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TURKEY FULL SCHOLARSHIP 2020-2021

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Famous for its stunning scenery and enchanting coastal resorts, Turkey has made huge strides in recent years to position itself as a viable study destination for overseas students

You’ll find that it’s not just the Mediterranean sun, fascinating ruins and world-renowned food that attracted more than 125,000 international students to Turkey in 2017/18 (Council of Higher Education). Many couldn’t resist the opportunity to study in a country with invaluable global links – acting as a bridge between Europe and Asia.

Whether you’ve set your sights on the capital city of Ankara, Turkey’s cultural and financial hub Istanbul or somewhere a little less high-profile, studying in Turkey will be an affordable yet eye-opening experience.

It’s worth mentioning that the country is still experiencing political uncertainty and while most visits are trouble-free, it’s important you check the latest UK government travel advice for Turkey.

Turkish universities

The country is home to 206 higher education institutions, which cater to around eight million students. Approximately 120 of these are state-governed universities, while the rest are established non-profit private foundations.

A total of ten Turkish institutions feature in the QS World University Rankings 2019, with Koç University (448th) and Bilkent University (456th) ranking in the top 500.

This is an impressive standing, considering the Turkish higher education system is one of the world’s youngest. As recently as 1970, there were just eight established institutions in Turkey.

As Turkey is classed as an advanced emerging economy by the Financial Times Stock Exchange (FTSE) – having only formed as a country in 1923 – the Times Higher Education Emerging Economies University Rankings 2019 provide a good indication of how the country is performing in the current climate. A total of 23 Turkish universities make an appearance, with 6 in the top 100, while both Sabanci University (20th) and Koç University (26th) are ranked in the top 50.

The academic calendar is split into two semesters and runs from September to June.

Degree courses in Turkey

Most Turkish Bachelors degrees will take on average four years to complete full time (over eight semesters). These can be studied in a range of subjects from business management, economics and mathematics, to fashion design, tourism and hospitality.

Exceptions to this include courses in architecture, dentistry and veterinary medicine, which involve up to five years of study, and medicine, lasting up to six years.

Read more about Bachelors degrees and other qualification levels at Study In Turkey – Degrees.

Search undergraduate courses in Turkey at Study In Turkey.

Masters degrees

A Masters in Turkey (and the equivalent Higher Engineering Diploma) takes up to two years to complete full time.

Turkish universities offer Masters courses both with and without the completion of a thesis. If you opt for a thesis course, you’ll study a range of modules as well as writing and submitting a thesis in the second semester of your second year. If you enrol on a non-thesis course, you’ll take a wider selection of modules, with the option to study subjects outside your course discipline.

Popular postgraduate subjects include:

  • business administration
  • industrial engineering
  • information technology (IT)
  • international relations
  • molecular biology and genetics.

PhDs

Doctorate courses typically take three to four years to complete depending on the nature of the course and tend to follow a structured process. Unlike its UK equivalent, a Turkish PhD is supervised by a committee rather than an individual.

Student exchanges

Students enrolled at a UK university can take part in the EU’s Erasmus+ programme, which supports education, training, youth and sport.

It provides opportunities for current students to complete a part of their degree abroad. Opportunities last anywhere from three to 12 months and are open to any student enrolled at one of the thousands of institutions affiliated with the scheme.

You may also consider the Mevlana or Farabi exchange programmes once you’re enrolled at a Turkish university.

Course fees

Costs will depend on whether you’re attending a state university or private foundation – with undergraduate fees for an academic year at the former costing international students around TRY 2,500-8,500 (£340-£1,140) for courses taught in English. At a foundation institution this could range from TRY 28,000-112,500 (£3,750 to £15,150) per year.

A postgraduate qualification from a publically-funded university could cost you as little as TRY 3,350-5,000 (£450-£680) for each year of the programme. While foundations set their own benchmarks, Masters courses typically cost the same as those at undergraduate level.

Still, it’s these favourably lower-end costs compared to the UK and US systems that makes studying in Turkey an enticing option.

This affordability stretches to the costs of living – the average international student needs just TRY 2,250-3,000 (£300-£400) per month for living costs. This figure covers amenities such as accommodation, clothing and transport. You’ll need roughly TRY 750 (£100) per semester to cover textbooks and TRY 6,250 (£840) for food and drink, depending on your lifestyle and preferences.

Funding to study in Turkey

You’ll need to do your homework if you’re hoping to receive funding – most scholarships require entrance exam scores of at least 70%, some as high as 80%.

These include Türkiye Burslari Scholarships, with a number of awards available. For example, the Undergraduate Fellowship Programme is open to students on a four-to-six-year course. Successful applicants will have their tuition fees paid for one year, along with the costs of a return flight, accommodation, health insurance, Turkish language tuition plus a monthly grant of around TRY 750 (£100).

Some universities – for instance, Sabanci University and Bilkent University – also run their own scholarship programmes.

Student visas

You’ll need to arrive in Turkey with your student visa already authorised to avoid any issues with registering as a student and receiving a residency permit.

The visa application process takes place at the Turkish consulate in your home country – for the UK, this is the Turkish Embassy in London – but first you’ll need to sort out your online pre-application at Republic of Turkey Consular Procedures.

Once this has been approved, you’ll be expected to attend an appointment and present:

  • a letter of acceptance from a Turkish university
  • the completed Turkish student visa form
  • proof of your ability to support yourself financially
  • a passport valid for at least 60 days beyond the length of your stay
  • the required visa fee
  • proof of health insurance
  • a passport photo.

Make sorting your student visa a priority, as it will take roughly eight weeks to reach you after your application has been submitted.

How to apply

To study in Turkey, you’ll need to hold appropriate qualifications at the previous level. For instance, you won’t be able to study a Masters without already holding a Bachelors degree.

You’ll also need to pass the postgraduate entrance exam, the Academic Personnel and Graduate Education Exam (ALES), which is administered by the Student Selection and Placement Centre (ÖSYM).

ALES examinations are held twice a year in March and November. The exam takes approximately three hours to complete, and is comprised of literacy and numeracy questions. See ÖSYM for a more detailed guide of what the ALES involves and how to apply.

Along with your passed ALES exam, as part of your application you’ll need to provide:

  • a completed international student application form
  • your Bachelors or Masters certificate
  • an updated CV with letters of recommendation
  • proof of sufficient funds for the duration of your course
  • photo ID
  • the application fee.

The application process begins at home – visit university websites to see whether they operate an online application system or require direct email correspondence.

Language requirements

If you’re enrolling on an English-taught course and English is your first language, you won’t need to provide any proof of your English proficiency. However, if English is your second language, you may need to provide:

Even if you’re studying an English course, this is great opportunity to pick up some Turkish – you’ll find the country easier to navigate and may open yourself up to more career opportunities as a result.

Many universities, including Boğaziçi University, offer intensive language courses for international students.

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.

7 Reasons to Study in Turkey

  1. Quality of Education

The higher education sector in Turkey has undergone a virtual revolution in the last couple of decades. It is not just the number of universities, which has increased markedly, but the quality of the education offered has also greatly improved too. The 2014 Times Higher Education BRICS & Emerging Economies Rankings had three Turkish Universities ranked in the top 10. Turkey also had seven of its universities placed in the top 100 list.

2.  A Host of Scholarship Opportunities

According to data from UNESCO, well over 3.6 million students enrolled in degree programs abroad at the turn of the decade. This represents a sharp increase compared to the state of affairs in the early 2000’s. Such a radical transformation can be directly attributed to the increased availability of scholarship opportunities. Emerging higher education destinations such as Turkey were identified as key contributors to this encouraging trend. It is worth noting that a vast majority of scholarships awarded to international students in Turkey are funding by the Turkish state.

3.  Cost of Living and Study

The cost of study and living will be your other consideration in your study abroad decision. Compared to other international student destinations, Turkey offers significantly lower annual tuition fees and much lower living expenses. According to the Mercer’s 2013 global cost of living rankings, Turkey’s metropolitan cities are in the very bottom row of the most expensive cities list.

4.  Turkey is 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 neighbors. Most Turks enjoy meeting foreign visitors and practicing their English.

5.  Turkey 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.

6.  University Industry Cooperation

Regarding the link between university-industry, starting with the year 2000, many techno-parks and technology development centers have been established within the university campuses. The Law on Technology Development Centers, which entered into force in 2001, draws the framework for the legal status of these institutions. As of 2014, there are 32 technology development centers operating and an additional 11 are under construction in different universities. Associate Degree qualifications are also included in Turkish higher education system. Within this degree, universities offer two-year programs, all of which are vocational oriented and at the end of the study period, graduates are expected to be employed as intermediate staff in related sectors. The curriculum design of these programs is done in such a way that gives the student the opportunity to do their internships in firms of the related sectors.

7. 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.

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