A small yet beautiful country, Slovakia is still a relatively unexplored country for international students, yet offers high educational standards, a range of institutions and programmes and a low cost of living and studying.
Why study in Slovakia?
1. High educational standards
In Slovakia there are many higher education institutions offering a wide range of study programmes at all degree levels. Students from different countries come to Slovakia for short-term courses, research, or for long-term courses. The leading and the biggest university is the Comenius University.
2. Relatively low costs
Life in Slovakia is affordable and the cost of studying and living is low compared to western European countries. If the study programme is in Slovak language, no tuition fee is charged; however if in any other foreign language, tuition fee is charged.
3. Learn a new language
Even if you are studying in English, you can easily learn the Slovak language while living in Slovakia. Slovak does not differ greatly from the Czech language and comprehension in both languages is very common.
4. Beautiful landscape and fascinating history
At just under 50,000 square kms with a population of only 5.5 million, Slovakia offers lots of beautiful, unspoilt areas, including 9 national parks, with great mountains for skiing and hiking. The most castellated country in Europe, it has a fascinating folk culture and plenty of historical interest, right up to the 20th century when it became independent.
5. Several scholarship programmes
The Ministry of Education, Science, Research and Sport of Slovakia provide many scholarships to international students, such as Slovak Government Scholarships, Slovak Ministry of Education Scholarships, National Scholarship Programme & many more. Find out more at http://www.minedu.sk/7512-en/scholarships/
There are 3 types of higher education institutions (HEIs) in Slovakia:
1. Public (at present, there are 20 public HEIs in Slovakia, comprising 9 more or less traditional universities, 5 universities of technology, 3 HEIs of art and music, 1 university of economics, 1 university of veterinary medicine and pharmacy and 1 agricultural university).
2. State (there are 3 state HEIs – military, police and medical school).
3. Private (13 HEIs – most of them provide education in the fields of economics, business, management, public administration, law, international relations, regional development, medical and social work).
Study programmes and admission requirements
The main teaching language is Slovak, however, there are programmes delivered also in foreign languages (mainly in English), mostly for international students. A list of study programmes offered in foreign languages by HEIs together with their short descriptions is published in the brochure “Study in Slovakia - Study programmes offered in foreign language“.
Higher education institutions award the following academic degrees: 1st level – Bachelor (comprising app. 180 credits)
2nd level – Master (comprising app. 120 credits)
3rd – PhD (doctoral) level
The principal requirement for entering a Bachelor degree programme (3 – 4 years of full-time study) or a programme combining 1st and 2nd level (5 – 6 years of full-time study) is the completion of a full secondary general education or vocational education with a “maturita” – school-leaving examination. Admission to a follow-up Master’s degree programme (2 – 3 years of full-time study) depends on the completion of the relevant Bachelor degree programme or its equivalent. Admission to Doctoral studies depends on the successful completion of 2nd level degree programme.
Students who would like to study a full study programme should apply directly to the respective higher education institution. Students may apply for several study programmes at various institutions and faculties. The deadline for submitting applications is set by each higher education institution itself, usually the end of February or March. The date, content and form (oral or written examination, aptitude test) of the entrance process are decided upon by the faculty or the higher education institution.
Students studying full-time in Slovakia do not pay tuition fees if they study a programme offered in the Slovak language. However, they usually must pay annual tuition fees for programmes taught in any other language.
The tuition fees for study programme at any level are set by each HEI individually. These fees are set by each HEI individually and vary from 700 € to 10,000 € per one academic year.
www.minedu.sk – Ministry of Education, Science, Research and Sport of the Slovak Republic
www.mzv.sk – Ministry of Foreign and European Affairs of the Slovak Republic
www.saia.sk/en - SAIA, n. o. (Slovak Academic Information Agency); useful publications about student life in Slovakia, study programmes offered by Slovak HEIs in foreign languages, administrative duties connected with visa and residence permit etc.
www.portalvs.sk/en/informacie-o-vysokych-skolach - links to websites of all higher education institutions in Slovakia
www.grants.saia.sk – scholarships and grants database