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Turkey
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Bogazici University - Fall, Spring & Year
 
 
This guide was created to help you navigate the different aspects of travelling abroad as a UCEAP student. All important aspects of attending university in your host country are addressed here, including academic information, extension of UCEAP participation, cultural awareness, orientation, transportation, finances and much more.
 
Remember to also visit the Participants section of the UCEAP website for important information and deadlines.
Click a heading below to see section content.
Your UCEAP Network
 
 
 
 

 

Bogaziçi University
Office of International Relations
Bebek 34342 Istanbul, Turkey
 
Phone: (011-90-212) 359-7421/7078 (Summer Program)
Phone: (011-90-212) (Term/Year Program)
Fax: (011-90-212) 265-3248 (All Programs)
 
Mr. Taner Bilgic, UCEAP Liaison Officer
 
Mr. Kaan Emirhan, Foreign Student Advisor, (Summer Program)
 
Ms. Ece Gunay, Assistant International Relations Coordinator
(Term/Year Program)
 
Ms. Jana Stolarikova, Incoming Exchange Students
(Term/Year Program)
 

Phone Number Codes

U.S. international code ............011  (dial this to call from the U.S.)
 
Turkey country code ............... 90
 
Ankara city code ................... 312
 
Istanbul city code .................. 212
 

Approximate time difference:

 
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Academic Information
Program Overview
 

Boğaziçi University

You have access to all fields of instruction in a wide variety of disciplines in the arts and sciences, education, engineering, and social sciences. Natural and applied sciences and engineering and technology programs are particularly strong. The Faculty of Arts and Sciences includes chemistry, physics, molecular biology and genetics, while the Faculty of Engineering includes chemical, civil, computer, electrical and electronic, industrial, and mechanical engineering.
 
The Faculty of Arts and Sciences also includes history, mathematics, philosophy, psychology, and sociology. Their department of Western Languages and Literatures includes a wide range of courses in English and American literature, drama, and poetry, as well as creative writing and linguistics. The Turkish Language and Literature Department offers Turkish language courses for exchange students. Grammar courses are taught at the elementary, intermediate, and advanced levels. Reading courses are offered for intermediate and advanced level students. Additional faculties are the Faculty of Economics and Administrative Sciences (economics, management, and political science and international relations), the Faculty of Education, the School of Applied Disciplines, and the School of Foreign Languages.
 
Boğaziçi has excellent library and computing facilities. All students have access to computers in the library and in computer labs around campus. There is also Internet access from student dorms. You will have full access to student clubs and athletic facilities.
 
Academic Culture
 
UCEAP participants recommend approaching professors individually at the beginning of the semester and introducing yourself as a foreign student. Professors who use some Turkish in class or allow student discussion in Turkish will usually make an effort to minimize this if they know that there are native English speakers in class. The International/Exchange Office may often have good advice on how to interact with faculty and classmates in and out of the classroom. Do not hesitate to go to them if you are having difficulties with this or any other academic issues.
 
 
Course Information
While studying in Turkey during the academic year, you are required to take a full-time course of study and enroll in a minimum of five courses for a total of 22.5 UC quarter units each term. Units are converted by multiplying the Turkish semester units by 1.5.
 

Course Availability

Although you have a great deal of flexibility in planning your courses, keep in mind that Turkish students generally follow a more rigid degree structure. In many majors, Turkish students may not be allowed to take any electives until their junior year. Even then, students are often required to choose most electives from within their own major and may only be allowed to choose one elective per semester from a closely related field. While these regulations do not apply to you, they will impact course availability; courses that are required for the Turkish student majors are far more likely to be offered each year. Elective offerings are much more variable; only a small percentage of the total elective options listed in the catalog may be offered in any given semester and some may be offered infrequently, if at all. Take this into account when planning your course options and identify multiple backup courses in the event that your first choices are not offered.
 
To determine which courses are required (and most likely to be offered each year) and which are elective (offered more variably), consult your host university’s current online catalogs.
 

Language of Instruction

The language of instruction in each university is English, with very few exceptions. Music classes (which are Western, classical music, not ethnic or folk music) may be taught only in Turkish. The other typical exception is foreign language classes, which are often taught in Turkish. (Often they cannot be taught in English, since Turkish students, the majority in the class, would then have to learn a new language in a foreign language. If you plan to study a foreign language at your host university and are concerned about the language of instruction, communicate directly with the faculty Liaison Officers and/or international office staff for details about the language classes you hope to attend. Keep in mind, however, that faculty members change, new classes are added, other classes are dropped, and there is no way to maintain an updated list class-by-class.
 
It is highly recommended that you introduce yourself to the instructor as an exchange student at the beginning of the class to ensure he or she is aware that non-Turkish students are in the class.
 
Other than the above exceptions, if a class is being taught in Turkish, you may ask the faculty Liaison Officers and/or international office to request instruction in English on your behalf. All universities publicize that their instruction is in English, so do not hesitate to request this accommodation if necessary. See the Academic Culture section for more discussion on this topic.
 

Language Study Requirements

All immersion students must attend a mandatory host university orientation, which includes basic Turkish. Generally, the orientations for fall semester and academic year students include more Turkish instruction than that for spring semester students.
 
All immersion students (except those who demonstrate fluency in Turkish) must take a Turkish language course in their first term (fall for fall semester and academic year students; spring for spring semester students). This course earns 4.5 UC quarter units and, depending on the university, may be called Beginning Turkish, Turkish as a Second Language, or similar. The Liaison Officer and/or international office staff will direct you to the correct course. The Turkish course may be taken as a letter grade or as P/NP.
 
Year participants may continue Turkish instruction in the spring semester, along with four additional courses. Those who do not take a Turkish language course during the spring term must still enroll in five courses totaling 22.5 quarter units.
 
 
Previous students have registered for graduate courses in certain areas (with permission from the instructor and the department, and with a UCEAP General Petition indicating that you have the required background) and have found this provides an enjoyable challenge.
 
Boğaziçi University (Immersion)
You will be assigned an academic advisor by the international office, which is responsible for the registration of all exchange students upon arrival. After orientation, you will register for courses just before and during the first week of classes. You may need to be flexible, since class times and enrollment limits my change. Some prerequisites will require approval by your academic advisor.
 

Early Exams

The fall semester ends in mid-January at all Turkish universities. If you wish to return to UC in late December for winter quarter or spring semester, be flexible with your course choices, discuss early exam options with instructors at the beginning of the semester, and be willing to change your course selections if a particular instructor is unable or unwilling to make such arrangements. Since the arrangements must be negotiated with individual instructors and departments after arrival in Turkey, they cannot be guaranteed in advance.
 
The ultimate decision for early exams is the professor’s. If a professor does not allow early exams, neither the Liaison Officer/International Office staff nor UCEAP can influence that decision. Keep in mind also that even if you personally leave early, the official program end date is still mid-January, and your finals may or may not be graded until all other students have completed their work in January.
 
Internships and Field Study
You may volunteer for work at local nongovernmental organizations (NGOs) and schools.
In the summer after the academic year, there may also be opportunities to participate in archaeological excavations at historic sites. The projects may be run by university departments; or department teachers may be prominent members of another institution’s project; or a project may request student workers from a specific university; or an excavation may not fit into any of these categories but is open to students. Due to the vast number of opportunities, all students who want a place have been able to find one. You must submit your application in the fall to work the following summer due to Ministry of Culture and Tourism application deadlines. The UCEAP Liaison Officers can assist with the application process. Bring a résumé and letter(s) of reference with you to Turkey if you are interested in applying for these opportunities. Spring semester students wanting to participate may contact the UCEAP Liaison Officers in early fall to submit an application for the following summer.
 
Extending UCEAP Participation
 
Cultural Awareness
Educate Yourself
 
Getting Settled
UCEAP students have commented that the first couple of weeks in Turkey can be both exhilarating and difficult. The orientation period is busy and full of activities, excursions, Turkish language lessons, meetings, and opportunities to become acquainted with Turkish host students as well as international students from around the world who have come to study in Turkey. However, it is also a time when most Turkish students are still on vacation and many university services (dormitory phones, computer labs, libraries, many of the restaurants, etc.) may still be closed or curtailed for the summer.
 
Course registration, which takes place at the end of orientation, can also seem confusing and chaotic. And of course, you are going through many adjustments to culture, language, food, and an entirely new environment. UCEAP students suggest that it is important to keep this time in perspective and recognize that things will settle into a routine once the regular semester starts.
 
Social Conduct
Drugs are prohibited and punishment is strictly enforced. Driving while drinking is a punishable offense. Alcohol is not permitted on campus. Religious proselytizing is also forbidden by law.
 
 
Improve Your Language Skills
 
Official Start Date & Mandatory Orientation

Immersion Programs

With the exception of the Bilkent spring semester program, the programs begin with a mandatory two-week host university orientation and intensive Turkish language training. The orientation period is brimming with events thoughtfully planned by the International Centers.
 
Turkish language study occupies approximately three hours per day in the morning during the orientation program. The rest of the program consists of workshops, social activities, campus and city tours, and excursions to archaeological sites and other places of interest, such as local wineries. The International Centers also organize weekend trips during the academic term to destinations such as Istanbul and the Aegean and Mediterranean coasts for interested students. These excursions are optional and involve additional fees.
 
If you are fluent in Turkish, you may request an exemption from the language classes, but you are still required to attend all orientation meetings and group activities and excursions. The Turkish language courses you take during the orientation transition into the Turkish language classes you take during the semester. Arriving late for orientation is not allowed.
 
Accommodation is provided in dormitories on campus. Since the orientation occurs prior to the beginning of the semester, few Turkish students will be on site and some services, such as Internet access, will not yet be available.
 
For spring semester students at Bilkent, the program begins with a mandatory three-day host university orientation. You will not receive the same intensive Turkish language training as the fall and year participants.
 
Travel Planning
Travel to Your Host Country
 
 
 

Arrival

Bogaziçi: You should arrive in Istanbul and go to the Bogaziçi University campus on your assigned dormitory move-in date. Details on local transportation options to the campus are found in the Arrival/Orientation instructions in the UCEAP Predeparture Checklist.
 
Travel Documents
 

Visa Requirements

 
Bogaziçi Program: Obtain a student visa in the U.S. prior to departure. Do not enter Turkey without a student visa. Once abroad, it may be impossible to obtain the necessary student visa.
 

Residence Permit

You will need to acquire a Residence Permit within one month after arrival in Turkey. The International Offices at Bogaziçi will assist with the application procedure. To obtain the Residence Permit you must be prepared to submit the following eight materials:
  1. Passport (the passport will be held by the authorities for approximately one week, so you will not be able to leave the country during this time)
     
  2. Photocopy of passport
     
  3. Resident Certificate, obtained from the Dormitory Administration
     
  4. Four copies of the Declaration of Residence Permit, each with an attached photo (the form is obtained from the Registrar)
     
  5. Three additional passport-sized photos
     
  6. Statement from the Registrar indicating your exchange status
     
  7. Three copies of Student Personal Information Form, obtained from the Registrar
     
  8. Application fee: the Turkish equivalent of approximately U.S. $48

Photos

Take at least 12 passport-sized photos with you for use after arrival in Turkey.
 
Packing Tips
 
 
Personal Property Insurance
 
Return Travel
 
Financial Information
Understanding Your Finances
 
Your MyEAP Account & Budget
 
 
Handling Money Abroad
 

Banking

Banking is relatively easy as long as you make arrangements prior to departure. The best banking option is to open a dollar account with a Turkish bank and have money transferred from the U.S. It will take about a week for the transfer to be finalized. No commission is charged if money is left in the bank for one month.
 
 
Communications Abroad
Internet Access
 
Semester and year program students will not receive a university computer account until the end of orientation. University computer facilities usually do not open for business until the end of orientation and the beginning of the regular semester, almost two weeks after you arrive. During this time, you can use Internet cafés, but do not count on daily access; the orientation schedule is busy, and the nearest cafés may be a 15- or 20-minute bus ride from campus.
 
Phones
 
Mail & Shipments
Bogaziçi
[Student Name]
c/o Mr. Kaan Emirhan
(for Summer Program)
c/o Ms. Jana Stolarikova
(for Term/Year Program)
Office of International Relations
Bogaziçi University
Bebek 34342
Istanbul, TURKEY ​
 
Housing & Meals
Housing

Bogaziçi Housing

On-campus accommodation is required by UCEAP for summer program participants. Bogaziçi will place most international students in the Superdorm for the summer program. Dormitory check-in is limited to an assigned date and time. There are no guest rooms for visitors. You will need to provide your own bed linen, blankets, and towels. Shopping centers are nearby and shuttle buses connect the various campuses of the university.
 
See the university’s website for detailed information on dormitory accommodations (Superdorm and Ucaksavar Dorm), including their amenities and regulations.
 
Note that profanity, smoking, alcohol, gambling, and drug use are not allowed on dormitory premises, in addition to other behavioral rules (see the Bogaziçi University Student Dorm Regulations). Though students typically do not like the regulations, they acknowledge the rules are not difficult to follow for a program of only seven weeks. Students who cannot adjust to Turkish dormitory life should not participate in the summer program. Semester and year participants may choose on- or off-campus housing.
 

Off-campus Housing

Past participants of Turkey programs generally recommend on-campus housing, although you are free to arrange your own semester or year accommodation off-campus if you choose. Read the considerations below before making any decisions regarding on- or off-campus housing.
  • There is no campus organization to assist in locating off-campus housing.
  •  
  • Most affordable rentals are located relatively far from the campus and involve a commute to and from the campus for daily classes.
  •  
  • Rental units are usually unfurnished and have no telephone.
  •  
  • You make your own arrangements for utility services.
  •  
  • If you rent an apartment off campus, you may find yourself isolated from campus life.
  •  
  • Neighbors or landlord may not speak English, increasing your isolation.
 
Meals
 

Bogaziçi University

There are many food outlets on campus as well as nearby supermarkets and a farmer’s market. Most of the food outlets will deliver to your dorm room. The dorm common rooms have a sink and refrigerator. Past students suggest purchasing both a hot plate and a panini press after arrival in Turkey in order to cook simple meals for yourself and take advantage of the abundant fresh fruits and vegetables and lower cost. You will need to bring your own eating and cooking utensils, or purchase them after arrival. Dorm mates usually share cookware, so past students suggest waiting to purchase cookware until after you know what is already there for your use.
 
 
Daily Life Abroad
Local Transportation
 
Students at universities in Ankara have four types of transportation:
  1. Free shuttle buses provided by the universities. This includes a shuttle service running between Bilkent. The university provides regular shuttle buses that run every hour to and from downtown Ankara, including weekends, as well as a campus shuttle system that connects the dormitories with the rest of the campus. These buses are free for students and run as late as 3 a.m. on weekends.
     
  2. Dolmus or shared minibuses. These buses follow a set route, but stop to pick up passengers all along the route (so schedules are less predictable). Dolmus go to the downtown area and other locations around the city. There are also several minibus services between *******METU and various city centers.
     
  3. Municipal buses. Several city bus routes connect ***********METU with the main parts of Ankara. These buses generally run on the hour and half hour during work hours and less frequently after work hours, including holidays.
     
  4. Taxis. Taxis serve both campuses and are relatively inexpensive, especially when shared.
Extracurricular Activities
 
Bogaziçi University sports facilities include both outdoor and indoor swimming pools, tennis courts, and a fully-equipped fitness gym. Social and cultural activities are also easily found in the nearby city center.
 
 
Students with Disabilities
 
Travel Sign-out Form
 
Travel
 
Insurance
UCEAP Insurance
 
Staying Healthy
Local Medical Facilities
 
Physical Health
 
Prescription Medication
 
Mental Health
Health Risks
 
Staying Safe
Minimize Risk
 
Crime & Prevention
 
Civil Unrest
 
Traffic & Transportation Safety
 
Natural Disasters
 
Travel Advisories & Smart Traveler Registration
 
UCEAP Contingency Planning
 
Fire Safety
 
 
Terrorism
 
In An Emergency
 
 
 
 
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* Pregnancy includes pregnancy, childbirth, and medical conditions related to pregnancy or childbirth.