Welcome to Turkey

Merhaba! (or hello in Turkish!)

Youth For Understanding (YFU) is one of the world’s oldest, largest, and most respected international intercultural exchange organizations. Dr. Rachel Andersen founded the organization in 1951 with the aim of allowing German students to see a different way of life than that of WWII. She founded a student exchange program called Youth For Understanding that allowed German exchange students to spend a year in the U.S.A. As YFU’s success and reputation improved, YFU organizations began opening up all over the world. YFU Turkey opened in 2008, and we continue to welcome exchange students from all over the world for short-term (Summer) and long-term (Semester and Year) programs.

Why come to Turkey?

Turkey is widely known as the “bridge” or crossroads between Europe and Asia; it is a diverse country that is said to blend Eastern and Western cultures. As an exchange student here, you will experience both life in the Middle East as well as Turkey’s significant European culture and influence. While you likely know of Istanbul’s history and culture, Turkey is a large country with plenty to offer all around! With a population of 75 million and an area of almost 800,000 km2 on two continents, there is always more to discover. Coming to Turkey on exchange, you might see the magnificant cities of Istanbul and Ankara, historical sites like those at Troy and Side and relaxing seaside towns such as Antalya and Bodrum.

Turkey has a unique culture, language, and history that you will experience on your exchange. Living with a host family and attending Turkish high schools, you will make Turkish friends, celebrate important regional holidays like the beginning of Ramadan and Kurban, and see the unique culture before your very eyes (and, of course, taste the popular Turkish foods such as Donner Kabobs, Roaster Eggplant, and the important Hazelnut). You will learn about the history of the Ottoman Empire, and how it led to the unique Turkish people, culture, and state.

As an exchange student in Turkey, you will become a part of a local host family so as to learn about and experience genuine Turkish life. You will attend school, either a public or a private high school, where you will make friends and learn the Turkish language (The Turkish language uses the Roman alphabet and has a fascinating history that is deeply connected with the creation of the modern state of Turkey in 1929). While Turkey is an exciting place, living as an exchange student Turkey will soon feel like your home.

Please explore the other sections of our website to learn more about coming on an intercultural exchange program to Turkey.

Görüşürüz! (See you soon!)