In this Inbound Insight series article, we examine the shifting patterns of Turkish students choosing to study abroad and explore the priorities of this student cohort when searching for student accommodation based on data gathered through the Global Student Living Index.

Outbound destinations

UNESCO figures show that in 2021, Türkiye had 51,146 students studying abroad, with Germany, the United States (US) and the United Kingdom (UK), the top three destinations for Turkish students.

In 2023, Germany hosted 14,732 Turkish students. Open Doors data shows that in 2022/23 the US had 8,657 Turkish students. The latest HESA Data shows that the UK had 4,980 Turkish students in 2021/22. However, there are indications that the number of Turkish students studying in the UK is increasing. UCAS January figures show a 37% increase in applications from Turkish students applying to study in the UK.

What’s contributing to this growth?

Türkiye’s population of 84.7 million is relatively young.  Almost half of the population is aged under 30, and around 27% of the population is under the age of 18.

Türkiye is currently in financial turmoil – a situation that does not usually bode well for studying abroad. Türkiye’s inflation rate has been in double digits since the second half of 2019. In January 2024, the Turkish Statistical Institute reported that Türkiye’s consumer price index (CPI) had increased by 64.86% over the past year. An ICEF report notes that although Türkiye’s precarious economic situation has put immense pressure on family finances, interest in studying abroad remains high. For those Turkish students whose families can afford it, studying abroad is seen as the key to a brighter future.

The strong interest among Turkish students in studying abroad is also driven by capacity issues in the Turkish higher education system. As an example, in 2022, only 1 in 3 (29%) of the 3 million high school graduates who took a university placement exam gained entrance to a four-year university or two-year vocational programme.

An extremely competitive labour market and high youth unemployment are additional factors driving Turkish students’ interest in studying abroad.  According to OECD figures, in 2022, 27.9% of individuals in Türkiye aged 15 to 29 were not employed or in education or training – a figure significantly higher than the OECD average of 12.6%.

A British Council report notes that Türkiye, along with Brazil, Ghana, Mexico and Nigeria, “face a range of macroeconomic challenges which weigh against growth in total outbound student mobility over the medium term. And their risk profiles suggest that growth in outbound mobility can be quickly reversed. However, countries within this group are major senders of international students and will remain important recruitment markets for the UK to 2030, though primarily in the context of winning market share from alternative study destinations.”

Search priorities

Global Student Living Index data shows that students from Türkiye have similar priorities to other students. However, there are certain aspects of accommodation that matter more to students from Vietnam than international students in general. Factors that Turkish students place a much higher priority on include having an ensuite (71% vs 64% of all international students), living on their own (65% vs 50%) and transport links (58% vs 45%).

Room type and rent

Students from Türkiye are less likely to be living in private halls (81% vs 85%) than other international students and more likely to be in university halls (19% vs 15%). Turkish students are also more likely to be living in a private bedroom than international students in general (62% vs 59%), and slightly more likely to be in a studio flat than other international students (36% vs 34%).

Search resources

When it comes to resources used in the accommodation search, Turkish students are slightly more likely to use social media than the broader international student cohort (33% vs 29%). The top five resources used by Turkish students are university websites (66%), general web searching (40%), online student reviews (22%), student-specific listing sites (11%) and recommendations from friends and family (14%). Students from Türkiye are just as likely (12%) as other international students (12%) to use an educational consultant or agent to help them with their accommodation search.


There is little difference between Turkish students and the broader international cohort when it comes to booking their accommodation. Turkish students are most likely to have booked with the university housing or accommodation office (35% vs 34% of all international students), through an online student accommodation listings site (22% vs 24% of all international students). They are slightly less likely to have booked via a consultant or agent than international students in general (8% vs 9%).