Practical Information for Exchange Students

Student Visa

Foreign students should secure a Student Visa prior to their trip to Turkey from the nearest Turkish Embassy or Consulate in their country. Once in Turkey, a residence permit should be obtained by an application through the local authorities within one month of the student’s arrival.

Foreign students without relevant visas are not eligible for university enrolment in Turkey. Student Visas are only available through Turkish Embassies or Consulates outside of the Republic of Turkey and must be obtained before the student plans to arrive. Incoming students are advised to apply for the visa at least two months prior to the date of departure.
For education visas, students are required to submit documents such as: a letter of acceptance given by the school in Turkey, original passport valid for at least one year, a completed visa application form, recent passport size pictures and a non-refundable processing fee for the Turkish Consulate.

Residence Permit

Foreign students are required to apply for a residence permit. Bahçeşehir University’s International Students Office assists international students during their residence permit application. The application is made to the Foreigners Department of the Istanbul Provincial Security Directorate.
Students must register for an online appointment to receive an application Appointment must be taken only from Fatih Ilce Emniyet Mudurlugu.

See the link below:

Important: The appointment has to be taken within 30 days of a student’s arrival in Turkey. Otherwise, the student visa of the applicant will be invalidated.

Please contact Bahçeşehir University’s International Students Office staff for assistance within 30 days of your arrival.

After the application for residence permit has been made, students are given a paper that indicates the time when the applicant must return to the foreigners Department to receive his/her residence permit card.

Please Note: If an applicant does not get to the Foreigners Department on the date indicated to pick up the residence permit, the permit will be kept at the Foreigners Department for only 30 days. After this period, the residence permit will be rendered invalid. If you do not take the appointment or the residence permit card in time, Bahçeşehir University’s International Students office will not be able to assist you. Once a student visa is invalidated the student is prompt to return to his/her country and apply for a new visa. International students are not allowed to work off campus. Student Visa holders can only work part-time on campus.

Getting to the Main Campus

From Atatürk International Airport

BAU keeps a reception desk in the airport’s arrival hall.  The desk is open from 9h to 21h (9am-9pm).  New students will be given a welcome package and free transportation to the main campus in Beşiktaş.

Other ways to get to the main campus are:

  • Taxicab: Taxis to Beşiktaş cost 60 Turkish Lira (TL) or $40 USD.  The trip takes 30-60 minutes, depending on traffic.
  • Motorcoach: HAVATAS runs regular shuttles between the airport’s exit terminal and Taksim Square in downtown Istanbul.  The trip costs 10 TL ($6 USD), payable on the bus.  From Taksim, take a short taxi ride to the main campus.  The taxi cost will be another 10 TL ($6 USD).
  • Public Transit: Travel to the main campus from Atatürk airport is possible on public transit.  However, it is not recommended for inexperienced travelers.  Total cost will be about 6 TL ($3 USD).

From Sabiha Gökçen International Airport:

Sabiha Gökçen International Airport is farther from the campus, on the far side of the Asian neighborhoods across the Bosphorus.  There is no BAU reception desk at this airport.  Available transportation is:

  • Taxicab: Approximately 80-90 TL ($45-50 USD).  The trip takes between 40 and 90 minutes.
  • Motorcoach: HAVATAS runs shuttles from this airport to Taksim.  15 TL ($9 USD), 60-90 minutes, plus a short taxi ride from Taksim to the campus. 
  • Public Transit from this airport is not recommended.
200 TL 1.00 TL
100 TL 0.50 TL
50 TL 0.25 TL
20 TL 0.10 TL
10 TL 0.05 TL
5 TL 0.01 TL


Turkish national currency is Türk Lirası (TL).  One Euro corresponds to approximately 2.0 TL, and one USD corresponds to approximately 1.5 TL.  The currency is in the form of the following banknotes and coins:

Banknotes          Coins
200 TL1.00 TL
100 TL0.50 TL
50 TL0.25 TL
20 TL0.10 TL
10 TL0.05 TL
5 TL0.01 TL

Climate of İstanbul

The residents of İstanbul enjoy all four seasons. The city has a temperate climate with extremely hot and humid summers and cold, wet, snowy winters. Humidity is generally high which can make temperatures feel much warmer or colder than they actually are. Snowfall is quite common. It usually snows several times in winter; sometimes it is very light but it can also be very heavy paralyzing the city for days. It is most likely to occur between the months of December and March. The weather is slightly colder towards eastern İstanbul. The city is quite windy, having an average wind speed of 17 km/h (11 mph).

Average High


Units of Measures

1 inch         2.54 centimeters
1 centimeter0.3937 inches
1 yard        0.9144 meters
1 meter= 1.0936 yards
1 mile1.6093 kilometers
1 kilometer = 0.6214 miles
1 pound  = 0.4536 kilograms
1 kilogram= 2.2046 pounds

Transportation in İstanbul

The AKBİL (Smart Ticket) is commonly used on the following modes of transportation within the Metropolitan Municipality of İstanbul: Sea buses, marine city lines, all the İETT buses, private/public buses the Tünel and the tramcars. Smart Tickets can be purchased to be used for a minimum of 15 days at various Smart Ticket (Akbil) sales points all over Istanbul. The fee, which is reduced in price if using Akbil, will be deducted from your smart ticket each time you use it.

You can have discounted public trasnportation cards. Please check the site of IETT


Public buses in Turkey operate much the same way as they do in other countries. There’s no time schedule, you just go to the nearest bus stop and wait. Each bus displays its route and bus number, as well as indicates its origin and destination locations.


A dolmuş is a communal taxi. It will often wait at a particular location until it’s full before departing. There will be a placard in the window showing its origin and destination. You have to pay cash for the ride and most of them operate all night, especially on the weekends.


Taxis are the best way to get somewhere if you’re in a hurry and don’t want to wait. Taxi meters operate on daily rates.

Transportation by Sea – Ferries, Sea Buses and Water Taxis

Ferries operate on regular schedules between two points located at different parts of the city. They are the most enjoyable way to get to where you’re going. The city ferries have a fixed rate and schedule. Destinations are prominently displayed at the ferry ports.

The main boat ports on the European side: Karaköy and Eminönü by the Galata Bridge.

The Kabataş boat port is near Dolmabahçe Palace, and the Beşiktaş part is near Bahçeşehir University’s Beşiktaş Campus.

The main ports on the Asian side: Üsküdar and Kadıköy.

You can get information on all city ferries from the İstanbul Ferry Lines Office open 9 AM to 5 PM

Sea buses also operate on a regular schedule. Sea buses are comfortable (air-conditioned) convenient and safe. You can check the schedule for Sea Buses at

There are several ports for sea buses and the Beşiktaş Port is walking distance from Bahçeşehir University. Water taxi is another safe and convenient way to get away from İstanbul’s heavy traffic especially at rush hours but it is pricier. The phone number for water taxis is: 0212 444 44 36

Metro – Subway

The Metro operates on the European side and has two lines. It is a very convenient way to get around central and commercial areas and evade traffic.

Air Travel

Until recently, Türk Hava Yolları (THY or Turkish Airlines) was the only choice for inter city flights. Today there are other choices including Atlas Jet, SunExpress and Onur Air