Philanthropy and Civil Society in the US and Turkey Program: Student Life

Istanbul is the cultural and commercial capital of Turkey and has for centuries been the bridge between east and west. The city itself straddles Asia and Europe. Many important civilizations have come and gone, leaving their mark on the character of the city and region, including the Greeks, Romans and Byzantines, and the Seljuk and Ottoman Turks. .

Founded in 1993 as a non-profit university, Koç University has quickly become one of the leading universities in Turkey. All instruction is in English. The University is on a beautiful 62-acre campus in the hills of Sariyer, a district of Istanbul on the edge of the Bosphorus and just 20 minutes from the Black Sea beaches. The campus is surrounded by charming villages and beautiful natural landscapes and connected to the city centre by a plethora of convenient transportation options.

Travelers make their way with ease in Istanbul. In areas accustomed to the lively tourist industry, enough English is spoken for one to be understood. Public transportation is easy to use and inexpensive. Turkish culture has a highly developed ethos of hospitality and attentiveness to the well-being of the community. Students will encounter a welcoming and helpful environment.


Summer students will be able to live in residence halls on campus. Students are placed in single or double-occupancy rooms, the choice depending on space availability. Wi-Fi, cable TV, phone services and a refrigerator are available in each room. Each building has a laundry room and a lounge with a TV and computers. On the main campus each building has a kitchen, as well as cafeterias. West campus buildings do not have kitchens, but there is a cafeteria, a snack bar and a small market.

There are indoor and outdoor sports facilities, including an Olympic-size swimming pool, a two-floor fitness center, tennis courts and jogging track. Other facilities include cafeterias, a full-service bank, ATM machines, supermarket, dry cleaning, bookstore post office and 24-hour computer labs. There are cultural activities throughout the year with more than 800 clubs and student groups at Koç.


Students are responsible for making their own travel arrangements to Istanbul. The Havaş airport bus shuttles between Atatürk Airport and Taksim Square. From there public transportation can be used to reach the campus. If there is interest, the Office of International Programs will organize a group flight.

Last Updated: 8/21/14