Perceptions of International Students of Nevşehir Haci Bektaş Veli University towards Turkish Culture, Language and Education System

The aim of this study is to determine the perceptions of international students studying at Nevşehir Hacı Bektaş Veli University towards Turkish culture, Turkish language and education system before and after their arrival in Turkey. In line with this purpose, an interview form was prepared with questions based on environmental factors, language and educational information by including the cultural values, interaction, communication, acculturation strategies and adaptations of the society in which international students live. In order to collect the research data, face-to-face interviews were conducted with the students using the interview form developed by the researcher and the data obtained were recorded both in written and audio form. The sample of the study consisted of 40 international students of various ages, genders and educational levels. In the study, which was prepared using qualitative research method, the data obtained from the interview forms were analyzed using content analysis. Based on the findings of the study, among the preferences of international students to study in Turkey are the quality and recognition of education in Turkey. It was determined that the most important factors affecting students' experiences of the city they live in are understanding Turkish and being exposed to racism/discrimination. While cultural structures such as food, weddings and hospitality were evaluated positively, the difference in worship habits during religious festivals and the celebration of international holidays differently than usual or expected were cited as negative opinions. In terms of education, the presence of libraries, congresses, life and sports centers were evaluated positively in socio-cultural and academic terms, while the multiple-choice (test) examination system and course contents were evaluated negatively. It is expected that the data obtained from the research will be used as a concrete resource in the creation of projects and investments that can be developed to improve the perception/image of Turkish culture and language of international students both in our country and those who are considering undergraduate or graduate education in our country in the future.

Anahtar Kelimeler

International students, Turkish, culture, perception, cultural values