Where we work / Turkey

The blend of both a modern culture and deeply rich traditions makes Turkey one of the most fascinating countries to live in.

Turkey

Literally and symbolically, Turkey is the country where “East meets West” because it is divided between Europe and Asia by a bridge that runs through Istanbul. Our teachers in Turkey experience a rewarding lifestyle where they build bridges of friendship with their students and colleagues on university campuses.

The work that we’ve been privileged to be a part of in Turkey is varied. We typically work on university campuses, but we have also seen opportunities to work with the refugee community and have even worked with corporate executives and other professionals needing to improve their English.

frequently asked

questions

Job description

Which city is the new role in?

Ankara

What's our history with this school?

We have worked with Bilkent University since 2015, TOBB University since 2016, and  TED University since 2017.

List duties and responsibilities of the role.

The new role is as an English Prep Department Instructor.

Describe weekly work schedule and hours for the role?

The role will be roughly 20 hours per week.

What class subjects will the teacher be teaching? Are there opportunities to teach something other than English?

The students are being prepared for the English proficiency exam with the curriculum provided by the universities.

How many students will the teacher have? How many different classes?

Class size varies, but usually around 25 students. The classes are usually in 4-hour blocks.

What is the student demographic?

The students have usually just graduated from high school and must pass the English proficiency exam in order to go on to their departments.

How much classroom prep time is required/expected each week?

Teachers can usually expect to have about 10 hours of prep time per week.

Will the teacher have an office on campus? Will the teacher be expected to hold office hours?

Yes, all the universities have offices for their instructors, and they are expected to have regular office hours.

How many teachers are already placed at this school?

Currently, there are 4 teachers, this is historically a fairly standard number.

How will the new teacher engage with non-ELIC faculty & teachers at this school?

All the instructors are assigned units within the English Prep Departments and have the opportunity to engage with other teachers.

What are the bare minimum degree requirements needed by a new teacher in this role?

According to recent YÖK regulations, native speakers must have a major in linguistics, literature, comparative literature, teaching, or educational sciences.

If they have a major in a different field yet, they must hold a CELTA, DELTA, or TEFL/TESOL certification and have preferably 2-years of teaching experience from an internationally recognized institution.

Therefore, unless the candidate has graduated from a language-related department, it would be essential for them to have a master’s degree or CELTA/DELTA/TEFL/TESOL.

What are the ideal degree requirements needed by a new teacher in this role?

Master’s degree would be preferred.

What are the experience or resume qualifications needed by a new teacher in this role? Is prior teaching experience necessary?

Two years is preferred.

Are there age restrictions for a new teacher?

Usually, they prefer instructors in their 20s – 30s.

What's something the new teacher will learn after their first week in the classroom that will encourage them as they move forward?

All the universities have an in-depth orientation for new teachers, so they can be encouraged that they will have a solid foundation of knowledge, both culturally and in daily life, to begin their adventure!

What's something the new teacher will learn after their first week in the classroom that will be a challenge for them as they move forward?

There can be a steep learning curve with regards to what the teaching process will be. Fortunately, all the universities have professional development departments to help their instructors grow and mature in their teaching skills.

Any additional helpful points of the job opening?
Check out the websites of our partner institutions.
Which city is the new role in?

Ankara

What's our history with this school?

Bilkent University 2015, TOBB University 2016, TED University 2017

List duties and responsibilities of the role.

English Prep Dept Instructor

Describe weekly work schedule and hours for the role?

Usually, 20 hours per week.

What class subjects will the teacher be teaching? Are there opportunities to teach something other than English?

The universities provide the curriculum, and the students are being prepared for the English proficiency exam.

How many students will the teacher have? How many different classes?

Class size varies, but usually around 25 students. The classes are usually in 4-hour blocks.

What is the student demographic?

The students have usually just graduated from high school and must pass the English proficiency exam in order to go on to their departments.

How much classroom prep time is required/expected each week?

Usually about 10 hours of prep time per week.

Will the teacher have an office on campus? Will the teacher be expected to hold office hours?

Yes, all the universities have offices for their instructors, and they do have regular office hours.

How many teachers are already placed at this school?

The history is 4.

How will the new teacher engage with non-ELIC faculty & teachers at this school?

All the instructors are assigned units within the English Prep Departments and have the opportunity to engage with other teachers.

What are the bare minimum degree requirements needed by a new teacher in this role?

According to recent YÖK regulations, native speakers must have a major in linguistics, literature, comparative literature, teaching, or educational sciences.

If they have a major in a different field yet, they must hold a CELTA, DELTA, or TEFL/TESOL certification and have preferably 2-years of teaching experience from an internationally recognized institution.

Therefore, unless the candidate has graduated from a language-related department, it would be essential for them to have a master’s degree or CELTA/DELTA/TEFL/TESOL.

What are the ideal degree requirements needed by a new teacher in this role?

MAs would be preferred.

What are the experience or resume qualifications needed by a new teacher in this role? Is prior teaching experience necessary?

Two years is preferred.

Are there age restrictions for a new teacher?

Usually, they prefer instructors in their 20s – 30s.

What's something the new teacher will learn after their first week in the classroom that will encourage them as they move forward?

All the universities have an in-depth orientation for new teachers. 

What's something the new teacher will learn after their first week in the classroom that will be a challenge for them as they move forward?

All the universities have professional development departments to help their instructors grow and mature in their teaching skills.

Any additional helpful points of the job opening?
Check out the websites of our partner institutions.

Team Dynamics

What is the current team size and team demographic in Turkey?

At Bilkent, we currently have a team of five teachers.

Who are the current team leaders and/or what is the current leadership structure in Turkey?

Blake is the current team leader and Kay is the Country Director.

Where are some of the team members from in the US or Canada? Hometowns? Alma maters?

All are from the US, except for Scott’s new wife, who is Iraqi.

How often do you see your teammates each week in formal team meetings?

Our most common rhythm is two team meetings per week, once for dinner and once for devotions. Additionally, there are intentional one-on-one’s each week.

What do formal team meetings entail? What's the takeaway? Why do you meet? What's the value of formal team time?

Team meetings are often prayer meetings and social gatherings on the off weeks.

How often do you see your teammates each week informally just for fun? And what do you do together?

Team time is so helpful to be face to face to hear how people are doing and to have a spiritual health check. These times have singing, time in the Word, affirmation of our core values, updates on CR, intentional team building, and valuing each member’s different gifts. We cast a vision for the year and make sure we are still on track as a team and individually for the goals we have set. We discuss any problems either academically or just doing life. We eat together, pray together and play together. We are spread out in Ankara at three different universities. However, the team is intentional about seeing each other weekly, usually sharing a meal or meeting for coffee.

Share a fun team story

As team members do life together, deeper friendships develop. There is always great rejoicing over seeing answered prayers and the privilege of having meaningful conversations. We have all been rejoicing with the new marriage of Scott!

Share a challenging team story.

Making a commitment to do healthy team life together, there will be misunderstandings and a need for reconciliation. Being willing, to be honest with each other, and willing to accept helpful criticism is essential to building a strong team. So considering each other as more important is a critical ingredient for team life.

Our commitment is to be teachers pursuing academic excellence and building a healthy team to reflect our beliefs. Seeing people from different backgrounds, ages, and with different gifts, being transformed to accept and love each other has been the most meaningful to everyone. Having a radical love and acceptance for each other does not happen overnight, but happens intentionally over time. Making mistakes and asking for forgiveness and continuing the journey together is what has brought us all the greatest joy this year.

City & everyday life

How long have we been in Turkey?

Since Fall 2015

What does the first week in Turkey typically look like for new teachers? How do they get their lives "started"?

All the universities have in-depth orientation programs and the Pinnacle team has a Fall kickoff weekend. Bilkent offers housing, but if placed at another university, you’ll need to invest in setting up your new apartment.

What does housing look like in Turkey? How far away are housing options from the school? From their teammates?

Bilkent offers housing, but the other universities do not. We try to help the new teachers find housing near their universities and other ELIC teachers.

What is the local currency in Turkey? Do people typically carry cash? Credit cards?

Both Turkish Lira and credit cards or ATM cards are used regularly.

How do people generally travel to their school? What is public transportation like in Turkey?

Public transportation is very good, there are buses and Metro. Also, taxis are easy to use in Ankara.

What is Turkey culturally known for? Where are fun spots to take new visitors?

Ankara is the capital of Turkey and the seat of the government. So in some ways, Istanbul is more like New York City and Ankara is more like Washington, DC. Ankara also has lots of universities.

 

What does shopping for food look like in Turkey? Do people usually eat out? Cook for themselves? Share meals with teammates?

Turkey is known for good food! The food is not very expensive, and because there are so many students in Ankara, there are plenty of places to eat well very economically. So there are lots of delicious restaurants and cafes. Also, people like to cook at home and invite friends over for meals. Once you get a bit of Turkish, you can easily go food shopping, and there are many fresh fruit and vegetable places.

What do meals look like during school hours? Do teachers share meals with students?

The universities provide the teachers with meal cards, and they eat their lunch on campus.

Due to Covid, there was a period of time when everyone was teaching from home and having their meals at home.

What local dish is Turkey known for?

All kinds of meat dishes, but especially kebabs!

Does Turkey have any western chain stores or restaurants?

Many! KFC, TGIF, Burger King, McDonald’s, Subway, Arby’s, lots of US pizza chains, Starbucks, Cafe Nero, etc.

What's your favorite thing to do as a team in Turkey? What do people do for fun or during downtime?

The team likes to meet and eat together. There are many good parks in Ankara for picnics. They also like bowling and ice skating in the winter. There are many historical places to travel to see in Turkey, as well.

How do people exercise in Turkey?

There are gyms and people walk and jog in local parks.

How do people spend their weekends? Are there cities nearby that people typically visit for a weekend away?

Yes, weekend get-aways are good.  Nearly 60% of the names of Biblical places are in Turkey.  From Antioch to Ephesus, Turkey is a land rich in history and full of sacred and religious places.

What's your favorite coffee shop and/or restaurant in Turkey? Why?

There are so many boutique coffee shops to choose from. Coffee Lab and Federal Coffee are excellent.

What will a new teacher be surprised to have learned after their first 60 days in Turkey?

It is surprising how friendly the Turkish people are and how helpful the Turkish colleauges are for new teachers. 

Family & growth

How do people generally work with Member Care Specialists in Turkey?

We don’t have MC Specialists in Ankara. So the MCS arrange times for Zoom calls and now that the Covid travel restrictions are being lifted there will be face-to-face meetings again.

What does ongoing personal/spiritual development look like in Turkey?

Each Fall during team orientation, team goals and individual goals for personal and spiritual development are set. As a team, we help hold each other accountable for their goals. Check ins are done for accountability during the year.

What does ongoing professional development look like?

Since each university has its own Professional Development units, the teachers are required to fulfill these at their universities. We address any areas they feel need improvement.

Are any current teachers in Turkey continuing their education through our various MA opportunities? If so, what degree(s) are they pursuing?

Blake is finishing a Second Language Acquisition MA at TED University.

Is language study available in Turkey? If so, what does that process look like for new teachers?

Bilkent University offers Turkish lessons for the new teachers, but usually, language learning has been from private tutors.

Are there any families with children in Turkey? If so, how many children are on the team? What is the age range (oldest and youngest)?

Only 1 newly married couple in Ankara.

What's it like to raise a family in Turkey?

Ankara is a wonderful city to raise a family. Of course, there are challenges to living in a foreign country, but Turkish people love children and take good care of them.

What schooling options are available for ELIC families with children?

It depends if the parents want the children in the Turkish school system or private schools. Bilkent University has a K-12.

What roles do non-teaching spouses typically play in Turkey?

Non-teaching spouses are an active member of the team life and take part in all activities, while also sometimes organizing get togethers and meet-ups.