What comes to your mind when thinking of Turkey? Charming beaches, oriental culture, picturesque landscapes, monuments and traces of many important ancient civilizations - these are probably the first associations. Turkey, however, is also a great place to study and taking the first steps into your adult life.


Universities and system of study organisation in Turkey

Studies at Turkish universities are three-leveled-  undergraduate, graduate and doctoral studies. The academic year is also no different from the European model and is divided into two semesters and runs from October to June.

Degree courses at state universities are usually conducted in Turkish, but you can also find a lot of majors with French, German and English as a main using language. Students who are not fluent in Turkish can take advantage of the one-year language course organised by most state-owned universities. What do the candidates prefer to choose? The most popular courses are surprisingly International Relations, Eastern Studies, Engineering and Management, etc.

Tuition fees for state semesters range from $100 to $200 for Turkish citizens and students from Azerbaijan, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Macedonia, Moldova, Uzbekistan, Tajikistan and Ukraine. International tuition, which applicants must pay for studies from other countries, range from $300 to $600. Keep in mind that these are prices  for courses conducted in Turkish language though. English-language majors are at least twice as expensive, which still makes them relatively cheap compared to studying in Great Britain.

Turkish universities also have an extensive system of benefits and scholarships. Nothing prevents a student from taking up legal employment in any sector of the economy. The luxury of working, however, is not for foreign students, since they can be employed only by universities or enterprises that operate on its premises.

 

Everyday life in Turkey

The Turkish Republic is a secular state, at least from the theoretical side. In the real world we will still feel the influence of Islam on everyday life. The Turks, however, do not run to mosques as soon as they hear the call of a muezzin from the minaret. These practices are mainly the domain of older people and immigrants from African countries, whom we meet here everywhere, in every city.

Well, cultural differences may be of little importance. A much bigger problem will be an ignorance of the Turkish language which it will probably cost us a lot of money. An evening out in  the club can effectively clean our pockets up to the last coin. Why? Solution? Apply to learn the Turkish language. Science pays off, right?

You have an important matter to do at your local office or university? You will have to be patient, since Turks have a very free approach to life and duties. Everything is dealt with at the last minute or at a later date, which nobody can precisely determine.

 

Papers

Two weeks before the planned arrival to Turkey one should go to the Embassy of the Republic of Turkey in order to get a student visa. The procedure is very simple, but remember to bring with you a valid passport, a completed visa application, a document confirming the admission to the Turkish university and photo(s).

 

Upon arrival, report to the nearest police station in the Department for Foreigners and apply for the right of temporary residence. The pleasure of standing in at least a few hours long queue will cost us 81 lira which equals about €10/€11. After receiving the relevant certificate, you will have to come in person and also spend a few hours in the line. Impatient people will definitely appreciate staying at the Turkish police station - it's a great lesson of humbleness and self-control! We advise you not to curse and keep calm - if you do not want to visit the police station from a slightly different, less tourist perspective...

We also recommend having with you a few spare passport photos and a photocopier of your documents.

 

Renting a flat in Turkey

We should first seek help in finding a flat in special offices that operate at every Turkish university. It may happen, however, that all offers will disappear, and there will be no place in the dorms. Housing prices in Turkish cities are very diverse and depend on many factors. It is therefore difficult to provide a coherent price range that would apply everywhere. Other prices apply in the European part of Istanbul, others in Asian, others in Izmir, others in Ankara, etc. The average price of renting a small flat varies between 260 and 450 Turkish liras.

Bear in mind: if you get a place in a dorm, you have to accept that it will be divided into two separate parts: male and female.

 

Working in Turkey

After graduation, international students may find employment as researchers or employees in the university, especially those who learn languages ​​other than Turkish. Foreign students who are fluent in Turkish will also find work in other fields. The dynamic development of the Turkish economy means that specialists with appropriate knowledge and skills should not have problems with finding a satisfactory job.