Employment Opportunities

Working While Studying

In accordance to a private university, they allow graduate students with full scholarships to work and can provide assistantships for students in exchange for this scholarship to work as researcher. Undergraduate students will often find opportunities to work in a part-time job, according to their course schedules and the university directives. However, you must keep in mind that a student resident permit does not give a student permission to work. There are different types of work permits such as short-term, perpetual, independent work and are given by General Directorate of International Labour. All in all, International students, unfortunately, have no legal right to work either in public or private offices.

Language is not only major obstacle to get a temporary job. There are universities and departments within universities whose language of instruction is English or where English is the most common language. Some private universities were established as English-speaking universities, and they are now trying to compete with public universities to attract top international academic staff and researchers. There are also research institutions which provide teaching in French and German.

In addition, most foundation universities recruit Master’s and PhD level students on a full scholarship scheme. Sometimes full scholarships might require international students assisting some professors on certain tasks such as teaching, doing research or preparing statistics etc.  In all these cases, there is no requirement on international academics or students to learn and teach in Turkish.

Internship Opportunities Depending on the university’s higher education program, there may be a compulsory or elective internship activity. This type of internship activities, which are mostly seen in undergraduate programs, are usually conducted during summer term. In this case, you do not need to get a work permit, and with the guidance of your university, you can find opportunities for internships in many private companies, government organizations, international organizations or NGOs in Turkey. You can also have the opportunity to do internship for 2-12 months in a European country under Erasmus + programme, which is open to participants from all over the world during your study in Turkey or immediately after graduation. Don't forget to be in close contact with the International Office of your University for this! https://ec.europa.eu/programmes/erasmus-plus/opportunities/traineeships-students_en If you are a student enrolled in a university abroad and are planning to come to Turkey for internship, it is good to know that you are exempt from the work permit within certain conditions.

Working After Studying

If you want to work in Turkey after studying, there are not as many options as you might hope, especially if you don’t speak Turkish, and many of them pay very poorly, comparing to the EU countries, Canada or the USA. However, there might be surprising opportunities present in the Turkish market. So, you can’t know them exist before searching for it. 

The first thing to do is to search your job prospects on internet. You should have a very well-prepared resume that could tell anything about you even if you are not physically there.  Many Turkish companies speak English, some speak German, French, Italian, Spanish, Arabic, Russian etc. You hear from them with an invitation for an interview.  

Some of the best paid and most professional works in Turkey are in the various embassies, consulates and non-governmental organizations. But the competition is always intense.

One possibility is to teach your native language at a language school or on a private tuition. There is a great hunger for English language teaching in Turkey which means that this sort of work is easy to find. However, the best paid jobs with the best conditions go to people with a degree and proper TESOL, TEFL, CELTA or TOIEC qualifications. The best thing to do is to take a relevant course. 

If you find a job while in Turkey, you may have to leave the country to apply for a work permit and then come back in again. 

Employment in Turkey is mainly governed by Turkish Labor Law and Trade Union Law. Working permits are granted by The Ministry of Labor. After finding a job at a Turkish company, the company should apply for the working permit on behalf of the foreigner. There is no guarantee that the Ministry will provide the foreigner with a working permit. 

In the meantime, most work permits are issued initially for one year. When they are extended, the new permit is usually for three years, and then for six years. If you have been a resident of Turkey for eight years and have had a work permit for six of them, you should then be able to get a permanent work permit.


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Useful Links:

     • The Ministry of Labour and Social Security: www.csgb.gov.tr (In Turkish)
     • Turkey’s Official Employment Institute: www.iskur.gov.tr
     • Turkish-British Chamber of Commerce & Industry: www.tbcci.org 
     • Turkish-German Chamber of Commerce & Industry: www.dtr-ihk.de
     • Monster Online Job Search: www.monster.com.tr
     • My Merhaba Expat Networking: www.mymerhaba.com
     • About Teaching English in Turkey: www.eslcafe.com
     • Teacher Placement Agency: www.angelfire.com/biz/turkeng
     • Kariyer.Net Employer Database: www.kariyer.net (most jobs are listed in English)
     • Yenibiris.Com Online Job Search:www.yenibiris.com (some jobs are given in English)