How to Study in Turkey for Free (10 Steps)

There are many options for one to further their higher education. You could choose to study at a university in your home country, obtain an online education, or go to a university abroad. As the world gets more connected, the decision to leave one’s country in pursuit of a degree or study experience overseas becomes more common.

Each year, an increasing number of international students are choosing to pursue their higher education in Turkey. This is because of the growing academic reputation of Turkish universities and the unique ‘East and West’ cultural experience a student can get while living there. In this article, we will try to look at some ways you can study in Turkey at a low cost, or even for free.

Study for Free in Other Countries

Here are some of the countries that you can study for free:


Study in Turkey for Free

1. Have an application that sets you apart

In order to obtain a scholarship either from the university, the government, or a private organization, your application ought to meet the requirements and it should stand out among thousands of other applications. Getting good application is a crucial step in studying in Turkey for free.

In some cases, just having an exceptional academic record may not suffice. If possible, you should include information that is testament to your skills, character, and experiences outside of school as these will help increase your chance of getting that scholarship!

2. Start applying as soon as you can

As there are many things a student must prepare for a university program or scholarship application, it is best to start as soon as you can. You only have one chance to make an impression, so make sure that you have sufficient time to prepare a flawless application.

Some universities may have a similar admission timeline so working your applications early is necessary to get all those applications done in time.

3. Apply for Turkey university scholarships

Many universities in Turkey have scholarships or financial aid programs for international students. These can be merit-based or need-based. Getting scholarships from Turkish University scholarships is the most common way to study for free in Turkey.

For example, international students who applied to Middle East Technical University (METU) will be automatically evaluated for tuition rebates or exemptions according to their academic records. Besides that, the university also offers several other scholarships and financial aid programs for those who are in need.

Bilkent University offers partial or full tuition waiver scholarships for its international students. Applicants are evaluated based on their academic results and will be awarded scholarships of different amounts accordingly.

4. Search for external scholarships

Other than university and government scholarships, you can also try to look for scholarships from private institutions. These can come from organizations or companies in Turkey or your home country. Be sure to look for these opportunities that will help fund your studies in Turkey. Note that certain companies may impose conditions on their scholarship programs, so remember to go through the details to understand what you are signing up for.

5. Look for scholarships from the Turkey government and your home country

Aside from the scholarship programs from the government in your home country, you could also check out the Türkiye Scholarships that is funded by the Turkish government. This scholarship program is open for students at all levels of higher education and it not only offers financial support, but it also provides university placement to its recipients.

Recipients of this scholarship can expect to receive coverage for tuition fees, accommodation, health insurance, a one-time round-trip airfare, tuition for one year of the Turkish language course, and a regular monthly allowance.

6. Choose affordable universities in Turkey

Select a university with affordable tuition fees that are within your budget so that even if you do not manage to secure any financial assistance or scholarship, you can still manage to fund your studies in Turkey. To completely study in Turkey for free, you should try other ways in this list also.

The cost of studying at a private university in Turkey can set you back about USD 5,000 to 20,000 each year, so choosing a state university over a private university is essential in keeping the cost of your higher education low.

In general, the tuition fees of undergraduate programs in Turkish public universities range from USD 500 to 1,500 a year for international students. You can expect an even more affordable figure if the language of instruction of your studies is Turkish.

Check out the 9 Affordable Universities in Turkey for the best affordable choices!

7. Send in your university applications

Once you have gathered all the materials you need, be sure to complete your application and send it in before the deadline. Each university has its respective admission timeline so make sure you go through the details on the university website. Try to set aside several choices and apply to more than one university in case your first choice does not work out.

8. Keep your living cost low

Living in Turkey is generally quite affordable. With less than USD 500 each month, you can cover your living expenses such as accommodation, food, utilities, travel, etc. Universities in Turkey provide their international students with inexpensive accommodation options. Living on-campus is one way to keep your expenditure low. Having your meals at the campus cafeteria or cooking at home is another ideal way to save money.

9. Work while you study

Although the law regarding a foreign student’s eligibility to work while studying in Turkey is unclear, it is not a novelty to spot international students working in various part-time jobs while studying in Turkey. If you wish to earn some additional allowance to help cover your expenses during your time in Turkey, there are plenty of jobs that you can consider. From tutoring to bartending, the option is endless. To be safe, you should consult the International Students Office of your university before you start to look for a part-time job.

10. Join a free volunteer program

If you are a student who wants to study the Turkish language, what’s better than immersing yourself with the locals by joining a free volunteer program in Turkey? In exchange for your voluntary work, you get free food and accommodation! This is probably one of the most uncommon ways of studying in Turkey for free, but it’s still valid!

The types of volunteer programs can include becoming an au pair, working at a farm, and many others. Not only will you get to learn and understand the language and the local culture, but you will also be leaving Turkey with a memory that you will not forget!


I hope that this article was helpful. If you are interested, visit the Scholarships Page.