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Listen From International Students in Turkey

9 min read

Nowadays lots of young people decide to go into higher education abroad but taking a decision on moving to another country and choosing a destination might be hard. In our interview international students from all around the world will share their attainments and experiences about their life and study in Istanbul for those who want, plan or dream of studying in Turkey.

Michela, 22, Bologna, Italy, Erasmus student, doing an internship in an NGO working in human rights, living in Turkey for 4 months

About taking a decision on studying in Turkey:

I wanted to have an internship experience in a country close to the Middle East region, and Istanbul looked really interesting because of its multiethnic and multicultural environment. It was a well-thought decision.

About friends:

I have more Turkish friends than international because I live and work with Turkish people, but I also have some international friends I’ve met through CS (Couchsurfing). Love it, Turkish people are extremely friendly!

About dislikes:

Traffic I guess. The very worst thing I believe is the poverty right under our noses: homeless people, child labor… but those characteristics and contradictions are also what make it so charming.

About the most memorable things:

Sounds I think… the constant traffic everywhere, the muezzin’s singing at 6 in the morning, people selling every kind of stuff in the street at whatever hour in the day and night.

About future plans:

I need to go back to Italy because my visa is going to expire but I’d definitely love to come back and visit the eastern part of Turkey as well, which is completely different from Istanbul.


Ifeoma, 19, Nigeria, second-year student of Okan University

About adaptation in Turkey:

Istanbul I must say is a very beautiful city filled with lovely people. When I first came here I experienced a bit of ‘’Culture Shock’’ being that most things were a bit different to me but gradually I started getting used to everything and at this point, I can say to an extent that it ‘s worth coming here after all.

About the difference between educational systems:

The educational system in Nigeria is good but there’s nothing like leaving your own country, getting a global experience and mixing with other cultures. The Turkish system makes it possible for you to meet people from all over the World through various Exchange programs like Erasmus, International Students Exchange Program (ISEP).

About dislikes:

Is it possible to dislike Istanbul?. Well, I just don’t like the weather, my country is close to the equator, virtually summer throughout the year at times it gets too cold. So you can feel my pain.

About future plans:

I’d like to go back to Nigeria after graduation and apply all I have learned here in my country

About the most memorable things:

Something I will definitely not forget is the respect Turkish Citizens have for Mustafa Kemal Atatürk, It’s really amazing!!! Also rich Turkish culture and of course delicious Turkish meals and lovely Turkish people. I love Turkish songs too!..:)

Taleb, 30, Syria, MBA student of Okan University, living in Turkey for 7 months

About the most attractive things in Turkey:

The most important thing about living or studying in Istanbul is that you are in a very famous city in the world and it is the only city in the world which is located on two continents. Istanbul is an amazing place which allows you to travel across the Bosphorus, has beautiful bridges, great palaces, historical castles and small fishing villages around the city.

I like Istanbul, it has more than 15 million people with various backgrounds, languages, religions, and cultures living together. You can visit many historical places concentrated in Sultanahmet – the heart of the imperial center of the Ottoman Empire.

On the other hand, Istanbul is a living city 24 hours a day. You can easily find something to do at any time you want, young people and students are having gatherings in the center of the city all the time, there are many local and international events and exhibitions during the year.

About adaptation in Turkey:

I feel comfortable in this city. Istanbul is a place that represents peaceful coexistence and beauty. It was hard for me to communicate with Turkish people when I just came to Turkey, I mean language because just a few people knew foreign languages and it is not only in the streets but also in some banks, police stations, and hospitals. With time I’ve learned some sentences that I can use to communicate and I plan to start a Turkish language course during my studies.

About negative experience in Turkey:

The most negative things in Istanbul for me are expensive living and transport costs, it’s hard to find a cheap accommodation near your university in the center like in all big cities, I wish I could financially support myself by working during my studies at MBA

About future plans:

Actually, I would like to stay in Turkey sometime after graduation because I want to get some international work experience before I go back to my country. I saw so many big companies in Istanbul so I dream of getting experience in one of them for learning and gaining knowledge and skills I would need while working in my home country.

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