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Exchange Program: Sabanci University

Istanbul, Turkey

Sabanci University is a private educational institution founded by the Sabanci Group in July 1994. The Sabanci family, which is well-known in Turkey through a variety of businesses and community development projects, founded the university to create a “world university” that would produce Turkey’s leaders in education and industry. When the University opened its doors in 1999, it became the first and only college in Turkey to offer a liberal arts undergraduate curriculum, with options of earning a degree in management or economics. Aside from the curriculum, the university has also received both applause and criticism for adopting a statement of academic freedom and hosting a small number of controversial faculty members. Today, SU is still a small and highly focused university with roughly 2702 undergraduate students and 506 graduate students. Students enjoy the convenience of living on a state-of-the-art, self sufficient campus, that is only an hour away from the heart of Istanbul.

The School

Sabanci University recruits exchange students from all over Europe and beyond, giving their campus a great international presence. Living spaces and University facilities on campus have been carefully designed to provide the ideal educational environment for students. SU provides students with an elite, cultural atmosphere by providing several galleries, a museum, and a performing arts center. For sports enthusiasts, the Sabanci Sports center contains a multi-purpose court for basketball, volleyball, and handball; two aerobics studios, a climbing wall, weight room, and locker rooms with showers. In addition to these on campus amenities, there are an unlimited number of outdoor recreational activities for students to enjoy during their free time. Students will find wonderful locations to swim, fish, hike, and swim near the campus. Kilyos and the wonderful beaches of the Princess Islands scattered in the Marmara Sea can be reached by boat or car and offer wonderful daily or weekly excursions.

The City

Istanbul is a very populated and lively city, where east literally meets west. In fact, Istanbul is the only city in the world that occupies two continents. The people are friendly and outgoing and most citizens speak English well, especially the younger, “Turks”. The city is very large and is situated among rugged hills and the famed Bosphorus, which connects the Sea of Marmara to the Black Sea. The beauty, history, and diversity of Istanbul cannot be compared to any other country. You will not be at a loss for things to do or see in the city or country, and the cuisine and nightlife are both spectacular. For people who have been to Istanbul and traveled throughout Turkey, many would argue that it is just as beautiful and rich in sights as Paris. Istanbul is also considered to be one of the best cities for twenty-something’s to live in because of the acclaimed nightlife and large population of people under the age of 40.

Term Dates

Spring: Mid Feb. – Mid June (exams: late June)
Fall: October 1 – Mid January

Courses Available

MIBs take courses from the Master’s and MBA programs. Also allowed, are courses outside the Faculty of Management where space is available (these must be approved by the MIB advisor).


Turkish and English (widely spoken on campus).

Grade Conversion

Grading is exactly equivalent to the U.S. system.

Credit Conversion

Refer to ECTS credit conversions.

Minimum Credit Requirements

None known.

Estimated Costs

$900 per month.


Turkey New Lira (TRY).


Exchange students are guaranteed dorm space on campus. Most rooms are shared, with private bath. A kitchen and laundry facilities are shared in each building. This is the best housing option since the school is very far from the center of Istanbul and traffic here is terrible. No good private housing exists anywhere near the school.

Travel Opportunities

The University is 45 miles from Istanbul’s city center and connected by regular shuttle services that depart in front of the Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences building. The University is also 25 miles from the Coastal city of Izmit and 250 miles from Ankara, the capital of Turkey. For students who want travel to other countries, the University is only less than 5 miles from Sabiha Gokcen International Airport, where you can get a short plane ride to Bulgaria, Romania, Egypt, and Italy.