An internship in Turkey can prove to be a prized addition to your CV, demonstrating your open-mindedness and your readiness to adjust to foreign working conditions. If you intend to start your career in the country, it is even a must. Turkey hosts many national and international firms needing foreign manpower. Here are a few tips to help you find an internship in Turkey and navigate the administrative procedure.
Benefits of doing an internship in Turkey
During an internship, students participate in the day-to-day operations and projects of a company. They thus gain valuable insights into a specific trade as well as into the general business environment.
Most employers and workers in Turkey are very supportive of newcomers, and will guide you through the ins and outs of the business.
An internship in a Turkish company working with international partners will most likely give you the opportunity to work both with the Middle-East and with European countries.
Good to know:
In Turkey, interns are considered non-salaried (unpaid) personnel. Most intern managers take this into account and will treat you to as many lunches, coffees and small gifts as they can. It is also customary to offer good-performing interns a farewell present — if not an employment contract!
Finding an internship in Turkey
Turkey is bustling with activity and internship-seekers are quite likely to find a position, either in non-governmental organisations and international institutions such as the United Nations, or in big global companies such as L’Oreal, Carrefour, Kraft or Siemens, to mention a few of the heavy-weights present in the country.
Your school might be able to provide helpful support. As universities increasingly include mandatory internships in their curricula, they are working to establish partnerships with firms across the world to help facilitate their students’ placement.
Otherwise, specialised websites listing jobs and internships, or foreign chambers of commerce in Turkey may also help.
Although some firms will likely favour binational trainees or candidates demonstrating fluency in both Turkish and English, others will view your command of a different language as a precious asset.
You can check whether the consulates or embassies of your home country offer internships in Turkey.
Applying for an internship
To do an internship, you should be enrolled in a degree programme in a higher education institution. Internships may vary in length according to the academic requirements of the intern and to the needs of the company. They usually last from 2 to 12 months.
Once you have been offered an internship, you are required to obtain an internship visa from a Turkish embassy or consulate in your home country. The document checklist for an internship visa includes a letter from your employer, your previous graduation certificates and grades transcripts, a bank slip demonstrating your ability to support yourself financially over the duration of your stay (as of 2017, USD 500 per month of stay are required) or a letter and bank slip from a sponsor.
If you are already staying in Turkey under a residence permit, you may apply for an internship without the need to go through any further procedures.