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1. Do I need to bring any start-up money with myself?
2. How do I get around in Istanbul and howmuch does it cost?
3. How can I get a cellphone in Turkey?
4. Should I do anything about housing before arriving in Turkey?
5. How much will housing cost on average?
6. How much do utilities cost?
7. How will I cover my healthcare costs?

1. Do I need to bring any start-up money with myself?

Start-Up Money is strongly recommended since there will be initial expenses as you make your living arrangements.

- We recommend you bring the equivalent of $1,500 so that you can settle in comfortably and enjoy exploring the area. Teacher Contracts will start after the Visa Application Process has been completed (for most cases) and once the Teacher begins teaching at the school. Your first paycheck will be on the 15th of the month following your start date, therefore you need to be prepared for atleast one month of expenses before you recieve your first payment.


2. How do I get around in Istanbul and howmuch does it cost?

Transportation cards (Istanbul Kart) can be used for almost all forms of transportation in Istanbul and a monthly pass will cost 170 TL which will give you 180 trips in all public transport other than minibuses, dolmush and Taxis. You can purchase "Istanbul Kart"s (otherwise known as AKBIL) at most kiosks surrounding bus or subway stops for an initial fee of 7 TL and money can be added as needed but if you want to get a "Mavi Kart" you will need to apply for it online and then enable a monthly pass on that card.


Fares for public buses, the Metro, Metro Bus, and ferries are usually 2-3.5 TL, also if when you make connections you will be charged half the fare, and these forms of transportation do not accept cash.  Minibuses and dolmushes accept only cash. Some schools have service buses (school buses) to neighboring areas. If so, it is a good idea to look for housing close to a service bus stop to reduce you transportation costs.



3. How can I get a cellphone in Turkey?

Turkish Mobile Phones are required before your contract start date. Buying a used cell phone in Turkey will cost between 70 – 100 Liras. A SIM card costs 40 Lira and usually 30 Lira a month credit will cover all your needs. You might want to buy a package that has minutes, text and internet on it which will cost the same but much more convinient.


- If you want to keep your own phone from home, be aware that you can use it upon you arrival in Turkey for 1 – 10 days and unless you register it with Turkish Comunications Comission  you will not be able to use it again. The process of registering your phone costs around 130 TL and you will not be able to register any other phones you bring from abroad for 2 years and it also requires that you residency permit is issued


- Teachers in Turkey must have your current phone number and email address at all times, so please notify us if there are ever any changes.



4. Should I do anything about housing before arriving in Turkey?

Housing can be researched before you come to Turkey, and once you arrive we will assist you in finding an apartment near your school. Temporary housing is something that you should look for prior to arriving in Turkey. You may have around a week’s stay in a hostel as you look for permanent accommodation near your school.

- For temporary housing, look at the websites and

- For those teaching on the Asian side, the Kadıköy area is centrally located and offers various modes of transportation.

- Those teaching on the European side should look in the Mecidiyeköy area. It is a transportation hub and provides easy access to the heart of Istanbul.

- For shared accommodation in a hostel, the rate is between 20 – 50 Liras a night. For a single room, plan for 80 – 100 Lira.



5. How much will housing cost on average?

Permanent Housing-Once you know the area of the where you will be teaching, you can look for more permanent housing at

( and at .)

- Most apartments are shared and the cost per roommate is approximately 600 - 700TL or higher.

- The majority of landlords require first month’s rent plus a month’s rent as a security deposit at the signing of a lease.

- Also, if the apartment is found through a realty company their fee will be equal to one

month’s rent.


6. How much do utilities cost?

For a two bedroom apartment, monthly utilities will be around 140 TL per month and during the winter season up to 440 TL (gas heating is expensive!). Internet is generally available either your landlord or Teachers in Turkey will assist you in getting access in your apartments. Most basic Internet packages cost around 50 TL a month.

- If you rent a room, utilities will be divided per person on a monthly basis.

- If you are renting an apartment, there will be a start-up fee of 160 TL for water and 90 TL for electricity. Gas fees will be 360 TL paid over monthly increments, but all start-up fees are refundable at the end of the apartment lease.


7. How will I cover my healthcare costs?

Health Insurance will be provided by Teachers in Turkey as a part of your contract and under your working permit terms. Your health insurance will take effect once your work visa has been processed. You will be completely covered at any State Hospital in Turkey, but private hospitals will require out of pocket payments.


In Turkey all emergency medical care is free Teachers in Turkey will assist you in finding a hospital near your work or home and if you need to see a specialist we will make an appointment for you. We will help you with directions and translations during your doctor visits. Because it can take up to 60 days to enter you into the health insurance system, we recommend that you enroll in a travel insurance program for coverage until you are in the system.

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