Applying For A University In Turkey: My Journey As An International Student

  • Post last modified:October 22, 2023
  • Reading time:9 mins read
  • Post category:Tourism

In this article I will explain my experience of applying to university in Turkey, the good, the bad and important tips.

Assumptions are made—and easily broken—about studying abroad. Let me shed light on my firsthand experience studying in Turkey as an international student. Speaking the universal language of aspiration, my journey has been a whirl of adventure, confusion, learning, and lots of Translation!

Foriegn Student in Turkey Comic book

Choosing the Right University

There’s a a lot of universities throughout Turkey particularly 209 university. all offering various programs, and choosing the right one can be a very hard task. This process of selecting the ideal university involves multiple steps:

  • Individual applications to each institution
  • A detailed analysis of university criteria
  • Inserting all exam results accurately
  • Comparing application points requested by each institution

I had a particularly tough time as many universities didn’t offer English websites. However, I managed to navigate through this dependence on online Translation tools, assistance from Turkish friends, and fostering my own Turkish language skills.

Turksih University Foriegn Student

Tools I used to choose the right university

I used different tools to choose the best Universties in Turkey:

  • Webometrics: was one of the main tools i used to know more abut the ranking of Turkish universities.
  • Google Maps: Yes! you heard that right, I used google maps to check real life reviews from students and teachers alike of the university they are studying in, who is better than a local to tell you the facts.

Tools I used to choose the right city to study in Turkey

Deciding on the ideal city to study in Turkey required an extensive evaluation process, and Eskişehir victoriously emerged as the place to be. Home to Anadolu University and regarded as the best student city in Turkey.

My decision-making process harnessed several resources:

  1. To unfold the nuances of cost of living, I turned to Numbeo. This tool offered me a detailed breakdown of parameters such as housing, food, transportation and entertainment that held crucial importance in framing my budgeting plans.
  2. To dive deeper and visualize my forthcoming life, I engaged in extensive research, poring over Turkish resources on diverse cities. The additional insights granted by these sources further refined my city-selection.

Equipped with the data and assisted by these resources, I was confidently able to choose Eskişehir. This city proved to be a perfect blend of all the elements a student could wish for in a city, thereby offering an enriched student lifestyle.

Foriegn Student in Turkey

Overcoming Admission Hurdles

Passing the hurdle of language comes the actual process of application. The standard procedure in Turkey is to approach each university individually. With each university’s own application process, accepted exams, required papers, it becomes really challenging to apply alone. Turkish universities tend to accept results from most international exams, including:

  • The Turkish YOS (Yabancı Öğrenci Sınavı, Which means: Foreign Student Exam)
  • American exams like the SAT and ACT

Even if you have international exams, You must have a high school diploma in order to apply to any Turkish university.


  • Given the complexity, I recommend seeking professional help if financial means allow. Trust me, it pays in gaining time and peace of mind!

Exploring Turkey as a Foriegn Student

The initial period of exploring Turkey was met with memorable challenges and adventures. Accommodation and transportation without command of the Turkish language were particularly tricky. Using Airbnb for accommodations and local trains and buses for transport worked best for me.

Learning Turkish came more easily when I interacted with locals in each city, asking for directions and practicing new words. Though it was tough, the journey was also thrilling for an explorer like me.

Foreign African Student Turkey

Embracing the student life in Eskişehir

My academic and social life in Eskişehir, known as the best student city in Turkey, was a vibrant exploration. For a student, everything was at my fingertips – a diverse range of restaurants, buzzing malls, engaging activities, favourably weather, and a city full of vibrant young people.

Each coin has two sides. I did face some academic obstacles. In particular, the lack of a direct academic advisor made the initial transition a bit of a thorny path.

The Role of Friendship

However, I found strength in fostering friendships. Turkish friends proved incredibly helpful in navigating not only the academic environment but also the social terrains.

Friendships can be built by simply reaching out to people. For instance, striking up conversations whilst waiting for a lab or lesson to start can lead to lasting connections.

Charting My Own Academic Path

The academic requirements and course selection processes were not straightforward, and at times, I felt very lost. However, with the aid of my social network, I was able to overcome these hurdles.

Advice to incoming international students? Be proactive, stay open, embrace respectfulness.

Asian Student Studying in Turkey


As an international student coming to Turkey, prepare for a whirlwind of emotions and challenges. Stay organized, learn Turkish, and connect with fellow students. Even when the journey may be overwhelming, remember to relish each twist and turn, learn from every experience, and cherish the friendships you make. My adventures changed me and made me realize that every hurdle, every challenge is a stepping stone to better things.