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Things to Know About Türkiye

Did you know that Türkiye is slightly larger than Texas? Its unique position between Europe and Asia made it a hub for intercultural exchange in the past, and it continues to be a bridge between the East and West today. Türkiye highlights some of the best qualities of both continents; the beautiful Mediterranean coastline mixes with mountain ranges and farmlands. In Türkiye, the climate varies by region. Coastal areas have a Mediterranean climate with cool wet winters and hot summers.

In more suburban and urban areas, you will be delighted by skylines shaped by a mixture of modern and Ottoman architecture and find colorful markets filled with ceramics, fabrics, handicrafts, exotic spices, rich Turkish coffee, and an energetic game of tavla (backgammon board game). Türkiye is also home to many famous landmarks and World Heritage Sites, like the Hagia Sofia and Cappadocia.

Eligibility

Graduates Eligible? Yes, high school graduates are eligible to participate.
Minimum GPA 2.5
Age Range
15yrs, 0 months
to
18yrs, 0 months at start of program
Language Skills No language requirement
COVID-19 Vaccine Required

Based on differences in culture, strict government regulation of medications, and other local customs, it has been our experience that not all of our international AFS partners are able to support students with certain diagnoses, including but not limited to, severe allergies, strict dietary restrictions, ADD/ADHD, and those currently taking or who have taken psychotropic medications and/or received counseling for mental/psychological issues within the past year. If this applies to you, please get in touch with an AFS Study Abroad Specialist early so that we can determine the right experience for you.

Your Journey to Türkiye

Visa Information

AFS will provide visa guidance and support documents (if applicable). Visa processes can be lengthy and complex; you may be required to travel long distances to apply for the visa if there is not an embassy, consulate, etc. close to your home. Your passport should be valid for at least 6 months beyond a return date from your host country. We urge you to apply for or renew your passport as soon as possible if applying to an AFS program. We recommend not taking any trips (domestically or internationally) within 2 months prior to your AFS program as it may interfere with the visa application process and result in a late program start date.

Travel & Orientation

In the months before your departure, AFSers have the opportunity to participate in various preparatory activities, including an online Student Learning Journey, which is an interactive course that brings AFSers from around the world together to learn how to develop essential global skills, intercultural communication techniques, and practice social impact, maximizing the outcomes of the AFS learning experience.

Also during this time, AFS-USA will coordinate and share your international travel with you.You will need to coordinate your own travel to the point of international departure. From there, your journey in Türkiye will begin when you land, where you’ll be met by staff and volunteers…as well as your fellow AFSers from around the world! Shortly after arrival, you will attend an arrival orientation and get a crash course on Turkish culture, living with a host family, safety, and support structures.

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Your Accommodations

Meeting Your Host Family

Family is the primary social structure in Türkiye and extended family often lives in the home. In the evenings, you can expect to gather around the dinner table with your Turkish host family or watch TV and drink tea together. Expect a flow of friends and relatives visiting for coffee, tea, and lively conversations. While Turkish is the official language of Türkiye, you may be surrounded by other languages including French, German, and Italian as these are spoken by many people around the country. Arabic is also spoken in some parts of southeastern Türkiye.

Turkey 1

Your High School in Türkiye

Teenagers in Türkiye attend an Anatolian high school, which is a university preparatory secondary school. A typical school day lasts for 7 or 8 hours and allows students to specialize in either mathematics and science or social studies. You can expect to spend much of your time with family or friends getting to know the life and culture in your host community!

Turkey 2

Exploring the Area

Türkiye is home to many incredible places, from the ancient city of Troy to the ruins of Ephesus. You’re sure to visit many of the famous landmarks and museums around the country during your time abroad. Exploring all that nature has to offer on the Anatolian Peninsula is also worthwhile, it’s home to a diverse array of vegetation and animal life!

hostturkey

Food You’ll Encounter

Türkish dishes combine Mediterranean and Middle Eastern styles and are quite rich and varied. Eggplant is the number one vegetable and is often paired with meat in a shish kebab. Food is cooked mostly with olive oil and herbs in the western part of the country, whereas meals can be very spicy and meat oriented in the eastern part of Türkiye. You can expect to try Dolma and Sarma (stuffed vegetables), yogurt (eaten with almost every meal), and Börek, a traditional dish that is made of phyllo pastry or dough and rolled out in thin layers and filled with cheese, meat, or spinach. If you have a sweet tooth, you’re in luck because Turkey is famous for its desserts, especially baklava, a sweet pastry, and milk pudding.

What's Included

  • 75+ years of experience delivering high-quality programs through a worldwide network of 32,000 dedicated volunteers
  • Accommodations
  • Round-trip international airfare for the designated program dates
  • Program activity fees
  • Worldwide, 24-hour emergency assistance
  • Access to an in-country support team and network, as well as our Participant Support Department based here in the U.S.
  • International secondary medical travel coverage
  • Visa support and guidance
  • Inclusion in a worldwide returnee and alumni network of over 1,000,000 people

Scholarships and Aid

We believe that studying abroad should not be contingent on personal finances. When you apply, we work with you to understand your family’s needs and match you with available scholarships and aid. 100% of accepted applicants with demonstrated need receive funds.

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