International Education in Istanbul
Istanbul is Turkey’s biggest city, and arguably its most diverse too. A literal land bridge between Europe and the Middle East, this city is a true melting pot and no stranger to expat communities. Although it has its challenges, living in Istanbul offers a truly unique experience for everyone.
One of the biggest challenges of Istanbul life is the language barrier. Since public schools in Istanbul teach through Turkish, many expats end up sending their children to an international school. Luckily, there is an impressive range to choose from; here’s what you need to know about them.
Although there are plenty of international schools in Istanbul, there is still a high demand for school places. Most schools are large, with several hundred or even 1000+ students. Class sizes remain small however, and native English-speaking teachers are very common.
The standard of education to expect is the same as international schools all over the world, and the same is true of school facilities. Most school campuses are large and have fantastic sports grounds, as well as extensive extra curricular activities.
The International Baccalaureate is the most common curriculum offered in Istanbul’s international schools. Following closely behind are the British and American curricula, but there is a wide choice of others too.
By attending an international school in Istanbul, your child will mix with lots of other international students. While some do offer a program for local students, the typical international school’s student body is largely made up of expat children.
International schools in Istanbul do help international children integrate into their new city, however. Turkish language lessons are commonly offered, and many schools organise cultural outings and events to help children get to know their new country and city.
Additional languages are also offered depending on the school. International schools with many students from the Middle East will teach Arabic. Similarly, schools with a largely European student body may teach French, German or other European languages.
Traffic congestion is a major issue in Istanbul. Unfortunately, commute times and location will be an important factor in your international school search. It’s best to choose a school in the same general area as your home, unless you want your child to spend hours of their free time stuck in traffic jams. On the plus side, most international schools in the city do provide a school bus service.
Below, we have compiled our top 10 international schools in Istanbul. However, there are another 20 schools to choose from in the city. You can find the best international school for your child by personalising your results. Just fill in your search criteria, and we will calculate a personal score for every international school in Istanbul based on your requirements.