By the numbers, statistics, and rankings, Istanbul is remarkable. The city boasts 70 museums, 17 palaces, 64 mosques, and 49 churches of historical significance. Istanbul is also the 9th most visited city in the world, with approximately 8.1 million international visitors in 2011. It was ranked as the number 5 billionaire city in 2012 by Forbes. It's no wonder that with all its qualifications, Istanbul is bidding to host the 2020 Summer Olympics. Aside from making a great potential location for the Olympics, it also makes for a fun and interesting place to intern abroad.
As an intern in Istanbul, you can take advantage of all the wondrous sites and opportunities the city has to offer. Istanbul is not a conventional option for those wanting to intern abroad, which makes it all that much more attractive for you. You are sure to stand out as a unique candidate with some international work experience from Istanbul.
- Main Industries: Energy, Finance, Manufacturing, Tourism
- Popular Destinations: Aya Sofya, Basilica Cistern, Blue Mosque, the Grand Bazaar, Museum of Turkish and Islamic Arts, Princes' Islands, Topkapi Palace
- Cost of Living: 400 to 1000 Turkish lira (1 Turkish lira = 0.552303 U.S. dollars)/month
- Visa: Visitor Visa and Work Permit
- Marketing: Marketing is increasingly becoming more global, and as a marketing student, it's important to have international skills and knowledge that make you stand out. Gain your international work experience while in Istanbul with one of the many marketing firms or major companies in Istanbul. Depending on your internship, you may have tasks such as conducting research, analyzing the market, creating graphics, writing unique material, and much more!
- Media: For those interested in journalism, television, newspapers, internet media, and radio, there are plenty of opportunities to work with media in Istanbul, covering topics such as food, entertainment, news, politics, and culture. Working in the media industry in Istanbul is an excellent way to learn about and immerse yourself in Turkish culture. You could be reporting, writing articles, helping out at broadcast channels, shooting videos, taking pictures, or hosting depending on your internship.
- Political: There are a variety of internships in Istanbul available for those interested in pursuing political careers. No matter what aspect of politics you are interested in, you will be able to find an internship that matches your interests. There are internships in diverse areas of politics such as democracy, security, political economy, human rights, social justice, freedom, law, and women's issues. You could end up working at political parties, organizations, or even the local or national government.
When and Where to Look for an Internship:
Most internships will be located in the business districts of Istanbul such as New Istanbul and Maslak. However, this is not true for all internships and you can find them all over the city depending on your interests. You may also find internships throughout the year since business is always happening in Istanbul!
Cost of Living in Istanbul:
Your rent per month will depend on where you decide to live and the type of residence you decide to take up. For example, a one bedroom apartment in the city center of Istanbul will be about 1000 Turkish lira per month whereas a one bedroom apartment in the suburbs will be around 400 or 500 Turkish lira.
Work Culture in Istanbul:
- Etiquette: The culture in Istanbul is a unique mixture of traditional and business-like. For example, Turkish people are often quite proud of their heritage, country, and family. In business, the culture is based on consideration, politeness, respect, punctuality, and courtesy. Small talk is important in Istanbul before business begins; do not be alarmed if your co-workers seem to be asking very personal questions - although this is common in Turkey, as a foreigner you should hold back until a stronger relationship is in place.
- Language: Turkish is the main language used in Istanbul. Business settings will often use English and Turkish in equal amounts and it is usually quite helpful to have at least a basic understanding of Turkish.
- Networking: Since there are a decent amount of expats in Istanbul, there are plenty of networking opportunities and groups among expats. If you are looking to network in the business environment in Istanbul, you should speak about this with your co-workers as it may vary, depending on the industry you are working in.
Work and Labor Laws in Istanbul
Currently, there are no specific laws regarding or protecting internships or traineeships in Istanbul.
Why Intern in Istanbul?
The city of Istanbul has both high historical value as well as business value for those looking to intern abroad. Your time in Istanbul will not be wasted as you will learn much about the past, present, and future.
Do you think there is something missing in our guide to interning in Istanbul? Contact us and let us know! We want to make sure our information is relevant and up to date.