Although English-speaking countries are still the main destination of international students, several regional hubs have emerged as new destinations for these students. The current incoming international student population suggests that Turkey is one of these newly emerging regional hubs. In particular, students from the Balkans choose Turkey as a destination for study abroad. The aim of this qualitative study was to investigate factors motivating students from Balkan countries to choose Turkey for study abroad and their experiences during their studies in Turkey. The study revealed that socio-cultural proximity seems to be a strong motive behind their choices of study abroad destinations. In addition, economic and academic rationales emerged as secondary and tertiary motives for specifying Turkey as a study abroad destination for students from Balkan countries. The results suggest that compared to traditional destinations for international students, Turkey's international attractiveness in higher education is based on unique rationales.