PRE-ARRIVAL

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 and Full Academic Year: April 1st – June 1st

Spring: 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: partner@ku.edu.tr

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.

Acceptance

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): https://case.ku.edu.tr/en/

College of Social Sciences and Humanities (CSSH): https://cssh.ku.edu.tr/en/

College of Sciences (CS): https://science.ku.edu.tr/en/

College of Engineering (CE): https://eng.ku.edu.tr/en/

Law School (LS): https://law.ku.edu.tr/en/

School of Medicine (SOM): https://medicine.ku.edu.tr/en/

School of Nursing (SON): https://nursing.ku.edu.tr/en/

Graduate Schools for Master’s and PhD

Graduate School of Business (GSB): https://gsb.ku.edu.tr/en/

Graduate School of Sciences and Engineering (GSSE): https://gsse.ku.edu.tr/en/

Graduate School of Social Sciences and Humanities (GSSSE): https://gsssh.ku.edu.tr/en/

Graduate School of Health Sciences (GSHS): https://gshs.ku.edu.tr/en/

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

Website: https://ico.ku.edu.tr/

Contact: ico@ku.edu.tr

Dormitory and Housing

Website: https://dorms.ku.edu.tr/en/

Contact: housing@ku.edu.tr

Academic Life

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 Enrolment

Fall 2020 Course List: TBA

IMPORTANT NOTE:

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 you take per semester. KU students usually take five courses per semester (for an average of 15 KU credits which is equal to 30 ECTS). Although there is no requirement for exchange students, at least three courses are recommended. It is up to your home institution to approve your course load.

Visa, Residence Permit and Health Insurance

Visa

Depending on their nationality, students are able to enter Turkey with a multiple entry tourist (ordinary) visa, e-visa or student visa.

Please check your country’s eligibility and/or apply by clicking on “Main Page > Apply Now” at: https://www.evisa.gov.tr/en/. If you are exempt from a tourist visa for Turkey, you need not apply for a student visa at the Turkish Consulate. You will simply enter the country with a passport valid for the complete length of stay plus 60 days.

A student visa will still be valid, but must be issued from the consulate (and some countries’ consulates no longer issue these visas for Turkey). The student visa however, is a single-entry visa.

We refer you to the official Republic of Turkey webpage on which you may scroll down to country-specific information for further details: http://www.mfa.gov.tr/visa-information-for-foreigners.en.mfa.

For a more detailed information, you can refer to our guide.

Residence Permit

A residence permit is required of anyone who will stay in Turkey for longer than 3 months or the amount of time granted through a visa. Therefore, all exchange students are obliged, by law, to apply for and obtain a residence permit upon their arrival in Turkey.

STUDENT RESPONSIBILITIES PRIOR TO ARRIVAL:

Exchange students apply for a residence permit during their orientation week at Koc University with the help of our International Community Office (ICO). Upon completion of the application, students will receive an automatic appointment date which may be disregarded as all Koc student appointments will take place on campus on an assigned day.

Questions: ico@ku.edu.tr

STUDENT RESPONSIBILITIES UPON ARRIVAL:

Submit the following documentation to the Office of International Programs during the orientation week:

  • PASSPORT AND COPY OF ITS:  
  1. ID page
  2. Last entry stamp (the stamp you obtain at passport control in the airport)
  3. Visa page (or e-visa document)
  • HEALTH INSURANCE (see below)
  • 4 BIOMETRIC PHOTOGRAPHS: Full face, front view with a plain white background; taken within last 6 months
  • ATTESTATION DOCUMENTS: to be issued by mentors and signed by exchange students after arrival
  • STUDENT ENROLMENT DOCUMENT: to be issued by Office of International Programs after arrival
  • APPLICATION FEE: Subject to change every semester

​*If you miss the appointment, or come unprepared: it will be your own responsibility to complete all steps of application process.

For a more detailed information, you can refer to our guide.

 

Health Insurance

As per immigration laws in Turkey, it is MANDATORY that all students have valid insurance that covers the total duration of their enrolment at Koç University. The insurance should take effect from the day the student enters Turkey and should cover them for their complete duration of stay.
General requirements for health insurance policies:

  • Valid in Turkey
  • Translated into English
  • Meets minimum coverage requirements (as outlined below)

Minimum Policy Content

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

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

Note:

There are other insurance options for foreign students in Turkey, however, to obtain any insurance in Turkey will take time and is often a complex process. You might have medical needs until you obtain a Turkish Health Insurance and you have to pay extraordinary amounts of cash money for any procedure as a foreigner. Therefore, we recommend that you are insured prior to entry to Turkey.

If you consider purchasing a health insurance in Turkey our International Community Office will assist you after you arrive in Koç University.

On-Campus Housing / Dormitories

Koç University dormitories have a capacity of nearly 2800 students. Student housing applications are processed by Dormitory Management: https://dorms.ku.edu.tr/en/

 

Undergraduate West Campus Housing Applications

Triple or double 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 accommodation should send their requests and official health reports to housing@ku.edu.tr for verification before the application deadline.

 

Graduate West Campus Housing Applications

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

Students requiring an alternative room type due to disability/medical accommodation should send their requests and official health reports to housing@ku.edu.tr for verification before the application deadline.

 

FAQs and Answers About On-Campus Housing

 

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 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 S 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, pillow cases, sheets, duvet and duvet covers.

Dormitory Guidelines and Regulations

Dormitory Contract and Committment

Exchange Students Dorm Payment- Distant Sales Agreement

 

IMPORTANT NOTE:

If you plan to stay off-campus during your exchange semester at KU, please note that our institution is not authorized to guide students off-campus housing.

Mentorship Program

Each incoming student is assigned to an Exchange Mentor (a 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 generally 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 your questions or concerns the whole exchange semesters.

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

DURING YOUR STAY AT KOÇ UNIVERSITY

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 familiarise students with the Koç community. Administrative processes, such as course registration will also take place during orientation.

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 Enrolment

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.

PRE-DEPARTURE AND AFTER YOUR STAY AT KOÇ UNIVERSITY

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 Turkey 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.

FACILITIES AND STUDENT SUPPORT UNITS

Disability Services

The Office of Disability Services supports the students with a disability both to benefit from campus and dorms and to improve themselves personally and academically as much equally as other students. The Office of Disability Services also helps these students accommodate themselves to campus life and closely monitor their self and academic improvement. It gets the necessary arrangements of construction in the campus made to help them become accesible to students with disabilities. This office gets electronic written and audio sources produced to ease these students to get the information necessary for their personal an academic improvement.

Contact Information:

The Office of Disability Services

Ms. Nihan Karahalil

Phone: +90 (212) 338 1216

Mail: NKARAHALIL@ku.edu.tr

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.

https://dos.ku.edu.tr/counseling-service

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.

https://kolt.ku.edu.tr/?lang=en

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

https://career.ku.edu.tr/en

ADOPTING TO TURKISH CULTURE

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 http://dos.ku.edu.tr/clubs 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 Turkey.
  • 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 Turkey

  • 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 Turkey, 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 Turkey

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

Dress

  • 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 Turkey.
  • 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 Turkey, 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 Turkey 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.

Turkey 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 Turkey 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.

CO-CURRICULAR PROGRAMS FOR INTERNATIONAL STUDENTS

Turkish Host Family Program

Would you like to share your culture with a Turkish family and give yourself an opportunity to experience Turkish culture and Turkish language? There are a wide variety of opportunities from visiting a Turkish family for a family meal, to staying with them during a semester or academic year. A few opportunities include:

  • Visiting a Turkish family for an evening, a few days or a week
  • Having dinner with a Turkish family
  • Meeting them out for family activities
  • Spending time with a Turkish family at the weekends or during a holiday

If you are interested in the Turkish Host Family Program, please submit the application form.

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 Turkey, 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 Coffee Hour

This is a weekly conversation club led by volunteer student and faculty member(s) of KU for everyone (including families) on campus who would like to practice spoken Turkish in an informal setting. The participants meet every Wednesday from 5:30pm to 6:30pm. International Community Services Office serves complimentary coffee and pastries to the participants. Group can be joined easily by following a what’s app group link and showing up to the weekly meetings. No sign up required. Turkish Coffee Hour has begun in Spring 2020.

EMERGENCY GUIDELINES

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 Turkey +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 https://kuapp.ku.edu.tr/. 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 Turkey 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 Turkey.  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.