Turkey is unique in many ways. Geographically, it lies in a gray zone between Europe and Asia. Historically, it carries the legends of the Ottoman Empire. Architecturally, it is home to the first church built by man - Church of Saint Peter in Antakya. Turkish cuisine is an incredible mixture of Central Asian, Middle Eastern, and Balkan cuisines. The beautiful nature in Turkey includes over 9,000 species of flowers. Economically, Turkey has the world’s 15th largest GDP.
With all the ways Turkey stands out from the pack, it makes for a perfect place to intern abroad. At first, Turkey may seem like a risky choice to, but being an unconventional option, you are sure to have a unique experience abroad. Intern in Turkey and discover all the “Turkish delights” to be found.
- Business: Interns looking for professional experience will find that Turkey is a great place to get a feel for international business. In 2010, the Turkish economy was growing at 8%. Business interns in Turkey can work in many different companies, including large corporations, small nonprofits, and local businesses. No matter what interns are interested in, they can get experience in the business sector in Turkey that they can take back with them and all over the world.
- Politics: Turkey is a parliamentary representative democracy and is member of the following international organizations: Council of Europe, NATO, OECD, OSCE, and G-20. Given all the political and international involvement in Turkey, political science interns will find many opportunities to gain experience in the field. Due to the flourishing modern democracy in Turkey, interns can find internships in parliament, human rights organizations, think tanks, and many more!
- Tourism: Recently, tourism has rocketed in Turkey and become a huge part of the economy. Because of the diverse interests of tourists in Turkey, interns have many different options to gain experience in. For example, culture, spa and health care tourism are all becoming popular in Turkey. Expect to work with tourists from all over the world, but mainly from different parts of Europe
Planning Your Trip
When and Where to Look for an Internship:
Turkish internships are available all year round no matter what you’re interested in. Most internships will be located in the major cities of Turkey - Istanbul and Ankara in the business districts. It is recommended to use an internship placement provider in Turkey.
Cost of Living in Turkey:
In general, the cost of living in Turkey is fairly low in comparison to other tourist destinations (one of the reasons for its popularity). Depending on where you decide to live, in the middle of a big city like Ankara or in a smaller town, your rent can average from around $250 to $600.
Work Culture in Turkey:
- Etiquette: The Turkish prefer to do business with people they know, so there is a huge emphasis on building relationships. Communication is direct and, in business, Turkish people do not mind standing close to each other or keeping eye contact. Popular conversation topics include families and football (soccer). Making appointments during July, August, or Ramadan is not recommended due to summer vacations and religious obligations.
- Language: The official language is Turkish, the first language of 90% of the population. Other minority languages are Kurdish and Arabic. It’s good to have some understanding of the language, as in business settings, materials are printed in both English and Turkish.
- Networking: Since Turkish business is based on personal relationships, networking is important. Often, these relationships are worked on during lunch, dinner, and social outings. Small talk is often considered important before going into business.