Hello there! My name is Ahmed Al-Abdali, I was born in Iraq but moved to neighbouring Jordan, where I have been living for the past 17 years. I am currently a sophomore at Sabancı University in the Faculty of Engineering and Natural Science studying Mechatronics Engineering. My favourite hobby is playing chess, I have participated in a few national tournaments and co-found the chess club in my school with my best friend. I also -like any other human- enjoy listening to music, my favourite genre is art-rock, my favourite artist is Radiohead.

When I was admitted into Sabancı University, I was not aware that the core curriculum system would be that different from any conventional university first-year introductory courses. I was pleasantly surprised to know that the first year at Sabancı would allow me to be introduced to a vast range of topics that I was not deeply educated in such as Computational Thinking, Social Science, History and Literature. I thoroughly enjoyed learning about topics I had no prior experience with such as academic research, programming languages, social science, and world history. The freshman year was an eye-opening experience for me as it allowed me to explore some of my choices before I declare my major. I was initially planning to major in Industrial Engineering as I am interested in industrial processes and the challenges that face engineers when they are trying to make industrial processes more efficient. However, throughout my experience in my freshman year, I realized that I enjoy more hands-on work and especially programming which made me reconsider my major choice to Mechatronics Engineering.

In my perspective, I think that the core curriculum chosen for the freshman year makes great sense because I benefited from the broadened outlook it provided me with. It taught me how to have different approaches to problems which I think is a useful skill especially since I am majoring in engineering. It also provided me with different worldviews that I was not initially familiar with.

Ahmed Al-Abdali
July 2, 2021