Mustafa Unal

What made you want to study at a US university and CWRU in particular?
I think the reason is quite obvious: The best universities are located here in the US, and I believe that the key to a better future is getting graduate degrees from the top universities. Although I had several acceptances from the top universities in the US, I particularly chose CWRU because of the reputation of my advisor who is a leading scientist in my research area.

What do you miss most about your home country?
I miss my family and friends a lot. I was also missing Turkish food until I got married and discovered Turkish restaurants in the US. Thanks to God! There are two Turkish restaurants around the Cleveland area which I frequently go to eat Turkish food. I am also with my wife here, she is a good cook and her meals make me feel like I am in my country.

How has your global perspective changed now that you have studied in the US?
Before I came to the US, almost I did not know anything about cultures, traditions, values and life styles of other countries. Over the past six years, I have met different people from all around the world, and had the opportunity to know their cultures and traditions. Since then, I truly understand the importance of tolerance and respect to each other since people coming from different backgrounds have different thoughts, cultures, religions, languages, values, and life styles. Therefore, there is not only one type of human in this world and we should learn to live together with peace, tolerance, and respect because the world has become a global village.

Name one thing about studying in the states that you were surprised was actually true?
I was first surprised when I heard students call professors by their names. The relationship between professors and students is so friendly, but it is still hard for me to call professors with their first name even after 6 years!

What is your favorite spot on campus?
My laboratory- I love spending time in my lab, no matter how long it takes. The time flies when I do an experiment.

What is a fun place you have visited in the Cleveland area?
I like to explore falls, lakes, and parks in the Cleveland area. The Cleveland area is so rich in terms of having parks and recreational areas. I like to spend time around Lake Erie, Brandywine Falls, Cuyahoga National Valley, Hudson Spring Park, and Chagrin Falls. All are my favorite and fun places that I frequently visit.

What advice would you give to students arriving to study at CWRU?
My advice to future students is that they should set personal goals for their future before starting this path and create a balance between school and personal/social life. This balance is very important to achieve their goals for the future. Lastly, if they are people like me coming from the south, get ready for the long and tough Cleveland winter.