Study in Slovakia

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About

Slovakia is among the most affordable study abroad destinations in Europe. There are several reasons beyond affordability why students choose to get higher degrees from this country located in the heart of Europe. Slovakia is a part of the Bologna Agreement, so all degrees awarded here are regarded greatly across all other European countries.

Universities in Slovakia offer master’s and doctoral level programs in the English language. This attracts many people whose native or second language is English. In most universities, there is also no compulsion of requiring a language proficiency proof in the official language of Slovakia.

While in Slovakia, you will also be free to explore the stunning European natural destinations. The country is home to many extravagant castles and chateaus, natural hot water springs, a lot of caves, and mountains. The architecture, cuisine, and culture of the country will make you fall in love with it.
In terms of academics, you will be expected to meet high research standards, no matter what your degree level is. For people who are afraid of overwhelming themselves with the prospect of studying in an entirely new country, the country offers Preparatory Programs. The duration of these programs is six months to twelve months and the language of instruction is English. This will adequately prepare the students for what will come ahead if they p

What’s more? The living cost in Slovakia is insanely affordable for a European country. A student will easily be able to afford the basic necessities with a limited income. It also allows students to bring their families with them for the duration of their study program. There is so much more about this wonderful country and its education that you should know, including –

● What are the top universities in Slovakia that I can study in?
● Can I get scholarships in Slovakian universities?
● What is the visa procedure for Slovakia?
● Can I work while studying in Slovakia?

We will help you explore the answers to all these and more questions to help you choose the best possible option for your study-abroad plan in Slovakia.

Study Cost

Study cost in Slovakia is very affordable for most students. Tuition at public universities of the country is also cheap. On an average, a student spends around 5,000 EUR (including tuition) per semester while studying in Slovakia.

Tuition Fee

For international students, the total study cost depends on what region of the world you are from. For students who are from the European region, the average tuition cost is between 580 EUR – 12,000 EUR for a bachelor’s or master’s degree.

For students who are from outside the European region, tuition starts at 1000 EUR and can go up to 12,000 EUR or more.

Study Resources

You will be spending 100 – 150 EUR on books and other study resources every month while studying in Slovakia.

Living Cost

Slovakia is an affordable country to live in. The main cities that see most of the student population include Bratislava, Nitra, Kosice. The average cost of living in these and many other cities in Slovakia is 600 EUR.

Food & Drinks

While groceries for a month can cost up to 300 – 400 EUR a month, an average meal in an average restaurant in Slovakia costs 6 – 7 EUR.

As for drinks, you can get a bottle of wine for just about 5 EUR or a beer for about 2-5 EUR. Drinking in bars can be a bit expensive.

Transportation

You can get a monthly public transportation pass for 27 EUR. Public transport is a convenient and budget-friendly way to travel across Slovakia.

Miscellaneous

Miscellaneous costs can be up to 150 EUR a month. This can include internet cost, phone bills, etc.

Accommodation

Rent is quite affordable in Slovakia as compared to other European countries. Accommodation cost differs depending on location, facilities, etc.

Types of Accommodation

  1. University Dorms: University dorms are an affordable type of accommodation in Slovakia. You should check if your university provides lodging facilities at the time of admission itself.
  2. Apartments:  You can rent apartments close to your university in Slovakia. Renting shared or independent apartments is quite common among students in Slovakia. Students can get a good deal in cities that aren’t too mainstream. The average rent in Slovakian cities is 350-450 EUR per month for a one or two-bedroom apartment.

 

Universities

There is a range of programs that you can study in the 20 public, 13 private, and 3 state universities in Slovakia. Given below are some of the most preferable Slovakian universities for international students:

1. Slovak University of Technology

The Slovak University of Technology is a public university in Bratislava that was established in the year 1937. It offers degree programs in engineering, architecture, and management courses. This university is known for its high research output and is one of the best technical universities in Slovakia. With 19,000 enrolled students and 1,500 faculty members, it is also the largest university in the country. The tuition at this university is very low and on average, costs 1,000 EUR per academic year for a bachelor’s or master’s degree for international students. As for the housing options, the university has dormitory facilities available for students. These are available at affordable prices for the students.

2. Pavol Jozef Šafárik University

Pavol Jozef Šafárik University, named after the 19th-century philologist, historian, and poet, was founded in 1959 in Košice. The university has five faculties of Medicine, Law, Science, Public Administration, and Arts. It was the first university in Slovakia that started higher education programs in psychology. This university is regarded for providing high-class education across disciplines with a strong focus on research output. The fees at this university vary for different programs. On average, tuition can be up to 10,500 EUR per year for international students. Students can get accommodation in the university halls of residence available on a shared basis, for all students across its faculties.

3. College of International and Public Relations, Prague

CIPR is a private university offering bachelor’s and master’s degrees in international and public relations. It was established in 2001. The focus of this university is to impart top-class theoretical education with practical programs in learning. A bachelor’s or master’s degree at this college can cost 5,500 EUR per academic year for international students. This university does not offer on-campus accommodation.

4. Matej Bel University

Matej Bel University is a public university located in Banská Bystrica – a central town in Slovakia. This university is a part of the European University Association and focuses on providing scientific and research-based education. The language of instruction in this university is Slovak, English, and even French, for some courses. Matej Bel University provides education in the field of Science, Humanities, Economics, Law, International Relations, Mathematics, and more. The average tuition fee for international students at this university is 1,000 EUR. Note that this is only an average cost that might differ from course to course. The university accommodates 500-700 students every year in its dorms. Off-campus boarding and lodging facilities are also easy to find near the university area.

5. Bratislava International School of Liberal Arts (BISLA)

BISLA, founded in 2006, is a private liberal arts school in Slovakia. It is the first liberal arts college in all of Central Europe. All courses in this school are taught in English. This school also provides excellent extracurricular, free-of-charge courses in foreign languages, argumentation, and other skills.

Weekly public discussions, seminars, internships are part of what a student gets to experience at the school besides their academics. The school offers plenty of extra-curricular activities like theatre, sports, etc. too. BISLA does not have any on-campus dorms or accommodation facilities. You will have to find accommodation near the university in Bratislava or nearby cities.

Students do not have to pay any fee for applications at the Bratislava International School of Liberal Arts. The tuition fee for students from the European Union is 1,800 EUR per academic year and 4,000 EUR per semester for international students.

6. University of Žilina

This university was established as the College of Railways in 1953 in Žilina, Slovakia, and was later renamed as University of Transport in 1959. It now offers degree programs in transport, humanities, and marketing. This university has extensive research partnerships with some of the world’s most renowned universities. The most sought-after program here is in the field of engineering. University of Žilina is equipped with libraries, cafeterias, and relaxation zones for students to study comfortably.

Study Visa

The visa requirements differ for students from Europe and students outside of Europe, given as follows:

1. Requirements For Students from the EU/EEA Region

No visa is required for students from the EU or EEA region for studying and staying in Slovakia because the country is part of the Schengen.

2. Requirements For Students NOT from the EU/EEA Region

Students not from the EU or EEA regions require a student visa to enter the country and need to apply for a temporary residence permit if they want to extend their stay. This permit costs about 4.50 EUR. It will take about two weeks to process your residence permit. Once you get the permit, you can enter and leave the country.

Type Of Visa

As a student, you need to apply for a Type D visa. This is a long-term visa and the visa fee will cost you around 33 EUR.

How to Apply

  • Visit the Slovakian Embassy or Consulate in your home country
  • Fill the application form
  • Submit the required documents
  • Get the interview with the Slovakian officials at the Embassy or Consulate done
  • Pay the visa fee
  • Wait for visa approval

Course Eligibility Criteria

  • Previous qualification certificates
  • Application form duly filled and signed
  • Copy of the Passport
  • CV or a Letter of Motivation

Some universities might also ask for language proficiency proof in the language of instruction at the university.

Documents Required

You need to submit certain essential documents to the Slovak Embassy or Consulate in your country at the time of applying for the visa. Submit the documents with a complete notarized translation to the slovak language.

The documents required at the time of applying for a D-type student visa to Slovakia are:

  • Passport
  • Passport-size photographs
  • Letter of acceptance from a university in Slovakia
  • Proof of accommodation
  • Proof of health insurance
  • Proof of financial capability
  • Proof of accommodation in Slovakia
  • Dummy Ticket of Return from Slovakia
  • Visa fee payment

Confirmation of Acceptance of Studies

The aspiring student must have a confirmation letter from their university declaring the acceptance of studies. This is an essential document that you must have with you when you’re moving to Slovakia for higher studies as an international student. Also, note that you cannot get your visa without this document.

Language Requirements

While Slovak is the official language of the Slovak Republic, English is the other most used language in the country by students. People in some parts of Slovakia also speak German and Italian.

As undergraduate education is mostly provided in the official language of the country, learning Slovak is an important requirement for students moving to Slovakia to get a bachelor’s degree. It is also advised to learn the Slovak language to make your education and daily life in Slovakia easier.

Visa Processing Timeline

The visa processing timeline for Slovakia is typically three to five weeks. Note that this is the average time period and it can sometimes take longer to process a visa application. It is therefore advised that you apply for visa as soon as possible.

Family & Spouse Visa

EU and Non-EU students can bring their family or spouse to Slovakia while they are pursuing their degree in the country. The spouse or the children will also have to get a visa and a temporary residence permit to move to the country.

Requirements

There are certain requirements that an incoming student to Slovakia must fulfill to smoothen their journey into moving to the country:

Arrival

Right upon arrival into Slovakia, students have to follow a mandatory procedure to get a residence permit –

Procedure for Obtaining Residence Permit

  • When a student has arrived in Slovakia, they must register their residence with the local police within 10 working days. This will grant them the right to reside in the country for 90 days.
  • If their stay is going to be for more than 90 days, they must apply for permanent residence at least 30 days before the expiry period.

Student Checklist

Here are some must-haves for students when they are coming to Slovakia:

  • Necessary documents and spare copies of the same
  • Books (prefer e-books)
  • Clothes for all seasons
  • Toiletries
  • Formal outfit
  • European standard plug adapter
  • Electronics
  • Medications
  • Memoirs from your resident country for when you feel homesick

What to Bring

What should you bring when you’re moving to a country like Slovakia? Here’s a comprehensive list of all things you need to pack:

  • Your essential documents
  • A sanitary kit containing masks, sanitizers, pads, toiletries, etc.
  • Your medicines and essential vitamins
  • Reusable glassware
  • A first-aid kit
  • Credit cards
  • A raincoat
  • Outlet converter because of a different socket requirement
  • Comfort clothing
  • Cash
  • Offline Maps

Carry-On Items

You must have a quick-to-carry bag ready with all the essentials before you leave for Slovakia. Most of the carry-on items you should pack depend on the airlines you’re travelling in. Make sure to check what is and what’s not allowed on your flight. A general rule is to never pack inflammable liquids, sharp items like scissors, razors, etc.

Finance Requirements

You will be required to show a proof of financial capability to support your study abroad plan in Slovakia. Keep a blocked bank account ready with the estimated total amount of tuition and living costs. Bank slips, or a letter from the bank will work as a finance proof to help you proceed with your Slovakia visa application.

Local Cultural Requirements

Slovakian culture is quite diverse but there are here are some general customs that are part of the everyday culture in the country:

  • To greet people, shake hands, make eye contact, and use relevant greeting – “ahoj” for “hi”, “dobry den” for a formal greeting, “dobre rano” to say “good morning”, and “dobry vecer” to say “good night”.
  • Never use people’s first names to address them. Use “Pan” (Mr.) or “Pani” (Mrs.) before their last name.
  • For a casual meeting, you are most likely to be invited to a pub or bar. House visits are strictly reserved for the closest friends and family in Slovakia.
  • Punctuality is appreciated in the country.
  • People remove their shoes at the door before entering someone’s house.
  • Dressing well while visiting someone conveys your respect towards them.
  • People follow Continental table manners in Slovakia.

Health Insurance

Health insurance is mandatory in Slovakia for all incoming international students not from the EU/EEA region. For those students who are from this region, they must have their European Health Insurance Card and that is enough to cover their medical expenses in the country. However, students must note that this card is not valid at private hospitals.

For non-EU/EEA students, they have to make their own arrangements for health insurance for the entire duration of their stay in Slovakia. They can get insurance from any insurance company in their home country or the Slovak Health Insurance Company.

The average health insurance premium per month can be 25 – 40 EUR or more, depending upon the insurance provider and the insurance plan. Consider taking a good insurance plan, as without insurance, healthcare will be very expensive in Slovakia.

Why Study In Slovakia

Located in the centre of Europe, Slovakia is a scenic country that came into independent existence in 1993 as a result of the Velvet Revolution. Officially called the Slovak Republic, it is a country bordered on all four sides by Poland, Hungary, Austria, Ukraine, and the Czech Republic.

Slovakia is the perfect getaway for those who love nature. The country is blessed with an abundance of natural beauty and has some breathtaking landscapes, mountainous terrains, lush pastures, and caves. It is also a country with a rich history, folk traditions in music dance, and cuisine, and stunning historic architecture. Slovakia has the most castles in the world – 180 to be precise. Since about 80% of Slovakian land is 720 m above sea level, you will find some amazing hiking trails there.

Besides being a paradise on earth, Slovakia is also popular as a study abroad destination for international students. This is because it offers great academic opportunities at an affordable study and living cost. Anybody in the world dreaming of pursuing European-standard education minus European-standard living costs will find Slovakia just suitable.

Working While Studying

Students can work while being enrolled in an educational program in Slovakia. However, there are some conditions that they must take note of:

  • You can only work in Slovakia after getting a residence permit.
  • The legally allowed working hours for students is twenty hours per week only.

If you want to increase your chances of getting a job readily while in Slovakia, you would want to follow this tip: LEARN SLOVAK! While it is not necessary to learn and speak Slovak fluently in order to enter Slovakia, communicating in the language fluently will better your chances of mixing with the locals and getting jobs easily. You will also be able to network better if you know the official language of the country you’re moving to.

Financial Cost and Assistance

Tuition and living costs in Slovakia for international students is cheap when compared to other European countries. Still, incoming students in Slovakia can get financial help from organizations or individuals to assist their study abroad program.

Given below are some of the ways a student can get financial assistance:

1. Scholarships

Government organizations, non-government organizations and universities independently offer numerous scholarships to international students. The government scholarship program called National Scholarship Program covers tuition costs for the whole duration of the program for students. On the other hand, the International Scholarship is a program specifically for students who come from developing countries. It covers tuition costs and part of monthly costs for the whole duration of the program.

Information about university-specific scholarships can be found on the respective university’s website.

2. Grants

Students can avail academic grants to support their education in Slovakia. Supporting your education through the means of grants will relieve you of financial burden as this type of finance is to be used as a gift and is not to be paid back. Grants offered to people who have little source of income but have excellent academic potential. An academic grant should typically cover your tuition fees, travel, rent, and the overall living cost.

3. Student Loans

  • You can easily get a student loan from a bank in your home country to facilitate your education and living in Slovakia.
  • Student loans are repaid after a certain duration of completing your studies.
  • In order to avail a student loan, you must fit into certain eligibility criteria, which differs from bank to bank.

4. Student Jobs

A lot of native and international students take up part-time jobs to support themselves while studying in Slovakia. As the official number of work hours per week is very limited for students in Slovakia, the job options are also very limited. Here are some of the most common part-time jobs that students do while studying in Slovakia:

  • Fast-Food or Retail Sector Jobs – Cashier or sales jobs in these sectors are very common among students in Slovakia. The average wages for these jobs are 2.5 – 3 EUR per hour. As these types of jobs are the most preferred for students, you might have to face some competition to get a job.
  • Technical Jobs – If you are skilled enough, you can work part-time in the IT sector or in administrative spaces. Jobs in such places are better paid but also require better skills. Doing part-time jobs in skill-specific sectors can even lead to you getting placed full-time in the same sector later.
  • Internships – Internships are a foolproof way of getting introduced to the work culture in Slovakia. Students must try to do internships in their field of study. It can help open up relevant work opportunities once your degree is complete.

Foundation Programs

Universities in Slovakia offer unique Foundation Year (or Preparatory Year) programs for international students. The duration of these programs varies from half a year to one year, depending upon the university and the program. These courses are available in Slovak and English.

The aim of the program is to equip students with academic and essential co-curricular skills to prepare them for an efficient experience in pursuing full-time degree courses in Slovakian universities later. Such courses also familiarize students with the Slovakian culture and save them cultural shock when they move to the country to enroll in a full degree course later.

Entry Requirements for Foundation Programs

  • Certificates of previous qualification
  • Language proficiency proof (if the university requires it)
  • Letter of Motivation

The Education System

Slovakia is a country that invests heavily in its education system. There are some prestigious schools, universities, and specialized institutions in Slovakia. Like all other European countries, Slovakia also follows the Bologna Process of education to maintain the standard of education. The education system in the country is divided into three tiers – undergraduate education, post-graduate education, and doctoral:

  • Undergraduate Education – It takes about three years to finish an undergraduate course in Slovakia. Technical and specialized subjects like medicine and engineering can take up to one or two extra years to complete.
  • Post-Graduate Education – While most master’s degrees take two years to finish, some take only a year to complete.
  • Doctoral Education – It takes three to five years on average for students to complete their PhD.

Slovakia is also part of the ERASMUS program. According to this program, a Slovakian student can complete part of their study program or their internships outside of Slovakia while getting a sum of money to support their education.