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Offered through the Council on International Education Exchange (CIEE), this Language and Culture program in Turkey is co-sponsored by UW-Madison. Participants study in a country that offers a unique blend of East and West: rich in history and tradition, yet undergoing rapid social transformation. Students enroll directly in courses alongside local students at one of Turkey's premier private universities and study Turkish language at their proficiency level.
Students have the opportunity to participate in excursions to Cappadocia, Konya, and Eastern Turkey, designed to introduce them to the multicultural realities of this ancient and dynamic country. Participants also have the opportunity to volunteer in both public and private sector organizations including NGOs, schools, and community centers.
The campus is 45 minutes from the Istanbul, the largest city in Turkey and both its commercial and cultural center. The city is located on the Bosphorus Strait situated on both the European and the Asian sides of the Bosphorus. Istanbul is the only metropolis in the world that is situated on two continents creating an atmosphere that has unique contrasts of history, culture, and natural environment.
The city of Istanbul has over 3,000 years of history. Once the seat of both the Byzantine and Ottoman Empires, Istanbul is now the cultural and economic capital of Turkey. It is also the country's largest city, with an estimated population of 15 million. Istanbul has seen the rise and fall of great empires and the ongoing transformations wrought by rapid migration and urbanization.
Getting to Your Program
Students are responsible for arranging their own transportation to Istanbul but are given guidelines for arrival dates and times.
U.S. citizens must apply for a Turkish student visa prior to departure. U.S. citizens must have a U.S. passport valid for at least six months beyond the end of the program. You will apply for your own visa. Upon arrival in Turkey, you will need to apply for a residence permit. CIEE will provide you with visa information and will assist in the residence permit process.
Non-U.S. citizens should check with the Turkish embassy to determine any special regulations pertaining entry into Turkey at any time.
OrientationIAP expects you to be an active participant in preparing yourself for your study abroad experience. As a participant on an IAP program, you will receive a pre-departure orientation, either in-person or online. The type and format of this orientation will vary by program and will be provided to you upon acceptance to the program.
Upon arriving in Turkey, one-week orientation program introduces students to the country, culture, language, and academic program, as well as provides practical information about living in Turkey.
HousingParticipants live in residence halls on the Koc University campus. Students typically share a double room with a Turkish roommate. The residence halls are close to all campus buildings and include laundry and kitchen facilities. The program offers some homestay availability for interested students.
Excursions and Activities
Visits to NGOs and places of historical and cultural interest are a regular part of the Language and Culture program. Local field trips include visits to the main Byzantine and Ottoman monuments on the Seraglio Point, including Haghia Sophia, the Hippodrome, the Blue Mosque, and Topkapi Palace. The program also introduces students to places of worship and to such cultural centers as the Greek Orthodox Patriarchate, Eyup Mosque, the Sephardic Jewish Museum of Galata, and the Galata Mevlevihanesi (center for whirling dervishes).
Visits to community centers, art centers and museums, research centers, and NGOs enable students to develop different perspectives on various elements of Turkish society. Participation in both local and international music, art, film, dance, and theater festivals is also part of the program each semester.
You will be enrolled in the UW System required health insurance through Cultural Insurance Services International (CISI) and the cost of the insurance coverage is included in program fees.
You will also be enrolled in a health and accident insurance program through CIEE.
Staff from the CIEE Study Center and Koc University
Returned Student Network
to contact a returned student.
How to Apply
First complete the IAP Online Application. UW Affiliate programs may require you to apply directly to the affiliate either simultaneously during the IAP application process OR after you have received a preliminary admissions decision from IAP. After you have completed the IAP Online Application, the following forms will become available to you through the application portal. Be sure to read the instructions carefully for information on when to apply to the affiliate.
CIEE Online Application
Unofficial Transcript (Student Record)
Unofficial Transcript - OPTIONAL - Additional File
Forms are subject to change. Complete the forms according to the checklist provided to you in the online application portal.
After the Deadline
IAP will review your application and make a preliminary admissions decision. You will be notified of the admissions decision via email. The affiliate university or organization will make the final admissions decision.
The goals of the Language and Culture program are to enable students to pursue a wide variety of academic fields and gain a deeper understanding of Turkey as a society undergoing rapid urbanization and social transformation. Through studies at Koc University, one of the best private universities in Turkey, as well as through participation in innovative CIEE program activities and excursions, students learn firsthand about this fascinating country's history, traditions, and people. All students are required to enroll in a Turkish language course at their level and four additional courses at Koc University.
Founded in 1993, Koc University is a private university located on a beautiful hillside campus overlooking the Black Sea, near the Sariyer district of Istanbul and approximately 45 minutes from the central part of the city. A liberal arts university, courses are taught in English, and most of the faculty received their graduate degrees from universities in North America and Western Europe. The campus includes facilities consistent with those found on U.S. campuses, and there is a vibrant campus life offering numerous clubs and special activities.
Program Web Page(s)
CIEE program in Istanbul, Turkey
Use the links below to see a list of courses that students have taken on this program before and the UW equivalents. Note: this list only includes pre-approved courses for your program and may not be an exhaustive list of courses or departments. You will get instructions on the course equivalent process after acceptance.
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