By Akhtar Jamil
Scholarships are very important for all sort of students. They not only encourage and support students to get higher education, but also give an opportunity to compete and extend their fraternity at international level. As the competition gets more and more tough every year, the applicants must also work harder accordingly and should be smart, creative and attractive too to convince the sponsors. Here I share a summary of the Turkish Government Scholarship, known as YTB (Yurt Dışı Türkler ve Akraba Topluluklar Başkanlığı), to give an overall idea about the scholarship and its process.
The Turkish Government Scholarship (YTB), which was initiated in 2012 under the leadership of President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, is now open for the year 2019 for different levels of studies (Bachelors, Masters, PhD and short-term research). This program has gained a lot of popularity in short period of time. Some of the features of the scholarship include: monthly stipend, manages admission in university on behalf of applicant, provides return flight tickets(one time), opening of bank account, providing tax number, health insurance, accommodation arrangements and also helps you obtain your residence permit after arrival in Turkey. The only thing that you need to do is to come up with some personal stuff that you need such as cash (minimum 200 dollars), clothing etc.
The two main tracks of the program are:
- Fulltime program which include bachelors, master and PhD degrees in various fields.
- Short term Research Scholarship Program (max 12 months)
A general workflow to apply for this scholarship is as below:
- The scholarship opens once a year (currently open: Jan. 15 to Feb. 20 2019)
- The application for the scholarship is made online only (https://tbbs.turkiyeburslari.gov.tr/)
- Select the program, department and the university that you are interested in. This information is available from the website itself.
Generally, the list and ranking of the Turkish universities can be obtained from following link:
- The evaluation will take about three months till (April)
- You will be informed about the scholarship outcome via email (either positive or negative)
- For successful candidates, interviews will be arranged in (April – May)
- Finally in July, the results will be announced and the invitation letters will be send to the candidates and further visa processing can be initiated. Further, the information about accommodation will be shared once you are ready, and then flight tickets will be provided.
Before you apply
Before you apply for the scholarship make sure you check following important items
- Check that you are eligible for the scholarship, which you can do from following page
- Make sure that the deadlines are not over
- Further information you needed to apply for the scholarship is provided on website given below
What matters more?
For undergraduate students, it is straight forward, the better the grades you have the higher the chance of your selection. In my opinion, the initial assessment is highly dependent on academic achievements, followed by some extracurricular activities.
The same rules apply for the post graduate studies. However, for masters and especially for PhD, I highly encourage you to get an acceptance from a supervisor from a Turkish University. Although it is not mandatory, but it will give you advantage during your interview. Also, selection of a research problem, proposed solution and mentioning its benefits will be a.
After Securing Scholarship
After you are selected for the scholarship, you need to get your academic documents verified/attested. Do attest your matric and intermediate certificates from respective boards. For MS or PhD attestation of degrees from HEC and then from foreign office is also required. A detailed email will be sent to you and list of all required documents will also be shared.
All scholarship holder must spend one year learning Turkish language before starting their actual course. You have to achieve (C1 level) in Turkish language to be able to continue your education. This is very important to note that one extra year you will spend learning Turkish language. For example, if you apply for bachelors, you will first spend one year for your Turkish language course, and then four years for your degree. This means you will spend total 5 years to get your bachelors degree. Same is the case for masters and PhD.
Pakistani YTB Alumni
To further assist Pakistan students, an alumni of the Turkish Government Scholarship have also set a group in the Facebook named as Turkey Scholarships (Pakistan Chapter) which can be accessed from the following link. You can get help from those seniors who are currently studying or have studied and know the procedures.
Many of the YTB alumni from Pakistan have started their jobs either in Pakistan or in Turkey. Even I met some of the alumni who have started business in Turkey and some are extending the business relations in Pakistan. The brotherly relations with Turkey, specially the regard from Turkish people to Pakistanis is immense, and makes it feel like at home. I personally feel like I found another family here in Istanbul, the warm welcome, the support from not only friends but also from the professors at universities. It is just amazing.
After the recent visit of PM Imran Khan to Turkey, further steps are being taken to share knowledge and corporate in various fields, this requires many students exchanges between the two countries and YTB is one of them. Many universities and government institutions are eager to strengthen relations with the only Muslim Nuclear country. This could be the step that you can take it to further steps.
It is important to know that academic honesty is very crucial. You should not claim something that you can’t do. Be specific and goal oriented. You know you strengths as well as your weaknesses. To be smart means exploiting your strengths by keeping the weaknesses in the back. I wish you all the best for your future endeavors.