Slovenia is a young country starting to export its culture and way of life in the World. For the past few years, the Slovene faculties have developed their programs and communication to appeal to international students from all the continents. The internationalization of their educational model allows them to attract different skilled populations that have many interests in coming studying here.
If you are thinking about moving to Slovenia for your studies or are curious about this somewhat unknown but growing country, here is a full guide to discover Slovene Universities. With continually expanding rates of welcoming, Slovenia is becoming one of the best Erasmus destinations and might be the right one for you.
Let’s find out what your courses’ possibilities are and the quality and cost of living in this small country and other arguments that will tilt the balance in favor of Slovenia (and definitely in your favor!).
Quality of Life for Students in Slovenia
Since it declared independence in 1991 and its adhesion to the European Union in 2004, Slovenia has taken the path of development and internationalization. Proud of its strength in cultural and economic matters, the country acknowledges well the importance of opening up to international students to grow and stand out on the European scene.
Since Slovenians are aware of this, they will warmly welcome you. But this is nothing compared to the resources of Slovenia itself that will undoubtedly convince you to come.
A Green Oasis in Europe
First of all, Slovenia is the Best Country in Europe, if not in the World, to offer you an incredibly green experience. The beauty of the country partly takes its roots in the fantastic amount of woods disseminated all around the country.
Certified Green Country in 2016, its capital, Ljubljana, was also named the European Green Capital in the same year. These impressive rates reveal a considerable performance in terms of air quality and sustainability, among other criteria.
The country houses 17 green destinations, but especially the capital impresses, with its no-car zone and its impressive city transports, parks, and bike borrowing services. However, the whole country will provide you a blast of fresh air, as mountains and forests are in abundance.
This frame of living is truly exceptional. Slovenia is perfect if you love being outdoors, hiking, swimming, or cycling. You will also be able to enjoy the presence of 24,000 animal spaces, as Slovenia is the country with the most biological diversity in the World.
Flanked by the Adriatic Sea, located in the heart of Europe at the crossroads of the Mediterranean and the Alps, Slovenia has many different climates and landscapes.
In a nutshell, Slovenia offers its students an amazingly beautiful framework, accessible from every Student City in eyesight as it is a small country. It will surely help you consider your studies with tranquility.
Slovenia, A Great Departure Base for Travellers
As young students interested in Erasmus, traveling must be one of your primary concerns for this year. Even if Slovenia remains unknown for most people, those who take the time to look into it will fall in love with it and its abundance of landscapes and advantages.
The smallness of the country is actually an asset for Slovenia, as students that are only here for a semester or a year can easily taste all the kinds of landscapes. However, its main advantage for determined travelers remains its situation in Central Europe.
Slovenia shares its borders with Italy, Austria, Hungary, and Croatia. If you live in Ljubljana, know that you are only 2 hours with a car away from Venice or Zagreb. Vienna and Budapest are not far away either, and you can start here a little tour of Central Europe by bus or inter-rail.
Slovenia is one of the only countries in its perimeter that is simultaneously in the Schengen Área and the European Union. These advantages make traveling a lot easier, and you can then decide to go abroad every time you have an off weekend.
No matter if you want to visit in or out of the boarders: there are a lot of means of transports very affordable and quick in Slovenia that will take you wherever you want. In Slovenia, we recommend you to check on Bled Lake, Kojzac Waterfalls, or the Triglav National Park.
Student Life for Internationals
In this beautiful country great for its quality of life, Students will also easily integrate thanks to the welcoming inhabitants and a lot of programs made to help you appreciate your stay.
Integration of International Students
The four main campuses on Slovenia dispose of various student organizations that are very active. Even before the start of the school year, those associations will allow you to connect with other students through groups on social media or also welcome or orientation weeks.
A vast quantity of seminars, lectures, and conferences is also organized weekly in most of Slovene’s universities.
They will be useful to start creating a network in the country and on logistics matters such as finding accommodation or advising you on administrative procedures. Once on campuses, local students will be able to help you, thanks to a buddy/mentor system.
Universities of Slovenia are perfect for international students that wish to integrate. They emphasize international exchanges and promote group work, which is ideal for getting to know other students. The University of Ljubljana is particularly welcoming. They give great importance to practical training, extracurricular, career guidance, and project work.
With 80,000 students all around the country, the 5,000 international students in Slovenia are easily integrated and benefit rapidly from an incredible mix of cultures and languages.
Additional Courses and Sports
On campuses, you will discover that a lot of optional courses are organized for local and international students. It includes many artistic activities such as painting or photography, as well as language courses that could be useful for you.
Out of the traditional student associations, you will easily find in Slovenia a lot of activities to do outside of the campuses. Sports are particularly popular, so it will be pretty cheap to enroll in various sports clubs or fitness centers.
Furthermore, sports are also promoted by national campaigns which will allow you, as a student, to benefit from a lot of reductions.
Nightlife and Festivals
As Erasmus or International students, you may be concerned about the nightlife quality in Slovenia. Do not worry about it one minute more; we can guarantee you that it is worth the trip.
The country has an emerging underground scene that makes it one of the best centers of underground culture. Its shining star is Metelkova, an enormous squat that provides a lot of concerts and club nights. It also has the advantages of low-cost drinks and LGBTQ clubs.
Ljubljana and the other main cities of Slovenia propose a vast collection of genre-specific clubs, from jazz to rock but also contemporary electronic music. We advise you to pay a visit to the Cirkus Club and the Klub K4 while you are in Ljubljana.
Slovenia is also a fairytale if you are fond of sweet and tendance cafés, pubs, and bars. You will quickly find out that Slovenians are enormous beer and wine lovers, so you will not have any trouble having fun there.
Studying in Slovenia allows you to enjoy some of the best Festivals in Europe. There are a lot of them in the country, from music festivals with the most famous international artists to those more impregnated by the Slovene culture.
Moreover, there is also a lot of arts Festivals that happen all year long. From the LGBT Film Festival to the one organized by Metelkova, you will eventually find one of your kind. It is also possible to assist in Enology or Gastronomic Festivals if you want to discover more Slovene traditions.
Cost of Living
The advantageous cost of living is one of the most apparent arguments when it comes to studying in Central Europe. But let’s find out why Slovenia should be your first choice, and how you will be able to live comfortably while studying.
Accommodations and transports
Housing in Slovenia is relatively cheap for international students. However, there are possibilities adapted to every budget. Sharing dormitories on campuses is your most economical option, as the prices start at 80 euros in Ljubljana and 100 euros in Maribor with all taxes included.
You could equally rent a residential apartment in the city, with prices substantially increasing if you choose a single bedroom apartment. You can plan to spend about 170 euros monthly for a room, and around 20% more in Ljubljana. For a whole apartment, count between 300 and 700 euros. Either way, do not forget that this is affordable for a capital city.
Regarding transports, you also have several options. Walking is obviously the cheapest one, and is easily doable in Slovenia, where cities are relatively thinly expanded. However, public transports in the country have a reasonable price and will take you anywhere.
The transports network is indeed really expanded in Slovenia, especially in Ljubljana. For an Urbana transport card, count on spending about 20 euros.
Food and Drinks
The main advantage of the cost of living for students in Slovenia is the existence of food coupons. This system is taken care of by the Republic of Slovenia. On each meal you will have during your student year, the government contributes up to 2.63 euros.
Furthermore, if you use food coupons, you will not have to spend more than 4.37 euros on your meal to complete it. That makes eating out really cheap, which is particularly advantageous if you would rather spend your time studying and not cooking.
But if you decide to go for grocery shopping, it will not ruin you either. To give you an idea, a kilo of potatoes is about 70 cents and a kilo of bananas around 1.20 euros. All food expenses combined, you can plan on spending about 100 euros for it monthly.
Alcohol is pretty expensive in shops, as a bottle of vodka will cost you between 10 and 15 euros. So if you want to have a taste of the Slovene drinking culture, we recommend you to go out on bars and clubs.
One argument of authority is undoubtedly the price of the pint of beer. For only about 1.70 to 2 euros, you will be able to drink 50 centiliters of Union Beer, the smallest size available. Wine prices are also reasonable for a country where it is remarkably qualitative.
As an international student, you must have a valid health assurance program for the entire duration of your stay in Slovenia. If you plan on living here for about a semester, you can also use your European Health Insurance Card to access medical care.
Being insured in Slovenia means that you will benefit from a broad range of health care services, from dentistry to hospital.
Health is a field taken very seriously in the country, whether when it comes to improving people’s health by bettering the quality of life through the safety of the environment or looking at the main orientations of the higher education.
Work in Slovenia as a Student
However, if you think you still need to work part-time to live comfortably as a student, this is one of the rare countries where it will be possible. With only a student visa, you will be able to work and then to study in the right conditions. It will probably even allow you to earn enough money to travel.
Even non-European Union citizens can work in Slovenia, temporarily. If you wish to work permanently, you will need a real work permit, but it would be useful. Indeed, employers are likely to hire you, considering that they will not pay taxes on it and do not have to create a work contract. However, speaking at least a little of Slovene will probably be necessary.
Tuition Fees and Scholarships
Working is a great way to fund your studies, but it will mostly help you with everyday life more than financing your tuition fees. Slovenia is a great country when it comes to studying affordably.
The functioning of Universities in Slovenia
Slovenia counts three state-funded universities: the University of Ljubljana, of Maribor, and Primorska. They are public universities, so most students do not have to pay anything to study there.
The whole higher education system is built around the Bologna Process guidelines, with diplomas that match the other European norms. It is divided between First, Second, and Third Cycles, that correspond to the levels of Bachelor, Master’s Degree, and Ph.D. (Doctorate).
It includes semi-private education faculties, private faculties like the University of Nova Gorica, and a diversity of art academies and business schools.
The semi-private Universities are partially financed by the State, so their gratuity only enforce for one Master’s Degree. Private universities will necessitate you to pay tuition fees regardless of your nationality.
The amount of money you pay and the scholarships in Slovene public or semi-public universities depend on your nationality rather than the program you will integrate.
Exemption of Registration Fees in Public Schools
Slovene students do not have to pay anything. This gratuity also applies to all European Union citizens and students from a distinct list of countries. All combined, more than 80% of students in Slovenia are exempted from tuition fees.
It will then be free if you come from the Republic of Northern Macedonia, Montenegro, Serbia, Kosovo, Bosnia, and Herzegovina. They can also study for free in one of the semi-private schools of the country.
Tuition fees for other International Students
If you were not listed before, do not worry! There is still plenty of chance you will be able to study in Slovenia. In comparison with other European Countries but also with the rest of the World, these fees are generally affordable for most people.
The fees change accordingly to your year of study. If you are willing to pay the less possible, consider going to Slovenia at the beginning of your education, since the First Cycle programs are the most affordable, between two and five thousand euros.
Most of the Second Cycle programs are also quite accessible, with tuition fees between 2.500 and 7.500 euros. However, Doctorates can be expensive, with costs that could rise to 12.000 euros by year. If you are still willing to do it, keep in mind that these high fees can be compensated with a salary for a significant part of students.
European Union Nationals can mainly apply to Erasmus scholarships, that are already generous in Slovenia. You can plan on getting around 300-400 euros monthly. But if you are a gifted student, you can try to obtain a scholarship created for Slovene students, which would cover around 3,000 euros of expenses.
Many multinational agreements invite students from Bulgaria, Romania, Italy, Israel, Japan, Greece, Poland, Switzerland, Russia, and Turkey to apply for scholarships. For EU nationals, it can be useful to cover living expenses, since they are exempted from tuition fees; it is then really advantageous.
Particular scholarships also concern especially non-European students. People from Ukraine can expect to get a monthly scholarship (around 700 euros per month) and money to cover their tuition fees (up to 5,000 euros). Jordan, Ghana, and Western Balkans students can also benefit from other agreements.
Some programs are also directed, especially towards American students. As only about 50 to 100 of them come to study in Slovenia each year, benefiting from the Fulbright program can assure you to study in Solvenia for free and stand out once back in your home country.
Assumptions and Languages
Now that you are longing from coming studying in Slovenia let’s show you that you can do it even if it requires some adaptation, sees work.
One of the main concerns of International Students when it comes to studying in Slovenia is language barriers. We can then reassure you if you are worried about this aspect.
You have different options depending on if you want to learn Slovene or not. If you are interested, know that Slovene is the primary language of instruction in the country, so it would be beneficial.
For Slovene Courses
If you are applying for courses that do not include languages, education, or communication, you will not have to prove your command of Slovene until the second year of study. At this moment, the expectation is a level B2.
To help you get on track, Slovene Universities propose a large offer of summer school and online classes that could help before your venue as the ones offered by www.slonline.si.
Usually, novice students take three months of Slovene courses before entering a program in this language, which costs 1.320 euros but can easily be covered by scholarships. It can also take a few more additional sessions to achieve the B2 level goal.
For English Courses and to Make Yourself Understood
For the less adventurous, you do not have to worry either; Slovenia offers more than a hundred English taught programs. Furthermore, you will be able to converse easily with locals, since about 60% of inhabitants have a good command of English.
Also, having fluency in German, Italian, or Hungarian can be a unique advantage for locals depending on your location in the country. However, Slovenians will do anything to make you feel welcome, so there is no trouble with it.
Regarding English taught courses, the main requirement is to prove your level in this language by showing the result you got in your former English courses. You can check on your universities’ website if your command of it is sufficient.
Other Specific Admission Requirements
For applications in University, you will not have to go through any kind of tests. The only limitation concerns competitive courses that have limited places. In this case, you will be ranked based on your previous results in secondary school or higher education.
You will eventually be required to pass a test of artistic abilities regarding other types of formation like the one provided by Art Academies. Since this depends on every academy’s policy, we recommend you check it out on their websites.
Functioning and Quality of Education in Slovenia
By reading this, you are probably convinced by the fantastic quality of living in the country and your abilities and chances to get in a Slovene faculty. So now, let’s figure out why the higher education system in Slovenia is at the same time made for you and internationally renowned.
Great Education Statistics
All of the Slovene programs are accredited by the national accreditation agency, and some are completed by international accreditations. The fantastic education statistics in Slovenia explains the quality of its higher education. It benefits from a 99.6% literacy rate.
Indeed, Slovenia ranks amongst the best education systems in the World. It is rated 4th in the European Union and 12th in the World. It has an enrollment in higher education that is near 80%.
Above all, the country has to offer courses in Universities that rank in the best 3% of the World.
The best University in Slovenia is undoubtedly the University of Ljubljana. It was founded in 1919 and is then the oldest in the country. There, you will benefit from the emulation of the capital and the presence of 50,000 students, including 4 to 5,000 international ones.
The cultural life of Ljubljana meets there some excellent study programs in a great diversity of fields. The University consists of 3 art academies and 23 faculties. The academies are particularly exciting: it permits you to study music, fine art, theatre, television, and radio.
The University of Maribor is the second largest, oldest, and probably best University in Slovenia. It counts 17 faculties and an excellent library.
The Universities of Nova Gorica and Primorska also offer multicultural environments while being more flexible and cozy.
Course Offerings and English Taught Programs
In the welcoming frame of those universities, you will find an impressive diversity of courses and programs.
Slovene Focuses on higher education
While browsing through the Universities’ websites, you might figure out that Slovenia has a strong inclination towards science, medicine, and technology. The focus in Slovenia is on scientific research and science-related fields.
This is indeed the perfect country if you want to study natural sciences considering its exceptional biodiversity. However, if you are into arts, linguistics, and humanities, this is also possible since Slovenia is in the heart of European cultures. It also makes it a great place to study international relations and foreign policy.
Choice of English Programs
Let’s quickly review all of the English courses proposed by the leading universities and private schools in Slovenia.
University of Ljubljana: This top University has excellent business and economics, geology, and material engineering courses in English.
University of Maribor: Maribor is an outstanding university where you can find programs about economics, and business, technical logistics, system logistics, enterprise engineering, management in sport, human resources and educational system, tourism, and management.
University of Nova Gorica: In this private University, you will find a large offer of courses around digital arts and practices, environment, physics and astrophysics, viticulture and enology, and management and engineering.
University of Primorska: English courses in this public University revolve around bioinformatics, mathematics, management, computer science and informatics, and tourism enterprise management.
GEA College: It is specialized in entrepreneurship and management.
DOBA Business School: This private school offers management, business, and marketing courses.
Erudio: This private civil engineering college teaches languages, heritage, and culinary tourism, and entrepreneurship and international business, amongst others.
Come and Study with Us!
The quality of life in Slovenia, combined with its ideal geographical position and its variety of cultural crossroads, makes it a perfect framework for a student. It would thus be to study fascinating and innovative topics in a great university renowned internationally that also offers you the opportunity to learn a new language.
Studying in Slovenia might then be the perfect option for you. Search for pieces and information on the university websites to find out how to apply and start a great experience in Slovenia!