6 Reasons to Teach English in Turkey

Top Articles on Studying Abroad from Students and Experts

story by John Bentley

Do you want to live in a Mediterranean country with sun-kissed beaches, cosmopolitan cities and more Greco-Roman ruins than Greece? While overlooked by many seeking to teach English abroad, particularly in Europe or the Mediterranean, Turkey represents one of the strongest job markets in the world for teaching English abroad and offers a stunning combination of magnificent natural beauty and history that stretches back to the Trojan War. With a fast-growing economy, one of the world’s top tourism industries, and an emerging profile as an diplomatic and economic power, Turkey’s demand for English teachers is so high that government officials recently announced that as many as 40,000 native English speaking teachers will be recruited to teach English in Turkey in the coming years.
1. A Strong Job Market with Thousands of English Teaching Opportunities
Across Turkey, but in major cities in particular, hundreds of private language schools and institutes hire thousands of foreign English teachers annually. For Americans and Canadians in particular, Turkey offers several advantages as a job market for teaching English abroad:
  • Many schools will interview you and hire you directly from your home country so you can line up a job in advance (many schools also hire locally in Turkey)
  • work visas that enable them to work legally 
  • Unlike in many EU countries there is no hiring preference or bias for British teachers compared to Americans and Canadians. 

2. Istanbul
Recently dubbed the Hippest City in World by Lonely Planet, Turkey’s largest city literally bridges Europe with Asia and the Middle East. Founded in approximately 660 BCE and known for more than 1,000 as Constantinople and imperial seat of the Byzantine Empire before becoming the center of the Ottoman world, Istanbul is a city that truly seems to transcend time. Wandering among the grand Ottoman palaces and mosques with their monumental domes and soaring minarets and through the endless maze of merchants in the 500 year-old Covered Bazaar, you’ll feel like you’re in the 1001 Nights. Then stroll a couple miles up to the road to Istaklal Caddessi, where upscale boutiques, cutting edge restaurants and endless array of chic cafes, shops and nightclubs will leave you wondering if you are in fact in Milan or some other major western European city.

3. The Greco-Roman Cities of Ephesus and Troy
During the Classical Age, Turkey was an integral part of the Greek and Roman civilizations, which left behind a staggering array of fantastic monuments and ruins, particularly along the Mediterranean and Aegean coastlines. Here you can walk in the footsteps of Homeric heroes like Achilles, Agememnon and Odysseus through ancient Troy and spend days exploring the grand monuments and ancient boulevards of Ephesus, considered by many to be best preserved Greco-Roman city in the world.

4. Fantastic Beaches
With coastlines along the Mediterranean, Aegean and Black seas, it should come of no surprise that Turkey is endowed with more than 1,000 miles of beautiful coast. The southern coasts are laden with fantastic historical monuments from Greco-Roman cities like Troy and Ephesus to the historic city of Izmir and the legendary World War I battlefield of Gallipoli. They also offer excellent opportunities sailing, swimming, kite-surfing or just good old fashioned relaxation.
5. Cappadocia
There is nothing on earth quite like the awe-inspiring landscapes and ancient underground cities of Cappadocia in central Turkey. Distinguished by thousands of distinctly shaped fairy chimneys that resemble giant upside down icicles or stalactites, the area has been inhabited since prehistoric times is the site of some of the most fascinating early Christian shrines in the world, monasteries and churches carved into underground caves. A popular way to view the area is by hot air balloon and many of the local hotels are actually built into the surrounding landscapes.

6. Turkish Cuisine
One of the true joys of living and traveling in Turkey is the food. From fire-roasted kebabs and scented pilafs, to fresh seafood, salads and dips, Turkish cuisine offers something for everybody and is considered by gourmands to be the finest in the Middle East (though the Lebanese may have something to say about that). With roots in both the imperial kitchens of the Ottoman sultans and the various regions of the Mediterranean that comprised the Ottoman Empire, Turkish cuisine incorporates influences from Greek, Middle Eastern and western Asian culinary traditions. Typical fare includes grilled meats, poultry and seafood, and fresh vegetables that are prepared in a myriad of styles, often with tomato or yoghurt based sauces. To wash it down, try any number of fresh-squeezed juices, Turkish beer or wine, and for those looking for a little extra zip, raki, and Turkey’s anise-flavored answer to ouzo.

One final tip, if you want to teach English in Turkey, it is highly recommended that you take a high quality, accredited TEFL certification course. This will train you to work as an effective English teacher. Also, most schools in Turkey and around the world looking to hire foreign English teachers require the certification and it is also required to process a work visa for teaching English in Turkey.
For more information about teaching English abroad & TEFL certification, please visit www.internationalteflacade
my.com or call the International TEFL academy at 877-610-1337.
John Bentley


John Bentley is a Senior Admissions Advisor at the International TEFL Academy, which trains and certifies nearly 1,200 people a year to teach English abroad and provides lifetime job search guidance to all students and graduates. He holds a BA from Harvard University (’95) in Middle Eastern studies and a master’s degree from Northwestern University's Medill School of Journalism (‘00). While at Harvard, John was an author for the Egypt-Israel edition of the famous Let's Go! travel guide series and he has worked in the field of international travel and education throughout his career. He also grew up in Egypt and has traveled to more than 50 countries around the globe. 

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