October 21, 2020 15:23
Interview with an international alumni student from BME

After his bachelors made in Turkey, Yahya Kara graduated at BME as an MSc mechanical engineer.  He pursued his studies on PhD level, at the Department of Polymer Technology. Interview about education quality, Budapest life, and his experiences as an international student.

You received your mechanical engineering BSc degree in Turkey. Why did you choose to continue in Hungary? 

Yes, I obtained my BSc degree at Atatürk University, Turkey. During my BSc studies, I had joined the University of Debrecen, Hungary, in 2013, with Erasmus Scholarship. I stayed there two semesters long. Coming to Hungary at that time was one of the significant decisions I have ever made. I decided to prolong my stay, and I won the Erasmus traineeship program for a four-month internship in Budapest. I have learnt a lot about Hungary during my stay between 2013-2014. I met great people, and I had a chance to more acquainted with the higher education system. Besides, Hungarian professors mentored me a lot in learning research environment. I had the opportunity to get more acquainted with research opportunities in Hungarian institutions like KFKI facilities during my Erasmus study. Indeed, I had mesmerized with Hungarian higher education, also research institutions and opportunities. Continuing my doctoral study at Hungary first came to my mind before I went back to Turkey in 2014. I was following the work of the MTA-BME Research Group for Composite Science and Technology, and I was fascinated with the work done. And then, I began searching about education and scholarship programs to study at BME. Thanks to Stipendium Hungaricum Scholarship Programme, I ended up in BME in 2016 for an MSc study.

I did not speak much about the social-cultural life in Hungary because life here is dynamic and touches everyone's soul. One can feel that the city affects every colour, sense, tastes, or pleasure in everyday life. Primarily Budapest hosts many events throughout the year. As a foreigner living here, I would say it is worth experiencing Hungarian life, and I mostly feel like home since I moved here. 

Why did you choose to do your PhD studies in BME?

Firstly, I obtained my MSc Mechanical Engineering degree in BME. Thus, I believe it will be better to speak about the time before I came to BME for the MSc study. I had decided to continue studying PhD when I was a BSc student. I was a junior lab research student at the Ataturk University, Engineering Faculty, and I was working on polymer composites and micromechanics of the fibre-reinforced plastics. I had learned a lot about the faculty and research groups in the last year of my BSc study when I was in Turkey. BME and PT department was a well-known research institute due to high-quality research, publications, and various international projects. I had a chance to read through articles published by professors in the BME as well as the PT department. I thought it would be an excellent experience for me to work with distinguished professors of BME in the field. The quality and scientific aspect in the BME took my attention, frankly.

Deciding pursuing PhD study and work as a researcher in BME was not a difficult decision at all. I believe science only stays where it is respected. BME is rated as one of the best institutes in the mechanical engineering field, not only in the EU but also worldwide. BME, Faculty of Mechanical Engineering, has departments for each area of interest and discipline in mechanical engineering. Every department offers a comprehensive educational perspective in teaching the specific mechanical engineering course with depth knowledge. Each department has costly research facilities and infrastructure to enhance the scientific experience and industrial expertise in our field. It feels great to say that I found myself in the frontline of science and practice as a student in the Department of Polymer Engineering. Thanks to the massive support and scientific excellence tradition in BME and the Faculty of Mechanical Engineering, I was able to enhance my skills. I am proud to be a part of this big organization.

What did you think about Budapest, when you first arrived here?

The first time I visited Budapest in September 2013. I had limited knowledge about Budapest before I have been here. But Budapest is one of the most famous capitals around the world and particularly well-known by the people in my country. Budapest's peaceful and calm nature has genuinely attracted me, and at that time, I felt Budapest is the city where I would live for long years. The city protected its feelings and texture despite all the destroying occurrences in the past. There are lots of historical footprints that came from different eras in every corner of Budapest street. I am here for a long while, but it still makes me feel good discovering unique places around the city in years.

Please, list five things you love in Budapest!

I would like to highlight Gellért hill, with the panoramic sight of Budapest, also the Central Library of the Technical University of Budapest (BME OMIKK). Or walking along the gorgeous Danube side at sunset. Thermal baths are also fascinating, while the availability of public transportation services 7/24 is advantageous. At night, you can almost get from anywhere to anywhere in the city.

If you want to read more about the experiences of Yahya Kara, please visit the official blog site of the BME Faculty of Mechanical Engineering here! Please, visit the website of the International Mentor Team of the University to get more information for your stay here in Hungary.