By Justin Mays:
Turkey is a sprawling country serving as the gateway between the Mediterranean and the Black Sea. It is an excellent choice for higher education due to its stable political environment, strong economy, and world-class education system. There are around 650,000 foreign students in Turkey primarily because of its rich culture and track record of future success. Getting a relatively inexpensive and good quality education along with scholarship opportunities (including monthly allowance, covering accommodation and tuition fees, health insurance, and travel expenses) are great motivations for the students. A lower cost of living and easy enough visa procedures has made Turkey an educational hotspot. This lively country with a welcoming atmosphere and great hospitality is working on a target of 350,000 international students. Universities across Turkey are popular for their education. This blog will discuss some convincing facts that can push you toward your journey to Turkey.
Reasons to study in Turkey
If you have decided to study in Istanbul or any other city in Turkey, you must go ahead for all the right reasons. Let’s discuss them!
Quality of education
Turkey has a 94.2% schooling rate and is the second country in the world with access to higher education. The diploma you receive from a Turkish university is recognized in all European countries! Also, Turkey is one of the most successful countries participating in exchange programs. There are many exchange programs in Turkey, such as Mevlana, and Farabi, supporting the mobility of students and lecturers. The country is a forever popular destination for many kinds of students because of its good programs, affordable fees, and culture and history. If your priority is education quality, then Turkey is the best option with globally influential learning institutions.
Education Fees & Scholarships
The cost of tuition is modest in Turkey. Though fees for degree programs in Turkey can vary, there are still affordable compared to many other countries like the USA, Canada, the UK, Italy, Germany, and Australia. You'll find numerous scholarship possibilities and financial aid choices available during your education in Turkey. Also, living in Turkey can be cheap enough (for students coming from developed countries). Apart from the tuition fee, the students have to pay for health insurance and residence permit as well. Your living expenses can range from 70$ for a month to 700$ depending on your choice of comfort.
Various educational opportunities
There are thousands of universities in Turkey offering tens of thousands of study programs in the English Language. Everyone choosing to study in Turkey will find something to their liking. Some universities are offering academic research programs or practice-oriented taught education. There are 208 universities in Turkey with over 45,000 programs and more than 8 million students making the country the first nation with the most students in European Higher Education Area. Turkish is the 5th most spoken language in the world and you can learn that too! You can get an opportunity to learn Turkish in your courses and also be friends with people from many different cultures.
As discussed, Turkish degrees are valued all around the world and employers are no different. Studying in Turkey offers you a lot more than just a world-class education. Enrolling in a Turkish university is a great step towards your career because of the many benefits it comes with. Numerous international organizations will have European headquarters which means that there will be ample opportunities available for the graduates. Companies expanding into new markets means more career opportunities. All in all, studying in Turkey is an ideal choice for international students as there are options for textile and design, computer science and engineering, business management, and other important courses.
Visa and documentation
The official application and registration processes in Turkey are not much challenging. First, the visa application process is very uncomplicated and almost every time results are positive which is a relief. The second good news is once you have registered with your university, you become eligible to apply for the residence permit as well. There are many countries exempted from the visa process too. Whatever the case be, it's going to be less tiring and bothersome than in other large countries.
Turkey is great for students with at least one university in each city. There are social clubs, sports teams, and cultural events at the universities that bring students closer and eliminate geographical distance. The best and most active points of Turkey are where students socialize! With nice and quirky cafes and restaurants and good libraries, students have many places to hang out. Student life becomes incredible due to the conveniences and opportunities at the university. The campuses have generally everything from a hospital to banks and even a hairdressing salon. You can be on campus all the time and not miss city life.
Turkish people are legendary at hospitality and they help you with utmost sincerity and friendliness. Turks will welcome students as guests and even offer you many treats. You won't feel discriminated against for not being a Turk. Your fellows come to talk to you, embrace you and make you comfortable. After a while, you kind of stop missing home. You'll be a part of every celebration, holiday, and social event. Turks love sharing whether it is accommodation, food, happiness, or knowledge.
Living in Turkey is more affordable than in most European and other major countries. Accommodation, food and drink, entertainment, and basic shopping can be done on a budget. You can stay at the hostel within or near the campuses, or rent a house at a reasonable price. Also, students get transportation tickets and movie tickets at a discounted price.
Turkey hosts countless places of attraction. You can live and travel comfortably. For the many benefits it offers, students love Turkey!
English as an instructional medium
A lot of undergraduate and postgraduate courses are taught in English at Turkish universities and many others offer to learn the language. English is widely used in all major cities and tourist destinations of Turkey. International students who are not fluent in the Turkish language can still graduate from Turkish universities. If at all you intend to live in the country for long, it’s suggested that you learn the Turkish language for daily communication. Whether you are a student or tourist, you’ll be surprised to see how quickly and comfortably you blend into the country. With social clubs, cultural events, sports, and other activities on campus, the students come together even in a multicultural environment.
Top universities in Turkey
There are over 200 universities in Turkey, the majority of which are run by the state. Both public and private universities conform to the Bologna Agreement, (standardizing degree programs across Europe), and many Turkish universities are participants in the Erasmus+ program, which supports international student exchanges. Some of the top-ranked universities are from Turkey itself and aim to recruit more than half of their students from outside the country.
Middle East Technical University (METU)
Based in the Turkish capital Ankara, METU was founded in 1956 to play an essential role in the development of Turkey and countries of the Middle East. Today it has about 31,000 students and several of them are exchange students attending for either a semester or a year. METU has gone up in its rankings while specializing in the natural and social sciences. Since the demand is so high, METU only accepts students from the top 1.5 % of its 1.5 million annual applicants. The medium of instruction in the university is English.
BU was established in 1863 as Robert College and was the first American university to be founded outside the United States. Bogazici University is located in Istanbul, near the Bosphorus strait. Just like at the Middle East Technical University, the language of instruction remains English, and the university maintains strong associations with the American higher education system.
It was founded in Istanbul in 1993 and was named after its founder, Vehbi Koc (entrepreneur and philanthropist), and is one of Turkey’s most prestigious institutes of higher education. It provides a world-class learning experience, with 22 undergraduate, 32 graduate, and 18 Ph.D. programs teaching around 5,500 students. The university aims to nurture the most competent graduates who are internationally qualified and can be future leaders.
This university's name is an acronym of “bilim kenti”, which is Turkish for "city of learning and science”. It is Turkey’s first private non-profit institution, founded in 1984 by Turkish academician İhsan Dogramaci. Bilkent University has the most extensive academic library in the country and is one of the country's leading research-intensive universities. Currently, it has about 13,000 students enrolled in 9 faculties and 2 four-year professional schools. Most of them are international students.
Located in Istanbul, it commenced teaching in the autumn of 1999 and currently has around 4,000 students. Sabanci University’s Faculty of Engineering and Natural Sciences (FENS) and Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences (FASS) offer its students a wide range of domains at both undergraduate and postgraduate levels. Around 42% of its undergraduates receive scholarships.
Ranking of Turkish universities
There are 10 Turkish universities featured in the QS World University Rankings 2019 and 45 Turkish universities in the QS university Rankings EECA (Emerging Europe and Central Asia). Here are our best picks!
METU: Rank 8
Bigazici University: Rank 10
Koc Uniersity: Rank 12
Bilkent University: Rank 14
Sabanci University: Rank 18
Studying in a foreign land might feel challenging but in a country like Turkey, it can be tremendous fun. Turkey is a good destination for studying due to its strong education system and affordable accommodation. All certificates granted by Turkish universities are accepted by almost every European country. The cities have a young, lively, and multicultural atmosphere to give you a great experience.
You might also want to read about the Foreign Student Exam (YOS)
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