student life in istanbul

Student life in Istanbul as an International Student

Istanbul is a huge and lively city. It attracts international students with its rich history and dynamic lifestyle.

Istanbul is a melting pot of cultures, with amazing academic and cultural experiences.

student life in istanbul

Why Choose Istanbul as an International Student?

Turkey is a great choice for international students.

There are several compelling reasons for this. The number of international students has shown a significant annual increase. It has increased by 10 times since 2012 to an impressive number of 300,000 throughout Turkey, according to the Council of Higher Education.

Another aspect is the quality of Turkish higher education. It rivals that of Europe and the US but comes at a more affordable price without compromising on quality. This is an attractive point for international students to study in Turkey.

student life in istanbul

Multicultural Haven

Istanbul bridges East and West, welcoming individuals from diverse backgrounds. Over 300,000 international students, hailing from Europe, Africa, the United States, and Asia, find a home in this multicultural hub. Students come from different countries for Erasmus+ exchange programs sharing their experiences every semester. This means you will never let you get bored studying in Turkey.

A helpful tip from us: Students form lifelong friendships while studying in Turkey and often enjoy travelling together without paying accommodation expenses later on, residing at their friend’s apartments.

student life in istanbul

Warm Hospitality

Turks are known for their warm hospitality. Students immerse themselves in the local culture, tasting traditional Turkish coffee, delightful baklava, and kind invitations from neighbours for breakfast. Sometimes the first communication challenges are due to language barriers. Still, locals make dedicated efforts to find common ground with foreign individuals. Their genuine interest in foreigners encourages them to share their culture and showcase their friendly behaviour.

Rich history

Istanbul is an open-air museum, steeped in history. The city boasts ancient sites reflecting civilizations like Greek, Roman, Byzantine, and Ottoman.

Students appreciate not just Istanbul’s rich historical heritage, but also the city’s convenient accessibility for weekend go-outs. The well-developed public transportation system allows for easy exploration, freeing up study time.

Istanbul’s strategic location enables quick weekend getaways as flights to various destinations within Turkey take approximately an hour, providing students with abundant opportunities to explore the country’s diverse landscapes and attractions without compromising their academic commitments.

Delicious cuisine

Turkish cuisine presents a delightful blend of Central Asian, Middle Eastern, Mediterranean, Caucasian, and Balkan flavours. Students relish a variety of dishes, including savoury pastries, fresh fish, olives, cheese for breakfast, and yoghurt paired with meals, complemented by abundant servings of Turkish tea.

Turkish cuisine is very developed. Its diverse dining scene offers a wide array of international restaurants. You can easily find meals from their home countries and enjoy the tastes of home whenever desired.

Life in Istanbul for students

Istanbul offers high-quality education at institutions like Ozyegin University, with lower tuition fees and living costs compared to many European or American cities. Scholarships covering tuition fees are also available for international students.

Cost of Living in Istanbul

Accommodation: On-campus living ranges from $1,000 to $6,000 per year. Off-campus options vary.

Insurance and Health Costs: Approximately $30 to $250 per year.

Monthly Living Expenses: Budget between $150 to $800 for food, clothing, transportation, and leisure.

Books and Stationery: Estimated at $100 to $350 per semester.

Private or foundation universities?

It all depends on your preferences. For students intending to settle in Turkey long-term, foundation universities might be more suitable. However, if you’re planning to study abroad or move for better opportunities, a private university could be a better choice for several reasons. To delve deeper into this topic, refer to our article for more insights.

student life in istanbul

To do after arriving in Istanbul

Upon your arrival in Istanbul, actively seek out student groups or clubs as they serve as an excellent gateway to expand your social circle and gain cultural insights. There are many student clubs in Istanbul’s universities, with different interests, from sports to science topics, so you can find anything you like.

Would we recommend living in Istanbul as an international student?

Living in Istanbul as an international student offers a lifetime experience, blending a rich historical tapestry with a vibrant, multicultural lifestyle. With its welcoming community, diverse cuisine, affordable living, and exceptional educational opportunities, Istanbul stands as an ideal choice for those seeking a fulfilling academic journey.

Explore the enchanting city of Istanbul, where two continents converge, and embark on a transformative educational experience that transcends boundaries.


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