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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.
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
Ms. Jana Stolarikova, Incoming Exchange Students
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
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Summer - Boğaziçi University
In this intensive seven-week program, you’ll choose three classes from a wide range of courses in the social and natural sciences, history, language, engineering, education, and the arts. A course in History of the Turkish Republic is offered for international students. The program allows you to pursue personal academic interests while discovering and interacting with Turkish culture, society, and history.
Intensive Turkish language classes are also offered during the summer. These include Elementary and Intermediate Turkish for Foreigners I and Advanced Reading in Turkish for Foreigners I. Language study is not a program requirement, but you are encouraged to take Turkish language courses. Although English is the language of instruction, most social interaction is in Turkish.
A full listing of summer courses is available on the Boğaziçi Summer Term website.
You are required to take a full-time course of study while abroad and enroll in a total of 13.5 UC quarter units. No more than one of your three courses may be taken on a pass/no pass basis.
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.
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.
***************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.
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 (Summer Term)
Registration occurs prior to departure. You will be e-mailed instructions plus a username and password to pre-register via an online system (OBIKAS). Expect to receive the e-mail early to mid-May.
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
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.
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
Orientation concerning emergency contacts, health, safety, cultural adjustment, and other important topics occurs one day before the first day of classes. Be prepared to receive a less thorough orientation than you expect. Ask the international office staff any questions you may still have after the orientation. Past UCEAP students did not receive the information they expected about banking and other logistical issues. The orientation session is mandatory for UCEAP students.
Travel to Your Host Country
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.
Bogaziçi Summer Program: Obtain a tourist visa upon arrival in Turkey; a student visa is not required for the short duration of the summer program.
**********Residence Permit (Bilkent, Bogaziçi, and Koç Programs)
You will need to acquire a Residence Permit within one month after arrival in Turkey. The International Offices at Bilkent, Bogaziçi, and Koç will assist with the application procedure. To obtain the Residence Permit you must be prepared to submit the following eight materials:
- 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)
- Photocopy of passport
- Resident Certificate, obtained from the Dormitory Administration
- Four copies of the Declaration of Residence Permit, each with an attached photo (the form is obtained from the Registrar)
- Three additional passport-sized photos
- Statement from the Registrar indicating your exchange status
- Three copies of Student Personal Information Form, obtained from the Registrar
- Application fee: the Turkish equivalent of approximately U.S. $48
Take at least 12 passport-sized photos with you for use after arrival in Turkey.
Personal Property Insurance
Understanding Your Finances
Your MyEAP Account & Budget
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.
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.
c/o Mr. Kaan Emirhan
(for Summer Program)
c/o Ms. Jana Stolarikova
(for Term/Year Program)
Office of International Relations
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.
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.
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.
Students at universities in Ankara have four types of transportation:
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- Taxis. Taxis serve both campuses and are relatively inexpensive, especially when shared.
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
Traffic & Transportation Safety
Travel Advisories & Smart Traveler Registration
UCEAP Contingency Planning
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condition (cancer-related), ancestry, marital status,
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student-related nondiscrimination policies may be directed to
the campus Equal Employment Opportunity/Affirmative Action
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conditions related to pregnancy or childbirth.