Frequently Asked Questions
1) Are diplomas given by Turkish universities recognized outside of Turkey?
All Turkish universities are supervised by the Higher Education Council of Turkey (YOK). YOK and Turkish universities participate in the Bologna Process, the European Union program which seeks to coordinate academic standards among 47 countries. Equivalency for each country is usually determined by that country’s specific educational authority.
2) Do I have to speak Turkish?
If you register in an academic program where the medium of instruction is Turkish, you are expected to be proficient in the Turkish language. Please make sure in which language the course of study will be held. If the medium of instruction is English, you are not obliged to learn Turkish, but you are strongly encouraged to do so in order to get the most out of your social and cutural experience.
3) What is the language of instruction in Turkish universities?
The language of instruction at Turkish universities is Turkish and/or English. A second foreign language may also be required as a compulsory course or elective. Please check with the relevant university to get detailed information.
4) Do I need to provide a document for language proficiency?
Language of instruction at many Turkish universities is English. Erasmus exchange students and exchange students whose native language is English do not need to provide any documentation, however students whose native language is not English need to provide a proof of English proficiency. Some universities accept a letter of English proficiency from either the coordinator or a professor at the student’s home university. Some universities require a minimum level of proficiency in one of the internationally recognized language or entrance examinations (IELTS, TOEFL, SAT, etc.), while other universities administer their own English language tests.
5) Are there Turkish language classes offered at Turkish universities?
In universities where the language of instruction is English, Turkish language study is optional. However, international students are highly encouraged to take this class in order to enhance their Turkish living experience.
6) Am I an Exchange, Erasmus Exchange or Special Student candidate?
This should be determined before applying, since the process differs for each. You are an Erasmus exchange or exchange student if your home university has a bilateral agreement with your chosen university in Turkey. You apply through your home university. If you have any doubts about your status, please contact your home university's exchange office.
You are a special student if you apply independently, or your home university agrees to pay for your stay at your chosen university in Turkey.
7) What should I do to become an exchange student in a Turkish university?
You first need to be nominated by your home institution, and then apply to the university in Turkey.
8) My university does not have an agreement with any university in Turkey, how should I apply?
The only option is to apply as a Special Student.
9) I want to study in Turkey as an exchange student. Can I transfer the credits to my university?
Yes, you can transfer credits to your home university, however you should have your course selection approved by your home university before your arrival in order to secure recognition.
10) What are the Benefits of the Erasmus Programme?
Education in multicultural environment
Recognition of different cultures
Promoting your own culture
Making new friends
Establishing business & professional networks
Experiencing a different school
Observing a different system
11) What are the admission criteria to Turkish Universities?
Admission criteria are discretionary by each host institution. Selection criteria will be based on academic records, language skills and other variables such as motivation and gender balance.
12) What are the application deadlines?
Each university may be different, so please check the admission requirements of the pertinent university.
13) Will I get an orientation program?
Yes, many universities, especially all private universities, provide a well-organized orientation week for incoming students. Its program is usually sent to you via e-mail before your arrival on campus. Please contact your host university’s international office for details.
14) What kind of support do International Offices provide for international students?
During the pre-registration period, an orientation program is offered that will help students learn to navigate public-transportation (including student discounted transportation cards), apply for residence permits, and get student ID's. Students can always drop by their university’s International Office with questions.
15) Do I need a visa?
As soon as you receive your acceptance letter, you should apply for a Student Visa by contacting the nearest Turkish Consulate in your country. The procedure can take about 15 to 45 days. Upon your arrival you need to apply for a residence permit within 30 days. This will allow you to travel in and out of Turkey without re-applying for the visa.
16) Is it possible to obtain a tourist visa rather than a residence permit?
Yes, this is possible. Tourist visas can be obtained when entering the county. Its duration is three months. However, this is slightly shorter than a full semester, so it will be necessary to leave the country and re-enter in order to get a new one.
17) What should I do to obtain a residence permit?
Before leaving for Turkey, exchange students should pick up their letter of acceptance from their home institution offices and obtain a multi-entry student visa from the nearest Turkish embassy or consulate.
Upon your arrival you need to apply for a residence permit within 30 days. This will allow you to travel in and out of Turkey without re-applying for the visa. The fee of the Residence Permit booklet for 2010 was 138 TL.
For the residence permit application, you need to pick up your "Student Certification" from the International Office approximately three weeks after the registration in the host university.
18) Can I work if I have a student visa?
International students do not have the right to work legally in Turkey.
For additional information, please contact the international office of the universities you are considering.