Before arriving at Koç, I thought I had a good idea of what campus would be like, but same as the rest of Istanbul, pictures couldn’t prepare me for the absolute beauty of this campus.
Koç University is situated in the middle of a forest preserve (a little shady to be honest, nonetheless it’s already here and built), and the view from campus is just absolutely breathtaking. Hills of conifers surround you, and a nice Black Sea breeze is almost always fleeting along and then gone in a second. From the middle terrace of campus, you can even see the Black Sea off in the distance; the view is honestly so breathtaking that I forgot for a while that I came to Istanbul to study!
The campus is fairly small and also fairly new. That being said, it still has its own character and fill of places to hang out and pass the hours. There are numerous places outside where you can hang out with your friends and drink some çay (tea) and eat a kurasan (croissant, surprise!) or just read a book. The dorms are off to the side, and while walking towards the öğrenci merkezi (student center) or ömer as I have heard some call it (I still can’t decide if it’s just my friends or if it’s an accepted nickname amongst the students here), you will pass a large field with terraced little stretches of green grass and stairs that go down like a square amphitheater. Speaking of amphitheaters, there is an amphitheater on campus! Even better, they sometimes show movies at the theater, which is wonderful to do while the weather is still nice. It’s also a good way to work on your turkish, since they are typically movies in English and have Turkish subtitles.
The öğrenci merkezi has four floors: the top floor has the bookstore, a little cafe, and a breakfast/diner-like place on it; the 1st floor has various food vendors on it where you can buy pasta, sandwiches, pide and lahmacun (called turkish pizzas, you should look them up because they’re tasty and hard to really describe!), or various meals such as grilled chicken and pilav (rice) and kısır (a type of bulgur salad) or even just some döner (if you don’t know what this is, maybe Turkey’s not the place for you). There is also a little supermarket on that floor called Migros, where you can buy most of the things you may need for your dorm room or to cook for yourself; however, I would suggest going to the local town center to buy many of the necessities that you will need such as pots or pans, shampoo, etc. On the floor below there is a cafeteria that charges by the plate (I believe, I still haven’t figured it out completely…haha) and also there is a café and a place called Copyland where you can buy the reading compilations made for classes by your professors. On the floor below THAT, you can find the CIEE office, the dean’s office, the Office of International Affairs, the koaför (hairdresser, for both men and women), and a dry-cleaner.
I will have to save the rest of campus for another post, hopefully that wasn’t too much information at once! The moral of the story is this: The campus may be small, but there are plenty of places to pass your time and keep yourself from getting too bored with it. And if you REALLY are feeling too squished and constricted, you can always take an otobüs or dolmuş ( a little van-bus) to the local center or downtown Istanbul for a reasonable price.
I’m about to take the dolmuş myself with some friends to get some dinner at the local city center, Sarıyer.
Kendinize iyi bakın! (Look at yourselves well!)