First Year Experience

University life is different than life at high school in many ways. You may not be accustomed to demands that university life requires. In your first year in the university, you not only have to be successful in your courses, you also need to adjust to your new life. Many students do not have any problems adjusting. You may be aware that this is a process and you may face some challenges. Don’t despair, allow yourselves time. By trying different approaches you will find your own way.

In general, university life requires that you make your own decision and take the responsibility of those choices. Here is a short list that describes the differences between high school and university lives.

We like you to take the following advices seriously:

  • Sleep

Research shows that eight hours or more sleep is required for people ages between 17 and 22 to be successful academically (e.g.., Gomes, Tavares ve de Azevedo, 2011). Insufficient sleep causes loss of concentration, difficulties in learning and problem solving.

  • Attendance

Sure, you travelled a long way to school, the professor of your class is not taking attendance and you have access to course material online. Why should you attend the class? Well, because it is easier to learn in class rather than by yourself. To be in touch with faculty members, to get help from them on subjects you are experiencing difficulties; to learn from the questions of your classmates… There are many more reasons, but these should suffice to attend a class.

  • Social Life

You will meet new people with different backgrounds which will enrich your life, help you to learn how to adjust to different environments. Enjoy and appreciate the importance of variety, allocate time to know diverse people and let them carry you forward. Almost the entire social life is on campus.

Yes, this may leave you less time to study. A balance between studying and social life is crucial. Success in the university lies mostly on time management rather than “natural talent.” Learn how to manage your time.

  • Course Choices

In high school you didn’t have to choose courses. Let alone, choosing your own major, you have to choose which courses to take at Sabancı University. Not only your diploma, but also courses you have taken will determine who you will be. Don’t let the course choice to chance and/or herasays. Learn about the Advisory System and get help from your advisors.

  • Get Support

You were a successful student at the high school, and you are accepted to the university. You have shown what you are capable of. Let us remind you again: university lşife is different and, especially, the first year could be challenging. There are many units on campus. Get in touch with them whenever you need.

Center for Individual and Academic Development

Career Office

Diploma Area Advisors

There are certain places that every university student on campus knows well. The cafeteria, the library (Information Center) and the gym may be one of the first places you hear about. However, there are so many more places and resources available on campus. You may be surprised at what is offered here, and that most of the services are free of charge.

Knowing all the available services and resources and using them properly will help you succeed at university.

The most important resource at Sabancı University is the advisory system. At Sabancı University you will make a number of important decisions and best decisions are made when one is fully informed. Our mentors, CIAD Counselors, Diploma Area Advisors and academic advisors are ready to help you for questions you may have about your career and your study plans. Please read the necessary information on the Advisory System at Sabancı University and make sure from the very first day that you know who your mentor and CIAD Counselor are (you can find who your CIAD Counselors is from MySU webpage).

Center for Individual and Academic Development (CIAD) offers a variety of free services aimed to support students in their personal and academic life by facilitating students’ adaptation to university, increasing their academic success, strengthening students’ general skills, strategies and behaviors which will help them become independent individuals part of the society, and supporting students in exploring their interests and making an informed decision regarding their area of study. CIAD is home to Academic Support Program, Academic Communications, and Advisory System.

As part of the Advisory System, all undergraduate students are supported by CIAD Counselors.

CIAD Counselors (BADAs) help students acquire important academic and individual skills (communication skills, time management skills, etc.), which are required for the successful transition from high school to university life. Furthermore, CIAD Counselors (BADAs) help students understand the degree regulations, program requirements, credit systems and refer them to the right units and people in order to assist  students find answers to all their questions related to major and minor selection. Individual appointment with CIAD counselors can be requested from here.

SU Health Center provides emergency response services and treatment services for all SU students and staff. The policlinic is open 7 days a week. There are several physicians and nurses working on site. The ambulance service is available 24/7. Medical tests samples are sent to an independent laboratory. Prescription drugs can be delivered to campus by an independent pharmacy. 

All undergraduate students are entitled to free private health insurance. Further information about the insurance conditions and coverage is available here.

Free psychological counseling, psychotherapy and psychiatric services are offered to all Sabancı University undergraduate and graduate students. You are invited to use psychotherapy services for your personal concerns and difficulties. Appointments are required and can be taken by sending a request to

Psychological and psychiatric services are offered by Sabancı University Health Center.

The aim of Sabancı University Student with Special Needs Support Unit is to determine the steps to ensure that students with special needs have equal access to the services and facilities offered by the university.

This unit works in cooperation with all other units, particularly the Center for Individual and Academic Development (CIAD). In order to enable all students to benefit from Sabancı University campus equally and to act freely, they contact the relevant units and follow the regulations whenever necessary. In addition, in accordance with the rules of the Higher Education Council, it provides support to students with special needs in their academic processes and supports the determination of additional study arrangements.

The counselor in the unit provides counseling in areas where students with special needs need support during their education. If necessary, the counselor directs to the relevant units such as psychotherapy and health center.

Students may apply to the unit and request an arrangement regarding their special needs. You can download the application form by clicking the link to apply to Student with Special Needs Support Unit. After completing the form, you can e-mail

The Information Center aims to support Sabanci University's education programs, as well as meet the information needs of its academic and administrative staff and students.

Information Center provides access to thousands of books which can be found on the shelves or accessed online. There are also 56 electronically equipped study carrels and 13 multifunctional rooms that students can use (reservation is required for usıng the multıfunctıonal rooms). Students can also benefit from the trainings provided by IC staff. General Research and Referencing support and Reference management software training sessions can be requested. Trainings can be held online or face-to-face.

Collaboration Space is located in the Information Center building and is the place where people gather to get creative with DIY projects, invent new ones, and share ideas. It offers resources like 3D printers, software, electronics, craft and hardware supplies and more. All SU students, staff members and alumni can use the Collaboration Space free of charge. Initial training is also provided.

Academic Support Program (ASP) is part of the Center for Individual and Academic Development. The primary goal of ASP is to assist students in their learning to learn process by helping them develop required skills to achieve their academic goals and stand alone as independent life-long learners. ASP organizes Peer Study and Discussion Sessions, Senior Study and Discussion Sessions, Workshops and Recall Sessions and Seminar Series. All sessions are free of charge and all freshman and sophomore students are invited to attend. No registration is needed.

ASP Study sessions and workshops are designed to improve students’ academic success in MATH101, MATH 102, MATH201, MATH 203, MATH 204, NS 101, NS 102 and SPS 101 and SPS 102 courses. For your specific study needs you can contact

Academic Communications (AC) is part of the Center for Individual and Academic Development. AC develops SU students’ academic English and critical thinking as well as facilitates their academic and professional development through courses and various activities.

AC also helps students with preparing posters, writing project reports and dissertations, in addition to preparation of CVs and cover letters. Appointments can be requested by emailing

SU Career and Internship Office supports students in every phase of their development journey from their first day at school to commencement so that students can maximize their career and professional development potential. SU Career and Internship Office organizes a number of internship and career events throughout the year to help students discover jobs and industries, make informed choices, and gain the competencies they need in the future. Career counseling sessions are also provided upon request.

The International Relations Office (IRO) provides a wide-ranging support service for key aspects of the University's internationalization strategy. It has two units working together under one umbrella with the aim of enhancing the internationalization of the university through international exchange cooperation and international degree-seeking student recruitment.

SU students interested in participating in Erasmus exchange programs (study for 1 or 2 terms in a foreign university) can receive guidance and support from IRO. 

The Sports Center has a main hall, used for basketball and volleyball games, with a capacity of 1200. Other sport facilities on campus include three squash courts, exercise and cardio halls, fitness studios and table tennis areas, and a climbing wall used for mountain climbing exercises. Studios for Pilates, Yoga, Bosu, Tae-Bo, Latin Aerobic, Pilates Reformer, Spinning, and Dance for both single and group classes are also available for usage and reservations. SU also has a stadium and a running track.

A number of tournaments (football, basketball, tennis, etc.) are organized annually.

Student clubs are indispensable part of campus life. Student clubs are democratic structures initiated by our students to perform extracurricular activities by developing individual talents, team working, meeting social and cultural requirements. A number of sport, music, literature, engineering, management, technologies, and etc. clubs exist. All students can become members of any student clubs they like, additionally students can initiate a new club, as well. A list of currently available student clubs can be found here.

Student clubs are supported by Extracurricular Activity Specialists, working at Student Resources Department.

Established in 2005, Sabancı University Performing Arts Center (SGM) is now the largest conference and art center in the Anatolian side of Istanbul, and hosts the performances of a large number of prominent artists and ensembles throughout the year. SGM has a capacity of 912 and serves not just Sabancı University faculty and students, but the wider community surrounding the campus. By inviting internationally-renowned performers and ensembles, SGM ensures that audiences of all ages and walks of life make time for artistic events that they will appreciate, helping to keep the artistic bar high.

SGM is always committed to supporting the artistic endeavors of students, and invites everyone to make time for art and take in the cultural landscape of the community.

Tickets are sold on campus and on SU students and staff receive special discounts.

  • Other general services

Other general services such as photocopy, transportation services, food and beverages, accommodation and post office are also available on campus.

More information about these services can be accessed from here.

Communicating with professors, instructors and even teaching assistants may be quite challenging at first, especially if you are not sure how to approach them, whether to ask a question during class, visit them during office hours or send them an email. It is important to remember that all academic and administrative staff at Sabancı University are here to help you and they are genuinely interested in seeing you succeed at university. Typically, academic members of staff have open door policy and appreciate students who ask for help and/or want to discuss a course-related topic.

Generally, regardless of the type of communication (oral or written) you would choose, you can follow these steps to ensure your communication with members of staff is efficient and effective:

  1. Start the conversation by introducing yourself and stating the question/situation/topic clearly and concisely and/or make your request respectfully.
  2. Always be polite.
  3. Clarify what you expect them to do – to answer your question, to clarify the assignment, to provide you with feedback, to give you an appointment, etc.
  4. After receiving an answer, take time to comprehend it - if you couldn’t understand the answer, ask for clarification politely by posing additional questions or checking your understanding with the member of staff by repeating what you have grasped.
  5. Thank them and end the conversation respectfully.

Additional information and useful tips on how and when to contact a member of the academic staff is available on the following pages:

> In-class Communication

> Office hours

> E-mailing

Further Support and Guidance

If you would like to receive additional information and practical advice on how to communicate with academic staff at Sabancı University, you can request an appointment from CIAD Counselors.