Executive Education

6 Things to Know Before Getting Turkish Higher Education (International Students Guide)

Turkey Flag

Turkey is where Europe and the Middle East meet as a result of which you will experience a harmonious blend of both in its culture and lifestyle. It could be an ultra-modern country as well as a conservative country depending on how you see it. However, regardless, it has a very good system of higher education, and many students from all over the world come here to experience it. Most students, unsurprisingly, come from neighboring countries, and despite the proximity, Turkey could still be not an easy-going experience.

As a foreign student, it becomes pertinent to make yourself aware of the natural and human conditions of the country of interest. Culture, food, lifestyle, safety, cost of living, etc are some of the many vital considerations every foreign student is expected to take into account. So, if you are coming to Turkey anytime in the future, you should acquaint yourself with a few very, very important things. University life will be much better if you took care of the 6 things I am going to mention here.

  1. Consider learning a bit of Turkish
    Turkey is home to myriad languages including Bosnian, Arabic, Turkish, and English. Turkish is most widely spoken and could be learned in due time. Although English is not uncommon, the number of speakers is not too many. So, it is advised that you learn a bit of Turkish even though your programme is being conducted totally in English. To know a country, you must know its language. You will spend a good amount of time so you might as well invest some of it in learning a new language.
  2. Student Accommodation
    There are two options available to you: you stay in a university-provided accommodation facility or find a place to stay on your own. Usually, Turkish universities offer accommodation facilities to their students in the form of dorms, flats and hostels. However, if you do not like the aforementioned facilities or there is none, to begin with, you can explore options. Most students prefer renting a flat and sharing it with one or more people to divide costs. The rent should usually be between $200 and $500 per month however, it may vary considerably depending upon your lifestyle. Hostels are cheaper and are generally independently owned.
  3. Health
    The Turkish health system is well-developed so you shouldn’t worry during emergencies. However, being a foreign student, you are required to purchase a proper health insurance policy. Many insurance services for such students are offered and include a range of services. If you have a Turkish residence for more than half a year, then you get automatic registration with the Turkish Social Security Institution. Otherwise, you will have to apply for an insurance policy with the said institution. The insured is entitled a cut of 20 percent on the cost of medicines among other benefits.
  4. Transportation services
    Being a tourist hub, there exists a well-developed transportation network that runs throughout the country. If you are living in Istanbul, then you will experience the most developed of all transportation services in the country. In other areas, reasonable connectivity has been installed. To save time and money, it is advised that you purchase monthly railcards that usually run student discounts. Services available to use include inner-city ferries, metros, tram, buses, and trains. The prices are cheap, which means that students do not have to shell out more than they can afford.
  5. Can you work while studying?
    Working while studying is a critical issue for any international student. However, every country imposes some restrictions on this. Legally speaking, a foreign student can only work in Turkey provided he has a Student Residence Permit. This, too, comes with a rider: where you are admitted to an undergraduate program you can only work following the first year of study. The same condition applies to those in two-year associate programs. Also, once you are eligible to work, there are hourly limitations which you must keep a note of.
  6. An Experience of a lifetime
    You read world history and the role of Turkey remains undisputed. Ottoman empire still rings a bell whenever we hear about it because we know what a tremendous role it has played. However, there is a world of Turkey you don’t know, and you can only know that once you are here. A distinct culture and lifestyle await you that thrive in a region marked by a rich heritage. As a student, you will learn beyond academic books and come to appreciate what a blessing Turkey is. Experience the delicious food, the warm hospitality, the congregation of people from all walks of life, and a world that is truly Turkish in spirit.

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Ryan Miller
Ryan Miller is CEOWORLD magazine's executive editor of news, writing analysis, and long-form reporting. In his role, he coordinates and tracks the publication of special packages, magazine stories, and the publication’s signature lists. He's a somewhat long-suffering supporter of Manchester United F.C. and a genuinely long-suffering fan of the Los Angeles Clippers.