I recently heard that students have now been accepted to study at Koç this coming spring. Congratulations to you and I hope to meet you guys when you’re here (although I will be at a different Uni in Istanbul in the spring). I thought that I would take the time to write a little post about classes at Koç and CIEE.
Classes at Koç are pretty different from those I’ve taken at IU. This may not be true for everyone, depending on what they study, but for those studying in the liberal arts such as me, it is true. One big difference is that many of the classes here are VERY midterm-final focused. I am used to Anthropology or International Studies courses where I must read and read and read and then write a bunch of papers and take a few tests over the course of the semester; the grade is more heavily focused on the papers and each test is not worth as much of the grade. However, my International Relations and History/Archaeology classes here are much more along the lines of “read you readings, come to class, write a few VERY short papers, and then take your midterm and final (which are practically your whole grade).”
CIEE will give you a very nice orientation to campus, and throughout the semester the directors will give you tours of their neighborhoods, which are really quite nice. The meals during orientation are already paid (by your tuition of course), and it’s nice to have someone show you around in a smaller group. A great thing about CIEE is that they take you to do things without the rest of the international students, which includes all the Erasmus students from Europe and other foreigners not in CIEE.
CIEE took us to get our Istanbulkarts (discount travel cards needed for bus travel and make ferry/metro much cheaper) and also to apply for our residence permits (which are necessary for your Istanbulkarts, to be able to exit the country and get back in, and open a bank account, also to register your US phone if you want to use it with a Turkish SIM as I am). It was great going with CIEE because those processes already take forever and involve lots of waiting, so going with a gigantic group of students makes it just that much worse. You will be very glad in these situations to be part of CIEE.
I would like to suggest for any students that you take EXCHANGE 301: Turkish Culture and Society with Edaloğlu, because it’s a really informative class and the professor is great at lecturing. In the class we started talking about Ottoman history and culture and have worked up to the founding of the Turkish Republic. We watch movies at the end of each thematic section and write short responses to the movies (seriously, only like 2 or 3 pages).
If you want a fun, educational, and fairly stress-free class, I highly suggest it. If you’re interested in their archaeology program, I also would suggest a class with Aslıhan Yener. She’s Turkish American, so she speaks English perfectly, and her class style is very much like those at IU in my opinion. Anatolian archaeology is a GREAT class, possibly my favorite this semester. It’s a bit tougher than the other classes, but well worth the work. Regardless, do not fret too much. The work load is not too bad and you’re bound to have a fantastic time while in this amazing city and country!