The Gateway to the Middle East & the Islamic World Program will no longer be offered after Spring 2016. We invited you to consider these alternative programs:
The cultural adventure of a lifetime awaits you in the beautiful and historic city of Istanbul! Turkey, once the center of the Ottoman Empire and now a modern country with an Islamic tradition, provides an ideal vantage point to study the Middle East.
Immerse yourself in the fascinating history and dynamic present of Turkey and the Middle East through courses on the Turkish economy, contemporary issues in the Middle East, the Islamic World, and more. Take classes with your fellow IES Abroad students at our Center, located at, and hosted by Yeditepe University. You can also experience classes alongside local students taught by Yeditepe's faculty and our Center Director. Maybe you'll make some Turkish friends while you're at it!
The program begins with a three-week Turkish culture and civilization and society course, as well as an intensive Turkish language course, which you can continue throughout the semester if you so choose. Your coursework and experiences will build upon one another to help you understand Turkey's rich history, culture and relationship with the Middle East.
Istanbul will be your classroom. Everywhere you turn in Istanbul is a new opportunity to learn more--chat with a Turk over tea near the Bosphorus, explore the winding streets while on course-related excursions, experience new tastes and smells at the 17th century Spice Bazaar. Plus, IES Abroad takes you beyond Istanbul to explore areas like Amman, Jordan.
We want you to feel at home in Istanbul, so we do everything we can to help you integrate into life in the city. From housing to cultural events, our job is to make sure you have the most authentic study abroad experience possible.
After you are admitted, refer to the Travel Dates section of the Predeparture Information in your MyIESabroad account before booking travel.
Arrive at the airport between 9:00 a.m. and 6:00 p.m. in order to be picked up by IES Abroad staff. You will need to make your own way to the IES Abroad Center if your flight lands outside of these times.
Final exams at partner universities in Istanbul occur through early January, 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.
You begin the semester with a three-week intensive Turkish language course worth 2 credits, taken alongside a Turkish culture and society course, worth 1 credit. (You can continue the Turkish language course throughout the rest of the semester and earn 3 more credits, for a total of 5 credits.)
After your first three weeks, you begin your semester-long courses (for 12-16 credits), enrolling in a total of 15-19 credits.
Create your own academic experience by selecting from the following required and optional program components:
About Yeditepe University
The home campus, Yeditepe University, is Turkey's largest foundation university. Located on a rise on the Asian side of Istanbul, it boats stunning views of the islands in the Sea of Marmara. Yeditepe University has 12 faculties and a strong reputation for arts and sciences, including health. Courses are taught in English by high-caliber faculty, many of whom hold high degrees from U.S. and European universities.
Interning abroad as part of your study abroad experience will help distinguish your application for graduate school or a job opportunity in today’s competitive market. It’s an exhilarating challenge, and we’re here to help guide you in securing your placement and succeeding in your internship.
Participating in an internship abroad helps you:
Add international work experience to your résumé
Gain real work experience and skills
Build your confidence
All of our internships are supervised and earn IES Abroad credit. Once in Istanbul, you develop a semester project and obtain approval from your home college. You participate in an independent study to complement the practical experience you gain during the internship.
Past students have interned in the following fields. Don’t see your field listed here? Just talk to your IES Abroad Advisor—new internships are always being added.
Complement what you're learning in the classroom with a faculty-guided field study trip to Amman, Jordan, where you can study major Middle East issues first-hand.
You also participate in faculty-guided field study visits to sites in and around Istanbul throughout the semester.
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.
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 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 and around Istanbul, and is designed to familiarize you with the program, your fellow students, and the city. Detailed information about academics, housing, public transportation, culture, health and safety, and other important topics are also covered.
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.
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 & SpringBegin with an orientation by a well-known Jordanian academic, visit the Roman city of Jerash, climb the stairs of the medieval castle of Ajloun and/or Kara Castle, walk in the corridors of Petra (the Rose City), enjoy lunch at a traditional Middle Eastern restaurant, and take a swim in 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 the central shopping district, 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
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 Iraqiya 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.
Ms. Ezgi Sevcan Bilican - Student Affairs Coordinator
Ezgi studied at the Turkish Language and Literature Department at Yeditepe University and spent a semester in a university in Greece as an Erasmus student. She has a keen interest in social sciences and currently, she is also pursuing post-graduate studies in modern history.