Winding streets, waterfronts, bustling markets, awe-inspiring architecture--Istanbul has it all. Experience everything Istanbul has to offer by living and learning like a local in Turkey's largest city!
By directly enrolling at Sabanci University, Istanbul becomes your classroom. The modern and attractive campus sits on the Asian side of Istanbul, and offers a wide range of courses. As you settle into your courses at the University, IES Abroad is there to provide on-site support when you need it.
We also want you to feel at home in Istanbul, so we do everything we can to help you integrate into life in Turkey, and organize events to help you make the most of your time.
After you are admitted, refer to the Travel Dates section of the Predeparture Information in your MyIESabroad account before booking travel.
Final exams at partner universities in Istanbul occur from May 16 through May 30. You must move out of your housing the day after your last final exam. We suggest purchasing a flexible return ticket when buying a flight as you will not know your exact return date until you arrive on-site. Students can inquire with the specific airline or travel agent about a flexible return ticket that allows a return date to be modified as needed. Students will not be permitted to enter Turkey without a round trip ticket, so purchasing a one-way ticket is not an option.
Final exams at partner universities in Istanbul occur through January 10, but early exams or proctored at-home exams can usually be negotiated to accommodate a December 19 departure. After the semester starts, you will finalize your registration to include only classes that will accommodate a December 19 departure (most classes do). If your schedule permits, you are free to remain in your housing into January at no additional cost in order to take the regular university exams.
Our mission is simple: to provide you with the best study abroad program possible—which includes the highest quality academic and cultural experiences. That is why we partnered with Sabanci University.
Sabanci University is one of the private "Foundation Universities" founded in the late nineties by the Sabanci Group. The University began accepting students in 1999, and has become one of Turkey's most competitive universities, with world-class faculty and small class sizes. The University enrolls just under 4,000 students.
The modern campus is located on the Asian side of Istanbul, with university shuttles running from the campus to the centrally-located Taksim Square from 7 a.m. to 3 a.m.
As part of IES Abroad orientation, you begin the semester with a three-week IES Abroad Turkish language course worth 2 IES Abroad credits, taken alongside an IES Abroad Turkish culture and society course, worth 1 IES Abroad credit. After your first three weeks, you begin your courses at Sabanci University.
Visit the University's Faculties and Programs site to learn about disciplines and possible course offerings.
Courses are offered in the following fields:
Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences
Faculty of Engineering and Natural Sciences
School of Management (accredited by AACSB)
During orientation, you will take a 2-credit intensive Turkish language course and a 1-credit course about Turkish civilization at the IES Abroad Center. You will take the rest of your courses at Sabanci University.
To learn more about IES Abroad’s innovative theoretical and pedagogical approaches to teaching language abroad, refer to the IES Abroad MAP for Language & Intercultural Communication.
Even though you’re directly enrolling in one of our partner universities, there’s something IES Abroad wants you to know: we’re here for you if you need us.
Choosing and directly enrolling in courses abroad can be confusing and overwhelming. This is why we offer you predeparture advising that’s specific to your needs. Our goal is to provide support and guidance throughout your application and enrollment process.
But our advising services don’t stop there. While you’re in Istanbul, our staff is available to help you transition into your new home.
The support services we offer IES Abroad direct enrollment students are specifically designed to help you achieve your study abroad goals as effectively and smoothly as possible. We know studying abroad is an adventure, and, at times, you may need help or just someone to talk to—that’s why our staff will be there for you.
Whether you have questions about academic requirements, housing, or well-being and safety, our Istanbul-based IES Abroad staff is available to fully support you. Because of our close relationship with the universities in Istanbul, IES Abroad is also able to offer you unique academic, social, and cultural opportunities. Our staff in Istanbul will accompany you throughout orientation, as well as at the IES Abroad field trips and cultural events.
We want to make sure that your greatest challenge is deciding which landmarks to see first or discovering the best café—not finding a place to live where you feel comfortable. We do our best to locate housing that is reflective of how the local students are living. Our goal is that when you leave Istanbul, it will feel like home.
Apartments - Live in a furnished apartment with other IES Abroad students at a new, modern building in the Bomonti neighborhood. Apartments are conveniently located on the same floor as the IES Abroad Istanbul Center. You’ll be very close to shopping and just a short walk to the Istanbul Metro that will take you to the central shopping district, the Historic Peninsula, and the universities.
Residence Halls - Live in a suite in a dormitory at Sabanci Univeristy with 1-3 other students. Your suitemates might be Turkish, American, or international students.
Part of making you feel at home in Istanbul is doing our best to help you feel safe and cared for. Whether it is an orientation program that makes you feel prepared, your housing that is well-located and comfortable, or the field trips that take you to places off the beaten path—we’re all about our student services. This is just one of the things we’re known for.
The IES Abroad orientation program takes place in Istanbul, and is designed to orient you to the program, your fellow students, and to the city.
As part of orientation, you spend your first three weeks in Istanbul taking an IES Abroad Turkish language class (beginning or intermediate), worth 2 IES Abroad credits, and an IES Abroad Turkish culture course, worth 1 IES Abroad credit.
Additionally, CORE™, IES Abroad’s Comprehensive Orientation & Re-entry Program, begins during orientation and continues through the semester with activities focusing on academic and cultural adjustment, goal achievement, and preparing for the return home. Detailed information about academics, housing, public transportation, cultural adjustment, health and safety, and other important topics will also be covered.
In addition to IES Abroad activities and events, we encourage you to get involved at Sabanci!
Sabanci University has more than 40 student-run clubs, a performing arts center, a movie theater, and a sports hall that's home to exercise equipment, fitness studios, and a rock wall.
Even though your adventure starts in Istanbul, our field trip takes you beyond the city to discover the culture and traditions of the surrounding area. All of our partner universities in Istanbul also offer inexpensive field trips within Turkey.
Amman, Jordan—included in the program fee and required for all students
5 Days | Fall & SpringMeet with Jordanian academics and local students, attend a briefing at the American Embassy, and enjoy lunch and a swim at the Dead Sea.
This field trip is subject to change, and more information will be available on-site.
About the Center
The new IES Abroad Istanbul Center is located in the thriving, modern Bomonti neighborhood, just a 15-minute walk from the Istanbul Metro, providing easy and quick access to Taksim Square, the Historic Peninsula, and the rest of Istanbul. In a bright and modern building, the IES Abroad Istanbul Center is on the same floor as the student apartments.
• Free WiFi
• Laundry facilities
• Access to an outdoor pool and a heated indoor pool
• Access to a gym (currently under construction)
Dr. Vehbi Baysan is an Assistant Professor of History and Middle Eastern Studies at Yeditepe University, where he has served as Director of the International Office. He received his B.A. from Istanbul University, his M.A. from Yarmouk University in Jordan, and his Ph.D. from the University of Manchester in Middle Eastern Studies. He has taught both History and Turkish language at the University of Manchester; Turkish, Arabic, and History at the School of Oriental and African Studies in London; and Turkish at the London School of Economics.
Vehbi is also a frequent guest on international radio and TV, and has appeared on Al Jazeera, France 24 Arabic, Russian TV Arabic, Al Hurra, and Al Iraqiyya to discuss Turkey and the Middle East.
He is an avid photographer who has served as the official photographer at international archaeological excavations, and enjoys tennis, swimming, trekking, and cycling.