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Istanbul University-Cerrahpasa Guide: Erasmus in Istanbul

Istanbul University-Cerrahpasa (IUC) was identified as a Research University by the Turkish CoHE. As a young, dynamic, and innovative university with a deep-rooted tradition and a rich heritage in education and research, IUC is to be a pioneer of science in the light of history. Our university has 8 main campuses. The top 3 ones are the Avcilar Campus, the Cerrahpasa Medicine Campus, and the Hadimkoy Campus. It is one of the leading universities in Turkey. Avcilar Campus houses a big lake, and it is a green campus inside nature. You can sometimes see horses, dogs, cats, etc. roaming around.

Our university can be seen as a new university since it left Istanbul University in 2018, but it has very good departments in many subjects. It has a world-ranked medical faculty, Turkey’s best veterinary faculty, the first education faculty, and a very good engineering faculty, as well as a world-ranked medical faculty. Although it is very good in education, our university in Istanbul makes your Erasmus experience unique in many ways.

It will be incredible for you to live in Istanbul, which is seen as the capital of the world due to its historical past and location. This wonderful city is a world center of great importance in the past and present and the largest city in Turkey. The city embraces Asia on the one hand and Europe on the other. Istanbul’s population is estimated between 12 and 19 million, making it one of the largest cities in Europe and the world.

Istanbul is a cultural and financial center. Located on both sides of the Bosporus, the narrow strait between the Black Sea and the Marmara Sea, Istanbul bridges Asia and Europe both physically and culturally. With its historical peninsula, numerous scenic and historical sites, Istanbul is a magnificently unique city that has been the capital to many civilizations from past to present and still continues to be home to residents from all over the world.

Who We Are?

Cerrahpasa University Guide

We are ESN Cerrahpasa, a club of Istanbul University-Cerrahpasa. Our aim is to help students who come to our university with the Erasmus program in Istanbul and at the university. We help our fellow students who come with the Erasmus program about accommodation and official documents so that they do not have problems. Since the most enjoyable part of this program is seeing new places and having fun, we organize trips to many different places during the semester. For example, Cappadocia (Nevşehir), Uludağ (Bursa) and İzmir. We also organize excursions and parties in Istanbul.

If you want further information, you can check out and message our social media accounts:

1. Ideal Erasmus Term and General Weather Conditions of the City

In Istanbul, you can experience all four seasons. It is really up to you to choose your ideal term. If you are a winter person, Istanbul is a great winter city. Winters are unique in the sense that there are many seasons specific restaurants, street foods, and beverages. Istanbul is a historically rich city, and the fall term is the prime time for visiting indoor historical places such as museums, churches, and famous mosques.

Also, summer is an equally unique season in Istanbul. The city is lively in summer, and the natural beauty shows itself. You can satisfy the adventurer inside you by traveling around the city and adventuring however you like. If you are a winter person you should do your Erasmus in the first term, likewise, the second term is ideal for summer lovers. Whenever you come to Istanbul, we are sure you will love Istanbul.

2. The Location of the University

Avcilar is the administrative heart of the university and is widely accepted as the main campus. It is located near the “Küçükçekmece Lake” and it is a green campus where the students can spend their time pleasantly. As of 2020, it has been in the renovation and modern buildings are currently being built. Inside, there are several cafes and restaurants where students can hang out and eat. As for its location, it is situated in an advantageous position.

Cerrahpasa University Guide

Because Istanbul is such a big city there is not one city center and Avcilar can be counted as a center itself. The campus itself is in the middle of Avcilar and it has a Metrobus station named after the university so it is really easy to access wherever you want through Metrobus. To commute inside the campus, you can choose bus, bicycle, and scooter. Around the campus, there are many shopping centers, restaurants, nightclubs, bars, pubs. So, you will never need to go far for something that you need.

3. Where To Accommodate?

If you prefer our university for Erasmus, you can find more affordable houses in Avcilar (because Avcilar Campus is the main campus of Istanbul University-Cerrahpasa) and its surroundings compared to other districts of Istanbul. Avcılar, Beylikdüzü, Bakırköy are the best regions to rent a house in terms of location and proximity to the school. There are also private dormitories very close to the school for Erasmus students.

4. In City Transportation

Istanbul cards, which you can obtain from certain points, are used for transportation in Istanbul, and the transportation you will have with these cards with your student ID will be cheaper than normal. If you wish, you can load money when you use it, or you can load money on your card monthly to be more affordable. When you do it this way, you will have a certain passing right and you will have 200 passing for 50 TL.

Metrobus in Istanbul
Metrobuses have their seperated line in the traffic that avoids the traffic congestion.

Transportation in Istanbul is very easy. There are subways to most places. Metrobus, tram, bus, and taxi are other options. If we accept the city center as Taksim, it would be expensive to take a taxi from the Avcilar campus. The most logical and easy transportation from the campus is to use the Metrobus. As a student in Istanbul, we do not recommend using a taxi when there is public transportation.

5. Cost of Living/Suggested Budget

If you want to eat out, you pay 35 TL for a meal in a restaurant. Monthly grocery shopping varies from person to person, but the average monthly grocery shopping of a single person is around 250 TL. If you prefer to stay in a dormitory, dormitory prices vary between 700 – 1200 TL per month. If you are in a student residence, your monthly bill will be 520 TL and the internet will be 120 TL.

6. Quick Facts About the City

Istanbul Aerial view
  • Istanbul is definitely a student city.
  • Locals mostly don’t speak English, but Turks are friendly people so they will definitely help you.
  • Istanbul is among the best cities for Erasmus. It is a purely touristic city. We are sure that you will have a wonderful Erasmus experience with its historical structure and natural beauties.
  • If you want to try different tastes, Istanbul is a great option for you. Turkish cuisine contains a wide variety of flavors. Thanks to the street culture of Istanbul, you can eat great food at very affordable prices. So you don’t need to pay a lot of money for a delicious meal in Istanbul.
  • Istanbul never stops and is always alive.
  • You can easily handle your affairs in government offices through websites.

7. Quick Facts About the Cerrahpasa University

How’s the atmosphere of the university?

When you enter the Avcilar campus through the big and famous doorway, you will feel like you’ve entered a different city. With its green fields and its faculties, the university feels like a small town on its own.

How is the education quality of the university?

Overall, the quality of the education in IU-C is one of the best among other universities in Turkey. The lecturers are knowledgeable and understanding towards Erasmus students. Although some of the lectures might not be in English, the lecturers make sure that the academic needs of Erasmus students are satisfied by giving them specialized homework or organizing private lectures with Erasmus students.

Are there any social events? How is socializing with other local students and ESNers?

The student clubs are very active, and most of them organize social events such as festivals or other organizations. Also, as ESN Cerrahpasa, we make sure every student has an Erasmus buddy who will guide the Erasmus students through any hardships or confusions they may encounter about Istanbul or the university itself.

Any special event during a year?

Apart from the events organized by student clubs, there are annual competitions organized by the university. One of them is the dragon boat race that takes place in the Küçükçekmece lake.

8. Warnings, Tips, and Tricks

The city or university you had Erasmus may have some important and crucial tricks and tips to mention. Or let’s say there may be some safety advice for nights or crowded places etc…

Contrary to common belief, Istanbul is actually an incredibly safe city. But, let’s not skip the elephant in the room; there are many tourist scams in the city. In touristy places, the best thing you can do is not speaking to anyone who tries to sell or give you something, as they will most likely be scammers trying to take your money. Also, we would advise foreigners to skip using taxis, services such as Uber are much safer for your money.

As everywhere, you can feel unsafe walking on a secluded street. For this reason, we recommend that you do not wander alone in uninhabited places. Besides, Istanbul is a 24/7 alert city. You can have fun at night as much as you want. So, there is nothing to worry about, enjoy your Erasmus!

To Sum Up

Istanbul is a great city to have your Erasmus in, and IU-C is one of the best universities in the city. If you want to participate in an exchange program, we would definitely recommend coming to our university, and we promise you will have a great time and make lots of memories in Erasmus!

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