Üsküdar University’s English Psychology Department sophomore student Melisa Aksu will represent Turkey in Cambridge University. Our successful student, who will participate in a study program on developmental disorders in Cambridge University, gave an interview to ÜNA correspondent Rubaşa Ergin.
“Only One Person Attending from Turkey”
Primarily, could you please introduce yourself to us?
I am a sophomore student in English Psychology Department of Üsküdar University.
Could you please briefly explain to us the program you will be attending soon?
I will attend to Cambridge University’s Psychiatry Department and will participate in a research group to conduct studies on developmental disorders. Only 20 individuals, one person per country, are selected for this group within the concept of the program. Therefore, I am the only person to attend from Turkey. Sueda Tunçak, who was a sophomore student at Üsküdar University's Genetic Engineering Department at that time, attended the same program three years ago and currently she is a faculty member of Üsküdar University. She really helped me out in this and encouraged me never to give up. I definitely want to take the same road she has taken.
Where did this idea come from and how did you decide to attend the program?
I was researching the research programs, as I wanted to put the theoretical knowledge I learned in Üsküdar University into a research environment and see how it worked in practice. During that period, I came across this program. Sueda Tunçak, the faculty member of Üsküdar University gave a great support. I learned that she attended the same program before and decided to apply to the program as I realized this program fit perfectly with what I had in mind.
“I applied the program in order to gain research experience”
Did you decide to attend an international program abroad because there is none of this kind in Turkey?
There is no such of a program in Turkey that offers a comprehensive and research experience for undergraduate students. The most important aspect of this program is that they can offer you research experience even if you are an undergraduate student and do not have such experience. Therefore, I applied to gain experience in the research field.
What do you aim to achieve after the program?
I want to specialize in Neurology. I was already doing a research on finding Neurology programs and decided to conduct my studies in this field. I hold the same opinion still.
Do you want to attend another program once you finish this one?
Next year, I will be looking for other programs that I can perform new research and research. It could be any program that can transform my knowledge into practice. It could even be an internship program.
“I want to pave the way for the students who wish to specialize in Neurology”
You have mentioned that there is no such program in Turkey. Would you like to be the pioneer and initiate such programs in Turkey?
Of course, I would. I would like to lead the way for the undergraduate students who aim to specialize in Neurology and gain experience, once I get to a certain level of experience.
There will be people who will wish to achieve the same success as you have. What are the requirements to apply to this program?
First of all, you need to be an undergraduate student to apply to this program. You need to have curiosity towards science and have a solid English level. These are the main criteria. After that, you will need to prove to the faculty members and the laboratory specialists of the university you wish to attend, how eager you are to attend the program. Obviously, you need work hard and stay motivated.
You achieved this success with your own efforts, right?
Yes, I indeed achieved all these with my own efforts and I had many supporters during this period. My teachers from the University really gave me an enormous support. The application period was especially tough and intense for me because I contacted many faculty members and tried to reach to everyone that is associated with the program. Of course, not all of them accepted and received many rejections but my aim was to demonstrate why I was interested in this field and how determined I was to improve myself in this field. After I have talked with many faculty members from different universities, this program has accepted me. Before my application, I have contacted the faculty member that participates in this program and I have sent my application after the faculty member approved my participation. I sent a Letter of Intent and got a reference letter from Üsküdar University. After all these procedures, I was accepted to the program that will last for 2 months. Cambridge University will cover my accommodation and other related expenses. I also would like convey my thanks to Assoc. Prof. Cumhur Taş who showed a great support.