Explore your new surroundings.

Koç University will be your new home away from home for the upcoming months (or years!). Explore the campus and take some time to learn where everything is (Campus Plan 2018). Explore your dormitory and the surrounding areas for places to eat and shop. Ask around for recommendations or directions.

Find out what transportation you need, depending on where you live. There are frequent shuttles between the Main and West Campuses, there are also shuttles to different parts of the city, as well as taxis, public buses, and shared taxis (dolmuş).

If you drive a car, there are rules about parking that you need to know. You will receive emails about purchasing your HGS stickers for the Fast Transit Pass System.

Unpack and get settled in.

Unpacking your belongings and organizing your new place will help you get settled. You will also discover what you need to buy that you have not brought with you. Getting settled in and getting somewhat familiar with your surroundings before classes start will make your transition much easier; you will be able to focus on academics and meeting new friends.

Don’t be afraid to ask questions!

Contact your peer mentor, ICO staff, or your academic advisor for help and support. Be sure to take advantage of the many resources and services the university provides. Ask for directions if you get lost.

Connect to the WiFi.

Try logging into your student account on the computers and accessing your printing quota. If you have any technological problems, you can contact IT.

Stay updated.

Make sure to check your school email account frequently for important information.

Visit ICO for a Newcomers’ Guide if you don not already have one and let us know how you are doing.

Sign up for clubs and notifications.

Attend Orientation.

Before the first week of classes, the University will have orientation for all new students. It is important that you attend. For more information, visit our page.

Obtain a Tax ID.

Anyone with a valid passport can obtain a Tax ID at any official tax office in Turkey. A Tax ID number might be necessary for certain situations until you have a residence permit. Some of these include opening a bank account, obtaining a health insurance, receiving your scholarship money (if any), etc. If you would like to know how to obtain a Tax ID, visit here for more information.

Apply for a Residence Permit.

If the duration of your stay is one semester or longer, then you are required to obtain a residence permit. With a residence permit, you can stay in Turkey legally and travel internationally for multiple times without a visa, open a bank account, register with the social security office, perform several processes online on Turkish e-government platform, register their mobile phones from overseas, apply for a driver’s license and more. For information about applying, see our page.

Take care of finances, open a bank account.

You can open a bank account after receiving your residence permit card. This is because foreign ID number (on residence permit card) is an obligation to open a bank account in most of the banks in Turkey. We suggest Yapı Kredi Bank because it has a branch on campus (Student Center, lower 1st floor).  Please check out the relevant page here for more information.

However, if you urgently need to open a bank account before you receive your residence permit, you can apply to Ziraat Bank. It accepts applications without waiting for the residence permit card. In order to do so, the bank requests several documents.

Required documents to open a bank account at Ziraat Bank:

  1. Passport,
  2. Housing certificate from university- If you stay at KU Housing (dorms or boardings), you can collect a housing document (in Turkish) from the KU Housing Department (Dorm Management). To do so, you can use the H- Track-it system and request a residency document. If you stay off-campus, you must bring either a notarized copy of your rental contract or a utility bill on your name.
  3. The tax ID number.

The public transit directions to the Sarıyer Branch of Ziraat Bank can be found here.

Get your student transportation card (IstanbulKart).

If you have not already done so, be sure to get your student IstanbulKart. With this card, you will get discount prices on all public transportation. You can apply online or buy one at sales points throughout the city. You can contact our office if you need any help.

Get ready for classes.

Know your student ID number. You will need it throughout your time at university.

Have a copy of your schedule. It is also helpful to have a map of the campus with you.

Once you have your class schedule, you will know their room numbers. It is a good idea to know where your classes are before they start, so you do not have to run around on the first day of school trying to find them.

Be prepared for class, bring something to write with and something to write on.

You will receive syllabi with more detailed information about requirements for classes (like supplies and textbooks) during the first week of classes.

Stay in touch.

You will be very busy with all the fun and stress of university life, but do not forget to stay in touch with your family and friends back home. It will help with any homesickness that you might feel once the rush of the first week is over.