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About Turkey

Turkey has so much to offer her visitors; breathtaking natural beauties, unique historical and archaeological sites, steadily improving hotel and touristic infrastructure and a tradition of hospitality and competitive prices. Therefore, it is not surprising that this country has recently become one of the world's most popular tourism destinations. Due to Turkey's diverse geography, one can experience four different climates in any one day. The rectangular shaped country is surrounded on three sides by three different seas. Its shores are laced with beaches, bays, coves, ports, islands and peninsulas. The summers are long, lasting as long as eight months in some areas. Turkey is also blessed with majestic mountains and valleys, lakes, rivers, waterfalls and grottoes perfect for winter and summer tourism and sports of all kinds.

Why study in Turkey?

A unique opportunity for self-discovery as well as personal, academic and professional growth.

Studying overseas as part of your university or vocational course brings a range of benefits that you will enjoy long after you complete your studies. International study enriches your academic or training experience through exposure to different teaching styles and environments, a diversity of students and new places to live and travel. Not only do you experience other cultures, languages and education systems, your eyes are opened to different ways of thinking. This brings lasting benefits for your personal growth, self-confidence, independence and your tolerance of others and the unfamiliar.

Estimated Cost of Living
There is no doubt that Turkey is the perfect place to enjoy a quality education and a relatively good quality of life. What makes it even better is that Turkey offers excellent value for money, with living expenses and tuition costs comparable to other countries.

An average international student in Turkey will spend about 400-500 USD a month on accommodation, food, clothing, entertainment, transportation and telephone costs. Books and administrative fees are approximately 100-150 USD per semester. Remember, though, that this figure depends on your location, lifestyle and which degree course you attend. You should seek further information on living costs from your institution directly.

Health and Insurance
Turkey has a well-established healthcare sector with a large number of Turkish doctors and dentists who speak English, particularly in the major hospitals. All hospitals have an emergency room that is open 24 hours a day, physicians and pharmacies are on call 24 hours, 7 days a week.

All universities in Turkey have a free medical service at their medical centres. It offers advice on emergency treatment and consultations on personal and health matters. There is always at least one medical doctor and one nurse working during the week at the health centres of university campuses. However, international students are strongly advised to come to Turkey with a valid health insurance policy. International students are responsible for costs of hospitalization or for any medical service or treatment not available at university health centres. The Health Insurance Policy should cover both Asiatic and

Working While Studying
International students, unfortunately, have no legal right to work either in public or private offices. However, Turkish universities are relatively open to foreign researchers. Both public and private universities recruit non-Turkish staff. Among universities with a clear international profile are the universities of Bogazici (Istanbul) and the Middle East Technical University (Ankara), which are both public. Among private universities are those of Sabanci, Koc and Bilgi (all in Istanbul) and Bilkent (Ankara).

Language is not only major obstacle to get a temporary job. There are universities and departments within universities whose language of instruction is English or where English is the most common language. Some private universities were established as English-speaking universities, and they are now trying to compete with public universities to attract top international academic staff and researchers. There are also research institutions which provide teaching in French and German.

In addition, most foundation universities recruit Master's and PhD level students on a full scholarship scheme. Sometimes full scholarships might require international students assisting some professors on certain tasks such as teaching, doing research or preparing statistics etc. In all these cases, there is no requirement on international academics or students to learn and teach in Turkish.

Working After Studying
If you want to work in Turkey after studying, there are not as many options as you might hope, especially if you don't speak Turkish, and many of them pay very poorly, comparing to the EU countries, Canada or the USA. However there might be surprising opportunities present in the Turkish market. So you can't know them exist before searching for it.

The first thing to do is to search your job prospects on internet. You should have a very well prepared resume that could tell anything about you even if you are not physically there. Many Turkish companies speak English, some speak German, French, Italian, Spanish, Arabic, Russian etc. You definitely hear from them with an invitation for an interview.

Some of the best paid and most professional works in Turkey are in the various embassies, consulates and non-governmental organisations. But the competition is always intense.

One possibility is to teach your native language at a language school or on a private tuition. There is a great hunger for English language teaching in Turkey which means that this sort of work is easy to find. However, the best paid jobs with the best conditions go to people with a degree and proper TESOL, TEFL, CELTA or PGCE qualifications. The best thing to do is to take a relevant course.

There are some large international companies or press agencies that need a foreigner in one of their branches located throughout Turkey. Some manage to find work on the New Anatolian, the Turkish Daily News, Zaman or other publications published in foreign languages. There are occasional vacancies for journalists, editors, copy editors or proofreaders.

If you are looking for casual work, you could try the notice boards at some spots. For anything more serious, please try the noticeboards at some language schools or universities. It's also worth looking in the classified ads of expat magazines. Other possibilities lie in tourism where there are usually plenty of casual summer jobs. However, foreigners who are working in tourism have to cope with a far longer working week: in effect all day every day at the height of the season. For women one of the best paid options is to take up a post as a nanny to a wealthy family in one of the big cities

Understanding the Education System

Turkish education system is under the supervision and control of the state, namely the Ministry of National Education. According to the Constitution of the Republic of Turkey, everyone has the right to receive education. Education is compulsory from ages 6 to 14 and free in state schools. The country's primary schools currently have a 98 percent participation rate.

The academic year in Turkish education institutions generally begins in the mid-September or early October and continues to May or early June. There is also a two-week winter break in February.

Stages of the Education System
Pre-School Education: Optional kindergarten education, up to 6 years of age.

Primary Education: Compulsory and free basic education for eight years (5 years elementary + 3 years secondary), 6-14 years of age.

Secondary Education: 4 years of High School (Lise), or Vocational High School education, 15-17/18 years of age. Some schools might have an additional year of language study. High schools are mostly owned by the government and provide free education.

Higher Education: 4 years of University, or 2 years at Higher Vocational Schools. Some schools have an additional year of language study. Under normal circumstances, Master's study lasts 2 years; PhD 3-5 years. This category includes all educational institutions which will provide post-secondary education. They are under the supervision of Higher Educational Council (YOK).

Types of High Schools
Public High Schools (“Normal Liseler” or “Duz Liseler”): Any student who successfully completes 8 years of basic education can go onto these schools. Graduates of public high schools, if successful in the nationwide University Entrance Examination (ÖSS), can go onto higher education institutions. Graduates are awarded with the Lise Diploması.

Vocational High Schools (Meslek Liseleri): Some of these schools may take an additional year to complete. Graduates can automatically go on to higher vocational schools (Meslek Yüksek Okulları - 2 Year Vocational Colleges) in their respective fields of study if they wish. Alternatively, if successful in the university entrance examination, they can go onto 4-year schools in their respective fields.

Anatolian High Schools (Anadolu Liseleri): One year of English study followed by 3 years of regular high school education, additional hours for English. Math and Science lessons at these schools are sometimes taught in English. Lessons at some Anatolian high schools are taught in either German or French.
Super High Schools (Super Liseler): The difference between these and normal high schools is one extra year of English study. They differ from Anatolian high schools in that the language of instruction for math and science courses is always Turkish and less hours are given to English lessons.

Science High Schools (Fen Liseleri): These are special public schools for students who have exceptional aptitude in the sciences. These very competitive high schools train students specifically for higher education in the sciences, technical and medical fields. There is also Anatolian Science High Schools (Anadolu Fen Liseleri), where the medium of instruction for math and sciences is sometimes in English.

Private High Schools (Ozel Liseler): Most private high schools charge very high tuition fees and are very competitive.

Types of Higher Education Institutions
State Universities (Devlet Universiteleri): The university system in Turkey is governed by the Higher Educational Council (YOK). Turkey has 104 state and 62 private universities (a total of 166 institutions of higher learning), 5 of which are located in the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus. Apart from the public and private universities, 8 foundation higher vocational schools serve the job market.

Generally, undergraduate education takes 4 years at universities, but some fields such as medicine (6 years), dentistry (5 years), and veterinary science (5 years) take longer. Turkish high school graduates go directly into fields of study such as medicine, law, dentistry and so on. No tuition fee is charged at public schools (devlet universitesi); students pay only a small basic fee. Students need to pass a nationwide University Entrance Exam (OSS) to enter a university. The graduates of 4-year programs are awarded with the Bachelor’s Degree (Lisans Diplomasi).

The medium of instruction at some state universities is English, German or French. Therefore, all correspondence with the university staff and applications to the faculties can be done in English, German or French. However, instruction language at state universities is mostly Turkish. When entering the exam of the university, the knowledge of Turkish is not necessary. Those who pass the exams, and have only a little knowledge of Turkish, are considered to take one year of language foundation to gain proficiency in the Turkish language.

Academic Calendar

Academic year
September through June

Major school holidays/breaks
January through February, June through September

Major exam periods
Late December - Mid January, Mid June – Early July

Best Time to Visit Schools
October, March, April, May

Useful Links

Study In Turkey

Study Overseas

Turkey Official Tourism Portal

Ministry of Foreign Affairs

Region Western Asia/ Southern Europe
Currency Turkish Lira
Surface Area 783562
Sq. Km.
Population 74816000
Population Density 95.5 / square kilometre
Capital City Ankara
GDP (million current US$) 614619
GDP per capita (current US$) 8215.1
CPI: Consumer Price Index 461
Temperature °C (min/max) 6.6/18.7
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