Like every year, the week prior to the start of the academic year, in September, is dedicated to the arrival and welcome of the Abdullah Gül University‘s new incoming international undergraduate and graduate students.
After a very successful application period, which lasted from mid-November 2016 until August 2017, and yielded a record-breaking 3500 applications from 100s of countries, our AGU International Office team was happy to meet our new internationals from 14 different countries in person.
During the four-day program, the newcomers were welcomed and informed by AGU International Office members Yakup Sönmez, Safiye Çalapkorur and Charlotte Justine, as well as by our incredible group of volunteers, composed of previous year international AGU students Fuad and Muhammad Ali (Pakistan), Yasmine and Aya (Morocco), Yzeir (Albania) and Mohammed Fareh (Somalia).
On their day of arrival, the new international were greeted by the Welcome Team in the AGU Student Village (dorms) and were invited to settled into their dorm rooms, meet the AGU members and each other and share food and drink, provided by the AGU Department of Health, Culture and Sports, in the dorms’ green area.
Once everyone was settled, the group was treated to a free dinner in the University Cafeteria.
Throughout the three days that followed, the students were introduced to the concepts and implications of “Studying Abroad…”, “…in Turkey…”, “…in Kayseri…” and “…at AGU.”, as well as given presentations by key AGU Departments, such as the Student Dean’s Office, the AGU Youth Factory, the Health, Culture and Sports Department, the Sports and Physical Education Faculty, as well as the Library, IT Department and the AGU International Association Student Club.
The students were also treated to free breakfasts, lunches and dinners offered by the Health, Culture and Sports Department.
Our team of volunteers was very helpful and involved: guiding the students whenever they had any questions between sessions, organizing “Ice-breaker” games and activities (incl. the traditional “Graduation Letter” writing ceremony, where the new students write a letter to their future self, to be handed back to them at their graduation), taking the students on a big campus tour and organizing and leading a great Kayseri city tour, during which the students got to see the city center, major shopping mall and the amusement park (where they had a lot of fun on the roller coasters and playing lazer tag).
During the Welcome Week and the week that followed, the new students were also guided on key administrative procedures, such as the Diploma Equivalence Certificate, Residence Permit Applications, health insurance, registration to the University and online course registrations… etc.
After one week, during which the students had time to join their first classes in Faculty or in the AGU English Prep Program, they were treated to another great AGU welcome week tradition: the day trip to Cappadocia!
The Abdullah Gül University has the chance to be located only 30 minutes away from the UNESCO World Heritage site of Cappadocia, which attracts over 2 million tourists per year, with its unique landscapes, natural rock formations (known as “fairy chimneys”), painted cave churches (dating from the 6th to 13th century) and underground cities.
Our new students spent the day visiting known Cappadocian destinations such as:
- Derinkuyu Underground City (spread over 18 levels below the surface, with 8 currently open to the public)
- Uçhisar castle viewpoint over the Pigeon Valley
- Viewpoint over Göreme
- Lunch by the Red River in Avanos
- Paşabağ monastery and fairy chimneys
- Devrent (Imagination) Valley
- “Three Beauties” fairy chimneys in Ürgüp
Although we had a busy program, there still remains much to see and do in Cappadocia for our students! Visiting painted cave churches, trekking through valleys, horse-riding, hot-air balloon rides….
After a full day of discovering, climbing and taking pictures, our group of students was brought back to the dorms, tired but happy with their time in the open air, discovering a unique tourist attraction and making new friends!