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Universities in Croatia and study in Croatia - International Student Country Guide

Croatia has emerged from its shell in recent years to become the holiday destination of choice for those looking for dramatic coastlines, crystal clear waters, and a whole lot of history as a backdrop. But what about if you want to study there? Study a degree in the Croatia

The largest of Croatia’s universities is situated in the capital, Zagreb. The University of Zagreb is definitely not the only option, though – there are 128 higher education institutions in Croatia, and 36 are found on the country’s spectacular Adriatic coast.
Whilst this number includes institutions that specialise in postgraduate courses in specific areas, there are a large number of universities where you can study for an undergraduate course.

How can you study a degree in Croatia?

You can study for an undergraduate degree in Croatia in the following areas:

-          Arts
-          Biomedicine and health
-          Biomedical sciences
-          Humanities
-          Natural sciences
-          Social sciences
-          Technical sciences
-          Interdisciplinary studies

In some cases, degrees in these areas can be studied for within an integrated undergraduate and graduate programme, which means that you will graduate with a masters degree on top of your undergraduate one.

There are also opportunities to take up professional study programmes, in the same areas.

Whilst many undergraduate courses in Croatia are taught in Croatian, various courses are taught in other languages – for example, English, German, Italian and Hungarian. It’s advisable to check that the courses you’re applying to are taught in a language that you can understand well enough to complete a degree in it.

You can apply to study in Croatia via a centralised online system, which will allow you to apply for up to ten courses at once. The amount of places available for students to study in Croatia is restricted and is decided by the individual institution, so it is advisable to apply early.

Tuition fees

Tuition fees for undergraduate programmes in Croatia are not set centrally, but are decided upon by each individual institution. This means that costs can vary greatly, and will differ between university and course chosen.

Having said this, the cost of tuition fees in Croatia is relatively low when compared to other countries. The lowest priced courses are likely to be in social sciences and humanities (from 6,000 Kuna/800 Euro to 16,500 Kuna/2,200 Euro per year). The highest priced are medical courses, which can cost up to 27,000 Kuna, or 3,600 Euro, per year.

The best course of action is to check individually the cost of the courses that you are applying to.

Immigration and visas

EU students moving to study in Croatia need to have a valid ID card or passport, and to register at a police station if they plan to stay in the country more than three months. This will automatically regulate a residence permit.

Students from other countries (including the USA, Australia and Canada) may need to apply for a residence permit on arrival in the country. You should check which documents are required with the Croatian embassy in your home country, but as a rule the following will be needed:

Form 1a – available here

Acceptance letter from the university/educational institution

1 photo in colour

Proof of sufficient means of subsistence - statement of bank account, scholarship confirmation, or similar

Proof of secured accommodation – the copy of the form from the student residence with your personal data or in case of private accommodation a rental contract

Accommodation and living costs

Students in Croatia have various options for accommodation:

-          Student dormitories/halls
-          Privately rented flats, apartments
-          Private renting within a family home

Student dormitories are in short supply in Croatia, and aren’t available to all students. Dormitories are available for some (but not all) international students, and may include services such as gyms and social areas for relaxation. There are usually two students per room, with a shared bathroom. They are the cheapest type of accommodation for students in Croatia and are managed by Student Centres, who will be contacted by your educational institution if you want and are eligible for dormitory accommodation.

Many international students, however, will be required to organise their own accommodation. This might be in a shared house or flat with other students, or might be as a lodger in a family home.

In all cases, students should sort out their accommodation as early as possible – preferably before they arrive in Croatia. Your educational institution should be able to advise you on housing matters.

Living costs: Croatia is relatively cheap when it comes to living costs, especially compared to countries in Western Europe. Prices will of course be higher within bigger cities, however. 

For Parents

How safe is Croatia? 

Around 400,000 British people visit Croatia every year, due to its emergence in recent years as a popular tourist destination. It is a largely safe country, but as anywhere students should always take care to protect their own personal safety in order to avoid becoming victims of crime. They can do this by:

Avoiding carrying around large amounts of money
Staying in groups, especially at night, and trying to avoid walking alone
Not making valuables obvious
Always having a route home planned and never getting into unlicensed taxis
Being wary of strangers
Being careful of traffic

Staying in touch

Staying in touch when your child is studying on the other side of the world might seem daunting – but there are ways you can talk regularly that don’t have to involve long distance phone calls and a nasty bill at the end of the month. Here are a few tips:
Skype – the free video calling service can be downloaded within seconds, and will allow you to talk face to face anywhere you have an internet connection

Blogging – maybe encourage your child to keep a blog of their adventures overseas, so that other families members (such as grandparents) can keep up to date

Local sim cards – it is also a good idea for your child to buy a phone with a local pay as you go sim card when they arrive so that they can text and call home without running up a bill

What to do next?

If you wish to study abroad but are not sure about where, you can check our country guide. On the other hand, If you would like more information about studying in Croatia, you can fill in our Free Application Service and we'll get in touch with you promptly with more information, great courses and application help.