1-WELCOME TO IZMIR!
Getting to Izmir (by Air, Rail and Road)
2-IZMIR UNIVERSITY OF ECONOMICS AND the ESN
3-GETTING TO IUE
From the Airport
General Rent - and Monthly Cost of living
5-SETTLING IN IZMIR
Ögrenci Izmirim Kart (Student Bus Card)
What to Eat
What to See
Recommendations from the Koala
Congratulations on starting your Erasmus journey at Izmir University of
Sincere greeting and a warm hug from all of us at ESN IUE and from
Skyler – the Koala - our mascot. This Survival Guide has been prepared
to assist you during your stay and help you settle in ASAP. We
recommend you keep this guide and go through it properly before you
But keep your chill socks on, your buddy is also here to help you.
Regards, ESN IUE Family.
PREVIOUS EDITOR: OSMAN SAJID,
PREVIOIS DESIGNERS: ECE
YÜKSELEN, GİZEM ÇALIŞKAN
RE-EDITOR: MERT KARTAL
RE-DESIGNER: SILA ALEYNA ÖZDEN
Turkey’s third largest city is not only known for its ancient history, but also
the many distinct features of its contemporary culture. This gives Izmir a
unique vibe, and it is one of the most important cities in the Aegean in terms
of trade, arts and culture.
The city of Izmir has around 4,000 years of recorded history to its name,
which makes it one of the oldest settlements in the Mediterranean! By 1500
BC the region was ruled by the ancient Hittite Empire, before it was taken over
by the Lydian and Persian Empires. Izmir then enjoyed an age of prosperity
under the Roman Empire, starting from around 133 BC. In the early 14th century,
Ottoman Empire captured Izmir, and by the 16th century it was established as a
modern, international port city. Today you can still see the remnants of the
many empires that
occupied Izmir’s various eras, mixed with the more modern constructions in
the wider Izmir area.
Contrary to popular belief, Izmir unfortunately does not have 365 days of
summer… But there is still plenty of sun: 305 days! Izmir is situated on the
Mediterranean coast, it has relatively mild humid winters, and hot, dry and
GETTING TO IZMIR
Izmir is one of the most well-connected cities in Turkey and
can be reached by plane with direct routes from a handful of
European cities, and a couple from the Middle East and Asia. Izmir is
also easily accessible from all the major cities in Turkey by air, train
and road - something that makes travel to and from Izmir quick and
convenient. If you have plans of travelling around Turkey during
your stay in Izmir, it’s the place to be.
Izmir Adnan Menderes Airport is located 20 km south of the city center, 20 min by car
from the University of Economics. There are several daily flights to catch to most cities in
Turkey, such as Istanbul, Antalya
and Ankara. Most domestic flights are just one hour! Izmir's airport is a relatively new
airport, and is expanding rapidly. A few airlines have
started flying to Izmir directly from Europe, such as SunExpress. There are also regular
domestic and international flights from many Turkish
and European cities to Izmir.
Izmir has two big railway stations; Basmane and Alsancak
stations. Basmane, in the city center, connects to regional trains and the Metro. Alsancak,
in the north of the center, is where you can catch
intercity- and commuter trains. There are regular train services from Izmir to Ankara,
Istanbul, Denizli and Aydin. Many other cities can be reached by train if you catch connecting
trains, and going by train is not only environmentally friendly; it is also a great way to
see the Turkish
Reaching Izmir by car or bus is very easy. Travelling by bus in Turkey is very popular, and
the Izmir Bus Terminal is huge and busy, with bus service to all parts of Turkey. Bus tickets
are typically very cheap, and you can go with overnight buses too! This is a great way to save
on travel costs if you want to explore the country.
Minibuses go frequently between Izmir and the smaller towns in the Izmir region;
about every 20 minutes or so throughout the day. These can be catched from either Uckuyular
(close to university) or Bornova. All year round there are regular bus and minibus services
from Uckuyular Bus Terminal to Cesme, Urla, Karaburun, Seferihisar and Gumuldur
districts; where all the nice beaches are!
IZMIR UNIVERSITY OF ECONOMICS
Izmir University of Economics was established in 2001 by the Izmir Chamber
of Commerce, Education and Health Foundation, as the first foundation
university in Izmir and in the Aegean region as a whole. IUE has a very diverse
and vibrant student culture and is making strides in academics every year,
making it a dynamic university to be in!
WHAT IS ESN?
The Erasmus Student Network (ESN) is a European student organization, based on the
European Erasmus program. Its goal is to support and develop student exchange
through Erasmus on a local, national and international level, to further intercultural
understanding across borders, and is present in 42 countries.
The ESN Section at IUE has been working in the interest of exchange students for
several years, and we are constantly trying to improve the social and practical
integration for all exchange students at IUE. We value participation, volunteering and
active citizenship both in and outside of the
The ESNcard is the membership card of the ESN. It gives you access to all the services
offered by ESN and all our partners, and will also give you some discounts and access to
affordable opportunities during your period abroad.
With the ESNcard you will enjoy plenty of discounts not only in Turkey but all over Europe.
You will also have the opportunity to participate in most of the events arranged by ESN in
Izmir, and all over Turkey. The ESNcard is valid for 12 months, and only valid with a photo
and correct personal data. The card is
MEET WITH US!
Local Board& Board Supporter
of ESN IUE
Aslıhan Olçum- President
Tanay Butur- Vice President
Hilal Anarsay- Local Representative
Eda Yurdakul- Treasurer
Mahsum Kaya- Event Manager
Selen Sangün- Comunication Manager
Sanem Yaman- President of BoA
Sıla Özden-Procedural Auditor
Zelal Acar- HR Coordinator
GETTING TO IUE
TIPS FROM SKYLER
It can be quite hectic and stressful remembering all the routes, you can download
these apps to get around Izmir easily. Safe travels!
FROM THE AIRPORT
IUE is located in the neighbourhood called Balcova, and this is probably
where most of you will find apartments - so this guide on getting to the
university will hopefully help you arrive home! You have three ways to get
from Adnan Menderes Airport to IUE:
Note: To use public transportation you will need to purchase the local
bus card, “Izmirim Kart”. At the airport this can be purchased at the
Izban Station’s Ticket Office, outside the domestic terminal (please
note that you can only pay at these offices by cash). To reach the
domestic terminal, you walk left when you get out in the international
arrivals hall. This card can also be purchased at all Metro and Izban
Stations in Izmir, along with a handful of kiosks (cash only though!).
The card costs around around 10 TRY and one trip is 3.56 TRY during
normal hours, and half during rush hours. The ESHOT Buses at the
airport cost around 8 TRY. The card is empty when purchased, so
make sure to load at least 20 TRY just to be safe. You can find more
information on page 13.
GETTING TO IUE
1. 202- Leaves once an hour
From the airport to
Fahrettin Altay Station (Metro and Tram)
2. 480 or 969
to bus stop called ‘Teleferik’
These will take you directly to IUE. If you are too confused about the bus stop, just ask the
driver for ‘ekonomi universitesi’. The total trip will take around 60 minutes and cost 6 TRY.
The phone apps usually show you on the map where on your journey you are, so hopefully
you won’t get lost!
For the adventurous: If you feel like taking an adventure you can ride on the infamous
‘Dolmus’ once you arrive at Fahrettin Altay. Take the green minibus that has ‘Oyak Sitesi –
Inciralti’ written on the side. The Dolmus follows a route but has no formal stop, so you
have to ask the driver to stop by saying “müsait bir yerde" (moo sigh eet beer yair day)
which more or less means "stop at a convenient place". The dolmus costs 4 TRY.
See this WikiHow article on how to take a Dolmus:
You can take the train called ‘Izban’ outside the domestic terminal and take it towards
the ‘Aliaga’ direction. You can ride it until Hilal (or Halkapinar) Station, and from there
change the train lines from Izban to Metro, and ride the Metro towards the Fahrettin Altay
Station (end station). Once you are at F. Altay, exit the Metro from the Pazaryeri or Terminal
exit and follow the instruction above for how to take the bus. Total trip will take almost 90
minutes and cost 9 TRY.
Please note on the Izban you pay by the kilometers
you have travelled, so makessure you swipe your card
on the on the orange both once you exit.
Perhaps the easiest way to arrive on the first day, but also the most expensive:
You can take a taxi directly to IUE from outside of the Terminals. This will cost you
between 70 to 80 TRY (12 euro). Make sure the taximeter is on (usually not a
Finding the perfect apartment can be stressful, but don’t worry, because we
will try to make things as easy as possible for all incoming students. You have th
ree options when trying to find your apartment:
The most common arrangement for exchange students is that you find
someone from whom you can sub-rent a room. There are many IUE students
who are renting out spare rooms. The best way to find an apartment like this is
on Facebook, there are several groups where people are asking and posting
information regarding free rooms.
The second option is to ask a real estate agency to find an apartment for you.
They will take a commission for this, equal to one-month worth of rent, in
addition to the deposit. This total sum, for one month rent, deposit and
commission can be up to 6000 TRY (900 euros), if your rent is 2000 TRY. You will of
course get your deposit back at the end of your stay (unless you break
something), but this option is still quite expensive, especially when your stay will
be only five months.
Lastly, the third option is to find an apartment yourself, and rent directly from
the landlord. Unless you already speak Turkish this can be a difficult process,
and we don’t generally recommend this.
Dikkat! (Watch out!)
Bills are very easy to pay in Turkey, but make sure
you pay on time, otherwise your electricity, water
etc. will be cut off. Bills are paid at all banks,
mobile phone stores and specialized shops
around your neighborhood. In addition to service
bills, almost all apartments in Turkey have a
monthly maintenance fee called Aydat
(pronounced like "eye-dot"). This is a monthly
payment which covers common area lighting,
cleaning, elevator maintenance, and the salary
of the kapıcı (doorman), if there is one.
Links for finding apartments:
-www.sahibinden.com: (sahibinden means "from the owner," but you'll also see
property companies advertising there as well. Look for "Emlak" (real estate, or
property) and "Konut" (Residence)
-www.hurriyetemlak.com: Look for "Konut" (Residence). It has English listings.
-www.milliyetemlak.com: This one has English listings also.
Note: We are not endorsed or in contact with any of the group’s owners. Also please
be careful of scammers – We don’t recommend that you pay them the full amount of
what they ask prior to your arrival and make sure you verify the address and location
of the apartment.
SETTLING IN IZMIR
To make your first few weeks in Izmir as smooth as possible, we have
gathered some information and tips on how to get settled quickly.
ÖĞRENCİ İZMİRİM KART (Student Bus Card)
For this you need to headover to Konak. The office is close to the metro exit
that goes towards the clock tower. Head in to the office, go to the reception and
tell them you are an erasmus student. They will send you to a desk specifically
for International and Erasmus Students.
Once you submit all this, you will receive
your student transportation card on the spot.
Documents you will need:
- Student Certificate
- Biometric pictures
- Bank deposit worth 20 TRY
All transportation cards are prepaid, and you can only charge the bus cards
via cash! Be careful while putting bills in the machines as they don’t give back
change. To charge the cards you can simply go to any metro station, and use
the machines there or go to any shop in your neighbourhood that has the sign
‘Kart Dolum’ or ‘Izmirim Kart Noktasi’. The machines at the metro and izban
stations have English language. Or you can use ESHOT MOBIL app for loading
money to your card.
Address: Milli Kütüphane Cad. No:41/P Konak Centre KONAK-İZMİR
Note: . You can also buy normal İzmirim Kart from some shops. Difference
between student and normal is, it is cheaper to travel with student card
SETTLING IN IZMIR
To use data. It will be expensive to call your parents. There’s no “roam like
home” in Turkey…
There are three mobile operators in Turkey: Turkcell, Vodafone, and Türk
Telekom. Turkcell has the greatest coverage and most customers, and is the
best option for most visitors to Turkey. It’s the company I chose to go with.
Vodafone sits in second place in terms of both coverage and subscribers.
It’s a reasonable alternative if you need vast amounts of data, as it offers
largerprepaid data package options than Turkcell
Türk Telekom is the smallest operator, with the least coverage outside the major
towns and cities. There’s no reason for you to go with it, unless you plan to only
visit larger centres and cities and happen to come across a particularly good
Note that all foreign phones will stop working 120
days after they are first used in Turkey, unless you visit
a tax office and pay a significant fee to register them.
This won’t affect the vast majority of short-term
Erasmus students, but is something to bear in mind
if you plan to use your device for a long period inside
All three operators have stores on the arrival terminals at most
airports in Turkey. So, you don’t have to set a foot inside the country
without coverage. Unfortunately, this convenience comes at a high
cost, operators at the airport will charge extra. We recommend you
use roaming upon arrival as you’ll find cheaper rates once you’re
in the city and you purchase it from the operators there. You only
need your passport during purchase. The average price for the first
time is 100 TRY* which includes the sim card and first package.
*Price may vary
This is probably the most stressful task you will have during your semester
but no worries – we are here to make this process as kolay (easy) as possible.
Documents you will need:
- Residence Permit Application: printed and signed
- Passport: Original, a copy of the picture page,
and a copy of your entry stamp page
- 4 Biometric photos
- Health Insurance and a copy of it
- Student Certificate from IEU
- Notarized Address Document or Contract
!- Proof of payment
1. Tax Number:
To get this you need to go to Balcova Vergi Dairesi (Balcova Tax Office).
The only thing needed for this is your passport & a copy of your passport. They
will ask you to fill a simple form asking address, date of birth and your parents
name etc. This will take 15 minutes and is a simple and easy process. Also
while getting your tax number you can pay for residence permit in advance at
the Cashiers Desk (Vezne). Before paying check step 4 and 6. We recommend
that you wait till you complete the online form.
Address: Fahrettin Altay, 65/20. Sk. No:2, 35140 Karabağlar/İzmir (Google Maps
Code: 93W8+G5 İzmir) It is on walking distance from F. Altay Metro Station.
For those who have health insurances from the countries given below, you can
check its validity through the agreement codes. You might need to ask your insurance
provider for the code and information.
If the insurance agreement code
matches with your insurance code
(will either be on your Policy document
or you will need to ask for it), you can
go to the General Health Services Office
(SGK). They will then register you in the
system, and give you two copies of a
document that states you have been
registered. One of these copies is for
the Immigration Office, the other is for
you to keep.
If your code doesn’t match with the table, we ask you to contact the
International office at the university or go to the SGK office with the copy of your
insurance, the address is given below.
Otherwise you will have to get a insurance here, which meets the following
SGK office: SGK Yurtdisi Hesaplama ve Saglik Isleri Birimi, Milli Kütüphane Cd.
37-35 Konak 35250 Konak/İzmir (Google Maps Code: C48H+JM İzmir)
If you don’t already have, take biometric photos. Go to a photography studio
and they will give you the type of picture you need, just tell them it is for
Ikamet. You need 4 prints, but remember to get a digital copy as well because
you will need to upload one on the online form. There are several studios in
Balcova, on Ata or Sakarya caddesi.
4. Complete the online application on the Goc Idaresi
(Immigration Dept.) website:
You will need to upload the digital copy of your biometric photo. You will
also need to give your insurance policy number and student details to
complete your application, and only then will you be able to complete the
form and make an appointment.
The website is very buggy and will give errors constantly if you try to do it in
English, so you are better off doing it in Turkish. Just use Chrome and it will
automatically translate system will ask you to pay your residence fee online
but it doesn’t work, so just go and pay it in person (see step 6).
5. Address Document:
If you have a rent contract on your name, you just need to go to the Notary Public
(Noter) and get it notarized – the cost of notarizing varies from office to office
because it’s a private institution. You can find these offices throughout Balcova. They
might ask for a copy of the owner of the flat’s ID, but this rarely happens.
Address: Noter, Eğitim, Gazi Osman Paşa Sk. 19 B, 35330 Balçova/İzmir
If the rent contract does not have your name on it, or you don’t even have one, just
go with your landlord or with the person who is sub-renting you the apartment, and
ask him to make a declaration at the office that you are staying with him. Note: your
flatmate can only make the declaration if he/she has their name on the contract, or
his/her name is on the utility bills. Your flatmate will then need to first go to the
Public Registry (Nufus) and register.
Balcova Ilce Nufus Mud. (Local Registrate) Address: Korutürk, Yonca Sk. No:19, 35330
Balçova/İzmir (Google Maps Code: 92RW+VX Balçova, İzmir)
After that, he/she can help you with the Address document at the Notary. Normally
this will cost somewhere between 70 and 140 TRY. Price may still vary.
6. Residence Permit Fee:
You can pay this in Konak or Balcova Tax Office .You will be able to see the amount
you have to pay once you have completed and printed the online application. The
amount you are required to pay is on the first page of your application.
Address: Vergi Dairesi Balcova – Vergi Dairesi Konak Address
By now you should have everything done!
You need to be at the Immigration Office on your appointment date and time. The
Konak streets are small, so might take some time to find the office. Try to be there at
least 15 minutes earlier and get your number. Once you are there, it is a quite quick
and smooth procedure! Pro tip: If you are nice to them and patient, they will give you
Address: İl Göç idaresi Müdürlüğü Konak, 855. Sk. No:40, 35250 Konak/İzmir (Google
Maps Code: C4CJ+4J İzmir)
Documents you will need:
- Residence Permit Application: printed and signed
- Passport: Original, a copy of the picture page, and
a copy of your entry stamp page
- 4 Biometric photos
- Health Insurance and a copy of it
- Student Certificate from IEU
- Notarized Address Document or Contract !- Proof of payment
Once you give them all these documents and fingerprints you are done!
You will get a printed temporary residence permit, and your card will arrive
at the post office or your home address within 20 days – You will receive a
text message when it is there.
Hopefully you are done with your permit and you can put your headphones
on and celebrate with this song:
Ice Cube - It Was A Good Day
WHAT TO SEE IN TURKEY
- Hagia Sophia, Dolmabahçe
& Topkapı Palace,Galata Tower...
& Manavgat Waterfalls,Patara
-Butterfly Valley, Ölüdeniz
WHAT TO SEE IN IZMIR
Çeşme & Alaçatı
Karşıyaka and Bostanlı
Agora Open Air Museum
Asansör ve Darío Moreno Sokak
Urla Sanat Sokağı
Kıbrıs Şehitleri-Kordon (Alsancak)
History and Arts Museum
Nese Karikultur Muzesi
Resim ve Heykel Muzesi
Ahmet Adnan Saygun
Bostanli Acikhava Tiyatrosu
Bornova Devlet Operasi
Arkas Sanat Merkezi
Virgin Mary Church
Turkey is a country with a rich history and traditions, and is blessed with plenty of
cultural, historical and archaeological sites but seeing all the Museums and
historical sites can be very expensive at times so we recommend you get a Muze
kart. The Müzekart gives you entry to more than 300 attractions across the country
managed by the Turkish Ministry of Culture and Tourism. Holders of the card can
avoid lines at larger sites (using the group entrance) and are also entitled to
discounts at other museums, cafes, and so on. The card can be purchased from
all ticketing booths outside museums, and costs 30 TRY. You just need your
student ID for the process.
WHAT TO EAT IN TURKEY
(best for hangover)
And Many More...
Tips From Skyler:
1. ESN IUE BOARD MEMBERS
2. IMPORTANT NUMBERS
Medical Emergency -
Fire Department -
Thank you to all these people that helped in preparing the guide
Sami, Ayesha, Karoline, Candan
For suggestions and improvements, contact firstname.lastname@example.org
Disclaimer: We don’t own or pretend the rights of the imagery and text that has been used in
guide. It is designed under the rights of Creative Commons. 2020© ESN IUE
For inquries send an e-mail to email@example.com