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Living in Izmir?

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Izmir at a Glance

Living in Izmir

Located in the western region of Anatolia, Izmir is the third largest city in Turkey. Its Levantine, Greek, Armenian, and Jewish cultural heritage makes Izmir distinct from the other Turkish cities. Check out the InterNations Expat Guide for more information about living in Izmir.

Healthcare in Izmir

Expatriates living in Izmir will have access to the Turkish public healthcare system after one year of residency, provided that they are paying the required contributions towards their national health insurance scheme.

Whilst the public healthcare system in Izmir is adequate, many expatriates prefer to use the private healthcare system, and take out private medical insurance to cover the costs. This is mainly due to the fact that many doctors and other medical professionals in the public healthcare system do not speak English, whereas it is more commonly spoken by private medical staff.

There are a number of private hospitals that would be suitable for expats living in Izmir, including Özel Deniz Hastanesi, Özel Tınaztepe Hastanesi, and BatıAnadolu Central Hospital.

Education in Izmir

The children of expats living in Izmir will be allowed to attend a Turkish public school. However, as classes are taught in Turkish and the standard is not of the same quality as many other European nations, many foreigners living in Izmir tend to send their children to a private international school.

International schools usually follow an English, American or international curriculum, and lessons are taught in English. The main international school in Izmir is the MEF International School Izmir, to which many expats send their children.

Izmir has eight universities, and two more are located in nearby regions. The oldest, Ionian University, was founded in 1920, and continues to be the best regarded in the city; others include Ege University, Dokuz Eylül University, and İzmir University of Economics.

Transportation in Izmir

Expatriates living in Izmir will be able to use the driving license from their home country, as long as it is accompanied by a notarized Turkish translation or an international drivers permit. As a major city, Izmir has a good road infrastructure, but the same cannot be said of rural areas in the surrounding regions, so expatriates are advised to take care on the roads.

Due to the fact that traffic jams are commonplace and that petrol is very expensive, many expatriates living in Izmir choose to use the public transport system instead of driving. Izmir has an extensive bus system that is inexpensive and convenient.

The city is currently constructing a Rapid Transit metro system using the lines of a now defunct train system. There are intercity trains that run out of Alsancak Terminal, as well as a large commuter network that carries over 10,000 people each day to and from the city.

InterNations Expat Magazine