The Abdullah Gül University is lucky to be within 30 minutes of two key tourist attractions, the first being of course UNESCO World Heritage Site of Cappadocia, and the second being the fast developing Ski Resort on Mt Erciyes.
This 3,917m peak dominating Kayseri can be a little intimidating – especially in winter, when completely covered in snow – which is why the AGU International Office thought the semester break was the perfect opportunity to introduce our international students to the excitement of winter sports!
The day started (too early for some) with a pickup by the AGU bus at the AGU Student Village (our on-campus dorms facilities) and a direct half-hour drive to the Erciyes Ski Resort.
Once on Erciyes, the group first halted at the 3D Erciyes Masterplan scale model, so that students could get a better idea of how the Resort is built around the mountainside and how the 150km of ski slopes (to be extended to 200 km in future) are articulated.
Then it was time to equip our students for the day ahead! Shoes, gloves, sticks, skis, snowboards and sleds were all negotiated at a discount price for AGU students.
To give them the opportunity to try different activities, the students were divided into three groups – skiers, snowboarders and sledders – each getting some introduction lessons from the International Office staff and being able to switch groups throughout the day.
A lot of laughter and falling down ensued, but our novices never gave up and showed a lot of progress and promise by the end of the day!
After a traditional Erciyes lunch of “Sucuk Ekmek”, the afternoon continued with a lot of sun and fun in the snow.
When it was time to go back with the AGU bus, the group was physically exhausted but ecstatic about the day they had spent among their friends and many of them were motivated to join the AGU Skiing and Snowboarding classes offered every week by the AGU School of Sports and Physical Education – a way of extending this great experience and, hopefully, of becoming good skiers/boarders by the end of the season!