Universities and Turkish cities
The number of foreign students studying in Turkey has been steadily increasing since 2006, indicating the country's higher education quality and the students' interest in it as a priority. According to statistics, in the academic year 2022, there were over 200,000 foreign students studying in Turkey.
The promotion of studying in Turkey began with the opportunity to receive quality education at competitive prices and international standards. The annual Turkish grant has also been a significant incentive, covering travel expenses, health insurance, housing, and tuition fees.
Meanwhile, Turkey has established itself as a prominent tourist destination, welcoming around 40 million tourists in 2022. This has propelled it to become the sixth most visited country globally.
The Turkish government aims to increase the number of enrolled foreign students to 300,000 by 2025.
Universities in Turkey:
Turkey is home to nearly 200 Turkish universities, most of which are run by the government. Prior to 1970, there were only eight government universities, and the first private university (Bilkent University) was established in 1984. Among the newly established government universities is Antalya International University, which enrolled its first student in the 2012/2013 academic year and aims to have at least half of its student body comprised of foreign students.
Most Turkish public and private universities follow the Bologna Agreement, which sets educational standards in European Union countries. Additionally, many government universities have Student Exchange Agreements (Erasmus+) that allow students to study for a semester or a full academic year at European universities. According to the QS Higher Education System Strength Rankings, Turkey was ranked 39th in 2016, indicating its progress year after year.
Major Turkish Cities and Foreign Students:
As a foreign student living in Turkey, especially in major Turkish cities, you will never run out of activities to do. Sports enthusiasts will find ample support and excellent facilities for various sports, especially in universities. Music lovers can enjoy a wide variety of genres, from folklore to techno, classical, pop, and hip-hop. Turkey hosts the world's largest music festivals every year. For cinema and art lovers, especially theater, Turkey has a vibrant art scene, with theaters showcasing both local and international plays throughout the year at affordable prices for students. Turkish art has gained popularity in the Arab world, thanks to significant government support for the arts sector, film, and television industry. Turkish artworks are translated into nearly five languages each year, and this number is continually increasing, according to the latest statistics from the Turkish art industry chamber.
Your daily life in Turkey will be infused with Turkish culture, from experiencing Turkish shawarma and kebabs to enjoying competitive local market prices and savoring authentic Turkish coffee at restaurants or cafes scattered across Turkish cities.
Let me give you an overview of some Turkish cities:
Known as the cultural capital of Turkey, Istanbul is the country's largest city with a history dating back thousands of years. It is also a significant global hub. With its population of 15 million, Istanbul welcomes around 13 million tourists annually, according to the latest statistics in 2016. Istanbul held the title of the European Capital of Culture for five years, making it the fourth-largest destination in the world.
Two universities in Istanbul rank among the top European universities, with Bogazici University at the 9th position and Sabanci University at the 13th position. Koc University ranks 16th, and Istanbul Technical University holds the 23rd position. Istanbul University ranks 34th, according to the EECA Center for University Rankings.
Ankara, the capital and administrative center, is the second-largest city in Turkey after Istanbul. It is known as the political and educational hub due to its large number of foreign students and foreign diplomatic missions. Ankara's major tourist attractions include the ancient Ankara Castle and the mausoleum of Mustafa Kemal Ataturk, the founder of the Turkish Republic. The city's location is also ideal for birdwatching enthusiasts.
The highest-ranking universities in Ankara according to European rankings are Bilkent University and Middle East Technical University, ranking 12th and 14th in Europe, respectively. There are also Hacettepe University, ranked 40th, and Gazi University, ranked 85th.
Izmir is the third-largest city in Turkey, known as the "Pearl of the Aegean Sea" due to its picturesque location on the Aegean coast. The city is more open-minded compared to others, offering beautiful beaches, scenic views, and markets like the Kemeralti Market. With a cultural and ethnic diversity that dates back over 4,000 years, Izmir stands out from other Turkish cities.
In Izmir, the Aegean University ranks 72nd at the European level, and the 9th of September University ranks 92nd. There are also emerging universities such as Yasar University, established in 2001, Izmir University established in 2007, Katip Celebi University, and Shifa Altalan University established in 2010.
Adana is the fifth-largest city in Turkey in terms of population. Its location in southern Turkey makes it a popular attraction. The city's highlights include the Seyhan Dam and Reservoir on the eastern coast and scattered restaurants known for their beautiful pine tree settings. Adana's history dates back to 6000 BCE, offering significant cultural diversity.
Cukurova University is located in Adana and is internationally ranked between 111th and 120th.
Other Student Cities:
Eskisehir, or the "Old City," offers stunning views. Anadolu University uses Turkish, English, French, and German as the languages of instruction. Suleyman Demirel University in Isparta is one of Turkey's largest universities in terms of student population and also participates in the student exchange program (Erasmus+). Lastly, Akdeniz University in the coastal city of Antalya attracts many foreign students, as Antalya is one of the major tourist destinations. Therefore, you will find English, French, Italian, and Portuguese speakers, eliminating the need to master the Turkish language to overcome daily life challenges.
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