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Moving From Chicago To Turkey


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I will be getting married (to a man who is a Turkish citizen) and moving my daughter and I to Mersin Turkey. I am looking for any suggestions or advise as it pertains to education. My daughter will be 8 years old and I am researching schools in Mersin. Does anyone have any suggestions that could help in my search? I have already been to Turkey and done some research while I was there. Both my daughter and I are currently only English speaking. Thanks!

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I replied to your other post. I would just add, leave yourself the opportunity to return to the States if you or your daughter don't like living in Turkey.

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  • 2 weeks later...

Hi AliBecca,I have lived in Mersin before and am currently building a new home with the intention of moving back there next year. I am from Sydney and married to a turkish guy that I met in Bodrum.

I have had the exact same questions as you regarding getting my 10 year old daughter ready for a very large change in lifestyle. My daughter really has no turkish at all (either do I) so we intend on going over next year (May) for the school holidays June - August. During that period I have arranged for a teacher to spend every day with her 9-3 to get her turkish up to an acceptable level. Re: schools. I have had a really good look at the options. I dont know where you will be located but there are some great (albeit expensive) private schools. Many of them teach in english too which is pretty amazing however I have decided to go down a different road and I will book my daughter in a good turkish private school that teaches in turkish. If you want the name let me know.

My daughter is really excited about going - we dont have much family left in Australia so we dont really have anything holding us back. I, though, honestly, am a little concerned with the unease in the turkish area at the moment with Syria, Iran, etc. But as my husband said they are not going to bomb Karaduvar are they??? True but . . .

Getting onto FB I have found heaps of great groups on Mersin which has been helpful (already found a gym that does zumba lol). Can you imagine!

Dont know about the expat situation in Mersin though. I did have an aussie friend that lived there but he is back in Perth now. I guess I will sus this out more once we get over there (At least I will know you :)) We are also bring our dog and cat over (to the humour of the family). Im really looking forward to getting over there - cant wait for the building work to finish but it seems to be dragging on forever!

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I am glad to know someone that will be there when we get there. I have arranged for the same tutoring for my daughter. I was planning to go down the same road as you and have my daughter in a turkish private school. Which ones are you looking at? I really like Toros School. It is a private school but ranks very high on there standardized tests scores used to track which schools are teaching their students what they need to learn. I am excited about moving there and so is my daughter. I am on facebook, so you should look me up and we can chat etc. I am Ali Gaus Pedersen. Where is the Zumba class there????

I look forward to chatting with you and having a friend there!

Ali

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I think it is really important to take time over choosing a school. Visiting the school at least once when the school is open and has students inside is essential. During a visit it is a good idea to:Ask to see round the whole school and watch part of a lesson.

Meet at least one teacher who may be teaching your child.

Ask to be put in contact with other parents in the same situation as you.

Generally get a feel for the school- spend some time outside the school before and after the visit looking at how the place looks, what the atmosphere is.

Is there complete silence, or can you hear the sound of productive classroom activity?

How do the children move between lessons? Are they calm or wild? Are they polite to visitors?

Focus on people, not the fabric of the school, all that glisters is not gold.

Visit at least one other school to compare them, preferably visit more.

Test and exam results are not good indicators of how well all the children in the school are educated. For private schools they are usually quoted as average scores for all the pupils- that includes scholarship students who have been attracted to the school on a free place. A better indication is average score of students who are paying the full fee, but private schools never publish those statistics.

Good luck with your big decision.

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I am in west Mersin I will have to ask my wife about suitable schools in Mersin, it would help to know how old your daughter is.

What part of Mersin are you moving to?

Coming in July 2013 you will just miss the XVIIth Mediterranean Games that will be held in Mersin from June 20-30.

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Hi alibecca i have spent some time in mersin a very long time ago but i would imagine some things are still the same.

I remember going to a huge swimming pool there which was newly built and very nice.if my memory serves me the kiz kalesi is a castle that was built out in the sea and thats a nice place to go.

Adana is approx 1 hour away and you can grab the famous adana kebab Posted Image im sure your daughter will fit in fine at school as children can be very adaptable.good luck with your move

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There has been a lot of new development in in Mersin. The new marina was finished last year,natural gas pipes are being installed through a lot of the city and the main roads are being improved. Mersin will host the XVIIth Mediterranean Games in June 2013.

Here is the video that was made to promote the cities bid for the games:

Some pictures of the Mersin Forum shopping centre that was finished in 2005:

http://www.skyscrapercity.com/showthread.php?t=627014

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  • 1 month later...

Hi, we are from America and live in Mersin. We enrolled our son at a private Turkish school here in the city. It took him about a year to learn Turkish enough to do okay in his subjects and his Turkish is pretty good now (in his third year), so he is at the top in math and science in his class. The social studies and Turkish language classes are a little more intense language-wise, so he is still improving in those. He's probably average with the rest of the class.

The teachers and administration at his school have been very helpful to him and have given him every chance to succeed. I am so grateful to them.

The English here is for second language learners, so we are getting a private tutor to teach him a more advanced English so that he can keep up and apply to American universities when he is older. We tried the Toros private school and it is a great school with a really good principal who speaks good English. However, we found that the kids there were not used to foreigners and it created many problems for our son. Bahçeşehir is a good school for foreigners and so is Tedd, but they are more expensive.

I wish you the best in Mersin!

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  • 2 weeks later...

We have decided to slow down on our move to Mersin. Our house will be finished mid next year - we are going to go over for 3 months where my daughter will take turkish lessons 9-3 Monday - Friday. After the 3 months we will see how she coped. If all goes well we will move over 2014 now I think. So much to do. I found the TED school - wow looks excellent. Anyone know the annual fees? Probably up there with the American school. I budgeted Tk10K a year for school - dont really want to go much higher than that (wouldnt pay more in Australia!). Couldnt find Bahcesehir school. Does anyone have a link?

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  • 8 months later...

I have also looked at schools in Mersin but opted for Izmir instead - fortunately we can choose where we live.

There is an American college in Tarsus which is incredibly expensive and not too far from Mersin - it also has a boarding (Live in) option.

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Fil gave us all some really good advice. Asking forum members for really good schools is a very subjective thing and it is good for starters, where to start looking. That being said, you should visit a potential school during play time and class time unannounced. I "taught" (using the word carefully) in an elementary school for a year and it was a horrible experience. Kids ran the school, it was out of control in the classroom, the few good students were bored out of their minds because teachers, both foreign and Turkish, had their hands full just getting the others to stay put, be quiet or whatever.

Others have probably had good teaching experiences so listen to what they have to say. Visiting a school and getting a good initial feeling from the kids and the environment is essential. Once you decide on a school, regularly follow up with your child, listen to her carefully, this is essential as ultimately she will tell you what is good and not about the place. Regular unannounced visits to the school will tell you the real deal. Sitting in a classroom while a lesson is going on can tell you some things but kids tend to be on their best behaviour when a parent is visiting. Try to observe when the teachers and the students do not know you are watching. Don't just observe and visit your daughter's classroom, visit others as well.

All school headmasters, especially at private schools, will be friendly, courteous (another cup of tea?), and willing to "show you around." When the headmaster makes the rounds with a potential parent, the children are always well-behaved, but not necessarily so out of the sight of the headmaster. Try to meet some of the teachers individually, take a very active interest in your child's education and let her teachers and the administration know that you will become a very familiar face in the school. If they do not like that, then I would find another school. Never relax your diligence.

Take an active interest, know what your child is reading both at school and recreationally, what does she do on the Internet? Do you talk to her about what she learns? Never forget that you, the parent, are probably the single most important element in the education of your child. Encouraging reading, asking questions, trying to teacher her how to think, how to research, etc. are things you have to actively do with your child.

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