If you are interested in studying abroad, Istanbul is a great choice as it will allow you to experience a true mix of European and Asian cultures. Istanbul straddles two continents and has a long history of multiculturalism. Moreover, Turkey has been aiming to attract students from all over the world, and one way of promoting its universities is to offer low tuition fees.

The other advantage of studying in Istanbul is that you can experience a vividly multicultural metropolis at a relatively low cost compared to European cities. The cost of living in Istanbul is low, about $500 to $600 per month.

There are numerous private as well as state universities in Istanbul, with state universities tending to offer high-quality education for a cheaper fee. Since state universities are funded by the local government, Turkish students do not pay any academic fees unless they fail to graduate on time. As for international students, institutions charge them at a very reasonable rate.

In the article below, we listed the low-cost universities you can find in Istanbul! We hope that this will help you in choosing a university.

Affordable Universities in Istanbul for International Students

1. Istanbul University

Founded in 1453, this state university is by far the largest, with 7,000 members of staff and 180,000 students (across graduate, undergraduate, open, and distance learning courses).  Here you can study a degree in English or a mix of languages. So if you are fluent speaking the country’s local language, you have the option to enroll in a program lectured in a different language.

Istanbul University has a historical campus as well as 12 others spread throughout the city. It also has the most international students of any university in Turkey.

2. Boğaziçi University

  • Tuition Fees
  • Tuition Fees: from TL 28,500 (undergraduate) | from TL 14,000 (graduate)

Boğaziçi University is another cheap university in Istanbul comprising four faculties, two schools, and six institutes covering a multitude of programs.

The university was founded in the 19th century by Dr. Cyrus Hamlin, an American from New England who came to Turkey to start a seminary for boys, where he taught until 1860. Upon meeting Christopher Robert, a wealthy merchant from New York, they agreed to establish the oldest American College outside the United States.

It currently offers courses in arts and sciences, economics and administrative sciences, education, engineering, etc. It also takes pride in having an active and colorful campus life, with residential facilities and a vast array of student clubs.

Domestic students don’t have to pay tuition while international students have an imposed tuition rate. Every year, the university executive council decides whether to increase or retain the academic fees as with the previous years

3. Üsküdar University

Our third school recommendation is a relatively young university, formally established in 2011. Üsküdar University is extremely focused on research in neurology. It aims to contribute to global medicine through its research and use of high-tech devices and projects. The faculties at this university include medicine, health sciences, engineering and natural sciences, and humanities and social sciences. The school also offers vocational programs in health services.

To apply, you should refer to the admission criteria to see if you are eligible or not. The most expensive program at the university is medicine which could amount to up to TL 650,00. However, for other degrees, annual fees start from TL 93,000.

4. Bahçesehir University

Bahçesehir University’s slogan is “At the heart of Istanbul,” with its main campus right on the edge of the Bosphorus. They have a very large number of international students, and they are proud of their partnerships with universities around the world.

Prospective undergraduate students can choose to study in the following programs: foreign languages, dentistry, law, economics, architecture and design, engineering, health sciences, and medicine. While, graduate studies offer programs in natural and applied sciences, social sciences, education, and health sciences.

5. Istanbul Aydin University

Our last recommendation is a private university located at the center of the city, Istanbul Aydin University. It has the slogan “Towards a Bright Future” and boasts a student-friendly campus, a high international student percentage, and a focus on preparing students for business life “during their education life.”

It was established in 2007 and offers both undergraduate and graduate programs. Today, it is comprised of diverse students enrolled in dentistry, education, science and literature, fine arts, law, economics, engineering, architecture, health sciences, and medicine.

FAQS About Studying in Istanbul

How Much Does it Cost to Study in Istanbul for International Students?

The cost of education and living in Istanbul is low compared to other neighboring countries. Undergraduate tuition fees may start from $1,000 per year up to $4,500, depending on your degree, program, or specialization.

For the cost of living, an international student should have at least $500 to $600 a month. This amount can already cover the accommodation, food, and travel expenses.

Check Also: Available Programs for International Students

Is there an Option for International Students to Study in Istanbul for Free?

Universities in Turkey and Istanbul do not provide free tuition to international students. However, prospective students do not have to spend a significant amount of money to study in Istanbul. Universities in the city are really affordable but if you need financial assistance, you can apply for scholarships.


We hope you make use of this article once you plan to apply to one of Istanbul’s affordable universities. If you are unsure of what study program to take, here’s a list of Available Programs for International Students!

About the Author: Hyun Lee

Hi! I am Hyun, and I am the founder at Global Scholarships. I've received a full-tuition scholarship at Birmingham-Southern College and a $1,000 Burger King Scholarship for my undergraduate degree and was offered a fully funded scholarship consisting of tuition, living stipend, and health insurance for computer science Ph.D. program at North Carolina State University. You can read more about my scholarship journey here. If you are interested, you can follow me on Linkedin where I regularly write about scholarship opportunities.

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