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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.

Search postgraduate courses in Turkey at Study in Turkey.


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.

Search Doctoral programmes in Turkey at Study in Turkey.

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.

Get the full lowdown on living expenses at Study In Turkey – Living Costs.

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.

For a full list of the financial help available to international students, visit Study In Turkey – Financial Aid and Scholarships.

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.

Read more about Turkish visas at the Republic of Turkey Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

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.

10 Reasons to Study in Turkey



Turkey is the second country in the world in access to higher education with 94.2% schooling rate. Turkey involved in European Higher Education Area is implementing the Bologna Process in a perfect way; our Bologna report is 5 out of 5. So, the diploma you receive from a university in Turkey is recognized in all European countries! As course credit system, ECTS is applied in accordance with Europe and all students are given Diploma Supplement. In addition, Turkey is one of the most successful countries participating in the exchange programs under Erasmus +. In addition to Erasmus, there are many exchange programs in Turkey, such as Mevlana, Farabi, which support the mobility of students and lecturers.

2. University And Program Diversity

There are 207 universities in Turkey with a population of 82 Million. The number of students is close to 8 million. With this number of students, Turkey is the first country with the most students in European Higher Education Area. There are nearly 60.000 different programs at 207 universities. In such a variety, you will definitely find a university and program for yourself.

3. Multicultural Life

Turkey, which has hosted many deep-rooted civilizations in its territory for thousands of years, is almost a mosaic of cultures! In this country where countless civilizations have been hosted, everyone is tolerant and respectful to each other. Turkey, where you can find a piece of your roots and perhaps can meet people who speak your language is ideal for students with its safe and peaceful environment.

4. Natural Beauties

Turkey, which experiences four seasons, has a reputation for its natural beauties all over the world. You can enjoy swimming and water sports in the seas that surround Turkey, you can ski in many cities in the mountains, you can enjoy rafting in the rivers and experience many extreme sports. You will feel as in the heaven in Turkey where countless beauties which shall only fascinate you with their landscape!

5. Historical and Cultural Heritage

Based on a long history, there are thousands of historical and cultural monuments in Turkey, many of which are protected as UNESCO Cultural Heritage. Even in your daily life, you will want to keep track of the traces you may encounter frequently!

6. Student Friendly

With at least one university in every city, Turkey is exactly a student-friendly country! Social clubs, sports teams and cultural events at every university bring together students and  make distant geographies close. When you arrive in Turkey you will understand that the most active points of the city are the places where students socialize! Thanks to the cafes, restaurants and libraries where the students hang out, the cities live 24 hours a day.

7. Hospitable Turkish People

The hospitality of Turkish people has been legendary all over the world! As a student, if you ask for help, people will do their utmost with all sincerity and friendliness. Turks will welcome you as guests and have many treats to satisfy you. Be sure you won’t be miss your home here!

8. Modern Technological Campuses  

No matter which one of the 207 universities you go, you will experience a modern and convenient campus life, equipped with the latest technology.

9. Easy Living Conditions 

Life in Turkey is more affordable than most countries. You can meet your needs, such as accommodation, food and drink, and entertainment at  affordable prices. You can stay at the dormitories within or near the University campuses, or rent a house for a reasonable lease. In addition, whichever transportation you choose as a student, you will receive a ticket at a discounted price, or watch the movie in the cinema at cheaper.

Turkey is also an easy to reach country because it is in the middle Asia and Europe continents. Whichever way you choose to discover Turkey, which hosts countless places of attraction, you can arrive where you want quickly and comfortably.

10. Turkish Learning Opportunities

Several programs in Universities in Turkey are in English. Besides you can also learn Turkish, the 5th most spoken language in the world! You can get a chance to learn a new language in Turkish courses that your University will offer you, and you can be friends with people from many different cultures.

As the academic world widens and educational choices become an international endeavor, we are here to guide students and support them with all possible efforts to make the students able to get their admission at a university.

We are glad to help students and facilitate their opportunity to study abroad, helping them find, apply and study in the University that greatly matches with their personal desires and goals through our extensive experience for two decades. However, we still gain more experience because we are always keen to be up to date.

Turkey is fastly attaining a reputation as an ideal destination for international students who are looking for high quality of education.


The higher education system in Turkey has developed significantly in the last few decades in both quality and quantity. Turkish universities now offer a variety of majors and choices for international students.

The quality of the higher education system is also reflected in international ranking lists. According to The Times Higher Education BRICS & Emerging Economies Rankings 2017, there are 22 Turkish universities in the top 500 university list, 9 Turkish universities took place among the top 800 world universities ranking by Quacquarelli Symonds (QS) in the UK, and 19 Turkish universities took place among the top 1000 world universities ranking by METU Informatics Institute.

Turkish universities offer high-quality studying programs and they are an integral part of the European education space. There is an increasing number of universities offering programs in English, including engineering, medicine, business, humanities, and finance.

Turkey is a member of many different international platforms and also part of Bologna process since 2001. Firstly, this means that all students can continue their education in other countries with ECTS (European Credit Transfer System) and secondly, they can get their diplomas recognized by other countries.


The cost of study and living should be taken into your consideration when you decide to study abroad. Compared to other international student destinations, Turkey offers significantly the lowest tuition fees and lowest living expenses. According to the Number’s 2017 Cost of living in Turkey is 44.41% lower than in the United States (aggregate data for all cities) Turkey’s metropolitan cities are in the very bottom row of the most expensive cities list.

Monthly expenses for the living of a foreign student range from at least 500 – 700 USD  depending on each student’s lifestyle. Administrative fees are approximately 100-150 USD per semester.












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