Article written by Gabriela Tanevska
Slovenia is a small European country in the heart of Europe that is often mistaken for Slovakia. It’s situated between the Adriatic Sea, Italy, Austria, Croatia and Hungary. Slovenia has its own unique beauty and things that make you fall in love with it easily. Before I came to study here, I didn’t know a lot about it but as time passed by, I started discovering its beauties and felt more like home.
Choosing Slovenia as a study abroad destination is something definitely worth considering and these are the reasons why:
1. Get high-quality education
Although small in size, the country offers numerous opportunities for choosing an institution to continue your education. There are three state universities:
- University of Ljubljana
- University of Maribor
- University of Primorska
Furthermore, there are around 30 other private and independent higher education institutions that offer a variety of study programmes, many of which are conducted in English. They offer tuition-free or low costs studies depending on where you come from.
Every year, Slovenian universities attract more and more international students making the country multicultural and diverse. Another reason I chose to continue my studies here is because of the partnerships that universities have with other prestigious institutions around the world; universities provide student many opportunities to go on different types of exchanges. In addition, a lot of professors from the same partner institutions often come and provide lectures which is a great chance to make personal contact and get first-hand information for the universities they represent.
2. Get more with less
Being a student in Slovenia has its own perks. The biggest benefit for students are the subsidized meals offered in a lot of restaurants around the country, especially in the cities were the number of students is high, like Ljubljana and Maribor. Students enjoy eating quality food by paying half or less the regular price.
Other benefits students can enjoy are low transportation costs, cheap gym membership and language courses. If you manage your budget well, you can easily survive with around 500 euros per month. If you are interested in finding out more about student living costs, you can read more about it via this link.
3. Get to know a different culture and language
Slovenians are easy to communicate with and one of the best things about them is that almost everyone speaks English fluently. So, getting around is easy. However, it’s a nice thing to try and learn Slovenian and enrich your language skills. Additionally, people like to stay active and spend time in nature, so don’t be surprised if you see the streets empty during the weekends. They also enjoy good food and have a tradition of producing a good quality wine.
Cultural events are part of their tradition as well. Almost every week, different events are organized in the capital’s center like street food festivals, marathons, wine tasting and much more. So actively participating and getting in touch with their culture doesn’t require a lot of effort. All you need to do is decide to go out and I am pretty sure you will find something interesting to see, do or taste.
4. Get to discover its breathtaking nature
Slovenia is a true paradise for nature lovers. Green dominates the country as half of it is covered with woods and forests. Being physically active is part of the Slovenia’s culture as you can see many of the people waiting for the weekend in order to escape from the city noise and get lost in the nearby hills or mountains.
Triglav is the highest mountain with its 2864m height that represents one of the country’s national symbols. The national park named after the mountain is a destination for many students and tourists alike that enjoy camping or simply going for a day trip. Alternatively, for those who prefer to relax, cities by the coast provide a great chance to enjoy the sun at the beaches by the Adriatic Sea. Both are good options for students who need time to relax during or after the exam period.
5. Get to travel around easy
Being situated right between central Europe and the Balkan Peninsula, Slovenia is the perfect starting point for organizing different trips. Everything is relatively close. From here, Balkan capitals are easy to reach and you can combine a trip to explore the culture of eating burek, baklava and drinking rakija.
Balkan countries are known for their hospitality and although you are bound to leave those places with a kilo or two more, the whole experience is totally worth it. Gaining a little weight should not stop you from the trip, it is totally worth it! However, drinking espresso first thing in the morning while eating a panino and real Italian pasta for lunch is just an hour and a half away from the capital, Ljubljana. A trip to taste wine in Tuscany or visit Vatican can be easily organized as well. In addition, trips to other European capitals like Vienna, Budapest or Bratislava are within 4-5 hours drive from Ljubljana and cheap flights from nearby airports offer travel opportunities to many other European countries.