In recent years Turkey has been establishing itself as a country welcoming of international students. As a result, international student numbers have more than doubled over the past ten years. Turkey is beginning to develop a real reputation as an excellent study destination.
Turkey is one of the oldest permanently settled regions in the world giving it a rich and diverse history and culture. It is notable as being the point where east meets west and as a result it is common to see both Mediterranean and Asian influences in Turkish culture and society, particularly in food, fashion and lifestyle.
As far as academic success goes, Turkey doesn’t fall short in that department either, with excellent universities in the Capital, but also dotted around the rest of the country. Studying in Turkey is a great option.
Universities in Turkey are either state run, or privately run. There are nearly 200 universities in Turkey, in large cities and towns, with plenty to explore around them. Most university buildings and campuses are relatively modern, and in the larger cities, such as Istanbul, Ankara, and Izmir, you’ll find more than enough nightlife, culture and entertainment to keep you occupied during your down-time.
Bilkent University in the capital, Ankara, is a top-class university and was the country’s first privately run university. A very cosmopolitan university, in-keeping with the city’s feel, and it is also a mainly English speaking organisation, although it’s always worth trying to pick up some of the language to help you through daily life, and not just to rely on your mother tongue. Bogazici University in the fantastic city of Istanbul is another high quality public university. Wherever you do choose, your choice for study abroad in Turkey is wide.
A melting pot of colour and culture, Turkey is a location that is easy to feel drawn to. The people are friendly, with nothing ever too much trouble, and you will feel able settle quickly. The beaches are stunning, the cities are huge and diverse, the culture is fascinating and the history will leave you amazed and wanting to discover more.
Istanbul is a city full of diversity, with the famous Blue Mosque and Hagia Sofia, the imposing Bosphorus Bridge, and Topkapi Palace, as well as famous football stadiums, home to Galatasaray and Fenerbache. Add to that fantastic shopping and night-life too and you have a city that is a great place to live, work, and study in.
Capital Ankara is equally as large and varied and is situated perfectly for a bit of further travel, especially if you want to head in to central Turkey. The south-coast is home to the famous beach resorts of Bodrum, Marmaris and Alanya, to name a few, and you can even visit Greece for the day from here. Inland you’ll find Izmir, and the historical and natural wonders of Cappadocia, Ephesus and Pamukkale. Turkey is not a country you’ll tire of quickly. As such, the opportunity to study abroad in Turkey is one to be embraced.
The cost of living in Turkey is relatively low compared to the UK and other EU countries, and you’ll find eating out won’t break the bank, perfect if you are studying abroad in Turkey. Travel around the country is also cheap and efficient, with long-distance coaches and domestic flights getting you from A to B for little in the way of costs. It’s also easy to pick up a low cost flight back home, with many budget airlines flying direct to many of the Turkish airports during the summer months from Europe, Africa, and Asia. Of course, Istanbul is an international hub for air travel, so you should always be able to book a flight easily.
As far as living arrangements go, sharing an apartment may be one of the best options. In terms of company and cutting costs, sharing living accommodation can be a wise move when you’re studying in Turkey and your university may also have halls of residence you could reside in. Check with your chosen university to see what help they can offer you in terms of living arrangements.
With regards to studying costs, if you choose to study at a state run university, you’ll be looking at a much lower cost for your fees compared to a private university, where the fees can run into thousands of pounds. At a state university you may find yourself with a bill of as little as US$300-800 for a postgraduate qualification. The costs obviously depend on your chosen course and university, but by and large are considerably lower than other nearby study abroad destinations.
Dependent on your choice of course, and where you choose to study it, generally Bachelors degree will take 3-4 years of study, a Masters degree will take 2 years, and a PhD around 3-5 years of research.
International students need to pass specific exams before they are accepted onto a course to study abroad in Turkey. This will consist of two tests – a basic learning skills test, and a Turkish language test, therefore it’s worthwhile learning some of the language before you apply, to not only help you in your second exam, but also to make life overall easier.
Turkish is the predominant language, however English is widely spoken, and many universities will teach in English, so you’re not expected to be fluent. However, whilst living in a foreign country, being able to get by in the native language will help you, and will also mean you’re respected for trying that little bit harder to fit in, which never hurts!
You will require a visa to study in Turkey. Turkey isn’t in the EU, so this also applies for students from Europe looking to study there too. Once you have an acceptance letter in hand enabling you to study in Turkey, you need to apply to your local Turkish consulate. You usually have to do this in person, and make an appointment online to do so, so check opening times and travel arrangements for this in good time.
To apply for a visa you need your letter of acceptance, a completed student visa form, a valid passport, passport photo and the visa processing fee. This processing fee can change, so it is best to check the Turkish consulate website.
Once you arrive in Turkey you will need to apply for a residency permit, which needs to be completed within 90 days of arrival. This is a simple process – just head to your nearest police headquarters with your passport and student visa. It is worth checking the consulate website beforehand though, as again, there are residency rule changes planned in the near future, and this is the advice given currently.
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