

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I shop and I shop and I shop (Sorry dad). I hang out with my other international and Turkish friends, mostly at the mall, which is around 15 minutes away, if you walk from campus.

Our new favorite activity to do together is going to the movies, which are in English with Turkish subtitles most of the time. But our landmark spot is ‘C & C’ (Canım Ciğerim)… a restaurant next to the student village; We go there almost on a daily basis for dinner!”

 

AGU, Abdullah Gül University, STudent, Life, food, order, dorms, pizza
Impromptu pizza while doing homework
Abdullah Gül University, students, city center, night out, cinema, english movies, shopping, mall, friends, international
United for Deadpool

AGU

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11. How did you hear about AGU? What made you choose this University?

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A friend of mine told me about AGU. I loved the idea of a Third Generation University.

The International Office definitely left a good impression, because they were very helpful,  even before we came to Turkey.  While it was all through emails and Facebook for me, other students met Emeric, the Director of the International Office, during student fairs.

The free laptops were definitely a huge plus and I also loved the GREAT dorms and the green areas around the houses.”

AGU, Abdullah Gül University, Student, Dorms, Spring, Green, Housing, Student Village

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12. Which program are you currently enrolled in and how did you become interested in it?

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“I study Business Administration. I have always loved business, it is my passion!”

AGU, Department, Business Administration, Class, classroom, International, Abdullah Gül University

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13. How did your application process go? How did you feel before coming to AGU?

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“It was very smooth because I had all my documents ready beforehand, so I applied easily through the website and as I mentioned before got an answer in around 2 weeks… The fact that I had good grades for the Moroccan Baccalaureate and the TOEFL exam helped me a lot to be accepted. I was very worried, at first, because the University was new and I had never heard of it before, but this is ABSOLUTELY the best decision of my life. Would not have had it any other way. The University is great academically speaking and in every other aspect.”

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14. How were your first steps at AGU?

What can you tell us about the Orientation Program?

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I arrived at 2 in the morning on a weekend and the first people I met were the security guards in the dorms and despite the language barrier, they managed to make our move in very smooth; they even helped me carry my suitcases to the apartment and offered me çay.

The orientation program was a blast. All of it, no exceptions… But I especially loved the International Office’s presentation, where we got to know more about the University. I guess I liked it because I realized that I did choose the right university… Another thing I loved was the barbecue party.

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15. Do you like the Campus? What can you tell us about it? What is your favorite spot?

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The campus is PERFECT, honestly… The green areas, it’s very spacious, very well equipped and the technology is amazing (smart TVs  in the library… it cannot get better than that!)

But my favorite area would definitely be the exhibition hall, where i spend most of my time studying or just hanging out with friends.”

Abdullah Gül University, Steel Building, Sümer, Campus, Great Hall, Exhibition Hall, study, area, hang out, ping pong, billiard, friends

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16. Do you like your classes? What can you tell us about education at AGU? What do you think of the quality of professors? The opportunity to work on projects?

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I like most of my classes; Especially this semester, I am loving my Humanities, English and Science classes…

The professors are all very qualified and motivated, they are available all the time and show great interest in their students.

And the projects are always so fun to do; We get to work in groups with people from other majors. Last semester Engineering, Architecture and Business Administration students came together in groups of around 6 students for Science and Calculus projects.”

AGU, University, classroom, study, desks, Abdullah Gül University, Programs, English, Hands-on Training

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17.What kind of knowledge did you acquire?

How has studying here changed you?

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I learn something new everyday; Being an international student is really great because you get to see, experience and learn new things everyday.

I made very close friends from different cultures. I learned to be open minded, flexible, you accept differences and you appreciate them and then there is the big bonus that is languages. You learn a new word in a new language everyday.

FUN FACT: me and my closest friend here in AGU all wear a bracelet with the Kenyan flag, which was given to us by our Kenyan friend”

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18.AGU focuses a lot on Hands-on training and practical work. Do you consider this approach to be translated into reality?

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Absolutely, during all our classes we discuss real life problems and we elaborate on what each one of us thinks and what ways can be employed to solve them.”

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19.What can you tell us about the dorms and the canteen and other food opportunities?

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THE DORMS ARE AWESOOOOOOME, they are very cozy, well equipped, calm ,safe…

Personally, I prefer eating in Demlik Café over the Canteen. I am forever grateful for Demlik and Poğaça  (Turkish food)

 PS: Demlik is a little Café in the Steel Building, the people who work there are the nicest people I have ever met, you can find anything you want there from pencils to mints.”

Abdullah Gül University, Café, Demlik, lunch, snacks, green, tree, seating, friends, break

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20.What kind of on- and off-campus activities did you participate in?

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I went to Erciyes mountain before the ski season; I am planning to go to Antalya soon, if it all goes well.

Abdullah Gül University, Campus, Sümer, Spring, Erciyes, Mountain, Snow, Ski

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21.What are you looking forward to next year?

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Business classes, I am so excited for that!

I am excited to participate in the Erasmus+ program next year, via the AGU Erasmus+ Office, in order to go for a study exchange (and maybe internship) in Germany.

The new projects, which I am sure I will enjoy very much.

Meeting the new students who will join the AGU family soon

Traveling hopefully, Europe is what’s planned for now.”

Abdullah Gül University, Erasmus, Erasmus+, accreditation, exchange, student, international, agreements, partnerships, semester abroad

 

 FUTURE CAREER

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22. What’s your plan after finishing

your Bachelor Degree?

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I want to go for a Master degree in Germany… I still have to decide what I want to study for my Master.”

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23. What’s your dream career? Do you feel that studying at AGU will help you achieve your objectives?

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I want to be my own boss and I want to be a good leader and manager and this journey has been the best training. I grew so much as a person and I am looking forward to what else I will learn in the next years I am at AGU.

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24. What do you think about AGU’s potential on the national and world’s market?

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“AGU is already well perceived in Turkey and I know it will grow to become one of the best-ranking schools worldwide.”

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25. Would you recommend your friends and other international students to join AGU?

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“YES, definitely!”

AGU, Abdullah Gül University, recommendation, friends, happy

 

ADVICE TO FUTURE AGU STUDENTS

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26. Do you have some advice you could give to future AGU international students?

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– Don’t worry about not fitting in or feeling like a foreigner.

-Trust me Turkey will become your second home and you will love life in Kayseri

-You will not feel homesick, there is always something to do here and you will already come to a second family which is the other internationals, the other Turkish students and the staff at AGU.

-Things are usually pretty cheap to buy in Turkey but don’t EVER buy electronics in turkey… They are three times the price, if not more!

-Book your flight so that you do not arrive here at 2 in the morning like I did because there will be no English speakers at the airport to help you out.

-Come prepared to gain a few pounds (Turkish/Kayseri Cuisine is good but heavy ;))

-Your new name will become ‘YABANCI’ which is Turkish for foreigner.

-Eat as much Donas as you can… One should appreciate the finer things in life!

AGU, Students, International, Community, Turkish food, DOnas, Künefe, fun, restaurant
The day our Turkish friends introduced us to the god given gift that is KUNEFE.

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27. One Word to describe your AGU Xperience?

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“EPIC!”

Abdullah Gül University, AGU, one word to describe, Epic, International, Student

Do you have questions about AGU? Feel free to contact me at: sara.jourhmane@agu.edu.tr

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