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There are several reasons for me choosing Turkey. At first, I can say that my decision was partly influenced by my parents, who were both being born there. They both had spent an important part of their lives there. I learned to speak Turkish from my parents and acquired a good knowledge about the countries history, its people, and current lifestyle. Although I know much about this country or thought I know, there are still many different things I have experienced there(If you want to know more about my personal experiences, check this part).

As someone may think that my parents or my cultural background were the significant reasons for my decision back then, however, different criteria were influenced my decision. An important aspect for me to be concerned about has been the recognition of the medical study in a particular potential country. Studying in any European country would have been the easiest way for the approval of my medical graduation.

It would be easier for me to start explaining by presenting my background and opportunities back then, which is a helpful and self-explaining method for someone thinking about studying abroad. You have to consider several factors such as the recognition of the received degree in your home country or the country you plan to work in, language barriers existing on your side as well as the ones existing on the other side, and last but not least your financial situation, which should not be faded out for logical reasons. Starting with the recognition of the received degree you should consider the level of education and the international publicity of the potential country. As an example, I would like to introduce the recipient of a medical degree in any European country, which drastically simplifies the approbation procedure provided before starting to work as a doctor in any European country or elsewhere. Due to the high demand for the medical degree program and the much lesser amount of study places available people in Germany try to find alternative universities inside the European borders like Bulgaria, the Netherlands, or Lithuania. A medical degree in these countries is very helpful regarding the obstacles occurring during the approbation procedure after they have finished university.

I have met a German family with 3 children studying medicine in Bulgaria. They have chosen this country because it has been the most reasonable choice for them regarding the alternatives found in other Balkan countries. They have also applied for the medical degree program of Austria, which is known for its quite difficult exams included in the application procedure. Some applied in Hungary. According to the internet, the fees vary between 15000 and 20000 Euro per year. In Bulgaria, as I heard from the German family are around 5000 Euro. At that point, I want to mention that additional costs such as housing, living expenses, and several other costs should be included too, which for sure increases the costs per year unexpectantly. Although Turkey is a very famous holiday destination in Europe and throughout the world, it is still little known for its education system and perspectives. As a person, who was born and had to spend his whole educational background including a primary school and high school in Germany, I can say that the Turkish education level is comparable to European standards and surpasses some European countries found in South-East Europe. So why do many people still do not see Turkey as a potential country in which they can start studying? The answer is as simple as complicated😊. They do not know it. It is not 100 percent true. There are many people from North Africa, the Arabian Peninsula, and Central Asia studying diverse subjects such as law, engineering, and other sciences in Turkey. Some of the ones I have talked with, value the economical status of Turkey compared to their home country where others plan to start their career in their home countries after gaining the reputation of Turkish education. Many foreign students similar to the native students aim to start their working life in Europe mainly Germany and France, the United Kingdom, or North America. As I noticed through the years many foreign people coming from lesser developed countries view Turkish education as a gate to Europe, America, or Canada.

People in Europe are skeptical about the recognition of the medical study degree achieved in Turkey and logically do not want to risk their six years for an „uncertain“ degree. I am not concerned about this issue. Let me tell you my reasons. The recognition procedure for a degree of any field is something seen all over the world and is not something special seen for Turkish degrees in Europe. On the other side, a European degree has to undergo the procedure of recognition in Turkey as well. This is not some method introduced to prevent foreign people to work in another country. Instead, it should prove, whether the degree achieved in a foreign country is equal to the native one and covers the qualification profile specific for the profession. Of course, it can be regarded as an obstacle, which you would not have worried about if you had studied in the same country you aim to work in. This should not put you down since you learn to overcome these types of challenges and will get more experienced when similar obstacles meet you in the future. Maybe you want to travel somewhere else and begin to work there, where your former experiences will show much use, enabling you to be a step ahead of the ones not having done this experience before.

Another reason why I am not worried about the recognition of my degree is that there are many Turkish doctors in Germany having completed their medical study in Turkey and have been working here, in Germany, for many years. Our family doctor for example had studied in Turkey and has been working in Germany in his clinic for more than 15 years. There are more examples of Turkish doctors having studied in Turkey many years ago and are now practicing in their clinics for many years. There is a quite famous Turkish molecular biologist, who studied at the Faculty of Medicine in Istanbul University and moved to the United States after he graduated, where he has been researching DNA repair, the cell cycle checkpoints, and the circadian clock. In the year 2015, he received the Nobel Price in Chemistry for mechanistic studies of DNA repair. Therefore the future of someone depends on his or her achievements rather than the reputation of the university he or she is from.

If you have clicked to see this, I am pretty sure you feel to learn more about the lifestyle and people in Turkey. Although I think you have a decent knowledge about the country, I do want to tell more about my experiences as well as the ones of my surroundings. Turkey is a very beautiful country known for its wonderful beaches, marvelous landscapes and delicious cuisine as you might hear from the media or people who visited the country. I can agree with these points and visited many parts of Turkey like Istanbul, which is not the capital as many people think😉 as well as parts of Mediterranean coastal sides like Mersin, and Central Anatolian areas like Cappadocian. The people are friendly and hospitable and you do not feel foreign there. However, there are differences between viewing the country through the eyes of a tourist and as a resident, who I have become after more than three years. You start to view the country from a different perspective and start to put yourself in the place of the native people. This is something many people have in common when they have moved to a different country and have lived there for many years. Turkey is still very beautiful, but you start to understand that beauty is based on factors such as financial wealth and international opportunities. When you have read other articles on this blog, you will remind that I have several times that Turkey is only cheap for foreign people coming from high currency countries. This is something you start to better understand when you meet native students from middle-income families. They handle their expenditures more carefully than my foreign friends. Although the country is known for its wonderful food served in many diverse restaurants, it is mostly visited by adults having an own income. Students rather choose more simple locations. The simple lifestyle is also seen in other parts of the world, except that foreign people like me can afford more as a resident. This is not always the case since there are also foreign students, who do not come from wealthy families and therefore choose a more simple lifestyle. The reason behind telling these different conditions is to document the several price ranges found in Turkey adjusting to your economical situation.

Living Costs:

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How are the living costs in Turkey?

Living conditions can vary between the different regions of Turkey. Here I want to explain the conditions found in bigger cities, where most of the foreign students live. According to statics, Turkey is considered to be at the edge between a developing and a developed country. The currency is the Turkish Lira.

As it is seen around the globe living conditions in Turkey are mostly dependent on the financial situation of the inhabitants. There are people, who see the economical situation of their country as problematic, and other people viewing it sufficiently.

The living conditions you, a foreign student, can expect are firstly on the financial situation of your parents, considering that you still live with them, and the currency they handle. It is obvious why my first point is a critical aspect for the living condition you can expect. If you belong to a high-income family, you can afford yourself a higher standard and live under wealthy conditions. The reason for my second aspect is the high value of certain currencies such as the dollar, euro, and pound in Turkey. From the current stand, begin of 2021, 1 euro is equal to a roundabout of 8,5 Turkish Lira. The minimum salary in Turkey in 2021 is 3.577,50 TL gross and 2.825,90 TL net per month, which is equal to 330 Euro. The minimum salary in Germany 2020 is 9,35 Euro per hour. A 40 hrs week is 374 Euro per week and 1496 Euro per month. This is equal to three minimum salaries found in Turkey. A very important point to consider that most of the people in Germany receive a higher salary than the set minimum wage, precisely 2.079 Euro net, which is nearly 7 times the minimum wage in Turkey, where many people are paid according to the legal minimum wage. An average income in the euro does enable you a much higher quality of life in Turkey than a high-income family found in Turkey.

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