Study abroad in Turkey for students
Turkey is a destination
of Arts and entertainment. Lira is the official currency but transactions in Euro and dollars are also very common. Islam is the official religion of the country. Turkish artists, playwrights, musicians and sculptors have created history in their fields and has given their nation a unique cultural identity. In the vibrant and beautiful city of Istanbul, (once Constantinople), visitors experience ethnic glamour and fine dining. Tourists visit there to explore the grand Blue Mosque or gardens. The population is pretty friendly and hospitable. Beautiful beaches, natural wonders, blue voyage tours, historical and religious sites, shopping centers and a vibrant nightlife have made Turkey the most favourite tourist destination.Today Turkey is becoming the most preferred destination for study abroad.
Major Turkish Cities
Though Ankara is the capital city of Turkey, the largest city in Turkey is Istanbul. Istanbul resides over 15 million citizens. The city is however situated on the world-famous Silk Road and the only sea route between the Black Sea and the Mediterranean Sea. Istanbul, in fact, is the industrial hub of Turkey. The UNESCO World Heritage Site is located in its Golden Horn harbour area.
Turkey, in general, enjoys a temperate Mediterranean climate, with, dry summers and mild to cool wet winters. Due to its geographical nature, many Turkish zones also experience extreme climates, with elevated temperatures in summer months to snowy winters in the eastern portion of the country.
Turkey is a historic nation and tourists often visit Turkey to explore the past. It has a long and complex history, with multiple invasions including Ottoman, Greece and Byzantine etc. Turkey has faced enormous instability in the political genre. For such a diversity of empires, the culture is shaped into many visages. Reflecting all the features of the western world, the country is successfully maintaining its traditional ethnicity.
Higher Education and International Students in Turkey
Turkey has always participated in rendering quality education. However, during the last 10 years, the country revamped its education system inviting a number of international students to study in higher education institutions of Turkey. Today the number of international students studying in Turkish universities
has increased by 75% with approximately 150 thousand international students. 17 thousand of these foreign students are studying on Turkish scholarship programs. According to a recent notification, Turkey aims to host 200 thousand international students by 2023. There are in fact 183 higher education institutions in Turkey, in which state universities are 109, while the remaining 74 are private non-profit institutions.Turkey’s internalization shift in higher education is based on the following four logics:
- Academic development and interaction,
- Economic development and solidarity,
- Development of political and diplomatic relations
- Social and cultural interaction
Degree courses, Universities and Scholarships in Turkey for Students
and other higher education institutes conduct all sorts of degree programs like associate’s, bachelor’s, master or doctorate degree levels. These courses are mostly available in Turkish language. However English taught programs are increasingly getting popular these days. The higher education institutes comprise universities, faculties, schools of higher education, conservatories, and vocational schools of higher education cultures. Tuition fees at the public universities are lower than the expensive private institution. Several scholarships are granted to international students, some of which are fully- funded with accommodation, monthly allowances and health insurance coverage.Two of Turkey’s universities are listed in top 500 in the 2019 QS World University Rankings. The highest ranked university is Koç University, ranked 448th. Bilkent University, however, is the next ranked at the 456th position. Istanbul University is the oldest institution in the city, founded in 1453.
The trend of studying abroad is increasing day by day. The factors for this shift, however, are numerous. Employment opportunities, safe environment, access to basic facilities and multicultural exposures are some of them. Among uncounted study abroad countries, Turkey is one of the most preferred destination to study abroad especially for students. Basic reasons to study in Turkey are listed below
Academic Hub for International Students
This Europe-Asia Crossroad destination is currently hosting a swarm of international students. Currently, there are around 150,000 international students in Turkey, enrolled in miscellaneous study programs. Turkish Government has revolutionized it’s the higher education system. The president of Turkey, in fact, has announced that the country is aiming to invite around 350,000 international students.
Approximately 5,000 scholarships are provided to students every year from over 160 countries. The country has currently listed all official undergraduate, graduate and short-term scholarships for the upcoming year.
A vast majority of scholarships awarded to international students in Turkey, in fact, are funded by the Turkish state.Moreover,there are many graduate and postgraduate Turkish scholarships available for students in the current academic year.
Affordable Cost of Living and Study
Compared to other international study destinations, Turkey offers significantly lower tuition fees and living expenses. According to global cost of living rankings, Turkey’s metropolitan cities are not included in the most expensive cities list. Moreover, foreign students are allowed to have work permits. This allows students to earn part-time while studying. In addition, Turkey also allows international students to look for employment after they complete their degree course and can finally settle in this European nation.
A Muslim Destination
Being a Muslim country, students can access Halal food and easily conduct their religious rituals in Turkey, which is not possible in the western or European nations. Some Turkish cuisines like Sis Kebab, Donor Kebab and sweets like Turkish Delight are very familiar in Pakistan
High –Ranked Universities
There are over 200 universities in Turkey, the majority of which are public. Most of these institutions are relatively new, therefore, renders the most modern strategies of education. Moreover, both public and private universities in Turkey are associated with the Bologna Agreement, This program is a standard setter of degree programs across Europe. Turkish universities are also involved in the Erasmus+ program, thus students can also benefit from exchange programs.
According to the QS Higher Education System, Turkey’s higher education system was ranked 43rd in the world. There are 10 Turkish universities listed in the QS World University Rankings®. Moreover 45 Turkish universities are listed in the edition of the QS University Rankings: EECA, (universities in Emerging Europe and Central Asia).
Universities in famous Cities of Turkey
Up-To-Date Academic Courses at All Degree Levels
All degree courses including bachelors, Master’s and doctoral are taught at Turkish universities. The most popular courses in which international students take admission are
- Electrical and Electronic Engineering
- Bachelors in Business – Economics.
- Bachelor’s in Cultural Studies
- Bachelor’s in Business Administration
- Industrial Engineering
In addition, Associate Degree programs are also taught Turkish higher education system. In this two-year program, universities offer vocational oriented studies and graduates after completion of the study course are employed as intermediate staff in relevant organizations. The curriculum is designed to give the student the internship opportunity in firms of the study fields
Though most graduate programs are taught in Turkish, with the passage of time English taught courses are gaining popularity in Turkish universities. On Masters Level, however, several English taught programs are rendered at top universities in most affordable prices. The best thing to study in Turkey as a study abroad student is that quality level of the education in English-taught state universities is parallel to the Western standards.
Turkey higher education institutes offer effective and high-standard academic programs to international students. The following are the various Study program intakes and admission requirements for Turkish Universities
The Academic Calendar
The academic year in Turkey consists of 2 semesters which runs from September until June. The academic first semester runs from October to January and the second semester from February to July. A two week holiday is given between these semesters, summer vacations are between July and October. Application deadlines are different in different institutions; universities generally begin their session in October. Many universities render admission on a first-come, first served basis depending on the applicant’s qualifications of the prospective study abroad student. Some courses at certain universities accept applications on a rolling basis, but the most credible institutions take admission on a competitive basis. Each university’s website provides details for the upcoming admission.
The Admission Criterion in Turkish Universities
Every Turkish University has its own admission criteria and international students who want to take admission to an undergraduate program must directly apply to the Student Affairs Office of the respective university. When the student submits the necessary documents the relevant faculty boards evaluate the application status of each student. Later Interviews are also conducted with the individual applicant if necessary. Upon acceptance of the admission, the applicant gets the right to study at the chosen university and he/she is then registered for the upcoming semester.
Admission in Undergraduate Program
Foreign students who wish to pursue their graduate/post-graduate studies in Turkey should apply directly to the universities.
International candidates who are currently studying in a senior grade in a high school or have already earned an intermediate/A-levels or high school certificate with 12 years of education equivalent to Turkish credits can apply for undergraduate programs in Turkey. Turkish universities organize Examinations for Foreign Students (YOS) in their own terms. Thus, it is essential that prospective students should apply separately to each university.
International Student Application Form online plus a hard copy
High School Diploma or intermediate certificate
An Official Transcript and all previous mark sheets both original and attested photocopies
Language Proficiency certification (TOEFL, IELTS etc. or university test
A simple short essay about your interest in Turkish education, why you want to attend this particular university and what course of study you want to pursue to achieve your preferred career
Application Fee (The fee for each application ranges between USD35 and 100. This pays for processing your application and is non-refundable
scores from the following tests
SAT 1 (Scholastic Aptitude Test)
ACT (National College Admission Examination)
GCE certificate (minimum two subjects)
International Baccalaureate (IB)
Deadline for undergraduate applications is before the 1st of August. It is better to contact them at least one year before they plan to enter that school. Then they could have plenty of time to fulfil the requirements on time.
Applications of candidates are evaluated according to student’s academic achievements like a cumulative intermediate percentage. Marks in the relevant subject, high school GPAs, and other achievements relevant to the success of the student. Meeting the application criteria, however, does not guarantee admission to the programs.
Acceptance letters are sent to Successful candidates via email and regular post, usually in August. These students will then show this acceptance letter at Turkish consulate to get a Student Visa
Admission in Master’s Program
Foreign students who wish to pursue their graduate/post-graduate studies in Turkey should apply directly to the universities.
A postgraduate qualification or master’s degree typically takes two years to complete with 120 credit hours, although this period can vary depending on the institution.
Some departments may ask the student to appear for a personal interview before rendering him/her the admission to postgraduate degree courses.
A foreign national applying for a master program in Turkey must possess a student visa and a valid passport
Bachelor’s or Master’s diploma or degree with attested photocopies and English translations
A statement of purpose
Specified sized photographs
At least two Reference letters from professors and employers
All previous Transcripts with attested copies
Graduate exam scores (: GRE or GMAT)
Language proficiency certificate (TOEFL, or a university’s own exam)
Interviews or Written exams
Proof of enough financial funds to support your studies
There are generally two application deadlines for graduate programs:
Admission in PhD at A Turkish University
Turkish education system follows the Bologna Process. Therefore, PhD programs in Turkey are similar to other European PhD programs. The overall courses, seminars and exams for a PhD exam will lead to a total of 240 ECTS credits. There may be taught components in your program to complete an authentic PhD program. Supervision committees will assess the student’s performance and thesis. The thesis supervisor is a member of these committees. The supervisor is basically an academic lecturer who is an expert in your chosen research field. The supervisor will be appointed within the first year of PhD.
Fees and funding
Students can enrol in a Ph D program in affordable tuition fees. In most institutions, it is around €500-800 per year for international students. There are also many fully funded scholarships available to pursue a Ph D program in Turkey. There are however some limited funding resources available for international students. Tuition fees for PhD programs at private universities are relatively high. It is generally around €5, 3000-18,000 per year. However, there are many funding options available at these private institutions.
Applying for a PhD in Turkey
The specific requirements and procedures are different in different r research institution and course of study. The prospective candidate has to contact your preferred university’s international office for exact information.
The admissions are highly competitive and the prospective PhD applicant has to show excellent academic performance e at undergraduate and graduate level.
- Masters degree, in a relevant subject, with good academic achievements, with a Merit or Distinction grade.
Generally, students seeking admission in PhD ( Arts and Humanities) need a Masters degree. However to take admission in the subjects of Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) an undergraduate degree is generally sufficient. This, however, depends on the individual course and institution rendering the degree program.
International degrees may require additional recognition to be accepted as equivalent qualifications.
Research proposal and it is recommended that you contact your prospective supervisor and/or university before applying to help with this.
Scores of alternative international admissions tests, such as the GMAT (a minimum score of 500) and the GRE (a minimum score of 685)
An English language test score, like TOEFL or IELTS, or a test offered by the Turkish examination coordinator ÖSYM.
Specified sized photographs
Spouse documents and marriage certificates for married candidates
An interview is generally conducted to assess the eligibility of prospective PhD student applying in a Turkish University.
Although Studying and living in this Euro –Asian study abroad destination is not that expensive, especially when compared to the cost of living in the UK and USA. However, the student should have enough cash in the pocket if he/she is planning to fly Turkey for studies.
If a student especially a Pakistani student is all set to study his higher education degree courses at Turkish universities, he should draw a budget to cope with the miscellaneous expenses of studying abroad. Primarily he/she has to apply online at a Turkish university for admission. In some countries, the application process demands proper fees to continue the process. Turkish universities generally do not charge any application fee, however, the student should check the official university website for detailed information.
Once the process of admission begins, the prospective student has to face many other charges like preparation of certain documents, language learning courses which cost around 25-30 thousand PRs.
All the above-mentioned costs are the pre-arrival expenditures; however, once you enter the country with the intention to study abroad in Turkey, you have to face other sorts of expenses.
Tuition Fees at Turkish Universities
The most vital cost the student has to bear is the tuition Fees of Turkish university degree program. The amount of tuition fees depends on whether the university is private or public. Where it is located and what is the chosen course. Public universities are generally low-cost universities where minimum semester fee is around 300 USD or 269 Euros. However, this figure goes up to 7000 to 17000 Euros per year.
A summarized cost of study regarding tuition fees at Turkish Universities as follows
Undergraduate Degree Programs at Public Universities
Undergraduate Degree Programs at Private Universities
The average per year fees ranges from 4.000 Euros and 18.000 Euros
For Graduate Degree Programs at Public Universities
For English taught courses =500 Euros to 1000 Euros per year
For Turkish taught courses =: 200 Euros to 500 Euros per year
Graduate Degree Programs at Private Universities
Moreover, an additional amount of around 200 Euros per year is required to spend on books, stationery and another similar study –related expenses.
There are several scholarships programs in all sorts of degree courses offered by the Turkish universities as well as by the Turkish government. These programs mostly cover full tuition expenses and also grant study funds to eligible students. If you are an international student and want to study abroad in Turkey on a Scholarship, check the given link to avail the best opportunities.
Living Cost in Turkey
Despite the low- budget living cost in Turkey, the study abroad student has to save some extra cash to meet unavoidable circumstances. Generally, living in Turkey is quite affordable. An average international student in Turkey requires around 300-400 Euros per month. The money is chiefly spent on accommodation, food, clothing, entertainment, transportation and other utilities. This figure, however, depends on the location, lifestyle and the degree course you attend.
Turkish universities provide affordable accommodation facilities. It includes university dormitories and state-owned hostels. Students should contact the universities for accommodation facilities. The government, as well as on-campus dormitories, is quite secure. The dormitories entail furnished kitchen and other basic facilities. Students either can have a shared or private room at the dorm. These dormitories are also separated by gender. An average rate for renting a dorm ranges from 20 Euros to 200 Euros per month depending on the provided facilities.
Students can also rent an apartment flat. The cost of renting the flat depends on the district and size. Rents are high in big cities. Students generally share these types of accommodations for affordability purpose. The average cost of an apartment ranges between 100 Euros and 500 Euros per month
Health Insurance Plan
International students in Turkey generally buy an insurance plan in their home country. However, if you have to buy a Turkish health insurance plan then it will cost approximately 30-100 USD for 1-year duration.
As a matter of fact, students also have to pay $80 for a one-year residence permit. The cost of a residence permit card is 72 Turkish Lira. Moreover, to get this residence permit the student has to show at least 19,236TL in his/her bank account. Residence Permit costs, however, vary on the length of time the student is staying in Turkey.
In short, the general overview of living cost for an international student per semester in Turkey as follows
Housing : 1,400 – 1,000 Euros
Food : 1000 Euros
Transportation : 200 Euros
Cinema ticket : 15 TL
Concert ticket 25 TL
There are other living expenses in Turkey which an international student has to bear. Moreover, the Graduate in search of a job in Turkey or who has already got work permit has to bear additional charges of residence or work permit renewal, citizenship fees and other general expenses that a Turkish local is paying. The monthly minimum wage in Turkey is 2,020 Turkish Liras ($381). This figure is set by a 15-member commission led by Family, Labor and Social Services Minister.