This study aims to reveal choice criteria of international students who study at higher education institutions in Turkey while they prefer an abroad university. Participants of the study were 228 international students from 67 countries who study at Gebze Technical University and Kocaeli University. Qualitative research method was used in this study. Data of the research were gathered via an open-ended question, and content analysis procedure was applied to the data. Results revealed that choice criteria of international students during university preference were classified under five themes such as academic, organizational, economic, social, and individual factors. According to results, international students used quality of education, sub-theme of academic factors most, during their university preference. Other important criteria were scholarship opportunities, opportunities provided by the city where the university is situated, reputation of the university and academic staff, department preference, and suggestions of acquaintances.