Turkey is often described like a man running west on a train heading east. Situated between Europe and Asia, Turkey is in a unique position to highlight some of the best qualities of both. The beautiful Mediterranean coastline mixes with mountain ranges and farmlands.

In more suburban and urban areas you will be delighted by skylines shaped by a mixture of modern and Ottoman architecture and find colorful markets filled with ceramics, fabrics, handicrafts, exotic spices, rich Turkish coffee and an energetic game of tavla (backgammon board game).

People & Community

You could live anywhere in Turkey, but you’re most likely to be in or near one of the five main cities: Adana, Izmir, Eskisehir, Istanbul or Ankara. In the evenings, it’s very common for Turkish families to gather around the dinner table and watch TV and drink tea together. Expect a flow of friends and relatives visiting for coffee, tea and lively conversations.


You’ll probably attend an anatolian high school, which is a university preparatory secondary school. A typical school day lasts for 7 or 8 hours and allows students to specialize in either mathematics and science or social studies. Most exchange students attend public schools, but some also get placed in a private high school. 


While Turkish is the primary language, English, French, German and Italian are spoken by many people around the country. Having a basic knowledge of English will be helpful. AFS will provide language lessons, and local volunteers may help arrange independent language study for you during your first months in Turkey.

A photo posted by Raquel Martinez (@rademark) on


Turkish dishes combine Mediterranean and Middle Eastern styles and are quite rich and varied. Eggplant is the number one vegetable and is often paired with meat in a shish kebab. Food is cooked mostly with olive oil and herbs in the western part of the country, whereas meals can be very spicy and meat oriented in the eastern part of Turkey. Lamb, beef and rice are common ingredients and seafood is abundant on the coast. If you have a sweet tooth, you’re in luck because Turkey is famous for its desserts, especiallybaklava, a sweet pastry, and milk pudding. 

Let AFS guide your intercultural adventure

Year Exchange PROGRAM

Program Date: September 7, 2018 – June 24, 2019
Birth Date Range: September 7, 2000 – September 7, 2003

During your time living with a host family and studying in Turkey you’ll have an incredible opportunity to gain an intimate knowledge of this fascinating and diverse culture.  Turkish people have a well-deserved reputation for friendliness and hospitality, not to mention some of the finest cuisine in the world. Discover who you really are, make new friendships for life and be immersed in a fascinating intercultural experience in Turkey.

Program dates may vary and are meant to help with general scheduling only.
All programs, prices, and travel dates are subject to change without notice.
Applications are accepted on a rolling basis and programs are filled first-come, first-serve.

Apply Now!