bssTell us about yourself.
Hello, I am Bengü Süeda and I am third year Materials Science and Nano Engineering student at Sabancı University. I am pursuing a double minor in physics and chemistry.

Did you know about the First Year University Courses that constitute most of our core curriculum before you arrived at SU?
Yes, I knew. Actually, during Sabancı University Summer High School I was informed about the First Year University Courses and how they were structured. In fact this structure and getting familiar with the First Year University Courses in advance convinced me while making my decision to choose Sabancı University. Because as an engineering student, I was happy that I would not only take physics and mathematics courses. I knew that I could get to know different fields and improve myself by taking different courses in a wide range of subjects. I really liked this flexible structure that has been in effect since the first year.

Which major did you want to choose? Why?
I declared my major as Materials Science and NanoEngineering because it is an interdisciplinary field integrating chemistry, physics, and biology, the subjects I am deeply interested in during my high school years. Material has a key role in all fields and the outcomes acquired by processing them are truly incredible. I am also deeply interested in the nanoengineering aspect of the field because I would like to expertise in nanotechnology. I knew Sabancı University stands out on nanotechnology and provides good education with its academic staff and the infrastructure opportunities of the SUNUM facility.

Have you changed your mind about your major after taking the First Year University Courses? If yes, what changed?
Initially my intended major was also Materials Science but the First Year University Courses helped me to make my final decision. In my first year in terms of the mandatory PROJ 201 course where you have the chance to work on a project with members from different faculties, I worked in Gözde İnce's laboratory on a project on the use of nanoparticles in the body for drug delivery. I realized that this would be my area of expertise and material have a key role in all fields and it was the biomaterials that attracted me the most. In this field, you had to know both physics and the structure/chemistry of materials and make research on their biological effects. That's why I decided to minor in physics and chemistry. Also, thanks to this project, I am currently doing an internship in Italy. I can easily say that in Sabancı University even a course taken in your first year can have a great impact on your future life

Has there been a change in your perspective on the world, science, global trends after taking these courses?
In the first year at Sabancı, all students are taking the same First Year University Courses regardless of their high school background and these courses change your perspective dramatically. In addition, the courses have intersections; for instance, history classes help you to understand the circumstances of the times the novels you study in Turkish Literature classes were written. Thus, they complement each other and you have the chance to approach a single situation from different perspectives. In addition, discussing questions concerning nature and our daily life in the NS courses open new horizons by enabling you to learn about ongoing scientific developments all over the world. Getting familiar with these scientific studies enables you to discover your area of interest. In the SPS course, you learn different perspectives of different historians on the same event, and in fact, you have the opportunity to learn the real cause and effect relations of the events that you have memorized for years. Rather than being an engineer who just knows mathematics and physics, at the end of the first year, you become individuals who have a solid foundation in both social and natural sciences. I also think that the introductory coding course is very useful. In this course, I learned how important it is to understand the concept we call "computational thinking". I also realized that no matter what my area of expertise is, knowing a coding language is very important in today’s world. 

Bengü Süeda Şengül
July 20, 2021