If you are in the middle of the university decision-making process, this article might help you decide. MUNPlanet has recently partnered with one of Turkey's most prestigious universities, Sabancı University. You can read the interview with university officials below.
Sabanci has been operating for over a
decade now, and it’s become one of the most prestigious institutions of higher
education in Turkey and beyond. Please tell us a bit about Sabanci, yourself
and your role at the university.
Sabancı University is a young foundation university founded by Sabancı Group, which is one of the largest industrial groups of Turkey. We are a real campus university with state-of-the-art instructional and research facilities located on a 1.26 million square meter campus about 40 km away from Istanbul’s city center. Although we are a very young university, we established ourselves one of the top ranked universities in the world. You can see the name of “Sabancı University” on Times Higher Education Rankings, QS Rankings as a top university. I am the Student Recruitment Manager and have been working at Sabancı University since 2010. I have established our international student recruitment system as of 2010 and now we have 500+ international degree students from 60+ different countries on campus.
Everyone enjoys a good story. Since Sabanci was founded all the way back in 1996, its story has to be interesting. How was it started and how has it got to where it is today?
Sabancı University, established in 1996, is a leading global university with interdisciplinary education that focuses on research and the individual; an environment of free academic choice and performance and a globally-influential faculty. Our university has become an international point of reference with its participation in flagship research projects; with its innovative model of education that gives its students full freedom in choosing their area of study. Sabancı University currently offers 13 undergraduates, 25 master and 12 PhD programs, as well as minor honor degrees and double degrees under the roofs of three faculties.
Application process differs from university to university, and it’s one of the things students are very nervous about. Could you briefly describe the procedure at Sabanci? Moreover, tell us some of the most frequent mistakes in the application that students should avoid.
The students should fill in the online application form and submit the required documents such as their transcripts, diplomas, one reference letter, if available exam results like SAT, TOEFL. After completing the online application form, they should send their attested original transcripts (for UG applications) and all documents (for graduate applications) by post. This part is the most important part. Because without attested original transcripts or documents, the faculties do not evaluate their applications. Our online application form is available on our website, http://www.iro.sabanciuniv.edu. Direct application links as in the following: For undergraduate programs: Sabanci Universitesi | International Relations - SU and for graduate programs: Admission
The life of a student is quite expensive, so students always look for a bargain. Is there accommodation on campus and what is offered? Also, is it included in tuition costs? Furthermore, what are the average monthly costs of living in Istanbul?
We provide accommodation and give on-campus accommodation guarantee to our international students. Undergraduate students can live either in a 2-person room (3500 USD) or 4-person room (2500 USD). Graduate students can live either in a 2-person room or a single room. Accommodation costs are not included in tuition fee. Other living expenses like books, meal, transportation will be around 3000-4000 USD per year.
Sabanci offers a wide range of programs separated into three schools: the Faculty of Engineering and Natural Sciences, the Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences and the School of Management. What courses are most popular among international students? Which countries do most of your international students come from?
Mechatronics Engineering, Management, Economics, Industrial Engineering and Molecular Biology, Genetics and Bioengineering are the most popular programs among international students. We have 500+ degree students from 60+ countries. To illustrate, we have students from Asian countries such as India and Pakistan, MENA countries such as Iran, Egypt, Morocco, Iraq, Syria, Qatar and CIS countries such as Kazakhstan and Azerbaijan. We also welcome exchange students every semester and they are coming from mostly European countries like Germany, Netherlands, France.
With globalization in process, English language has all but become universal. What language qualifications do students need to study at Sabanci?
The medium of instruction at Sabancı University is English. We have both international and Turkish staff who took their PhDs abroad mostly and all programs are taught in English. Therefore, all undergraduate students are required to take the Sabancı University English Language Assessment Exam (ELAE) or submit one of the English Proficiency Exams Sabancı University accepts. Students who pass our exam shall begin their freshman year. While those who do not meet the standards of English language proficiency should enroll in the School of Languages (SL). Graduate candidates have to submit one of the English Proficiency Exams before starting their studies.
Most students are inquisitive and always crave more knowledge. Some of them are bound to want to learn Turkish. Are there any Turkish language classes offered?
Sabancı University offers Turkish language courses in three different levels. International students can attend these courses in accordance with their Turkish levels. If they need, we also academically support our students while learning Turkish because learning a local language, in this case it is Turkish, is one of the very crucial elements to adapt the social life where you live.
Being an international students can get quite difficult at times. Who should we talk to if we encounter any problems?
Sabancı University is very well organized to find solutions to these difficult times both on student-to-student and student-to-professional level. In terms of social life, international students have mentors, who are senior students, on campus. They can easily contact with their assigned mentor any time during the day via social media apps, e-mail and phone. Academically, each student has an academic advisor, who is a staff member, and they can easily meet their advisors via scheduled meetings. Sabancı University accepts each student as unique without making any distinction between local or international students. That’s why; our all departments and faculties are always more than welcome to help our students when they encounter any problems. Sabancı University also has a special and separate unit which only focuses on our students well-being in both social and academic life, CIAD – Center of Individual and Academic Development. In this department, Sabancı University has professional psychologists whom students can easily consult to and academic support staff whom students take private or group sessions to improve their any courses or writing skills.
There’s nothing like spending quality time with peers to relax after endless hours of studying. Thankfully, there’s a bunch of activities offered at Sabanci. Tell us more about the entertainment, sport facilities and extracurricular.
Sabancı University is well aware of the importance of extracurricular activities and cares well-being of the students both academically and socially. We start these activities from the very beginning with our one-week orientation program. In this week, new students meet with each other and senior students, meet and learn more about our student clubs, sport facilities and extracurricular activities. As we highlighted earlier in this interview, we are a campus university and we do have our very own sports center, performance arts center, which is the biggest conference and art center in the Asian side of İstanbul, and cinema hall. In these facilities we have, students or professionals play sports matches, give / listen to concerts, stage / watch plays and organizing movie nights throughout each academic year. Sabancı University has 40+ active student clubs in different varieties from sports to arts. These clubs are fully established and run by students themselves and Sabancı University always support the clubs and their activities both on and off campus.
Finally, where are some of your alumni today? What kind of people do you hope to raise at Sabanci?
9498 diplomas; 6175 of which are from undergraduate programs, 3323 of which are from graduate programs, have been conferred at Sabancı University, since year 2000. 78% of our graduates have started their professional life, while 14% of them has continued their education at graduate level. The rate of placement of our graduates is approximately %81 within a year after graduation.
Our graduates can find a job easily in Turkish or global companies within a year after graduation. Some examples of the companies, at which Sabancı University Alumni hold positions Accenture, Coca Cola, Deloitte Touche, Ernst & Young, Ford, Garanti Bank, HSBC Bank, ING Bank, Nestle, Pfizer, Pricewaterhousecoopers (PwC), Procter & Gamble, Siemens, THY (Turkish Airlines), TUBITAK, Turkcell, Türk Telekom, Unilever, Vestel and Vodafone.
Some of the universities where are our alumni attend graduate school: Boston University, Carnegie Mellon University, Cornell University, Delft University of Technology, Duke University, Ecole Polytechnique Federale de Lausanne, Georgia Institute of Technology, Harvard University, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, New York University, Northwestern University, Politecnico di Milano, Rutgers - The State University of New Jersey, Sabancı University, Stanford University, University of California System, University of Chicago, University of Massachusetts, University of Michigan and University of Pennsylvania.
Is there anything you would like to add as final remarks?
Thank you for your kind interest in our university and we look forward to welcoming more international students from all around the world on our enjoyable campus.