Study abroad for a semester in


Turkey, straddling the continents of Europe and Asia, is a unique blend of east and west, ancient and modern. It’s an ideal destination for international students who seek both academic excellence and a culturally enriching experience. Whether you’re exploring the bustling metropolis of Istanbul, the historic charm of Ankara, or the stunning landscapes of Antalya, studying in Turkey promises a dynamic and memorable experience. The country’s universities are known for their rigorous academic standards and diverse programs, providing an environment that fosters both intellectual and personal growth.

Turkey is best known for

Rich Historical Heritage 🏛️: Turkey is a crossroads of civilizations, boasting an incredible array of historical sites such as the Hagia Sophia, Ephesus, and Cappadocia.

Affordable Education and Living Costs 💰: Turkey offers high-quality education at relatively low tuition fees and living costs, making it an attractive destination for students on a budget.

Warm Hospitality 😊: Turkish people are known for their hospitality and friendliness, ensuring a welcoming environment for international students.

Table of contents

1. Visa and Health Insurance 🛂

Embarking on your educational journey to Turkey requires securing the right visa and health insurance. These crucial steps ensure you comply with legal requirements and have access to necessary healthcare services throughout your stay. Proper documentation and insurance coverage are essential for a smooth and safe study abroad experience.

Visa Types

  • Student Visa: Required for all international students enrolling in a full-time study program in Turkey.
  • Tourist Visa: For students attending short-term courses or programs lasting less than three months.
  • Residence Permit: Once in Turkey, students must apply for a residence permit to stay longer than their visa allows.

Application Process

  1. Apply to Turkish Institutions: Gain acceptance to an accredited institution in Turkey.
  2. Receive Letter of Acceptance: Your institution will provide you with a Letter of Acceptance, which is required for your visa application.
  3. Prepare Documents: Gather necessary documents including your passport, Letter of Acceptance, proof of financial means, and health insurance coverage.
  4. Complete Online Visa Application: Fill out the student visa application form on the Turkish e-Visa website or at the Turkish consulate.
  5. Pay the Application Fee: Pay the required application fee for the student visa.
  6. Submit Application: Submit your application along with the required documents.
  7. Wait for Processing: Visa processing times can vary, so apply well in advance.

Required Documents

  • Proof of Enrollment: Letter of Acceptance from a Turkish university.
  • Financial Proof: Bank statements or proof of financial support showing sufficient funds (approximately USD 500 per month).
  • Passport: Valid for at least six months beyond your intended stay in Turkey.
  • Visa Application Form: Completed and submitted online or at the consulate.
  • Health Insurance: Proof of valid health insurance coverage.
  • Passport Photos: Recent passport-sized photographs.
  • Academic Documents: Transcripts, diplomas, and certificates from previous education.

Application Timeline

Start Early: Begin the application process at least 3-6 months before your intended departure.
Processing Time: Visa processing can take several weeks, so apply well in advance.
Important Deadlines: Be mindful of university application deadlines and ensure your visa application is timely.

Tips for Success

Complete Documentation: Ensure all your documents are complete and accurately filled out.
Financial Proof: Clearly demonstrate financial stability and sufficient funds.
Health Insurance: Secure a visa-compliant health insurance plan early in the process.

Importance of Health Insurance

Health insurance is mandatory for all international students in Turkey. It ensures that students have access to medical care and covers a wide range of health services, from regular doctor visits to emergency care.

Types of Health Insurance

  • General Health Insurance (GHI): Offered by the Turkish government through the Social Security Institution (SGK).
    • Cost: Typically around TRY 700 – TRY 1,000 per year.
    • Advantages: Comprehensive coverage for a wide range of medical services, including doctor visits, hospital stays, and prescriptions.
    • Limitations: Services are often limited to public healthcare facilities, which may have longer waiting times.
  • University-Sponsored Health Insurance: Many universities offer additional health insurance plans for their students.
    • Cost: Varies by university, typically between USD 100 and USD 300 per year.
    • Advantages: Convenient enrollment and comprehensive coverage.
    • Limitations: Coverage may be limited to university-affiliated hospitals and clinics.
  • Private Health Insurance: Some students opt for private health insurance to supplement public coverage.
    • Cost: Varies based on the provider and plan. IMG offers competitive and comprehensive plans.
    • Advantages: More extensive coverage, faster access to services, and flexibility in choosing healthcare providers.
    • Limitations: Generally more expensive than relying solely on public or university insurance.

Country-Specific Requirements

GHI Registration: Upon arrival in Turkey, students must register for General Health Insurance at their local SGK office. This registration is crucial for receiving comprehensive healthcare coverage.
Private Health Insurance: Must meet the minimum coverage requirements set by Turkish authorities. Private plans often provide quicker access to healthcare services and more flexibility in choosing providers.

Finding the Best Health Insurance

wearefreemovers has developed a partnership with IMG with the intent of offering you reliable and visa-compliant health insurance for your stay in Turkey.

Choose IMG

IMG is our suggested visa-compliant health insurance for Turkey

Or discover other insurance options

Thanks to our Insurance Finder


What happens if my visa application is denied?
If your visa application is denied, you will receive a notice explaining the reasons for the denial. Address the issues mentioned and reapply, or appeal the decision if you believe it was incorrect. Review the reasons for denial carefully and seek guidance from the embassy or consulate if needed.

Can I change my health insurance plan after arriving in Turkey?
Yes, you can change your health insurance plan after arriving in Turkey. Ensure the new plan meets the mandatory health insurance requirements for students. Compare different plans to choose one that offers comprehensive coverage and suits your needs.

What should I do if I need medical care and don’t have insurance?
If you require medical care and don’t have insurance, you will need to pay out-of-pocket for all medical services, which can be very expensive. It’s highly recommended to have valid health insurance to avoid these costs. If you find yourself without insurance, contact a health insurance provider immediately to enroll in a plan.

Additional Resources

Turkish Ministry of Foreign Affairs: Provides comprehensive information for foreigners looking to study in Turkey, including visa requirements, application procedures, and living in Turkey.
Study in Turkey: Offers detailed information on studying in Turkey, including available programs, scholarships, and practical advice for international students.

2. Cost of Living 💰

Understanding the cost of living in Turkey is essential for budgeting and financial planning. While Turkey offers a high quality of life at a relatively low cost compared to many Western countries, expenses can vary depending on the city and lifestyle.

Detailed Breakdown of Living Expenses

Accommodation: Monthly rent varies based on location and type of housing.
TRY 1,000 – TRY 3,500/month
Food: From groceries to dining out, here’s what to expect.
TRY 700 – TRY 1,500/month
Transportation: Getting around Turkey is affordable and convenient.
TRY 100 – TRY 200/month
Utilities: Essential services like electricity, water, and internet.
TRY 200 – TRY 400/month
Entertainment and Leisure: Enjoying Turkey’s vibrant culture and social life.
TRY 200 – TRY 500/month
Miscellaneous Expenses: Personal items and services.
TRY 100 – TRY 300/month

3. Accommodation Options 🏠

Finding the perfect place to live is a key part of your study abroad experience. Turkey offers diverse housing options to fit different needs and budgets, from student dormitories to shared apartments and homestays.

Types of Accommodation

Student Dorms (Yurtlar): Typically provided by universities, offering convenience and a vibrant social scene.
Price: TRY 700 – TRY 1,500/month
Shared Apartments (Paylaşımlı Daireler): Sharing an apartment with other students is a popular and cost-effective choice.
Price: TRY 1,000 – TRY 2,500/month
Private Apartments (Özel Daireler): Renting your own place offers privacy and independence.
Price: TRY 1,500 – TRY 3,500/month
Homestays (Aile Yanı Konaklama): Living with a local family provides cultural immersion and a home-like environment.
Price: TRY 1,000 – TRY 2,000/month
Guesthouses (Pansiyonlar): These are similar to hostels but often cater to a more international crowd.
Price: TRY 800 – TRY 2,000/month

Find accommodation in Turkey

Find the best student housing options with our Accommodation Finder

Tips and Resources

Start Early: Begin your search well in advance to secure the best options.
Budget Wisely: Include utilities and internet in your budget when planning for accommodation costs.
Consider Location: Proximity to your university, public transportation, and local amenities is important.
Use Reliable Platforms: Ensure you book through reputable platforms to avoid scams and ensure quality accommodations. The ones you see on wearefreemovers have been preselected by us, so you can be more at ease choosing them.

4. University Information 🎓

Choosing the right university is a significant part of your study abroad journey. Turkey is home to some of the region’s most prestigious universities, offering a rich academic environment and a variety of programs to suit your interests.

Discover our partner universities 🎉

Enjoy the best free mover experience on our platform by choosing our partner universities. Those institutions have close ties with us, so for any eventuality you can rely on our help.

Partner universities in Turkey

Our best selection of destinations is awaiting you

Otherwise, surf through the whole selection of universities

Apart from partner institutions, we also list other destinations. They might be a riskier choice since information can be uncertain and response times higher, but still they are worth a try in our opinion.

Find universities in Turkey

Try our University Finder and discover the best universities for your needs

5. Further Practical Information 🛠️


Turkey’s transportation network is extensive and cheap, making it easy to explore the country.

Public Transportation 🚌: Most cities have reliable public transport systems, including buses, trams, and metro lines. Monthly passes range from TRY 100 to TRY 200, with student discounts often available. Istanbul’s Istanbulkart is a popular choice for navigating the city’s public transport.

Bicycles 🚴: Many Turkish cities are becoming more bike-friendly, with dedicated lanes and bike-sharing programs. Biking is a cost-effective and healthy way to navigate urban areas.

Long-Distance Travel 🚐: Turkey’s intercity bus system connects major cities and towns. For longer distances, domestic flights are available and relatively affordable.

Tips 💡: Always check for student discounts on transportation passes. For intercity travel, booking bus or flight tickets in advance can secure the best rates.

Banking and Finances

Managing your finances effectively is crucial for a smooth study abroad experience.

Opening a Bank Account 🏦: Most banks in Turkey offer special accounts for students with low or no fees. Popular banks include Ziraat Bankası, İşbank, and Garanti BBVA.

Documents Required 📑: To open a bank account, you will typically need your passport, proof of enrollment, and a local address.

Currency 💵: The currency in Turkey is the Turkish Lira (TRY). Having a local bank account helps avoid foreign transaction fees and simplifies everyday transactions.

Tips 💡: Look for student-friendly bank accounts and make use of online banking apps to manage your finances efficiently. Consider using services like for seamless international transactions.

Local Culture and Etiquette

Understanding local customs and social norms will help you integrate smoothly into Turkish society.

Punctuality ⏰: Punctuality is valued in Turkey, especially in formal and business settings. However, social events may have a more relaxed approach to time.

Greetings 🤝: A common greeting in Turkey includes a handshake or a friendly “Merhaba.” In more casual settings, a light kiss on each cheek is common among friends and family.

Mealtimes 🍽️: Turkish mealtimes are social events, with lunch around 12-1 PM and dinner around 7-9 PM. Sharing food and hospitality is common, and tipping (usually 10%) is appreciated in restaurants.

Public Behavior 🤫: Turks value politeness and respect in public spaces. Being loud or disruptive is generally frowned upon, especially on public transportation and in residential areas.

Do you still have doubts?

Book a 1:1 consultancy with us

We would be glad to help you guiding step by step in every application you have to complete or to simply solve your doubts.