• Homepage
  • Top 10 reasons to study in Istanbul

Top 10 reasons to study in Istanbul

Istanbul is a historical city split between 2 continents. Formerly known as Constantinople, this city has been called the bridge between the East and the West. It is  rich in its culture and has become well known for its diversity over the years. You can never run out of places to explore here, and it has all the qualities that you look for in a city you would want to live in. It is difficult to list just 10 reasons to study in istanbul, but these are the top highlights for an international student living in Turkey. 

Let's get started.

1. Top ranked and Internationally accredited Universities.

 Istanbul is home to 5 of the highest ranking Universities in Turkey. Istanbul is a great start to pursue a degree in what you want, because of the sheer number of options offered in these top ranking universities. Istanbul has many highly qualified staff members in it's Universities ensuring a quality education. Professors and staff members are always easily accessible to students, especially in Sabancı University. After graduation, the value of the degree is recognized both locally in Turkey, and Internationally, making it easier to pursue a career or higher studies abroad.

2. Cost efficient (For students)

Istanbul is one of the most affordable metropolitan cities in the world. With the Turkish Lira being an affordable currency, foreigners coming to Turkey find things to be much cheaper than the locals. It goes one step further for students, who are entitled to student discounts all over the city. Starting from extremely cheap access to all the public transport, to museum entries, discounts on restaurants, and almost any other store you could try your luck on. 

3. Well connected Cosmopolitan (Public Transport)

Istanbul is a fairly large and colorful city with so many different places to explore, but it can be a little confusing to get oriented in the beginning. With each area seeming completely different from the next one, the municipality of Istanbul (Istanbul Büyükşehir belediyesi) has done a great job connecting them. There are over 10 metro lines, ferries, and an underwater train crossing right through the bosphorus sea, that let's you cross over from Asia to Europe in 2 minutes. 
As a student, all of this takes less than 3 Liras ($0.50) per ride or you could take the monthly student package which makes each ride cost as low as 0.2 Liras ($0.02)


4. Turkish Culture

Turkish Culture is arguably the best part of Turkey. Turkish people are warm, friendly and open people who love interacting with people from other cultures. Turkish Culture is uniquely beautiful and consists of traditions from hundreds of years of Ottoman history. From Turkish Hamams to the Evil Eye (Nazar) hanging everywhere in Turkey, Turkish hospitality  is likely the most remarkable aspect of the culture, where Turkish people frequently wish to treat you to a cup of tea, food, or offer you a place to stay. As a student, it is extremely fun to constantly discover the beauty of this culture, and appreciate the diversity within Turkey itself.

5. Diversity

Istanbul is the most diverse city in Turkey for the mere reason that it serves as the urban hub for the country.  Turkish people from all over Turkey come to Istanbul in search of employment and a better living standard. Istanbul is also home to many Europeans, Asians and residents of other Middle Eastern Countries, outside of turkey who come to the city for education, employment or tourism. 
This exposes you as a student, to people from so many different regions at an early age of your life, that allows you to explore different cultures, mix and interact with different people from all over the world, giving you the unique opportunity to become internationally acquainted and grow. 

5. Student city 

Istanbul is the city with most universities in Turkey. It is the educational hub of Turkey with around 50 universities in the city. Istanbul has many international students registered to be studying here from all over the world pursuing undergraduate degrees, masters degree and PHD's. It is also the city with the most exchange students in Turkey from Europe, USA, South America and Asia because it has most of the highest ranking universities in Turkey and the most agreements with international universities. You will never stop meeting new students in this city as an "Istanbulian" and this makes the student life even more enjoyable.

6. Festivals and Concerts 

There are frequent Festivals occuring throughout the year in Istanbul starting from Private University festivals to Turkish Music festivals, Holi-festivals,Halloween parties and other annual fests that go on for entire weeks. As a famous metropolitan city, Istanbul attracts many international artists who give out concerts in different parts of the city, at affordable prices. Students have an opportunity to indulge in these activities outside of their academic life during vacations, post mid-term exam breaks and spring breaks. There are social events taking place in Istanbul at all times, outside of festivals and Concerts which students are always free to explore. Bonus: There is a huge concert and performing arts center at Sabancı Campus.

7. Proximity to Europe and Asia 

The student life is the best time to travel and explore the world. Istanbul as a city is located in such a central spot of the world that it allows easy access to both continents, with affordable flights to most countries within Europe and Asia. If you are a travel enthusiast, you would not want to miss out on the opportunity of studying in Istanbul. An additional perk, is the exposure from both these continents in istanbul. Universities in Istanbul offer you cultural exposure, by opening the gates for you to many different countries and ethnicities. 

8. Job prospects 

Istanbul is an urban metropolitan city which attracts workers from all over Turkey, by offering relatively higher incomes and greater opportunities. As an international student, you may wish to try working in a different country after graduating and Istanbul offers you many opportunities to do so. In this fast paced city, knowing English is an advantage while looking for a job and there are many international companies based in Istanbul ready to hire fresh graduates. However, it is prohibited to work as a student when you enter turkey with a student visa. Luckily, this does not exclude you from working with your university in academia to teach English or tutor your peers in various subjects, to earn a little extra pocket money. 

9. Investment opportunities

The Turkish economy is definitely not the most advanced economy in the world, but despite that there are some extra financial opportunities that you could find. 
In terms of real investment opportunities, there are fairly convenient laws for young entrepreneurs (Students) with tax benefits, if they wish to start up a cafe, shop, etc. Investing in the stock markets, (Borsa Istanbul) is possible for all students with a bank account. Investment opportunities stretch beyond Istanbul to other cities in Turkey as well. Real estate, farming, and other industries are always willing to accept new investors.

10. Opportunity to learn a new language 

Finally, the reason an international student would want to study abroad is to experience a different culture. The Turkish culture and the Turkish language go hand in hand. Turkish is one of the easiest and sweetest languages to learn. Regardless of your academic life being in English, it is nearly impossible not to learn Turkish as an international student because you hear it everywhere on the streets and in every shop.
Turkish people get extremely happy when a foreigner speaks even a little bit of Turkish. Locals are extremely helpful and are ready to help you with learning this language at every go. This is a unique opportunity to enhance your linguistic skills in your student life and is definitely something that you could add to the CV. Learning Turkish is definitely going to make it easier to get a job in Istanbul.

Syed Ridwan Kudret
Management BA, Student