American missionaries founded Bosphorus University as Robert College in 1863; it was the first American college outside the United States. In 1971 it became part of the national university system. The University has retained the original facilities and its liberal arts college character in undergraduate education. It is one of Turkey's best universities.
Bosphorus University's four schools are: Arts and Sciences, Economics and Administrative Sciences, Education, and Engineering. The student body numbers about 10,000 (8,000 undergraduates). Bosphorus University faculty are truly international in their training with doctorates earned from European and American universities as well as from Turkey's best institutions. All instruction is in English.
The campus setting is quite spectacular. The main section sits on high hills overlooking the Bosphorus - the waterway connecting the Sea of Marmara to the Black Sea. The buildings are a handsome European design. There are wooded areas, walkways and benches along the overlooks to the Bosphorus. Alongside the campus stands the fortress Rumeli Hisar, built in 1452 by the Ottoman conqueror Sultan Mehmet II.
Four courses per semester, each worth three or four Binghamton credits, is a normal load for students on the semester program. On the summer program, students generally take 2 courses, worth 8-10 Binghamton credits.
The focus of the exchange program for Binghamton students is the humanities and social sciences with an emphasis on subjects dealing with Europe, the Middle East and Turkey. Examples of courses dealing with the region are:
History of the Modern Middle East
The Black Sea in World Politics
Current Issues in World Politics
Islamic Art and Architecture
Politics of Nationalism and Ethnicity
History of the Byzantine Empire
Environment and Politics
Ottoman Social & Economic History
History of Turkish Painting
Social Change and Development
Religion and Society
Islamic History and Civilization
The Middle East in World Politics
International Conflict Analysis
Because all instruction is in English, there is an ample selection of courses. The following disciplines are taught at Bosphorus University:
Turkish Language and Literature
Western Languages and Literature
Additional information about the university and its programs can be found on the Bosphorus University website.
Participants will gain much more out of the experience if they work to acquire some Turkish language. Turkish is taught at beginning, intermediate and advanced levels each term. Students are placed in classes of 10-20 students according to their language level.
A comprehensive summer session at Bosphorus University provides a wide selection of undergraduate courses (approximately 120) from introductory to advanced levels. For the Bosphorus University students summer is a time to take courses when class sizes are smaller and there is more interaction with the professors. For American students the summer is a time to experience the campus when it is not as busy and yet is still lively with opportunities to interact with their Turkish counterparts. Bosphorus University students speak English well; many welcome the opportunity to become acquainted with visiting international students. Students generally take 2 courses, worth 8-10 Binghamton credits.
The following individuals are knowledgeable about Bosphorus University and Istanbul and are very willing to talk to students about the program: Professor Donald Quataert, History; Professor David Cingranelli, Political Science; Professor Arieh Ullmann, Management; and Susan B. Lewis, International Programs. They also can put students in contact with Bosphorus University students or alumni on the Binghamton campus.
Last Updated: 2/26/10