Turkey is a nation bordered by eight countries and three seas. Due to its significant position, it has developed an advanced economy with a rich cultural heritage. Turkey is an ideal blend of European and Oriental culture, and this gives locals and visitors an exceptional experience.

Besides a myriad of beguiling landscapes, Turkey has seen countless civilizations throughout history. It has become a melting pot of different cultures and beliefs due to its strategic location. Because of this diversity, you will find Turkish people respectful of each other, and of course, welcoming to international students. In this article, we will be looking at the best universities in Turkey for international students.

Is Turkey good for international students to study in?

Turkey is among the countries in the world with the highest access rate to tertiary education. Its higher education system follows the European Bologna Process, so a degree you earn in a university in Turkey is recognized in all of Europe. Aside from Erasmus+, Turkey participates in other exchange programs like the Mevlana and Farabi exchange programs.

International students can choose from over 60,000 different programs at 207 universities. What’s more, universities in Turkey have a generous offering of English-taught programs, especially at the masters and doctorate levels. They are highly-regarded in many academic disciplines, including business, engineering, and medicine. Furthermore, tuition fees in Turkish universities are significantly lower than in other European countries.

Living in Turkey is comparatively more affordable than in other cities abroad. You can meet your necessities such as accommodation, food, transportation, etc., with around 400-500 USD per month. There is at least one university per city which makes the whole country a student-friendly nation. University events are often deliberated with the entire community too.

Check Also: Available Programs for International Students 

Can international students work in Turkey while studying?

A recently implemented labor law in Turkey allows international students to work part-time, given they apply for a student work permit. Undergraduate students must finish their first year of studies before working up to 24 hours a week. Moreover, students in the master’s or PhD programs may work full-time or as researchers in their institution.

The Turkish government is dedicated to becoming a top international study destination. Besides several scholarships and partnerships with universities abroad, they believe working permissions will increase the country’s attractiveness to students worldwide.

Can international students stay in Turkey after graduation?

Upon completing their degrees, international students can apply for a work permit since their student visas will expire. Unlike in the previous years, you won’t have to return to your home country and re-apply back to Turkey. You will be provided a temporary residence permit that allows you to look for employment right after graduation. Your employer will be the one to process your work permit with The Ministry of Labor once hired. There exist three kinds of work permits for foreigners: short-term work, perpetual work, or independent work.

Best Universities in Turkey for International Students

1. Cankaya University

Çankaya University is a young and privately-owned university located in Ankara. This top university in Turkey for international students comprises a comprehensive set of disciplines, including architecture, engineering, economics, arts & sciences, and law. Degree programs in Çankaya University are predominantly in English so that international students can make the most out of their teaching and research. For those learning the international language, the university has a dedicated Preparatory School of English. Research in Çankaya presently focuses on entrepreneurship and women studies, to name a few.

Besides high-quality programs in all degree levels, what sets this university apart from others is its award-winning campus opened in 2011. It includes a modern library, first-class science laboratories, a dedicated sports center, and direct buses to the city center.

2. Koç University

Koç University, one of the best universities in Turkey for international students, traces its humble beginnings from factory buildings converted into classrooms. Today, it holds several first-rate programs in an impressive campus designed by the prominent architect Mozhan Khadem. This conducive campus houses the faculties of Social Science & Humanities, Economics, Nursing & Medicine, Administrative Sciences, and Engineering. Koç University is the leading recipient of national research awards and grants. With 132 research laboratories, they contribute to the scientific, social, and economic development of Turkey.

Classes at Koç University are taught in English, with a few exceptions in nursing and law programs. The university also collaborates with universities abroad, such as the University of California, Cornell University, Georgetown University, and many others.

3. Hacettepe University

Hacettepe University is a highly-regarded public institution, especially when it comes to medicine and life sciences. The main campus in the old town of Ankara houses its world-renowned Medical School. It also includes faculties of Dentistry and Pharmacy, and biomedical centers, and several health institutes. On the Beytepe campus, you can find the faculties in Economics, Education, Natural Sciences, Engineering, Fine Arts, Letters, and Sports Sciences. Furthermore, it has one conservatory, five vocational schools, and 104 research centers.

Courses in Hacettepe are taught in either Turkish, English, German, and French. The university supports internationalization at any degree level and has over 500 bilateral agreements with universities across the globe.

4. Sabanci University

Sabanci University is a young and distinctive university designed with an interdisciplinary approach to education. The Sabanci Foundation established it in 1995 after an extensive process of examining the best educational systems across the globe. Their teaching style involves two phases. First, students complete a Foundations Development Year that provides a comprehensive headstart. They will then move forward to University Courses that prepare them for a variety of careers. There are three faculties in Sabanci University: Engineering and Natural Sciences, Arts and Social Sciences, and Management.

Sabanci University is named the most entrepreneurial and innovative university in Turkey in various rankings. The titles remain true as their research works are focused on all areas of societal development, including policy development, manufacturing technologies, and conflict resolution.

5. Bilkent University

Bilkent University is one of the best universities in Turkey for international students. The name “Bilkent” is short for bilim kenti, which translates to “city of science,” and can be seen from its broad range of disciplines. It comprises nine faculties: education, business administration, humanities & letters, engineering, and law. Programs in these faculties are all taught in English. It has an international faculty from over 40 countries worldwide and a growing number of international students.

The broad academic disciplines of Bilkent University balance out with the several clubs and activities it hosts. Students can get involved with dedicated sports clubs, frequent conferences and lectures, art and cultural exhibitions, and the annual Mayfest or a weeklong music event.

6. Boğaziçi University

Boğaziçi University was initially established as Robert College, an American university by philanthropists and missionaries in Turkey in 1863. Today, it is entirely under the Turkish administration but maintained strong relations to the American academic system. Boğaziçi University has the most number of applicants in national entrance examinations. At this top university in Turkey, students can pursue well-known programs, such as computer engineering, industrial engineering, and electrical & electronics engineering. Besides engineering, social science and education are also sought-after study fields by many local and international students.

Boğaziçi University’s student life is filled with recreational and cultural events such as the Tasoda Music Festival and an international sports festival every spring. Students reside in any of the ten dormitories, ranging from historical buildings to modern ones that incorporate sustainable means such as solar panels and wastewater collection.

7. Ozyegin University

Ozyegin University, one of the best Turkish universities for international students, is a young university founded by the Turk billionaire Husnu Ozyegin to create an affordable entrepreneurial research university. Modeled after Cambridge and MIT, it has a vision for a transformative student experience. The university faculties include architecture and design, engineering, business, social science, and law. It also has schools that provide professional flight programs, gastronomy and culinary arts, and modern languages.

The mission of Ozyegin University is to apply students’ learning in the service of society. International students will experience a multidimensional approach in academics and their environment in general. Claiming to be a financially accessible institution, Ozyegin University provides adequate credit and scholarship systems for students.


I hope that this article on the best universities in Turkey for international students was helpful. Make sure to also check out the Available Programs for International Students!