No matter whether you want primary or upper-secondary education, the massive amount of international schools in Turkey, provide families relocating to the country with a wide choice to choose from. In this current day and age, with increasingly more workers moving for their career, or basing themselves as a home business, international education for all nationalities is a top priority for a successful family life abroad.
For most schools, the curriculum differs, because, alongside standard subjects like maths and English, they aim to provide other thinking skills for children like cultural integration. All the private systems have a committed vision towards the learning environment so that pupils develop lifelong skills. From the early years right through to those who want to academically progress, public and private education in Turkey ticks all the boxes.
Naturally, bilingual-education for any private school is of utmost importance and depending on your nationality will play a large part in choosing the right foundation for your child. British schools are popular, but you will also find French and Germans, that teach first and second language acquisition skills. Most well-known schools, some with boarding are based in major cities like Istanbul, Izmir, Antalya and Ankara, but if you plan to move elsewhere, search Google to find smaller, less-known schools that provide good education. So, knowing you can pick from the best, let us look at the top-performing.
5 of the Best International Schools in Turkey
1: MEF International in Istanbul
There are nearly 30 international schools in Istanbul, of which one of the most prominent is MEF. Concentrating on primary-school and middle education, the 36-acre campus sits in the Ortakoy district on the European side. Facilities include a swimming pool, soccer pitches, gymnasium, computer labs, auditorium, dance and art studios, choir, cafeteria, and library.
MEF’s vision is to provide high-quality education that, alongside knowledge, helps students to be socially responsible, confident, and balanced. For primary students agreed 3 to 11, they are taught the IB Years programme, while the Middle school system follows the Cambridge Lower Secondary-School curriculum. Languages taught include English, French, Spanish and Turkish, and according to latest stats, there are 426 foreign pupils comprised of 53 nationalities. The Turkish Ministry of Education has given them accreditation.
2: British International School
With two campuses in the Etiler and Zekeriyakoy, the Istanbul British school, offers a modified British Curriculum, and an International Baccalaureate Diploma Programme. They aim to educate pupils from the ages of 2 to 18 with qualifications that will get them into university, particularly those in the United Kingdom and the USA. A crucial part of their vision is to instil an understanding of cultures, beliefs, and values around the world; therefore, evoking multicultural awareness.
Having educated students from over 50 different countries, they cater for and teach, Turkish, Spanish, German, and French, in addition to English. The primary and secondary education also offers special needs support. Creative arts and PE are high on the agenda with designated with a dedicated theatre and music programme alongside several sports. They encourage extra-curricular activities and offer the full IB diploma programme alongside the CIE General Certificate of Secondary Education. With three internationally accreditations, they are one of the best private schools in the world.
3: Oasis US School in Ankara
Over the last 20 years, Turkey’s capital Ankara has seen its ex-pat community grow in strength. Hence, the need for quality education increased. Founded in 2004, Oasis garners much attention for its curriculum and professionalism. Hosting over 200 students from around the world, they cater for all educational needs from ages 4 to 12, including pre-kindergarten. Classes run from Monday to Friday and last from 8.30 a.m. to 3 p.m.
Any learner finishing the curriculum receives a globally recognised American diploma, and most of the teachers are from the USA, hence making this ideal for Americans relocating to Turkey. Class sizes are a maximum of 20 pupils to ensure each school student receives ample attention, and alongside teaching, they encourage moral character and values. Parents looking for extracurricular activities will be delighted because there is a wide range, including football, basketball, volleyball, Christian Bible club, music, drama, arts, cooking, and Spanish classes.
4: MEF in Izmir – Turkey
This school is the sister branch of the MEF in Istanbul, hence follows much of the same values, mission statements and curriculum. Latest reports say out of 34 teachers, 26 come from abroad. One hundred sixty-five students ranging from early years to secondary attend.
Accredited by the Turkey’s Education Ministry, all teachers have certifications from their home country and 45% have a master’s degree, proving their commitment to excellence in teaching. Subjects taught according to the IGCSE Cambridge International Examination include Art, Geography, history, maths, PE chemistry and biology, computers, economics and for languages, English, French, Spanish and Turkish. For Cambridge A level, subjects include the above and physics, and global perceptive.
4: SEV in Izmir
SEV shares a campus with the American institution, which gives pupils and teachers access to the library, and multi-sports and training halls. At the same time, separate sections include the classrooms, fitness centre, auditorium, art and music rooms, science labs, computers rooms, teaching classrooms and other activities like squash and table tennis. SEV operates the smart class system where teachers enter pupil and class performance, coursework, school attendance rates, and adults can access it through the designated system by gaining the password.
SEV bases curriculums on leadership traits from Ataturk, the founder of the Turkish republic. Hence their philosophy is to encourage individual excellence and self-motivation. They teach global awareness to prepare pupils for a future life in the 21st-century workplace. Other curriculum points are social responsibility, high standards, creativity, green environment, problem-solving, and they actively encourage parent engagement.
5: ICCA in Antalya
Known as the Antalya Uluslararasi Cocuk Kulubu Ve Kres, this school education offers a Turkish and English curriculum for pupils aged from 3 to 14. Separating into primary and secondary campuses, Cambridge International and MEB both recognise and accredit them. Their mission statement is not just to teach children but encourage them to become self-motivated learners with critical thinking.
Educating international students from many countries, interest has risen because over the last decade, because Antalya is growing in both tourism and house sales to foreigners. Given the demographics of their pupils, they commit to ensuring children are aware of different cultures and beliefs to encourage a shared interest in humanity. The preschool for 3 to 6-year olds, is in Antalya centre, while the other campus sits in Dosemealti neighbourhood. Interested parents can make an appointment to see around, review admissions processes, meet teachers and ask relevant questions.
Handy Tip to Know
It is possible to do your research to find the best school for your children because all have websites explaining accreditations, certificates, enrolling fees, terms, and programmes. However, for people with limited time that are prepared to pay a fee, some companies offer services to find suitable schools that match your needs.
This can be helpful if you are searching for a school specialising in particular special needs. Known as specialised education consulting companies, they can advise on curriculums, and how each school measures up for student performances, enrolling processes, and fees. They work with many corporate companies, to help employees and children settle into Turkey’s education system.
Also of Interest
Where do Expats Live in Turkey? There are other aspects to consider, if you have not already decided where to move to. In this article, we look at the top destinations where foreigners live. From the bustling city of Istanbul to the Aegean and Mediterranean coasts, we discuss why these towns, villages and cities attract residents from all over the globe.
Why Buy Property in Turkey? If you are looking at international schools in Turkey and thinking as to whether you should get your foot on the housing ladder, we list good reasons why you should do it. Many ex-pats live here all year round, and own their own home, with some look at it, for a good family base and others for a mid to long term investment.