Skip To Main Content
Graduate student working on Dell laptop

Explore degrees available through the No. 1 online graduate program in Texas. Study online to earn the same quality degree as on campus.

Two students working on equations on a white board. One student pointing at a white board with eligible text, equations and diagrams while another closely observes
Get information on the application process and funding opportunities for undergraduate, graduate and transfer students. 
Ingenium Our blog by students, for students

Get inspired by experiences and opportunities shared by fellow engineering students.

Texas A&M University in the background with seven students with their thumbs up holding a sign that says Future Aggie Engineers and Engineering Texas A&M University
PK-12 Outreach Spark!
Students and organizations can bring hands-on activities or design challenges to your location or just visit as guest speakers.
Selfless Service: Nada Kortam | Video: Justin Baetge and Matthew Linguist, Texas A&M Engineering

Nada Kortam is a senior in the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering. She is a member of the International Student Mentors Association and the founder and president of the Engineering at Galveston Student Association. Kortam shares her passion for helping others and her experiences of being an international student, as well as a student who originally started her academic career at Texas A&M University at Galveston.

Q. How did you get involved in the International Student Mentors Association?

A. One of my friends last spring told me about her involvement with the International Student Mentors Association. She invited me and my roommates to get together with her and her mentee, and her mentee was really nice; she was from Norway. I just thought it was really cool that you get to have someone that is not from the U.S. and you get to mentor them throughout that semester. I applied that day and later got an interview with them and was accepted. Last semester I had a mentee; he was from India and a graduate student in mechanical engineering. It was really fun to just get to know someone not living here and get to know about his culture. He watched his first American football game here at (Texas) A&M. It was just really cool mentoring someone from outside of the U.S.

Q. Where are you from originally?

A. I am originally from Egypt. We moved to the U.S. in 2011. I didn’t really have someone to help me through the transition because it’s literally like a culture shock. I wish someone was there for me, so that’s one of the reasons why I did it too. When I moved here, I didn’t speak English very well. I just kind of had to learn by myself, but people from other countries who already speak English don’t have that much of a transition.

Q. What led to your decision to establish the Galveston Student Association?

A. I started as a freshman in Galveston and then transferred to College Station as a sophomore. My friends and I were just sitting one day in the Galveston library and I said, “I think it would be cool if we just started a club that unites us over here and helps people who are from Galveston to transition to the College Station campus,” because we didn’t really have someone to ask. We officially started the club last semester because it took some time to get adjusted and see how we could help other students. We have community events in College Station for anyone who is here now to attend and we also always try to communicate with the people in Galveston through the professors. Last semester, we also did a panel in Galveston to hear their questions and we answered them to the best of our ability.

Q. Why did you choose to study computer engineering?

A. At the beginning of my freshman year I wanted to study just electrical engineering and then once I came here and attended Department Information Saturday and did more coding, I realized I wanted to do computer engineering because it combines electrical engineering and computer science. I like programming but I didn’t like programming to the point where I wanted to do straight-up computer science – same with electrical engineering. I didn’t want to do all hardware; I wanted to do a mix of both. I just thought it was interesting to understand both levels and how they communicate with each other. I’m happy with my decision. I really like coding but I also really like the hardware. I didn’t realize how much I liked hardware until I started this major.

Q. What is one piece of advice you would give to an international student coming here for the first time to Texas A&M?

A. I would say don’t be scared of the changes. People behave differently based on the environment they are in. Don’t try to change too much to fit in because there are people like you everywhere. Don’t change your values or morals because you see someone doing something else. Also try to understand where people are coming from, especially so they can also understand where you are coming from.

Q. What is one piece of advice you would give to a student starting in Galveston but transitioning here to College Station?

A. I would say manage your time better because classes here are farther away from each other. Know how to get to class and take buses if you need to, don’t get scared of the sizes of the classes and try to make relationships with your professors and go to office hours. Also, try to utilize as many resources as you can and find a good group of friends. A lot of people will already have a group of friends because they established that freshman year, but also keep your Galveston group kind of close and try to keep up with them as much as you can even though you will be in different majors. My roommates also went to Galveston and we are the best of friends because we went through the same experience together and no one else did.