After the Helsinki Summit (1999) by gaining the status of “candidate countrydestined to join the EU,” Turkey became a participating country in the ERASMUSprogramme in 2004. Since then, more than 120 thousands higher education studentsfrom Turkey have benefited from the. Although this number is relatively low incomparison to other European countries, this exchange schema gains a particularsignificance in the case of Turkey as being nearly the only opportunity forundergraduate students to study abroad. Due to the visa regulations and also financiallimitations, the large majority of participating students would not have been able tohave this international experience without the ERASMUS. Turkey’s longstandingand complicated relationship with the “West” intensifies this particular significance.From the late Ottoman modernization to the guest-worker migration started in the1960, “going abroad (to study/work),” usually connotes “to Europe,” gains a specificsocial meaning almost like a rite of passage.In the lights of this historical and socio-political background, this study aimsto understand how the applicants in Turkey make their decisions to apply for thisexchange schema, what are their expectations and how they narrate this decisionbefore participating. We conducted our research in the case of Middle East TechnicalUniversity (METU) which is a leading university in the field of internationalexchanges since the ERASMUS started as a pilot scheme in 2003. For instance, thenumber of applicants steadily increased from 37 in 2004 to 576 in 2016. Moreover,METU is also one of the principal universities in terms of academic quality and usingEnglish as the language of instruction. In this sense, we assume that students atMETU are more open and willing to have international experience. Within thisframework, a comprehensive online surveyed applied to 700 applicants from thecohort of 2016-2017 and 2017-2018 academic years at METU. We also conductedindividual interviews and organized focus group discussions to enrich our data.
The 3 International Higher Education Studies Conference (11 - 13 Ekim 2018)


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Citation Formats
B. C. Zırh, “MOTIVATIONS OF HIGHER EDUCATION STUDENTS IN TURKEY FOR PARTICIPATING IN THE ERASMUS PROGRAMME,” presented at the The 3 International Higher Education Studies Conference (11 - 13 Ekim 2018), Kayseri, Türkiye, 2018, Accessed: 00, 2021. [Online]. Available: