Western Balkans

Travelling to and studying in the EU

31/08/2018 - 18:46
Travel to the EU

This page provides information on travelling to and from the EU and Turkey, as well as issues relating to study trips and accessing information about the EU.

The EU has a common visa policy for short stays (up to 3 months), which is applied through the Schengen visa scheme.

Generally, a short-stay visa issued by one of the Schengen countries entitles its holder to travel throughout the 26 Schengen countries for up to 90 days in any 180-day period. Turkey is among the countries for which that visa is required.

Turkish visa policy is largely aligned with the EU policy. However, Turkey’s policy includes third countries whose nationals must be in possession of visas when crossing the external borders (see European Parliament legislative resolution of 2 October 2018). This puts an additional layer of complexity on EU-Turkey relations for harmonisati on of the visa lists. The EU launched the Visa Liberalisation Dialogue with Turkey in December 2013.

Information about visas for travelling into Turkey is available through this Turkish government webpage.

The EU countries have embassies and consulates in Turkey that are responsible for implementing the Community’s Visa rules.

Currently, 24 out of the 26 Schengen countries are directly represented in Turkey through their respective consulates. Iceland is represented only by its Honorary Consulate and Liechtenstein is represented by Switzerland.

Consular offices delivering Schengen visas

  • Ankara: Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Slovenia, Slovakia, Spain and Sweden. NB: Austria, Belgium and Switzerland have transferred their consular office to Istanbul.
  • Istanbul: Austria, Belgium, Czech Republic, Denmark, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Italy, Netherlands, Poland, Slovakia, Spain, Sweden, Malta (only in Istanbul) and Switzerland (only in Istanbul).
  • Izmir: Germany, Greece and Italy.
  • Edirne: Greece.

Every year around 1.5 million students from around the world come to Europe for their higher education – and the numbers are growing every year. Thousands of universities, research centres and institutions of higher education offer world-class study opportunities.

Implemented by the European Commission from 2014 to 2020, the Erasmus+ Programme aims at providing people with new skills, strengthening their personal development and increasing opportunities for employment. More than 4 million people will be able to participate in learning opportunities in Europe and beyond.

Erasmus+  combines all the EU's programmes for education, training, youth and sport, including the Lifelong Learning Programme (Erasmus, Leonardo da Vinci, Comenius, Grundtvig), Youth in Action and five international cooperation programmes (Erasmus Mundus, Tempus, Alfa, Edulink and the programme for cooperation with industrialised countries).

See the Erasmus+ web portal’s Resources section for information about linguistic support, documents for applicants and the management of proposals.

Erasmus+ and its predecessor programmes have been implemented in Turkey since 2004. Every participating country – including Turkey – has a national agency to support applicants and provide information.

The first Turkish students joined the Erasmus+ programme in 2004. Between then and 2015 almost half a million Turkish citizens benefited from Erasmus+ and its predecessors. The total budget allocated to Turkey as part of the programme has exceeded €830 million. Furthermore, the total number of EU citizens that came to study in Turkey with the support of these programmes has exceeded 55 000.

To help inform audiences in Turkey about what the European Union is and how the European Union and Turkey are working together, the EU Delegation has developed a comprehensive information network across the country to serve the information needs of local people.

This network works closely with schools, non-governmental organisations, small and medium sized businesses, universities and political decision makers, as well as directly with the general public to ensure that people have access to up-to-date, accurate information on all EU-related themes.

In addition, a network of EU Information Centres in 20 provinces provide information support through local and regional events on EU policies and programmes, media events and dissemination of information. In universities and research centres, European Documentation Centres (EUi) provide information resources to students and academics on EU related themes.

Numerous EU Corners have been established for the purpose of informing the public about the EU and providing information material. In cooperation with the EU Delegation to Turkey, the EU Information Corners carry out activities in collaboration with EU Information Centres.

Providing additional support is a facility called Team Europe, whereby experts on specific EU subjects can be provided as speakers for conferences and other public speaking events.


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