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Cost of living in Istanbul
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chopkins



Joined: 23 Nov 2010
Posts: 5

PostPosted: Wed Jul 18, 2012 5:27 pm    Post subject: Cost of living in Istanbul Reply with quote

Hi there,

I've just been offered 2210TL per month at a language school on the Asian side of Istanbul. It's a little lower than I was aiming for, but I've also read that salaries in Istanbul have been falling. Can someone tell me if this is enough to live comfortably in Istanbul?
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Qaaolchoura



Joined: 10 Oct 2008
Posts: 539
Location: 21 miles from the Syrian border

PostPosted: Wed Jul 18, 2012 6:32 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

How many teaching hours? What's your experience and quals?

With BA + TESOL and one year experience I got a similar offer at 30 teaching hours/week (the exact rate worked out to about 23 lira/hour), which I didn't take. It turned out to be very much the best offer I've had in Turkey.

Regards,
~Q
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Eagle Eyes



Joined: 26 Apr 2012
Posts: 121
Location: Istanbul

PostPosted: Thu Jul 19, 2012 12:07 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Yes it is enough to live on with little savings possible! Surprised
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chopkins



Joined: 23 Nov 2010
Posts: 5

PostPosted: Thu Jul 19, 2012 3:45 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks for the info!

Qaaolchoura, I've also got a BA + CELTA and one years experience. The offer is for 30 hours/week.
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Eagle Eyes



Joined: 26 Apr 2012
Posts: 121
Location: Istanbul

PostPosted: Thu Jul 19, 2012 4:22 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Sweatshop EFL labor at 30 contact teaching hours daily...similar to teaching English at a Hogwan in South Korea. Good luck! Shocked
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Qaaolchoura



Joined: 10 Oct 2008
Posts: 539
Location: 21 miles from the Syrian border

PostPosted: Thu Jul 19, 2012 10:27 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Eagle Eyes wrote:
Sweatshop EFL labor at 30 contact teaching hours daily...similar to teaching English at a Hogwan in South Korea. Good luck! Shocked

Er, there's only 24 hours in a day, Eagle Eyes.

Weren't you just advising someone to take a job at about 6 lira/contact hour?

You can make considerably better money in Korea (I was making 2k USD/month at 25 teaching hours, though my contract stated 30 max), but 1. you'll be in Korea and 2. you'll be teaching the spawn of Satan. (For further details on what I mean, go register on the Korean forum and read some of the complaints there.)

Incidentally, chopkins: I make out your pay rate to be 18.5 lira/hour. Which is on the low side for Istanbul, but still enough to live on if you're frugal. I assume that includes the housing allowance? Is the school helping you find housing?

Also, do you like the school and the people you'd be working with? Will they be getting you a work permit (it's not common in Istanbul, but some schools do)?

~Q
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chopkins



Joined: 23 Nov 2010
Posts: 5

PostPosted: Thu Jul 19, 2012 2:02 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Yes, I do like the school. I've already turned down a couple of other offers because the school sounded sketchy (i.e. the interviewers weren't able to answer basic questions about schedules, resources, etc.)

I gather will arrange a residency permit right away and a work permit if the teacher stays on after the 9-month contract.
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Qaaolchoura



Joined: 10 Oct 2008
Posts: 539
Location: 21 miles from the Syrian border

PostPosted: Thu Jul 19, 2012 2:30 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Then I'd say yes, take the job. Keep in mind that a contract will be worthless without a work permit, so it's a good thing that you trust the school.

~Q
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Shalana



Joined: 08 Oct 2006
Posts: 148
Location: Istanbul

PostPosted: Tue Jul 24, 2012 9:08 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Rents are high in Istanbul. I lived there for 4 years recently and I would say if you want to rent a flat on your own, you probably need to make 2500 tl per month. 2200 tl is doable if you share a flat or your employer provides accomodation or housing allowance. I believe the average language school offers around 16-18 tl per hour. Some offer even less. In my opinion, less than 18 tl per hour would be difficult to live on unless you are willing to teach a lot of hours per week.
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jonniboy



Joined: 18 Jun 2006
Posts: 692
Location: Riga, Latvia

PostPosted: Tue Jul 24, 2012 9:16 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

18TL is just over 8 euro an hour. That doesn't sound much. How much is the rent on average?
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Shalana



Joined: 08 Oct 2006
Posts: 148
Location: Istanbul

PostPosted: Tue Jul 24, 2012 9:27 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

If you're lucky, you can find a one bedroom flat for 750 tl per month. One bedroom flats aren't that common. Studios are also not common and will run around 650 tl per month. If you want a two bedroom, you can expect to pay 1000 to 1200. I lived in a 2 bedroom a year ago. It was 1000 per month and about 90-100 square meters, unfurnished, in Şişli (not far from Taksim). I had a roommate whose bedroom was large. Mine was small. Two years ago, I was in a large three bedroom flat with 2 other people and paid 650 tl per month.

To get a good idea of costs, look at craigslist under flats and under shared accomodation for Turkey to get a better idea. Almost all of the ads are for Istanbul.
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Eagle Eyes



Joined: 26 Apr 2012
Posts: 121
Location: Istanbul

PostPosted: Wed Jul 25, 2012 1:17 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Istanbul is one of the most expensive cities in the world. As an EFL teacher your rent will be at least half your salary (No sharing roomate). Good luck! Surprised
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Shalana



Joined: 08 Oct 2006
Posts: 148
Location: Istanbul

PostPosted: Wed Jul 25, 2012 5:41 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

It really depends. Your rent could be more or less than half your salary. My last job in Istanbul paid $2000 USD per month (private uni). I could have found a flat by myself that was a less than $1000 USD per month, but I wanted to save more money and I didn't want to buy furniture, so I got a roommate.

Rents are high in Istanbul compared to most salaries. I would say entertainment is moderately high. If you know where to shop, you can get food and clothing very cheap. I bought a long sleeve cotton shirt at a pazar for 3.50 tl which is around $1.75 USD. That's cheap. The shirt was good quality and lasted. You do have to shop at the neighborhood pazars though, but most areas have one every month. You can get anything from clothes to shoes to cosmetics and underwear at them for cheap. You want to avoid the shopping mall stores unless they are advertising 50-70% off.

I believe the www.tefl.com site has pretty good cost of living information for different countries.
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Qaaolchoura



Joined: 10 Oct 2008
Posts: 539
Location: 21 miles from the Syrian border

PostPosted: Wed Jul 25, 2012 7:01 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Eagle Eyes wrote:
Istanbul is one of the most expensive cities in the world. As an EFL teacher your rent will be at least half your salary (No sharing roomate). Good luck! Surprised

No, no it's not. Taksim and the old city are a bit pricy where rents are concerned and expensive restaurants cost about the same as a cheap-moderately priced one would in the West, but the rest of the city is dirt-cheap.

That said, if you get a nice unfurnished flat and don't share it'll cost you 500-600 lira, and you'll have to furnish it, and furnished flats, unless you want to share are pretty expensive, since furnished flats aren't something that's commonly done in Turkey, except for foreigners with foreigner prices.

~Q
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Shalana



Joined: 08 Oct 2006
Posts: 148
Location: Istanbul

PostPosted: Wed Jul 25, 2012 7:58 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Correction to my previous post - the neighborhood pazars are weekly, not monthly.

Keep in mind, when it comes to unfurnished flats, generally they are not talking about just "no furniture." They also usually do not have a refigerator, washing machine, or stove/cook top. If it's a new flat (previously unlived in) it may not even have light fixtures.

You can come by furnished flats. Everytime I was flat hunting, I would usually see one or two furnished flats for rent. If a flat is furnished, you will generally pay 100-150 tl more per month for it. I had a furnished flat my first year in Istanbul and now have one in a different city. If you want a furnished flat, check out flats for rent by owner on www.sahibinden.com.
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