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10 Good Reasons to Study in Turkey

25th April 2017 Posted by: Student World Online

TURKEY has traditionally been a popular study abroad destination with many prestigious universities and courses to choose from. Below we have outlined our favourite reasons to study in Turkey: 

1. It is multicultural
Turkey is literally a bridge between the East and the West, its landmass straddling both Europe and Asia. With close proximity to Africa too, it is a cultural melting pot where people of all cultures and faiths can feel at home. Indeed more than 30,000 international students come here to study, with growing numbers coming from continental Europe, Africa, the United States and Asia.

2. It’s friendly
Turks are known for their warmth and hospitality. You’ll soon be drinking çay (tea) and playing tavla (backgammon) with the locals and being invited round for breakfast by your neighbours. Most Turks enjoy meeting foreign visitors and practising their English. 

3. It has natural wonders...
Turkey has more than 5,000 miles of coastline and is washed by the waters of four very different seas, the Mediterranean to the south, the Aegean to the west, the Black Sea to the north and the small Sea of Marmara just below Istanbul. The Kaçkar mountains in the north-east are a hiker’s paradise with secret valleys, wonderful views and rare wildlife.


4...And exciting cities
With 12 million inhabitants, hip, fast-paced Istanbul is one of the world’s largest cities and the only one to span two continents. It is surrounded by the waters of the Bosphorus strait and the Sea of Marmara and is a cultural hub with breathtaking landmarks such as the Blue Mosque and Hagia Sophia. High on a rocky hill inland is Ankara, Turkey's modern capital with a historic heart. The port of Izmir, on the sparkling Aegean coast, is surrounded by olive groves and vineyards and close to Ephesus with its impressive Roman ruins.

5. It has a rich history
Turkey is an open-air museum, full of ancient sites and ruins that bear testament to the many civilisations that emerged or flourished here, including Greek, Roman, Byzantine and Ottoman. 
Here you will find the world’s best-preserved Neolithic settlement at Çatalhöyük, the famous city of Troy and the statues of Greek and Persian gods on Mount Nemrut, described by Unesco as the 8th wonder of the world.

6. The food is delicious
From the savoury pastries and kebabs served on the streets of Istanbul to the fresh fish, grilled corn and stuffed mussels sold on the coast, Turkish cuisine is a mouthwatering fusion and refinement of Central Asian, Middle Eastern, Mediterranean, Caucasian and Balkan dishes. You’ll soon be eating olives and cheese for breakfast, drinking yoghurt with every meal and sipping lots and lots of Turkish tea.


7. The climate is kind
Istanbul and Izmir enjoy hot, dry summers and mild, cool, wet winters. Ankara has hot, dry summers and cold, snowy winters. 

8. It has high standards of education
Turkey is one of the world’s fastest-growing economies, reflecting its ambitions to compete in the global market for international students.
Degrees granted by Turkish universities are recognised across the world and a growing number of programs are taught in English, especially in areas such as engineering, international relations and business. Many of Turkey’s universities have modern campuses and state-of-the-art facilities. 

9. It’s affordable
Tuition fees and the cost of living are lower in Turkey than in most European or American countries yet the quality of education is still high. There are also scholarships available that cover not only tuition fees but accommodation, insurance and travel costs.

10. English is widely spoken
A growing number of courses at Turkish universities are taught in English and many others offer the opportunity to learn English. English is also widely spoken in the major cities and tourist resorts.


 Student World Online has profiles on some of the best universities in Turkey for international students:


Location: Izmir, on the crystal blue waters of the Aegean coast 

Key Facts:

  • Yasar University was founded in 2001
  • Yasar is an English language university, offering a wide variety of courses for prospective international students.
  • Highly regarded for its welcoming and friendly atmosphere,  
  • Home to seven faculties, two graduate institutes and a graduate research centre
  • Programmes including EngineeringArt & DesignEconomics & Administrative SciencesSocial Sciences and Law
  • Strong links with industry and the business world 
  • Modern facilities in a purpose built setting in the heart of the city, which includes a comprehensive library, great sports facilities and a state of the art Media Centre

Read the Full Profile...


Location: Just outside the capital city, Ankara

Key Facts:

  • Bilkent University, founded in 1984,
  • Turkey’s first private and non-profit university with the simple aim of becoming a leader in education and a centre of excellence in research.
  • ‘Bilkent’ is an amalgamation of the phrase ‘BILIM KENTI’ which in Turkish means ‘city of learning and science’.
  • Ranked as a leading university in Turkey and boasts a student body from Europe, America, Eurasia and Asia,
  • Teaching faculty that comprises approximately 40 different nationalities.
  • Bilkent’s faculties of Business Administration and Engineering are globally accredited to the standards of AACSB and ABET respectively.
  • Programmes including EngineeringArt, Design and ArchitectureEconomics, Administrative and Social SciencesBusiness Administration and Science
  • Making waves around the world, Bilkent University has been ranked by Times Higher Education in the Top100 Universities for Engineering and Technology and as the number 39 in the Top 100 Under 50 league table. 

Read the Full Profile...


Location: Istanbul

Key Facts:

  • Established in 1996 following a conference the year before that brought together leading scholars, students and industry leaders from around the world to lay the groundwork for the new Sabanci University.
  •  Pivotal philosophy as a “World University”
  • renowned for its policy of assuring all teaching staff of their freedom of expression in what they teach and how they teach it
  • Courses are offered within the following four schools; Faculty of Engineering and Natural Sciences, Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences, School of Management, School of Languages.

Read the Full Profile...


Location: Istanbul

Key Facts:

  • MEF is non-profit, endowment supported university established with the mission to graduate internationally competitive, forward-thinking students and to bring together research-oriented, leading scholars who will make globally significant contributions to their professional fields, science and technology.
  • The foundation of MEF Educational Institutions dates back to year 1972 when the MEF Tutoring Schools were established. 
  • MEF University’s medium of education is 100% English, with the exception of the School of Law which is 30% in English
  • Courses offered within the following schools; Faculty of Economics, Administrative & Social Sciences, Faculty of Education, Faculty of Engineering, Faculty of Arts, Design & Architecture and the Faculty of Law

Read the Full Profile...



Location: Istanbul

Key Facts:

  • Okan University was founded in 1999, with close to 18,000 full time students.
  • Offers 65 undergraduate, 47 graduate programs and 13 Ph.D. programs under 9 Faculties, 3 Graduate Institutes, Schools of Applied Sciences and Health Sciences
  • The language of instruction in many of the academic programs is English. Those academic programs that instruct in Turkish offer some classes in English as well for international exchange students.
  •  Aims to build a bridge between the academic and the business world with its motto: The University Closest to the World of Business”

Read the Full Profile...


Location: Istanbul

Key Facts:

  • Istanbul Bilgi University is one of the country’s top-ranked private universities.
  • Member of the Laureate International Universities Network, the European University Association and the International Association of Universities. 
  • The courses on offer for international students are housed within three key faculties; Economics and Administrative Sciences, Arts and Science, and Engineering.
  • The university currently has 25,000 students, nearly 1,000 academic staff members, 7 faculties, 5 institutes, 4 schools, 3 vocational schools, and 200 programs that provide education to its associate, undergraduate and graduate students. As of 2016, the university has graduated approximately 30,000 students.

Turkey is a great destination for international students to live and study, but there has been controversy about the political situation in recent years and the circumstances running up to the Turkish referendum on 16 April 2017. Anyone interested in Turkey should do their research before they travel, and although many universities have taken extra measures to keep students safe, you may wish to contact universities directly with any enquiries. You can also read our Timeline to the Turkish Referendum to understand a bit more about the current political situation. 

This article was first written in 2014 and has been updated April 2017 to include the most current information. 


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