Philanthropy and Civil Society in the US and Turkey: Learning by Giving

A Summer Program led by David Campbell in Istanbul, Turkey taking place at Koc University

How do you change the world? People around the world reflect on this question daily, developing their own plans for making a difference. Two of the most popular approaches people use to create social change are philanthropy and work with nonprofit (or non-governmental) organizations. The summer program at Koç University will introduce you to the important ways philanthropy and civil society organizations make a difference in community life both in Turkey and the United States. Students will participate in a seven-week program that includes a seminar course, a service learning experience, and the opportunity to make grants, up to $10,000 to non-governmental organizations in Istanbul.

The Setting

Istanbul is the cultural and commercial capital of Turkey and has for centuries been the bridge between east and west. The city itself straddles Asia and Europe. Many important civilizations have come and gone, leaving their mark on the character of the city and region, including the Greeks, Romans and Byzantines, and the Seljuk and Ottoman Turks. 

Founded in 1993 as a non-profit university, Koç University has quickly become one of the leading universities in Turkey. All instruction is in English. The University is on a beautiful 62-acre campus in the hills of Sariyer, a district of Istanbul on the edge of the Bosphorus and just 20 minutes from the Black Sea beaches. The campus is surrounded by charming villages and beautiful natural landscapes and connected to the city centre by a plethora of convenient transportation options.

Travelers make their way with ease in Istanbul. In areas accustomed to the lively tourist industry, enough English is spoken for one to be understood. Public transportation is easy to use and inexpensive. Turkish culture has a highly developed ethos of hospitality and attentiveness to the well-being of the community. Students will encounter a welcoming and helpful environment.


The Global Summer Academy at Koc University takes place from June 16 through August 1, 2014.


Last Updated: 8/21/14