Lodged between the Middle East and Europe, Turkey is, in some ways, at odds with itself. While continuously attempting to gain membership in the European Union, characteristics of Middle Eastern culture remain prevalent in Turkey, which is inevitable due to its centralized, geopolitically land-locked location. However, from the Aegean olive groves to the alpine pastures to the Mediterranean beaches, you’ll fall in love with the variety of landscapes. Whether you’re paragliding or kayaking, your veins will be flowing with adventure in your free time. So take a leap and intern abroad in Turkey!
Where to Intern Abroad in Turkey
Turkey is a peninsula, surrounded by many gorgeous seas including the Mediterranean and Black Sea. With it being geographically, historically, and architecturally unique, you’ll find a collage of various cultures from ancient to modern times. Here are the best cities for interning in Turkey.
Antalya. This city is located in southwest Turkey on the Mediterranean coast shielded by the Taurus Mountains. Here you can celebrate the arts with its several film festivals, folk festivals, and music festivals. You could explore the Kaleiçi Museum, tingle your tastebuds with şiş köfte (a spicy meatball), and marvel at the historic Hıdırlık Tower. With its many architectural sites and beaches, you’ll love the stunning views while you intern in this harbor town.
Istanbul. The most populous city in Turkey is situated in the northwestern area, and it’s an economic, cultural, and historic center of the country. Blending the East and West, this city boasts a whirlwind of attractions from the tea gardens to the kebab restaurants to the Turkish taverns and coffeehouses. You can ogle at the palaces, mosques, and churches, shop until you drop at markets and Bazaars, and savor fresh fish and drink rakı until your pants burst.
Ankara. The capital of Turkey lies in its central area and is the second-largest city in the country. It’s also an important center for the government, commercial, and industrial endeavors. With nearly 50 museums, dozens of parks, and local shops, you’ll never be bored here to say the least. The archaeological sites of the Ankara Citadel, Roman Theatre, Roman Baths, Temple of Augustus and Rome, and more will keep your smartphone snap-happy.
Popular Fields for Internships in Turkey
While Turkey may be an unconventional location for an internship, the country’s strategic location makes for a worthwhile experience. Here are the most popular types of internships for international students in Turkey.
Business. Whether you’re looking to work in finance, communications, administration, marketing, or management, you can gain experience in these fields here. You’ll be exposed to a multicultural environment, where you’ll have opportunities to achieve your goals, work under mentors, and intern in a friendly environment.
Education. If you’re interested in teaching English to Turkish citizens, you can find internships where you can earn your TEFL/TESOL certificate and get paid to teach here. Being an English teacher is a great way to do something rewarding and make a difference for others. You’ll also have the opportunity to live in Turkey from six months to a full year.
Hospitality. Tourism is an important industry for Turkey as its economy fluctuates. With such a wide range of sites to see and things to do, people from all over the world come to visit Turkey, which makes it an ideal place to learn more about different cultures. You could gain experience in health care tourism, hotels, restaurants, spas, and more.
Costs of Interning in Turkey
Salaries for internships in Turkey can range from unpaid to small stipends. Fortunately, Turkey is quite cheap when basing affordability off an American salary; the Turkish price of things are essentially divided in half in comparison to American prices. Your program fee will likely cover the cost of food, housing, and transportation, so your biggest expense will be that and airfare. You can start fundraising with FundMyTravel and apply for scholarships to help cover the hefty portions.
Accommodations in Turkey
The accommodation options for Turkey internships range from apartment/flats to homestay options to group housing. Depending on the location, apartment rents can range from $250 to $600, but program fees usually cover the accommodation or it’s compensated for your internship duties. A homestay environment, however, is an excellent way for you to immerse yourself in the culture on a more personal level and learn the ways of the country at a local level.
The type of visa you’ll apply for depends on if your internship is paid or not, but you will need a passport that is valid for six months beyond your entry date and a visa to enter the country. You can apply for a visa for up to 90 days for tourism or commerce through their e-Visa application system prior to visiting. The requirements can change, so stay up to date on the necessary documents. You can also use the program coordinator and GoAbroad’s Embassy Directory as resources.
GoAbroad Insider Tips
Friendships. One of the best ways to get truly involved in the culture during your internship in Turkey is to make some great Turkish friends. Turks are very friendly people, and once they meet foreigners, their interest perks.
Language. Turkish is not that easy to learn — if you’re planning to stay for an extended period of time, it’s advised to learn some basic phrases to help you get around.
Whether you’re soaking in Turkish bath or trekking the Lycian Way trail, you’ll find that life here is both thrilling and relaxing as an intern in Turkey.