Italian Expat in Turkey – Expat Interview
Italian-French expat family lived for 6 years in Turkey. In this expat interview, Elisa shares with us her experience as a foreigner in Turkey. Read her tips on having great expat experience in Turkey.
Where did you live in Turkey and when did you move?
I moved to Turkey in 2009 and have lived there for 6 years. I lived in Istanbul and Ankara.
How did you discover Turkey? What made you decide to come and live here?
I moved there because of my husband’s work.
Was it hard to get a residency permit? How did you manage paperwork?
I had help from the office.
Some tips on moving to Turkey?
I visited Turkey before coming. One of my best friends from University is from Istanbul and I was very close to all her family. Guess Turkey is one of those places you cannot live in without making the effort of learning the language first of all (don’t think there is a place you can live as an expat without giving it a try). I would say, that like any other experience in life you need to take it all in and be ready to “live it” and “go for it”. Mix with people, communicate (not just a language matter) and be ready to get to know differents sides of yourself as well as others, that you did not expect!
What did you enjoy most about Turkey?
Was it easy to make friends in Turkey? Were your friends mostly expats or local people?
Yes, very easy! Expats, I guess and even the locals I know I’ve met through the expat community mostly with some exceptions.
Did you feel accepted by Turkish people?
Yes sure! It really looks like the “yabanci” (foreigner in Turkish) is special (even too much in some circumstances).
How did you spend your free time in Turkey?
Especially before having a child I was always looking for different things to do. I did visited museums etc. in Istanbul especially, and was lucky to get to go to good concerts as well. But really compared to where I am now, even though it’s a small city, the things Turkey offers are not much in terms exhibitions, cultural events etc. I could see the difference through the years… getting much better I can say.
Generally, how did you feel in Turkey? Did you feel safe?
Very safe even at night time in Istanbul. But this was 6 years ago. At the end, things had changed, unfortunately.
What do you think about the healthcare system in Turkey? Did you have any experiences in hospitals in Turkey?
I did have all good experiences. We had a private insurance so only experiences in the private facilities.
What was your experience with schooling in Turkey?
Again positive but always in private sector.
How did you find a job in Turkey? Were you happy with the salary and co-workers?
I was teaching Italian in a private school part-time in Istanbul. Found job through teacher friend. Not so good experience with co-workers guess I can say for different mentality, but it was a difficult situation for the school as well, so guess people were not very motivated. Although I could share some experience with my husband and he could relate. It is a different approach. Bad salary!
Hope you enjoyed this Interview with an Italian expat in Turkey and her experiences and tips on having a great expat experience in Turkey. Did you find out something that might be helpful for you?
Are there some questions you would like to hear answers to? Would you like to participate in the Expat Interviews? Go here for more details.
Share it in the comments below and I’ll be happy to include those questions in the Expat Interviews.