Turkey serves as a crossroads for international students, offering high-quality education, hospitality, and unique culture. The diploma you get from a Turkish university is recognized throughout Europe. Turkey has 207 universities and a student population of almost 8 million.
Turkey is the first country in the European Higher Education Area with this number of students. At 207 universities, there are about 60,000 different programs.
Furthermore, Turkey is one of the countries enrolling in Erasmus + exchange programs. Additionally, there are several exchange programs in Turkey, such as Mevlana and Farabi. These programs promote student and lecturer mobility. With these options, you will undoubtedly discover a university and program that suits you. Let us take a look at how you can also get a degree in universities in Turkey.
Istanbul is the Most Preferred City for Education
In many ways, this is no surprise. Istanbul has the most numerous universities in Turkey per city. It connects Europe and Asia, resulting in a mixture of influences and cultures.
Even though Ankara is the capital, Istanbul is the most loved and preferred destination by travelers to visit. It is a cultural and financial hub with a beautiful history of the Ottoman era. It is famous for churches, museums, and other attractions. It is an appealing option for students who want to study abroad, with its rich culture and world-class education.
Istanbul is the most preferred educational city in Turkey, and it is home to several of the best universities in the country.
There are numerous public and private institutions. The city includes the top-ranked universities in Turkey, such as Bogazici University, Istanbul University, Istanbul Technical University, Yildiz Technical University, Koc University, etc.
Universities in Istanbul provide a diverse range of courses at all academic levels, with business, international relations, medicine, law, engineering, and many more.
Tuition fees in Istanbul might differ based on the institution and program you wish to study. Living costs in Istanbul can be more expensive than in other parts of Turkey, but they are usually cheaper than in Western Europe and the United States.
International Passport Requirements for Admission to Universities in Turkey
Before deciding to study at a university in Turkey, there are a few decisions international students should make. You should calculate the cost of studying and living and need to know the application requirements.
The general requirement of studying in universities in Turkey is to pass the English proficiency test. In most universities, the proficiency test score does not determine admission into the university. It determines whether you will be enrolled in an English preparatory class for a year before starting your undergraduate studies or not.
However, the entrance requirements are much stricter for graduate programs, as failing the English test will probably deny your admission to the university.
Undergraduate admission students whose native language is not English need to provide an English proficiency test in the form of TOEFL or IELTS. They need to score 65/100 from TOEFL or 6/10 from IELTS. If the students fail the exam, they can take the English proficiency test of the university to get an exemption from the one-year English preparatory class.
The documents required by the university for admission are an application form, passport-sized photograph, passport copy, certificate of graduation, the official record of high school grades and courses, letter of recommendation, English proficiency score, and application fee if applicable.
After you are accepted into a university, you need to apply for a student visa and a student residence permit to make your stay in Turkey legal and avoid fines a few days before your visa expiration date.
International Student Admission Form
The admission form is the form that is required to be filled by the applicant. It tells about your name, nationality, age, the subject you want to major in, and other details. It needs to be submitted with the other documents to the admission office.
Transcript or Academic Record
For admission to universities in Turkey, one of the requirements is to submit the Transcript of the academic record, which is a statement of learning, the transcription of achievement. The official letterhead paper consists of the subjects you studied and their grades in academic years with the credit value and signed by your previous institution.
Letter of Intent
The letter of intent is a statement of purpose, a brief essay submitted to the university as a part of the admission package. It indicates the reason you want to study at that specific university and your educational and career background. It is required to assess if the student is a worthy candidate for their university.
Letter of Reference
It is a mandatory document for admission as evidence of the capability and character of the applicant written by the previous school teachers, professors, or career officers.
Language Proficiency Certificate
It is a written certificate proving the English language proficiency of the applicant in the form of TOEFL or IELTS. To get accepted into universities in Turkey, you are required to meet the minimum criteria for admission. Otherwise, you will have to take one more extra year of English preparatory class before starting your undergraduate studies.
Financial Coverage Letter
A financial cover letter is a document that proves all education expenses of the applicant will be covered by their sponsor. It shows the admissions office that if the applicant is accepted to the university, their tuition fee will be paid and no problem will occur related to this.
Some universities in Turkey have a registration fee to be paid by the applicant to make the application, sign up or register for the university.
University Entrance Exams
The university entrance exam is an exam taken to see if the applicant is qualified enough to major in the subject they have applied for and get admitted to the university.
There is a legal obligation within law number 2922 for international students. Their arrival, admissions to educational institutions, and all living conditions in Turkey are regulated by these legal obligations.
The legal obligations for international students are:
- They are obliged to pay a fee for the residence permit.
- They should take the Foreign Student Exam (YOS) and get at least the minimum score to acquire admission to the university.
If you are an international student that wants to study at one of the universities in Turkey, you need to have a student visa.
The students that excluded this requirement are students from the Northern Republic of Cyprus, students whose parents are in Turkey with a valid work visa or residence permit, and blue cardholders.
To get a student visa, you need to apply at the nearest Turkish embassy in your home country. When you arrive in Turkey with your student visa, you need to apply for a student residence permit, which allows you to stay beyond the visa limit.
The documents required for a student visa are:
- Your passport, valid up to at least 90 days
- Turkish Student Visa Application Form
- Two passport-size photos
- Acceptance letter from the university
- Travel Insurance
- Health Insurance
- Flight ticket
- Financial Support Document
- Proof of accommodation
- Previous education certificates
Once you have arrived in Turkey with your student visa, you need to apply for a student residence permit to be able to live legally beyond the 90-day visa duration, the application for the residence permit is made at the Provincial Directorate of Migration Administration, and the required documents are:
- The application form
- Your passport and a copy of your student visa
- Student certificate from the university
- Four passport-size photographs
Health insurance, public or private, covers medical, surgical, and other health expenses and is required to apply for a residence permit in Turkey and can be obtained for up to 2 years validity each time.
Frequently Asked Questions
1. Does Turkey have good universities?
Top-ranked universities with a global reputation are located in Turkey, and they are known around the world for educating some of the brightest students. Koc University, Sabanci University, and Bilkent University are just a few of the numerous Turkish universities that have risen to the top of global rankings.
2. Is studying at a university in Turkey a good idea?
Turkey is an excellent student location for you to immerse yourself in a new culture while remaining close to both the East and the West. Aside from the right blend of European and Oriental influences, Turkey has a growing intellectual reputation, with new and established universities trying to provide international students with competitive education.
3. Are universities in Turkey cheap?
Public universities in Turkey are very affordable, especially compared to equivalent schools in Europe or the United States. Per academic year, international students typically pay between 100 and 4,000 EUR. Medicine and engineering, for example, can be more expensive.
4. Do Turkish universities teach in English?
Turkish universities provide a wide range of English-language programs such as medicine, architecture, arts, economics, and business.
5. What is the best university in Turkey for an international student?
Bogazici University, Middle East Technical University, Bilkent University, Istanbul University, Koc University, Yildiz Technical University, Istanbul Technical University, and Hacettepe University are considered the best options for international students.
6. Can international students work in Turkey?
After receiving a Student Residence Permit, international students can legally work in Turkey. International students enrolling in undergraduate or two-year associate programs, on the other hand, can begin working in Turkey only after completing their first year of study.
7. What are the benefits of studying in Turkey?
Studying in Turkey allows you to obtain a degree from the world's second-fastest expanding economy. Many universities in Turkey accept international students and offer English as a teaching language.
8. Is education free in Turkey for international students?
The most frequent way to study for free for international students in Turkey is to get scholarships from Turkish universities.