Partner Institutions

With around 300 partner institutions in 60 different countries, Koç University welcomes hundreds of incoming exchange students from every part of the globe each semester.

Students coming from partner universities are waived from the tutition fee at KU. However, those students cannot directly apply, they need to be selected and nominated by their home university.

Here is the list of our partner institutions.

If you are a student who would like to study at KU for a semester or academic year but home university is not a partner institution with KU, you need to go through our Registrar’s and Student Affairs Directorate’s Special Students (Tuition Paying Exchange Students) application process. Please see the details here.

Nomination and Application

Online Nomination Form

Koç University receives incoming exchange student nominations through the KUAPP online portal. The link to this portal is shared with all partners via email.


Nomination and Application Dates:

Every year, Koç University received nominations and applications at the same time and between the same dates.

Fall / Spring / Full Academic Year: April 1st – June 1st

Spring (second call): September 1st – November 1st

Summer: February 1st – April 1st

Please kindly note that nominations end at 5:00 pm local time on the last day. In order to prevent any loss of data, nominations are accepted through the online module only.


Procedures and Steps

Every semester Koç University’s Office of International Programs (OIP) contacts its partner universities and informs them about the online student nomination procedures. Our partners nominate students who meet our general admission criteria on Koç University’s KUAPP system. Student applications also take place on this system once the nomination process has been completed.


Requirements to Nominate a Global Exchange Student

Incoming Erasmus Students should have completed at least one year of study (one semester of study for graduate students except CEMS students) at their home university.

A minimum GPA of 2.2/4.00 for undergraduates and a 2.5/4.00 for graduate students.

However, exchange students should liaise with their exchange advisor for specific academic requirements for specific academic and GPA requirements for their university.

At Koç University, medium of instruction is in English. Therefore, it’s required to present a document that states your proficiency in English.

Koç University requires minimum B2 (CEFR) or TOEFL PBT 550; TOEFL CBT 213; TOEFL IBT 80 or IELTS 6.5.These exams must be taken within the last two years.

If the student is a native English speaker, or has already been studying in an English speaking country, at a higher education program (USA, Canada, Australia, Singapore and UK, etc) then the student does not need to take these exams.

For Erasmus exchange program, language requirement is as stated in the agreement between two institutions. Required documentation should be provided accordingly.

For further information about nominating students/quotas please email:


Application Form for Students   

Student applications also take place on KUAPP once the nomination process has been completed. Subsequently, students are sent an automatic message with their own log-in credentials and they may begin the application procedure immediately. Students are expected to fill out and submit their forms by the end of the application period. It should be noted that applications close at 5.00 pm local time on the last day of the application period.

If you don’t see the nomination confirmation and application instructions e-mail in your Inbox, please check your Spam folder and Junkbox.



Electronic acceptance letters are delivered via KUAPP with an electronic signature. If requested, the exchange office can provide the students and/or their exchange advisors with a hard copy acceptance letter.

What Can I Study at KU? (Colleges, Graduate Schools and Programs)

With its liberal arts paradigm, Koç University guarantees that students receive a diverse and comprehensive education while concurrently gaining expertise in a particular academic discipline.

Cooperation with international institutions, as well as lectures by internationally renowned academicians and business leaders, also contribute to the quality of education at Koç University.


Colleges and Schools of Undergraduate Studies

College of Administrative Sciences and Economics (CASE):

College of Social Sciences and Humanities (CSSH):

College of Sciences (CS):

College of Engineering (CE):

Law School (LS):

School of Medicine (SOM):

School of Nursing (SON):


Graduate Schools for Master’s and PhD

Graduate School of Business (GSB):

Graduate School of Sciences and Engineering (GSSE):

Graduate School of Social Sciences and Humanities (GSSSE):

Graduate School of Health Sciences (GSHS):

Useful Resources and Contacts

Students who will be a part of Koç University should read the Exchange Semester at Koc University Guide and Incoming Exchange Student Guide carefully. They both include everything you need to know such as getting a visa, required documents for your residence permit, the procedures about health insurance and information about academics, student life and transportation.


International Community Office for Visa, Residence Permit and Health Insurance Inquiries




Dormitory and Housing



Academic Life

To have a general idea on Koc University’s academic system, you can have a look into the this short video.

Koc Univesity uses the the most up-to-date educational technologies. Please see the video to find out about the tools you will use during your semester at KU.


KUSIS (Koç University Academic Information System)

KUSIS is an online platform used to fill out petitions, locate classrooms, reach professors, and view course content.


Course Planning and Enrollment

Course planning and course enrollment are two separate processes. You should plan your courses before the course enrollment. By doing that, you will be able to see if your courses overlap or if there are any prerequisites, etc.

During the Orientation Days, there will be a separate session for course enrollment and you will be able to enroll into your planned courses. Throughout these procedures, your Mentors and Registrar’s Office will assist you.



Please note that course planning and course enrollment are two separate process. You can start planning your courses on KUSIS before your arrival. However, course enrollment is made during the Orientation Week with the help of mentor students.

As Koc Univesity, we provide you with the freedom to take courses from any programs regardless of your major as long as it is also approved by your home university. However, due to the prerequisites and reserved capacity, you may not take all the courses you plan to. Therefore, we kindly ask you to get approval from your home University to select more courses than you normally need in order to be on the safe side in terms of credit requirements.

Grading System, Course Load and Credits

Grading Scale      

A+ 4.00 Superior+ 98-100
A 4.00 Superior 90-100
A- 3.70 Superior- 87-89
B+ 3.30 Above Average+ 83-86
B 3.00 Above Average 80-82
B- 2.70 Above Average- 77-79
C+ 2.30 Average+ 73-76
C 2.00 Average 70-72
C- 1.70 Average- 67-69
D+ 1.30 Deficient+ 64-66
D 1.00 Deficient 60-63
F 0.00 Failing 00-59


Course Load, ECTS (European Credit Transfer System) & KU credits

  • Course load indicates how many credits a student takes per semester.
  • 1 KU credit/unit is usually equal to 2 ECTS; however there might be exceptions. So, students are responsible for checking the ECTS-worth of the courses on KUSIS during course planning and enrollment periods.
  • Courses coded 100-499 indicate UNDERGRADUATE courses (100s for Freshman, 200s for Sophomore, 300s for Junior, 400s for Seniors). 
  • Courses coded 500-699 indicate GRADUATE courses.
  • Any course codes greater than 699 indicate DOCTORATE courses.
  • The highest grade a student can get for an exam or a coursework is 4.00 / A, while 0.00 / F means that the student fails the course.

Visa, Residence Permit and Health Insurance


Depending on their nationalities, students can enter Türkiye with their passports / IDs as tourists, multiple-entry tourist (ordinary) e-visas, or student visas. For more details on your entry to Türkiye and the visa type you should obtain, please visit the website of our International Community Services Office (ICO).

Residence Permit

A residence permit is required by law for those who will stay in Türkiye for longer than 3 months or beyond their visa periods. Therefore, all exchange students are obliged to apply for and obtain a residence permit upon their arrival in Türkiye.


Student Responsibilities before Arrival:

Exchange students apply for a residence permit during their Orientation Week at Koç University with the help of our International Community Services Office (ICO)

To learn the permit application process and list of required documents, please visit the website of ICO.

Questions on this matter should be directed to ICO at


Student Responsibilities upon Arrival:

1. Stay tuned with the announcements and emails from the ICO

2. Follow the instructions from staff members and mentors, and cooperate with them

3. Make an online permit application as per the Residence Permit Application Guide for Exchange Students

4. Collect the required documents given on ICO’s website

5. Pay the Permit Card Fee as instructed on the ICO’s website

6. Submit them to the ICO’s Help Desk (The date and location to be announced in the Orientation Week)


Unless you have a life emergency, you should be done with the residence permit application during Orientation Week. The consequences of not doing so are time-consuming and costly. If you cannot submit the online application within the Orientation Week, please inform your mentor and contact

Health Insurance 

As per immigration laws in Türkiye, it is MANDATORY that all students have valid insurance that covers the total duration of their enrollment at Koç University. The insurance should take effect from the day the student enters Türkiye and cover the complete duration of stay.

1. The minimum coverage requirements are outlined below. Please confirm with your health insurance company in your home country the following:

2. Your coverage is valid and can be used in Türkiye

3. English translation of the original Insurance Plan (If issued in another language)

4. Meets the minimum coverage requirement (Same or higher coverage)

5. You have a list of hospitals in Istanbul where you can use your insurance


Minimum Policy Content

  Contracted Institutions *Non-Contracted Institutions
Annual Minimum Limit Contributions Annual Minimum Limit Contributions
Outpatient Diagnosis Treatment 2.000.-TL Insured: %40 2.000.-TL Insured: %40
Company : %60 Company: %60
Inpatient Diagnosis Treatment Unlimited Insured: %0 20.000.-TL Insured: %20
Company %100 Company %80

*Non- Contracted Institutions: Institutions (Hospitals, physicians’ offices, and other health institutions) do not have an agreement with an insurer.



There are other insurance options for international students in Türkiye. However, obtaining insurance in Türkiye may take time. You might have medical needs until you purchase Turkish Health Insurance. In that case, you will have to pay extraordinary amounts of cash for any procedure as an international. Therefore, we recommend that you are insured before you enter Türkiye.

If you consider purchasing health insurance in Türkiye and looking for some recommendations, please visit the website of our International Community Services Office (ICO).

Bilateral Social Security Agreements as Alternative Insurance Coverage In Türkiye

Students whose nationalities are listed below may bring their Formuler (An official document representing the bilateral social security agreement labeled with the corresponding agreement code) with them. Eligible individuals will have access to public health care services in Türkiye equivalent to health care services in their home countries after activating their Formuler. Please be informed, private health care providers might have limited or no participation with this insurance plan. To be covered by Turkish Public Health Insurance, students should fill out an activation form and visit the Kabataş Social Security office in Istanbul with their Formuler.

For the whole procedure, please visit the ICO’s web page:

On-Campus Housing / Dormitories

Koç University dormitories have a capacity of nearly 2800 students. Student housing applications are processed by Dormitory Management:


Undergraduate and Graduate West Campus Housing Applications

Triple rooms are available at the West Campus for those who apply and make payments during the assigned period.

Students requiring an alternative room type due to disability/medical condition should send their requests and official health reports to for verification before the application deadline.


NOTE to all incoming exchange students:

Please note that exchange students are usually placed with local roommates. In order to finalize your online payment for the dormitory, please follow the instructions in the link that you will receive by e-mail upon your application for a dorm room. Once you arrive, you may obtain your door key from Dorm Management in Building A5, Floor -1 at any time. Dormitory management is open 24/7.

Koç University dormitories are equipped with basic furniture (refrigerator, bed, closet, desk, chair, bed stand, lamps, and pillows). Upon your arrival, you will need to purchase outstanding items such as towels, pillowcases, sheets, duvet, and duvet covers.



If you plan to stay off-campus during your exchange semester at KU, please note that our institution is not authorized to guide students for off-campus housing. You can find some recommendations here.

Mentorship Program

Each incoming student is assigned to an Exchange Mentor (a full-time Koç University student) who acts as a guide and resource person throughout the semester. Each mentor is responsible for approximately five students and maintains weekly communication with each of them. The mentors go through a rigorous selection, interview, and training process before being assigned a group of students. Mentors are reliable, hard-working individuals open to cultural exchange. They take their students’ well-being into consideration at all times and are always ready to address their questions or concerns the whole mobility semester.

Mentors will contact their mentees prior to the semester.

Arrival Checklist

Before you arrive:

  • Apply for Koç University housing if you would like to stay on campus
  • Check your visa status and ensure you have relevant documents with you
  • Complete your course planning
  • Read all correspondence from your OIP advisors carefully
  • Plan your budget
  • Plan your fee payments (if applicable)
  • Prepare for your studies
  • Pack your suitcase


Orientation Week

Orientation week for new exchange students at Koç University is intended to welcome them to the university and give them all of the essential information needed to make the most out of their time during their studies. They also have the chance to meet their mentors and other exchange students during the week. There are a number of social events running throughout the week to help them settle into life at Koç University and have an enjoyable experience as much as possible. Orientation starts one week before the classes begin. During orientation, there will be a campus tour and other activities that will familiarize students with the Koç community. Administrative processes, such as course registration will also take place during orientation.

Fall 2022 Orientation Week is expected to be held between September 19 and 23, 2022. Accepted student should keep checking e-mails sent from our Office regularly to stay updated.

Course Enrollment, Add and Drop, Withdrawl

KUSIS (KU Academic Information System)   

KUSIS is an online platform used to fill out petitions, locate classrooms, reach professors, and view course content.


Course Planning and Enrollment    

Please note that course planning and course enrollment are two separate process. You can start planning your courses on KUSIS before your arrival. However, course enrollment is made during the Orientation Week with the help of mentor students.

As Koc Univesity, we provide you with the freedom to take courses from any programs regardless of your major as long as it is also approved by your home university. However, due to the prerequisites and reserved capacity, you may not take all the courses you plan to. Therefore, we kindly ask you to get approval from your home University to select more courses than you normally need in order to be on the safe side in terms of credit requirements.


Check-Out Prodecures

As the semester come to end, there are several steps for exchange students to complete. Please make sure that you complete all these phases in order to be eligible to receive your transcript by OIP.


Dormitory Procedures    

All exchange students must fill out the check-out form in Dormitory Management prior to the end of the semester.

Students have to give back their room keys to Dormitory Management upon check-out.

Students wishing to continue their stay in the dormitories for next semester because of academic reasons should inform Dormitory Management.

Students who will not continue for the next semester but would like to stay in dormitories during the semester break should inform OIP office and they will be charged according to the duration of their stay.


Library Fines  

All exchange students have to return all books and movies before leaving campus. You may pay fines with either a credit/debit card in person, or by visiting the YapıKredi bank on campus. If you pay via the bank, you will need to drop the receipt off to the library as proof.

Official Transcript of Records

Student transcripts will be issued to the home institution exchange coordinator upon completion of the semester. Please note that transcripts cannot be issued until all grades have been entered into the online information system which can take up to one month after the last day of examinations. The postal procedure will take another couple weeks.

It should also be noted that students have to complete all the check-out procedures in order to be eligible to receive their transcripts by KU.

Exchange Semester Feedback Survey and Testimonial Submission

In order to enrich the exchange semester experience at Koç University, OIP kindly asks you to share your feedback via an online survey at the end of the semester. We also encourage our students to share their nice memories they make at Koç and in Türkiye in a short testimonial format with a few photos.

The survey link and testimonial submission link will be sent by OIP at the end of the semester via e-mail.


Diversity, Inclusion and Disabled Student Coordination Unit

Koç University is committed to creating equal accessibility of any academic, residential, and campus-life related services to all students. To ensure an enriching and rewarding academic and campus life, the Diversity, Inclusion and Disabled Student Coordination Unit works with students with a physical or mental impairment that substantially limits or restricts their participation in, and contribution to any programs offered at Koç University. This Unit also allows every student with differences such as gender, religion, language, disability and socio-cultural characteristics to participate equally in university life.


Diversity, Inclusion and Disabled Student Coordination Unit

Ms. Nihan Karahalil

Phone: +90 (212) 338 1216


Dean of Students, -3. Floor

KURES (Koç University Guidance and Psychological Services Centre)

KURES accompanies students in their process of coming to know and realizing themselves, and supporting their personal development. It aims to help students acquire the knowledge and skills that will help them cope with the academic, social and personal problems they face throughout this process.

KOLT (Koç University Office of Learning and Teaching)

KOLT leads and supports continuous development of learning and teaching at Koç University. It supports the development of all skills through a variety of services:

  • KOLT Tutoring Center (weekly tutoring sessions and reviews before exams),
  • Language Conversation Circles,
  • Elective Seminars,
  • Customized workshops for specific courses,
  • Individual consultation with KOLT members.

Career Development Center

The topics which you can consult with our career counselors at all stages of their career planning and development are shaped within the framework below. You can see the details for each audience from the relevant pages.

  • Personality/Interest Inventories and Career-Oriented Interpretation
  • General Career Counseling
  • Planning for Masters and PhD Process
  • Review of Curriculum Vitae, Cover Letter and Statement of Purpose
  • Interview Preparation
  • Walk-In Meetings for Quick Questions


Exploring and adopting surroundings

As a new person to Istanbul and KU, you should take your time exploring the culture, environment, and customs.

Our International Community Services Office (ICO) is here to help you with your transition process to your new “home.”

Below you can find related ICO resources. For more, please visit ICO’s website.

What is culture shock?

Culture shock is the way you react and feel when the cultural cues you know so well from home are lacking. In our daily lives each of us knows how to perform a myriad of activities on any particular day in an amazingly efficient manner. We can shower, get dressed, make it to campus, grab a coffee, go to the library, research and photocopy, print out a paper, go to class, pick up a few groceries and get back home without thinking about any of these tasks. We know when to j-walk without comtemplating. We know how to interpret motives when someone runs into us–was it a dangerous encounter, impolite gesture or simply an accident? When someone yells at us, we know how to analyze the situation and react whether it be out of anger, joy or frustration–all in a matter of seconds.

These activities all require cultural knowledge, and when you go to a new country you must learn to recognize normal behavior, interpret cultural signals, navigate the new rules, and react in an adult manner appropriate to that culture. Inexperience in the culture takes its toll on your psyche, and your reaction will be determined by your knowledge of that culture, your ability to observe people and your willingness to accept this new/different (but not better or worse) way of doing things.

The more subtle the differences, the harder your task. For many students who have spent years learning a foreign language and studying cultural information about a country, it is easy to accept that the “rules are different”. Those, on the other hand, who go to a country where English is the native language, may be caught off guard to learn that cultural differences abound, and culture shock may be more severe as a result.

Experts believe that cultural adjustment often occurs in three stages:

  • Honeymoon stage — excitement about being in the new country.
  • Uncomfortable stage — frustration, confusion and negative feelings about the new culture, homesickness, illness. This stage is often called ‘Culture shock’.
  • Adjustment stage — understanding many aspects of the new culture, making friends and discovering helpful people at the university; ability to keep core values of the home country but operate within the values of the new community.

Remembering the following facts will help: Culture shock doesn’t come from a specific event. It is caused by encountering different ways of doing things, being cut off from cultural cues, having your own cultural values brought into question, feeling that rules are not adequately explained, and being expected to function with maximum skill without adequate knowledge of the rules.

Therefore, strategies for coping include the following:

  • Know as much as possible about your host country (preferably before you go, but once there depend on the host nationals to help).
  • Find logical reasons for cultural differences. Many have evolved over time for very specific purposes that are no longer apparent.
  • Try to spend more time with your mentor, discuss your feelings and talk about your experiences. Give specific incidents, tell how you would do something at home and ask what you must have missed in a particular encounter.
  • Have faith in yourself that you will survive and cope and have a positive experience. This faith in yourself that you have the drive and energy to learn about a new culture will inevitably pay great dividends and make for the remarkable experience it should be.

Coping with the Adjustment Process

Understand that it is normal for anyone in a new country to experience some challenges adjusting to the new culture.

  • Learn about and experience the new culture.
  • Meet people and make new friends both from your home country and across the globe.
  • Meet Turkish students and learn more about Turkish culture by talking to them in the classroom or on the campus.
  • Get involved by joining clubs and organizations and by participating in activities on the campus.
  • Expect and respect differences and similarities.
  • Maintain contact with family and friends back home. Phone or write home, watch a video from your home country or eat in a restaurant that serves food from your home country.
  • Take care of yourself physically: get plenty of rest and exercise and eat well.
  • Get involved in an activity or with a group. Visit to learn more about the variety of student clubs and groups available to students.
  • Work towards feeling comfortable in the new culture.
  • Work on learning daily Turkish words and phrases.
  • Participate in Survival Turkish Course.
  • Enjoy nature. Walk around the campus, sit by the seaside in Sariyer and enjoy the view of the third bridge.

What personal characteristics may help?

  • Tolerance for ambiguity
  • Low goal task orientation
  • Open-mindedness
  • Being non-judgmental
  • Empathy
  • Being communicative
  • Flexibility
  • Adaptability
  • Curiosity
  • Motivation
  • Self-reliance

Many students who are academically focussed find that rolling with the punches, being flexible and not being too hard on themselves will take effort on their part.

Tips for Living in a Diverse Community

  • Don’t be afraid to ask questions.
  • If you’re curious about something, ask. Sincere questions are appreciated more than uninformed assumptions.
  • Try something different.
  • Take advantage of the many opportunities to explore new things in Istanbul.
  • Respect diversity.
  • People from a variety of cultures, races, ethnic, economic and geographic backgrounds, abilities, sexual orientations, and religious and political beliefs enrich Istanbul’s community.
  • Be flexible, open, and honest.
  • Expect to have some uncomfortable moments. Roll with them. Remember that learning can be experiential—it’s not always intellectual.

Advice from Other International Students

  • Don’t stay alone in your room every night.
  • Go out with a friend to see the city or shop.
  • Get involved with nationality clubs or other campus organizations.
  • Travel around Türkiye.
  • Do not worry about making mistakes.
  • Do not be afraid to try new words or to practice your Turkish.

Transition (Do’s and Don’ts)

  • Greetings & how to address people: professors, friends and strangers
  • Sense of personal space, «invading one’s space»: Some people tend to be very sensitive about space, be aware of the other people’s reaction.
  • Body odor: Turkish people tend to be very sensitive to smells, frequent laundering of clothing, daily bathing, use of soap/lotion/deodorant (not too much cologne/perfume). Be aware that  odors from food/smoke may be offensive to others.
  • Some will be very direct in their communication-opinionated, passionate; others will be more indirect-the sugar-coating culture
  • Appropriate/inappropriate topics may depend on the situation
  • Safe topics: the weather, classes, jobs, sports, movies, fashion, travel
  • Topics for friends and people you know well:  Money, religion, politics
  • Be aware that not all humor is cross-cultural.
  • Hand gestures and body language may mean different things.

Tips for Staying Safe

  • When entering larger venues, always decide on a meeting place with those you are with just in case you get separated.
  • Never leave your bags or other valuable items unattended.
  • Always keep your wallet and phone in a front pocket that you can zip or button up if possible. Don’t make your mobile phone a moving target. The longer the phone call, the more likely you are to be spotted by a thief.
  • Always watch your beverage. Never leave your drink unattended or accept drinks from strangers.
  • Know your limits. Consuming too much alcohol can land you in trouble and potentially leave you very vulnerable.
  • Make sure you tell your mentor where you are and who you are with, especially if you are with someone you don’t know well.
  • Always try to make prior arrangements as to how you will get home.
  • Exercise common sense about your personal safety and belongings.
  • Do not carry large amounts of cash and, unless traveling, leave your passport in a safe place in your room.
  • If you choose to drink, do so responsibly. Criminals are known to target vulnerable individuals whose judgment is impaired by intoxication.
  • Pay attention to your personal belongings, particularly in busy locales. Thieves use snatch-and-grab techniques to steal smartphones, laptops, purses, and other valuables. In restaurants, bars, theaters, and other public places, keep bags within reach; do not place possessions on the floor or hang them on a chair.

While Travelling in Türkiye

  • Like anywhere in the world, you will need to keep your wits about you and be cautious and apply the same safety rules that you would in your native country.
  • Research the destination that you planning to travel to- whether you are travelling along the popular coastal resorts of Türkiye, rural areas or the large cities.
  • Avoid isolated places.
  • Use licensed taxis only.
  • Do not be a victim of opportunity theft by leaving your handbag wide open.
  • Book hotels with good reputations, look at the reviews first. Always pick up a hotel business card and carry with you.
  • Photocopy your passport and leave it with someone you trust. If you do lose your passport, they can fax the photocopy through to you. This will help your local consulate to issue new travel documents quicker.

A Guide to Social Etiquette in Türkiye

There’s a lot to learn about social etiquette in Türkiye but knowing the basics will be enough in most cases.


  • Dress is one of the most common stumbling blocks for international students and although there are some misconceptions about Turkish attitudes to women’s dress (like the must wear burqas) attitudes to dress are generally more conservative particularly in the east of Türkiye.
  • So mini-skirts and skimpy shorts are clothes you may like to avoid but on the whole Turkish people are very respectful and polite.

Social Situations

  • Not everyone will follow social etiquette as strictly as others but just in case it’s best to know how to properly greet people and learn the basics. One of the first things you’ll likely notice is that Turkish people in general have a smaller area of personal place so they might stand closer to you then you’ll be used to.
  • Handshakes are the proper traditional greeting in Türkiye, and this includes shaking hands with men, women and children. Putting your hands in your pockets and standing with them on your hips is also seen as rude particularly when talking to people.
  • Men and women kissing each other on the cheek when meeting and parting is also common.
  • If you are in an in-depth conversation with a Turkish person and they can touch your arms or hands, it is just their way of emphasizing their thoughts and opinions.

Things You Should Beware Of

  • Apart from learning how you should act you should also be aware of how locals may react to you based on your appearance, dress or nationality.
  • Asian students may be asked some questions about where they’re from and what it’s like there. These questions are bound by curiosity so don’t be offended.
  • Homosexual acts between adults over 18 are legal and places like Istanbul and the towns of Antalya and İzmir are considered more gay friendly.
  • Smoking is a hot issue in Türkiye and while smoking was prohibited in all public places in 2009 don’t be surprised if you see many people flouting the ban.

When visiting a Turkish friend’s house…

Remember to take off your shoes when you enter a Turkish home. It is consider disrespectful to enter a Turkish home wearing your shoes. You will be given some house slippers to put on instead.

Türkiye closes for lunch..

Mealtimes are very important for Turkish people and lunch is no exception. Banks and businesses will close for up to 1 hour for lunchtime, and it is not common practice to quickly eat a sandwich at your desk; in Türkiye they will enjoy a relaxed sit down meal with colleagues.

Turkish people love to hear non-Turkish people speak Turkish

Even if you only speak a few words it will bring much appreciation. So you are more than welcome to practice your Turkish!

If you need help with the adjustment process, or if you have questions or concerns, please contact the Counseling Services (KURES). All information shared with counselors is confidential.


Turkish Hospitality Experience Program

Turkish Hospitality Experience Program brings exchange students together with Koç University students’ and staffs’ families to give exchange students a unique experience of Turkish culture and hospitality while helping them integrate to life in Türkiye. There are wide range of opportunities from visiting a Turkish family for a family meal, dinner, spending weekends, etc. Interested students can consult with their Incoming Exchange Students advisor upon their admission.

Participants of this program need to submit the Consent on Collecting and Processing Personal Data by Koc University form during the application. Please find the form here.

Research Assistantship Program

Koç University (KU) gives an opportunity to the incoming exchange students to cooperate with our faculty members in their research projects. Open positions are listed on this page every semester.

As incoming exchange students don’t hold a work permit in Türkiye, please note all of the positions mentioned below are on voluntary basis.

Besides sending your most up to date CV, attaching a cover letter and making an appointment for a face-to-face meeting can help you get the best result.

Koç Guides

Koç Guides is a cross-cultural program that aims to offer international and domestic members of Koç University to engage in various cultural and commonplace activities together with the assistance of ICO and students that work with ICO. We encourage students to find university partners (Koç Guides) to do activities together with groups or run the activities themselves as volunteer guides themselves. Activities include group visits to cultural and historical places in Istanbul, tasting Turkish cuisine, trying Turkish activities, exploring Turkish customs and more. Koç Guides program has begun in Spring 2020 under the supervision of International Community Services Office (ICO), a subdivision in the Office of International Programs (OIP).

Turkish Practice Hour (TPH)

This is a weekly conversation club led by Turkish-speaking KU volunteers (student, staff, faculty member) for Koç University members and their families who want to practice conversational Turkish in an informal setting.

There are two online sessions each week; one for beginners and one for advanced. Those Koç University members can easily participate in the club by subscribing to the mailing list and joining the WhatsApp group. No sign up is required. For further information, please visit:


Emergency Phone Numbers

Phone Number Short Code
Emergency Hot Line for International Community at KU (students, staff, faculty members) 0549 790 8340 from anywhere in Türkiye +90 549 790 8340 (0090 549 790 8340) from anywhere in the world 5905
Emergency Coordination +90 212 338 1122
Health Center +90 212 338 1100
Occupational Safety Specialist +90 212 338 3720-3011
Occupational Physician +90 212 338 1420
Main Entrance Security +90 212 338 3535
Institutional Ethics Manager +90 212 338 1221


What information should I give the emergency line officer responding to my call?

-Describe the emergency situation
-If there are sick or wounded, report how many are affected and their condition
-State your address or location as clearly as possible
-Do not hang up until the responding officer terminates the call


Emergency Contact Protocol

  1. All incoming exchange students are asked to provide details of an emergency contact when registering for their program at KU via This information will be held on KUAPP in accordance with the University’s policy on the release of personal information on present and former students of the University.
  2. Students can nominate anyone they choose to be their emergency contact – it need not necessarily be their legal next of kin. Students should, however, let that person know that they have been nominated as the emergency contact and that they have given the University that person’s details.
  3. Emergency contact details will only be used very rarely by the University. Wherever possible, the permission of the student will be sought prior to the University getting in touch with the emergency contact.
  4. If it is not possible for consent to be obtained (eg. because the student is incapable or unconscious) or if permission is denied, in very exceptional circumstances the University may still go ahead and use the emergency contact details. This is most likely to be when there are serious concerns for the welfare of the individual student. Examples of circumstances when a decision might possibly be made to get in touch with the emergency contact may include: admission to hospital; serious illness (including psychiatric illness); when a student is missing, etc.
  5. In all cases where the consent of the individual student has not been obtained, a decision to get in touch with the emergency contact will be taken by the Dean of Students. The contact will be made by the Dean of Student personally or by a senior member of staff of the Office of International Programs.

What is emergency?

An emergency is any circumstance that poses a genuine risk to, or that has already disturbed the safety and well-being of program participants.  Emergencies will include, though not be confined to, the following types of events and incidents:

Criminal assault;

Sexual assault or rape;

Serious illness, physical or emotional, injury or death;

Hospitalization for any reason;

Arrest, incarceration, or deportation;

Terrorist threat or attack;

Local political crisis;

Natural disasters.

What are not emergency situations?

– Inquiries regarding unknown telephone numbers

– Address inquiries

– Requests for information

– Non-life threatening issues on campus roads, buildings, etc.

– Technical problems and failures

– Situations calling for repair and maintenance

What should students do to prepare for emergencies?

1- Be familiar with all materials sent to you by the Koç University Office of International Programs and International Community Office.

2- Review the Emergency Plan.

3- Know how to use your study abroad/international health insurance information and keep a copy of the card with you at all times along with the 24/7 assistance phone number.

4- Make 2 copies of your passport.  Leave one with your family and bring one with you on your trip and keep it separately from your passport.  While you are traveling, protect your passport.  Use a money belt or neck pouch.

5- Keep Koç University Emergency card with you at all times.

6- Learn as much as you can about Türkiye before you travel.

7- Register with your Embassy.

8- Develop with your family a plan for telephone or e-mail contact, so that in case of emergency you will be able to communicate with your parents directly about your safety and well-being.

9- Familiarize yourself with local laws and customs of Türkiye.  Remember, while in a foreign country, you are subject to their laws.

10- Bring a credit card or make sure to have access to additional funds in case of an emergency.

Health & Safety at Koç University

University wide Safety & Security Protocol, which is more comprehensive and includes the whole university community, is managed and maintained by the Workplace Safety Department.

Manuel for specific areas such as Occupational Safety, Employee Health, Emergencies at KU (Occupational Accident, Fire, Earthquake, Assembly Areas and First Aid) can be found in the following link: /wp-content/uploads/2020/03/health-and-safety-manual.pdf

RF Campus Assembly Areas

Faculty Buildings: Parking Lots
Public Housing: Near the Fire Lookout Tower
Student Center: Koç Square Area in front of Henry Ford Building
Presidency Building and Library: Koç Square Area in front of Presidency Building
Sports-Energy Center: Around the Fire Safety Road No. 3
Dormitories: Parking Lot of Dormitory S, Area in Front of Henry Ford Building, Health Center Parking Lot

Security and Safety Tips

You can take preemptive measures to increase your personal safety and the safety of your property.

  • Personal Safety

-Avoid walking alone
-Always wear your seatbelt
-Walk in well-lighted areas
-Be alert and aware of the surroundings
-Don’t have too much money on you; in case of a robbery, give your money without a fight
-On the bus: Stay awake and keep your personal belongings close to you. Sit near the door or the driver and stay awake. If someone’s harassing you, do not hesitate; ask the driver to let you off at a populated bus stop or a well-lit area like a gas station.
Keep personal information private.  Avoid becoming a victim of identity theft by carrying only the necessary items in your wallet or purse. Make a copy of your passport and carry that with you.

  • Vehicle Safety

-Remove property from plain view
-Roll up car windows
-Remove keys
-Lock all doors

  • Personal Property Safety

-Secure valuables left in your apartment or vehicle
-Write your driver’s license number in your books
-Lock the doors and windows to your apartment when you leave and when you are sleeping or are in the bathroom
-Keep your dorm locked.  Even if you’re going next door to a friend’s room, always grab your keys and lock the door. A propped open door is a perfect target for would-be thieves and allows them quick and easy access to your belongings. If your room has additional doors and windows, always be sure they are closed and locked as well.


Koc University International Programs Emergency Protocol

Koç University International Programs implements a special Emergency Protocol for international students, interns, researchers, staff and faculty members.