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Programs : Brochure

Fact Sheet:
Language of Instruction: English Language Prerequisite: No previous study
Minimum Cumulative GPA: 3.0 Credit Available For: College
Other Eligibility Requirements: 1 Area Studies Course in Language or Culture, Previous Study of Turkish Recommended Type of Program: Semester/Year Study Abroad
Housing Options: University Residence Hall/Apartment Application Deadline: Fall/Year: February 15, Spring: September 15
Program Description:

Program Snapshot

BTK LogoBogaziçi University

Bogaziçi University, which was formally established as a state university in 1971, has its origins in Robert College founded in 1863 as one of the first American colleges outside of the U.S. It has a long tradition of excellence in English language undergraduate education serving the most elite students of the region. In recent years, the University has also increased its emphasis on its graduate programs and research. Currently Bogaziçi University hosts about 11,000 students, 8,500 of whom are undergraduates, including approximately 400 foreign students from over 45 countries. The academic strength of the university lies in Engineering, Economics, Social Sciences, Management, Sciences and the Arts.
For additional information, visit the Bogazici University website
The City of Istanbul
A democratic republic since 1923, Turkey has a dynamic economy which has grown at an average rate of 4.5% yearly over the past five years. A series of radical reforms in the financial sector and the lifting of restrictions on foreign capital in the 1980s has transformed the economy into a liberal and outward-looking one. Istanbul (the former Constantinople) is a metropolis with a population of over 10 million and, as the country's commercial and industrial center, creates over 20% of the nation's gross output. Having assumed the status of a global city, Istanbul mirrors the dynamism that has characterized Turkish society and economy in the recent past. Istanbul is also an important intellectual and cultural center. The city currently accommodates 19 universities and, as the former capital of two empires, Istanbul has inherited a rich and unique collection of Byzantine and Ottoman masterpieces of art and architecture. Istanbul sits in one of the most beautiful natural settings of any city in the world straddling the Bosphorus with a skyline punctuated by myriad domes and minarets. Opera and ballet, numerous theaters and cinemas, concerts, exhibitions, sporting events and an international arts festival ensure a rich and vibrant cultural life throughout the year.
Did you know…?

The oldest known site of human urban habitation (6500 B.C.) is located in central Turkey and the great Hittite Empire (1750-1200 B.C.), which dominated much of the Middle East, was centered east of present day Ankara.



The program at Bogaziçi University is for College credit only.
Minimum GPA Requirement: 3.0

Language Prerequisite: Previous study of modern Turkish recommended, but not required.
Additional Course Pre-requisite(s): Successful completion of at least one Middle East studies course by the end of the academic semester (fall or spring) prior to departure.  


Language of Instruction



A full course load at Bogaziçi University consists of at least four three-credit courses per semester. 

Penn students must maintain a full course load while abroad and may only enroll in courses at the undergraduate level.

Penn students attend Bogaziçi University in the category of "special student." Penn requires that they must register for Turkish language instruction at a level corresponding to their background knowledge. Other than the Turkish course, Penn students may register for any course offered for which they have appropriate pre-requisite background and which will qualify for credit approved by a Penn department. Prior to the beginning of classes, an orientation program is held to introduce visiting international students to campus facilities and academic and social life at Bogaziçi University. The staff of the University's Office of International Programs helps incoming study abroad students register for their classes during registration week.

Bogazici University Academic Calendar
Bogaziçi University Course Offerings
Grading Scale

As on all Penn Abroad programs, grades are recorded on the Penn transcript and are calculated in the cumulative grade point average. The pass/fail option can be exercised according to the Penn on-campus policy of your home school. For more information on Penn Abroad’s academic policies, click here.
The final grade in a course at Bogazici University is normally based partly on examinations and partly on the satisfactory completion of assignments and fulfillment of all other course requirements including that of class attendance. 

Special Features

BTK Special FeaturesOrientation Activities

All Penn students are required to attend the orientation activities organized by Bogaziçi University prior to the start of each semester. Prior to the beginning of classes, an orientation program is held to introduce visiting international students to campus facilities and academic and social life at Bogaziçi University. The staff of the University's Office of International Programs helps special students register for their classes during registration week.  More information on Bogaziçi University’s orientation activities can be found here.

Language Courses

BTK Special FeaturesPenn requires that students must register for Turkish language instruction at a level corresponding to their background knowledge.

Student Associations

Penn students studying at Bogaziçi University have access to a wide range of student activities and associations. More information can be found here.


BTKParticipants must be willing to live under local conditions for students.

The University Halls of Residence can accommodate approximately 2,500 students. Students may apply to live in residence halls but do not have any special priority. For this reason it is important to give notice of one's intent to study at Bogaziçi and to apply early. Depending upon available space, in most cases students will be placed in a shared suite with five other students in the newest and best equipped residence hall known as Superdorm. The dormitory offers coed housing options where you can choose between 2, 3, or 4-bedroom suites. Superdorm is established on the campus of "Uçaksavar Cultural and Sports Facilities" of Bogaziçi University in the residential area of Istanbul called Etiler. It is about 2.5 kilometers or a 15-minute walk from the main campus, called "South Campus".

There is no meal plan; meals can be taken in the various campus cafeterias for about $2 each or in the many local restaurants at an average of $5-$10/day.

More information regarding accommodation can be found here.

Cost and Finance

Penn Abroad Financial Policies

Students are charged Penn tuition and academic fees for all Penn Abroad programs.  Additional expenses will typically include items such as housing, visas, and airfare.  Please see the program budget sheets below for more information.  For more on Penn Abroad’s financial policies, click here.

Financial Aid and Study Abroad

In most cases, financial aid applies to Penn-approved programs.  Student Financial Services reviews program budget sheets each semester to determine how to appropriately adjust your aid package. For more information on how Financial Aid will work during your semester abroad, click here.

Budget Sheets

Academic Year

Scholarship Opportunities

Benjamin A. Gilman International Scholarship Program: Competition for awards for study abroad, for US citizen students who are receiving federal Pell Grant funding at a 2-year or 4-year college or university. 

David L. Boren Undergraduate Scholarships for Study Abroad: Supports undergraduate study abroad focusing on geographical areas, languages, and fields of study deemed critical to US national security. (Excludes study in US, Canada, Western Europe, Australia, and New Zealand.) These US government grants entail a service obligation. 

Next Steps

For information on the Penn Abroad application process, click here.

To open an application or learn more about the program, please click here to schedule an appointment with a Penn Abroad Global Program Manager.

For a student perspective on life and academics in Istanbul, contact a Penn Abroad Past-Participant or Exchange Student.