TURKEY: Istanbul


The program in Istanbul, Turkey is currently suspended due to safety concerns. KEI will restart the program after the situation improves. Contact a KEI Program Manager for more information.

Istanbul is a historic yet cosmopolitan city. Students will find everything from archeological sites and museums to theaters and night clubs to cafes and much much more. In addition to KEI-organized cultural activities and field trips, students are encouraged to participate in campus clubs and events.

Housing & meals

Students live in the Ortakoy Residence or with a host family, depending on interest and availability. The Ortakoy Residence is ideal for students who want a dormitory style experience. Ortakoy is a private residence hall used by many students studying at BAU. The residence is organized into suites with a shared kitchenette, bathroom and living area. Bedrooms are double-occupancy, although some bedrooms may be single or triple.

Homestays are ideal for improving Turkish language and gaining a deeper understanding of Turkish culture. Most bedrooms are double-occupancy. The salon, kitchen and bathroom are shared with the host family. Breakfast is included with homestays.

Getting around town

Istanbul is well connected with an extensive bus network, underground metro and tram system. Students (with student ID) can receive a discounted rate of 75 Turkish Lira for 200 rides. The Onsite Director will help students buy transit cards. Taxis are also plentiful.

Phones & internet

KEI will provide a prepaid mobile phone shortly after arrival in Istanbul. The KEI Onsite Director will explain how to use the phone. The phone will have a small amount of credit to get you started. Additional minutes can be purchased at numerous convenience stores.

WiFi service is available on campus. Most host families also have Internet. There are many Internet cafes in Istanbul.


R. Brooks Emerson
Istanbul, Turkey

I am an American, but have been living in Istanbul for more than 15 years. I suppose that almost makes me a Turk 🙂 I earned a Master’s in ESL and teach English to Turks. I also teach Turkish to KEI students and foreigners. I enjoy working with American students. Students will benefit from my knowledge of Turkish culture and my experience in Turkey as an American. I look forward to meeting you in Istanbul.