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Izmir >

An Expat Talks about Living in Izmir, Turkey

What is the name of the city or town that you are reporting on?

Izmir

How long have you lived there?

5 months

What activities, clubs and organizations would you recommend to newcomers to help them meet others?

There's the Izmir Turkish American Association which has various activities for Turks and Americans and some of them are free and for others there's a fee. They do things such as go on outings to historical sites, cooking classes, English lessons, poetry club and movie nights, just to name a few.

Also, there's the IWAI (International Women's Association of Izmir), which hosts coffee mornings, dinners, and other events.

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In terms of religious, racial, economic and cultural diversity, are the people of this city or town diverse? Are they accepting of differences? Describe.

The city receives a lot of tourists from all over especially in the summer so I think people have to be aware of differences and somewhat accepting. There are expats and retirees from abroad living here too, so that makes it diverse a little. The city is modern and has a cosmopolitan feel. You certainly don't feel like you're in a Turkish village somewhere in Anatolia!

What are the main industries in this city? What types of career opportunities commonly exist? How do most people find new jobs?

Teaching English at various language schools, private schools, or universities is an option. There are employees of NATO here. And there are people who work for foreign companies.

In general, what are peoples' priorities in this city? For example, do lives revolve around work, family, socializing, sports, etc.?

In my opinion people focus mainly on work and family (with family comes the socializing). My strata is mainly with folks in their 30's and 40's and so they work (life requires it) and then want to spend time with their family and friends. Many Turks work long hours unfortunately so when they have free time they want to socialize. I'm not sure about the college folks etc. They probably have a whole different scene.

If a friend of yours was thinking of moving to this city or town from far away, what other advice would you give them.

If a friend of mine was thinking of moving here I would be delighted! I think it's a great city. I would advise them to learn some Turkish beforehand (it'll make things a little smoother) and not to forget their winter stuff (even though Izmir is on the Aegean and has hot summers it gets cold here in the winter).

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