Ankara - Post Report Question and Answers

What is the availability of international schools? What has been your general experience with them, if any?

Several international schools, people are pretty happy. French, US, UK and German systems all available. - Nov 2023

I can only speak for middle and high school aged children. I will start off by saying, if you have older children, and because of the school options, consider your assignment choice carefully and if you choose to come, manage your expectations. The DOD school is small. 182 from k-12 at last count (with the older grades being the smallest). State Department and military families can attend, along with other children whose native tongue is not English (I think NATO families, but I am not sure). The teachers cannot bring spouses or families and the morale (right now at least) among teachers seems to be very low. In my opinion, the current administration is rigid and unwilling to listen to students or parents with their concerns. There are only a few extracurriculars and sports which makes it hard to beef up your student's Common App for college. Oasis International School is another choice. A lot of DOD students have switched to Oasis since we have been here. I am not sure about the curriculum, morale, etc. BLIS is another choice, and it is supposedly a bilingual school. However, I have heard it is hard to fit in with the other students if you do not speak Turkish. I have heard good things about the British School, but there is a waiting list and it only goes up to grade 8. - Jan 2023

There are several schools families send their kids to. DoDEA--Ankara Elementary High School--the DoD school on base. Serves K-12. One class per grade in elementary. HS graduating class this year is 4 I believe. Has a mix of American and foreign kids with a large ELL population. Has a speech therapist, who I believe is also the special education teacher. Minor special ed services. Follows US holidays, not Turkish ones. Oasis--an International school following an American Christian curriculum. Park Oran is closest housing to it, other housing a bit farther. British School--BESA--up through about 8th grade. Long wait list and recommended you apply very early and have a back-up plan. Not uncommon for one child to be accepted and sibling not to be. Sometimes spots open midyear and kids transfer in. Has probably the best reputation for academics. School year is about mid Sept-July I think. Bilkent/BLIS--International school with a majority of Turks attending. In both Turkish and English. Currently I only know one Embassy family with kids there, but they love it. - Nov 2021

There is no American school, but there are several English-language, private international schools available, as well as a DoD school. People seem pretty happy with the education opportunities. - Sep 2020

There are several school options. Many folks looking for a more traditional U.S. school experience place their children in the DoDEA school on the grounds of Balgat AFB. The school welcomes students from NATO and NATO PFP countries, so it has a diverse student body. Teachers and administrators were generally excellent. Oasis, which migrated to new, larger facility recently, was also a popular choice. Bilkent and the British school were other options. - Oct 2018

Four main schools: BLIS, DODEA, DODEA is a typical DOD school, and BLIS is a PK-12 school created by Bilkent University. OASIS is a Christian school with a US curriculum, DODEA is a typical DOD school, and BLIS is a PK-12 school created by Bilkent University. BLIS has gone down hill for expats, as the school seems to be 95% wealthy Turkish kids, and even though it is an IB school and English immersion, the kids do not seem to learn English as well as they should. The administration also does not seem to be great, especially for PK-K, which is horrible in my opinion. - Sep 2018

No one seems to be happy with the schools here. There are many options, but I see people swapping to a new school after their first year to go to another school. Please be aware that Oasis is a Christian school. It was not clear from their website or any of the material from the CLO. We were pleasantly surprised when we enrolled and were informed. I would hate for a family that did not know to unwittingly go through that process without all the facts. - Jul 2018

Excellent. BESA is great, and Oasis and the DOD school are solid options as well. Oasis just expanded to a new location south of the city near Oran. The DOD school I've heard is better for high school with all the AP classes and such, and worse at lower levels as they have to do lots of TEFL for the foreign students. - Oct 2017

Lots of international school options. People here appear to be happy with them. I don't have any direct experience. - Sep 2017

There are a lot of good international schools. The people with kids seem happy. - Jun 2017

Very good. We have two young children at the British school and could not be happier. Many friends have children at the DoDDs school and have generally positive feedback. Less positive on BLIS. And many kids were at Oasis until they moved to a new location that is quite far away from most Embassy housing. - Sep 2016

The Department of Defense (DOD) school is the best option for older kids. The British Embassy School of Ankara (BESA) goes till middle school only and has a wait list. The others claim to be international but really are Turkish schools.

The DOD school is very badly run, not organized and teachers are so-so. - Jun 2016

Four schools that I am aware of: BESA, the British embassy School Association located on the grounds of the British Embassy had an excellent IB/PYP program for reception to Year 8 (7th grade), and is by far the most secure and safe school with a park-like environment. BLIS is the Bilkent Laboratory International School and is an international school in the Turkish system with a native English speaker director and teachers and is located a good distance from the center of town, but transportation is provided by the Embassy or school. Oasis is a Christian missionary school offering K-12 education and has an excellent reputation. The DoDDS George C. Marshall School is located on the American Support Facility and has a U.S.-based curriculum. - Aug 2015

DoDDS school is easy to get into. Oasis is a good school and should have no problems registering. Bilkemt requires testing. The British school has a waiting list so register early. - Jun 2015

British, German, French, US Dept of Defense, and Turkish private schools affiliated with private universities. - Apr 2015

There are a few schools: the DoDDS school (formerly George C. Marshall, now Ankara ES/HS), the British Embassy School of Ankara (BESA) which only goes up to year 8 (7th grade), Oasis School, and BLISS which follows an IB program. One child graduated from DoDDS and it was a good enough fit. One child we moved mid-year to the British School and cannot praise BESA enough for what is offers and how it motivates and encourages its students. - Feb 2015

No personal experience with this but hear that people are generally happy with the options -- British School, private schools affiliated with universities, Department of Defense school, etc. - Jun 2014

Many schools available with varied curriculums. Our children go to Oasis which runs the U.S.-led curriculum. We are very happy with the school. The teachers are always making sure they fulfill their assignments, communication flows well and targets are accurately assigned. Contrary to other surveys, the school is not that religious nor do they persecute non-religious folks such as us. They have bible study which is optional and it has very broad subjects mostly related to character traits. The school was very receptive to criticism about its security and has upgraded its system. More security guards and surveillance systems were added this year. Our children were made to feel at home from the moment we arrived. - Apr 2014

The DoD school is small and the teachers for the most part are great, lots of international children. Bilkent says they are International but it is run on the Turkish system and 90% of students are Turks that are wealthy. Bullying has been a problem there. Oasis is a religious school and even if they tell you they are not and your children can opt out of prayers etc.. they will be persecuted by staff and students. The British School is great for kids under 5th grade. - Mar 2014

Schools seem ok. DODDS and Oasis run the U.S. curriculum, the other are IB schools. For mild special needs, people go to Oasis. - Mar 2014

There are 4 international schools in Ankara: DoDDs, Oasis, BLIS, Bilkent. All are regarded as good. DoDDs is on what remains of the American base in Ankara. It is a U.S. format elementary through high school. All of the other schools are IB, I believe. Many embassy personnel prefer DoDDs, because it is much more secure than the others, however they do not take any kids with learning disabilities. Families with one or more children with special needs all go to Oasis. However, Oasis' security is not very good, although they are considering improving it. - Jul 2013

Most people within the mission send their kids to the DODDS school. It gets ok reviews. - Aug 2011

I heard the schools are good here. There is a DOD school here as well - Jul 2010

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