Farabi Exchange Program

An opportunity to get to know other universities

Farabi Exchange Program offers students an opportunity to be acquainted with a university and make new friends.

(Reporter: Murat Kale, “FARABİ Exchange Program An opportunity to get to know other universities”, Istanbul Unıversıty Science Culture And Arts Magazine, Issue: 8, Istanbul University Press and Public Relations Department, Year: 2012, p: 108-115) 

Farabi Exchange Program enables univer­sity students to continue their education at an institution of higher education other than their own during a period of one or two semesters. With this program, students from different universities exchange their knowledge and take advantage of facilities offered at such institu­tions. During their graduation, students are given a Certificate of Participation, indicating that the student participated in the Farabi Exc­hange Program.

Istanbul University, one of the leading universities in Turkey in terms of number of students enrolling with the Farabi Program, has been selected by 265 students since 2009 under that program. Summarizing the im­portance of program for students, Prof. Dr. Zeynep Çiğdem Kayacan, Vice Rector of Istan­bul University, says, “By having their one or two semesters at a different city and university, students find the chance to familiarize with a different entourage, culture and traditions”. Addressing to those who consider participating in this program, Kayacan states, “A person should acquire knowledge about conditions at different places, know different lives and styles, should succeed at different environments and remain to do so. In this regard, Farabi Prog­ram provides a significant opportunity and it’s a chance to widen your horizons. I recommend each and every student in Turkey to apply for the Farabi Program.”

Inviting students to Istanbul University under that program, Kayacan speaks of the benefits and advantages of choosing Istanbul University, saying, “It is an advantage and be­nefit for them to familiarize with the education and training style, and take classes from leading lecturers of Istanbul University, an institution with a significant position in Turkey’s higher education. Additionally, for a student from another city, I think it’s an enriching experi­ence to live in Istanbul for one or two semesters and to experience the beauties of this city while trying to cope with the rush. I’m sure that a student choosing this university under the Fa­ rabi Program will change in a good way after completing his or her education here, and feel different.”

Giving an interview to us about the prog­ram, Assis. Prof. Dr. Aylin Aktükün, Istanbul University’s Farabi Exchange Program Coor­dinator, tells the ways and conditions to partici­pate in that program;

Who can participate in the Farabi Exchange Program?

This program is open to the students who are enrolled in higher education institutions.

However, students who are in preparatory class and in first year of associate degree programs and undergraduate programs are not able to participate in. Graduate and postgraduate students cannot enroll in this program in their preparatory year, academic preparatory year and first semester of actual education. Another condition is to have grade point average of 2.00 and above 2.00 out of 4. Post graduate students must have grade point average of 2.50.

How students can apply for that program?

In order for students to apply for that prog­ram, there must be an exchange protocol signed between the actual university of a student and the university he or she is willing to go under that program, and if such protocol exists, the de­partment to which the student is to apply must have vacancy. If such vacancy is available, that student may fill in required application forms and apply to Farabi Program offices. Students may obtain such information and forms from both the website of Farabi Exchange Program and Farabi coordination offices of their own universities. Evaluation is made based on stu­dents’ grade point average. The points are listed in descending order and students are placed in vacancies. For instance, if there are 5 vacancies, 5 students with highest grade point average are entitled to participate in the Farabi Program. If the university to be enrolled under that prog­ram is offering education in foreign language, 50% of grade point average and 50% of fo­reign language grade point are taken as basis.

Where and when to apply for the program?

Students who are willing to participate in the program apply to the Farabi Exchange Program Coordination Office at the high edu­cation institution they are enrolled in.

Higher education institutions announce their Farabi Exchange Program Protocols on their websites and call for applications within the va­cancy limit specified under such protocols. These announcements contain information on terms of application, education mobility of Farabi Exc­hange Program, and application process.

Higher education institutions release an app­lication notice for each semester. It is made be­fore March 15 for the fall semester, and before October 15 for the spring semester. Transacti­ons related to the exchange for the next semester are completed before the semester ends in which the notice was announced.

Each faculty has a unit coordinator, who is in contact with the Farabi Exchange Program Coordination Office. Unit coordinators assist in issues such as identifying equivalent courses.

Are students getting any financial support under that program?

Students who are entitled to become Fa­rabi Exchange Student with Scholarship are granted one and a half of monthly scholarship given under the Law No. 5102 on Granting Scholarships and Loans to Higher Education Students. This year, students under this prog­ram are granted 360 TL per month. 70% of scholarship is paid to the student in monthly payments. The rest is given based on the period specified in Certificate of Participation, and on student’s rate of success. Students who apply to a university in the same city receives education as a non-scholarship student.

What’s the position of Istanbul University in the Farabi Exchange Program?

As Istanbul University, we signed protocols with 67 universities. Students can see the full list of those universities online at the website www.istanbul.edu.tr/uaik/farabi.

In Turkey, Istanbul University is among the most preferred universities by students. We observe that students prefer Istanbul Univer­sity because of its historical background and its knowledge with years of experience. Most pre­ferred faculties are Cerrahpaşa School of Medi­cine and the Faculty of Law. In order to asses the incoming students, we perform a survey at the end of each year. According to those surveys, 45% of students think their Farabi Exchange Semester was perfect, while 48% say good and others average