This Fall, the Abdullah Gül University welcomed its second big wave of international full-degree students to its campus in Kayseri, Turkey.
After only 2 intakes, the ratio of international students at AGU has already risen to 9% of the full student body, bringing the University closer to its objective of at least 12% by 2020 (See AGU’s Internationalization Strategy 2015-2020). Overall, more than 40 nationalities are currently represented at the University, furthering its transformation into an “International Hub in the Heart of Turkey”!
The 2016/2017 intake of international students reflects the University’s highly competitive admission process (following the 30% increase in the number of applications compared to last year, we currently have a low 2-3% acceptance rate) and the exceptional academic quality of applicants, with a growing number of students applying – and being accepted – with international certificates such as the SAT or ACT exams, GCE A- or AS-Levels, or the International Baccalaureate; as well as with English proficiency exams such as the TOEFL or IELTS.
Having succeeded in the tough application process, AGU’s newly accepted international students, both graduate and undergraduate, were welcomed to the University on September 18th for the start of their Orientation program and their new life in Kayseri.
The program kicked-off with a meet-and-greet session in the AGU Student Village, the on-campus dorms facilities, which allowed the newcomers to get to know each other, their new living quarters, as well as the International Office team members.
Over the course of the next three days, the students were introduced to the Abdullah Gül University concept, its Vision/Mission as a Third Generation University, the state of “Being an International Student” in Turkey, Kayseri and at AGU, the upcoming key administrative procedures, as well as the various aspects of AGU Student Life (Student Clubs, On-campus Sports and Leisure Facilities, our Food and Health Services…).
Part of the service offered to international newcomers includes accompanying them on external administrative procedures such as the bank trip for the dorms fee payment, as well as the “Diploma Equivalency” certificate and Residence Permit applications.
The Students also received information from various AGU Departments concerning:
- The AGU Faculty System
- The IT Department
- The Department of Health, Culture and Sports
- The School of Physical Education and Sports
- The AGU Library
- The Youth Factory
- The Student Dean’s Office
Over the course of the entire Orientation program, which was also punctuated by informal Ice-breaker and Group building activities, the new AGU students were accompanied by a group of volunteers, composed of five international students who had joined the University the previous year. One of these students, Dexter, also presented the activities of his Club, the AGU International Association, which co-organized the last two editions of the AGU Intercultural Series (and has already started planning the third edition, with the participation of last year’s and this year’s international students).
The International volunteer team offered guidance to the new international students, co-hosted the Orientation sessions, took them on a comprehensive campus tour and showed them around the neighborhood and the city center. They also accompanied them during the Kayseri city tour organized for all first year international students and joined the Sunday International Student Cappadocia Trip which rounded off the Orientation Week.
During this trip, the new international students, international volunteers and the AGU International Office spent the whole day in Cappadocia, discovering key attractions of the region such as Derinkuyu Underground City, the viewpoint over Uçhisar Castle and Pigeon Valley, Devrent (Imagination) Valley and the “Three Beauties” of Ürgüp.
Since then, our new international members have started their classes at AGU and are slowly integrating into AGU Campus Life!