Founded in 1876, the Üsküdar American Academy (UAA) is one of the oldest and most prestigious schools in Turkey. Entrance to the school requires top scores in the nationally administered high school entrance exam. Graduates of the school are consistently among the most successful in the university entrance exam, going on to attend the best universities in the country and abroad. The curriculum of UAA is designed to foster morally upstanding and free-thinking individuals who have strong critical thinking abilities.
From a teacher’s perspective, because UAA only accepts top performing students, teaching is a pleasure. Students work hard, have high levels of intelligence and integrity, and are provided with a unique and broad Anglo-based education. Students come to school prepared to learn, are “on task,” and expect much from their teachers.
Last year, 140 UAA graduates took the university entrance exam. Of the 1.5 million students who sat the exam that year, three UAA graduates ranked in the top 100 and 28 ranked in the top 1,000 students. Each year, approximately 40 percent of the school’s graduates continue their education in overseas universities. This year UAA students were accepted to and received scholarships from distinguished universities including Oxford, Yale, Princeton, Harvard and UPenn. The most preferred faculties for their further education are Engineering, Law and Medicine.
One of the factors setting UAA apart from other schools is the democratic, supportive and collaborative environment it creates in order to motivate free-thinking students to learn. Students are encouraged to take the initiative, assume responsibility, and take an active role in the decision-making process in school.
Students at UAA are expected to give as much importance to social activities as they do to their academic studies. UAA believes that the social, cultural and intellectual development of students is very important, so numerous club activities are conducted in both Turkish and English both during and after school hours. In addition, the school has an important tradition of social service activities, which are viewed as a natural part of school life. For example, this year our prep students gave online tutoring to 8th grade students at a sister school, with the aim of increasing the acceptance of these students to Anatolian and vocational high schools. Some other students at UAA work with students from other sister schools, both at the elementary and middle-school level, in the areas of English, drama, music and drawing. Every year hundreds of our students undertake responsibilities in many such projects.
One of the other key features of UAA is the life-long connection that our graduates feel toward one another and toward the school, as well as the support they give to both.
Teaching jobs in Istanbul provide teachers a unique opportunity to live and work at the intersection of Europe and Asia.
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