Croatia

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Study in Croatia

The Croatian higher education system has a long educational tradition preserved primarily through the work of its public universities.

Croatia has a binary higher education system, meaning that prospective students can choose between two types of higher education studies:

  • University studies consisting of academic programmes that are conducted solely at universities
  • Professional studies consisting of professional programmes conducted at polytechnics or colleges of applied sciences (exceptionally, professional programmes can also be implemented at universities)

The Croatian higher education system is now structured according to three cycles (undergraduate, graduate and postgraduate) and higher education studies in Croatia are organised according to the system of transferable credits, thus making it easier for international students (from Europe and beyond) to study in Croatia and have their studies recognised in their home countries.

Why study in Croatia?

1. Tuition and living costs are affordable

You don't need to rob a bank in order to study in Croatia. Most Bachelor's programmes cost between 800 and 4,000 EUR per academic year. Tuition fees for Master's programmes vary more, but they are still more affordable than what you'd pay at a Western university.

The same thing is true for living costs, which will take 400–700 EUR out of your pocket every month.

2. English is widely spoken

You shouldn't face any language barriers while in Croatia, especially in popular places like Zagreb, Rijeka, and Istria. Statistically speaking, around 80% of Croatians speak multiple languages, with English being the most widely spoken.

3. Scholarships reduce costs even further

While Croatian universities don't usually provide any funding, the Croatian Ministry of Science and Education does. It comes in the form of bilateral agreements, Erasmus Plus programmes, or other mobility opportunities. Learn how to apply for a scholarship in Croatia.

4. Enjoy the natural beauty and local climate

In their spare time, students can have fun by visiting the most beautiful Croatian sites. With a rich cultural heritage and large area of unspoiled natural land, there are many options available.

We recommend visiting: the Plitvice Lakes National Park, the Krka National Park, Diocletian's Palace, the Walls of Dubrovnik, the Golder Horn, the Kvarner Gulf, Stradun, etc.

Private and public higher education institutions

Croatia has both public and private higher education institutions.

Most Croatian universities are public institutions. However, private university education has recently started to develop in Croatia with the establishment of three private universities and numerous colleges of applied sciences.

Almost all polytechnics are public institutions, while most colleges of applied sciences are private institutions. Both polytechnics and colleges of applied sciences provide first and second cycle professional study programmes – these institutions differ only in the number of study programmes they provide, not in the type of programmes.

General application requirements

Prospective students who apply to undergraduate study programmes as degree-seeking students and who have completed the minimum of four years of secondary education outside Croatia can apply to higher education institutions in Croatia using the Central Application System.

Applicants who have completed their secondary education in a country that does not have an established system of external evaluation of secondary education are advised to take the State Matura exams in subjects proscribed for admission to a particular study program. Namely, the results of the State Matura exams influence the candidate ranking in the selection process for admission to most study programs.

Candidates should send the following documents to the Central Application Office (at the Agency for Science and Higher Education):

  • Completed application form
  • Identification information
  • Proof of completion of all secondary school levels by that date (certificate of each level)
  • Confirmation of the results of final examination
  • Confirmation of the results of national or international competitions
  • Confirmation of sport status

Please request detailed information about the application process from the higher education institution you wish to attend.

University studies

  • Undergraduate university studies normally last for three to four years. Upon completion, students are awarded an academic title of Bachelor (prvostupnik) with reference to a specialisation, which qualifies a student for specialised work in art or science.
  • Graduate university studies normally last for one to two years. Upon completion of both undergraduate and graduate studies, students are awarded an academic title of Master (magistar struke) with reference to a specialisation.
  • Postgraduate university studies are divided into specialist and doctoral studies.
  • Specialist studies lead towards specialisation in a profession and last for one to two years. Upon completion, the student is awarded the title of University Specialist with reference to a specialisation (univ. spec.).
  • Doctoral studies last three years and are intended for scientific and research training aimed at the production of scientific excellence as well as renewal of teaching staff in the higher education system. Upon completion of doctoral study (and after defending the doctoral thesis), the academic title of Doctor of Science or Doctor of Arts is awarded (dr. sc. or dr. art.).
  • Integrated undergraduate and graduate university studies normally take five or six years. Upon completion, students are awarded a diploma and the academic title of Master (magistar struke) with an indication of the field of study.

Professional studies

  • Undergraduate professional studies last for two to three years. Exceptionally professional studies may last up to four years. Students are awarded a professional title of strucni pristupnik with a reference to a specialisation the professional title of Professional Bachelor (strucni prvostupnik) with a reference to a specialisation.
  • Specialist professional graduate studies last one to two years. Upon completion, students are awarded a title of a specialist of the respective profession.

Research

Research in Croatia is conducted at universities, public research institutes, research institutes, the Croatian Academy of Sciences and Arts and other institutions registered in the Register of Scientific Research Legal Persons.

Qualifications recognition

Recognition of foreign educational qualifications in Croatia is carried out for the purpose of continuation of education at Croatian higher education institutions (academic recognition) or for the purpose of employment in Croatia (professional recognition).

All higher education institutions that accept international students usually have an International Cooperation Office and prospective students should contact that office well before applying in order to obtain relevant information on what educational qualifications need to be recognised in order to apply for the study programme in question.

English language preparation for studying in Croatia

Develop your academic English language skills in order to meet the English language requirements at Croatian universities offering degree studies for international students. Choose an English language school anywhere in the world and pick your preferred English exam preparation course from diverse language course options.

Universities accept these official English exams:

Living in Croatia

Let's take a closer look at tuition and living expenses in Croatia:

Tuition fees

Here's what you need to know about tuition fees:

  • each higher education institution can set its own tuition fees
  • public universities are less expensive when compared to their private counterparts
  • usually, EU/EEA and non-EU/EEA students pay the same fees
  • average costs for Bachelor's degrees range between 800–4,000 EUR/year at public universities
  • tuition costs for Master's degrees vary significantly based on what you study, where you study, and how long it takes to graduate
  • to get the latest info about tuition fees, always check the official university websites

Living costs in Croatia

As an international student, you need around 400–700 EUR per month to cover your living costs. Depending on your lifestyle, costs may go up or down. Here's a breakdown of average living expenses in Croatia:

  • accommodation: 150–300 EUR/month
  • food and groceries: 100–250 EUR/month
  • monthly transport pass: 47 EUR; students might get discounts
  • three-course meal for two at a mid-range restaurant: 40 EUR
  • 1 loaf of bread: 1 EUR
  • 1 litre of milk: 1 EUR
  • 1 kg of apples: 1.30 EUR
  • 1 kg of bananas: 1.40 EUR
  • 1 cappuccino: 1.50 EUR

About Croatia

Croatia (Hrvatska), officially the Republic of Croatia (Republika Hrvatska) is situated in South-Eastern Europe at the crossroads of the Adriatic Sea and the Pannonian Plain.

Croatia is an ex-Yugoslav country that declared its independency from Yugoslavia in 1991 and is a member of the EU since 2013.

Croatia borders with Hungary in the north, Slovenia in the north-west, Serbia in the north-east, Bosnia and Herzegovina in the total length of the lower part of the Croatia’s crescent shape, Montenegro in the extreme south, and Italy and Slovenia on the Adriatic Sea.

Croatia is classified as an emerging and developing economy by the International Monetary Fund and a high income economy by the World Bank. Traditionally, Croatia is a tourism oriented country.

Historical heritage, natural beauty and a pleasant climate make up the framework which, together with high quality accommodation, gastronomic excellence and a rich supply of activities and entertainment, enables Croatia to attract the modern-day tourist.

Zagreb is the capital of Croatia and also the largest city in the country. It is situated in the north-west of the country, along the Sava River with a population of almost one million inhabitants. It is the political, economic, cultural and scientific centre of Croatia.

The official currency of the Republic of Croatia is the Kuna (shortened to “HRK” or “kn”) and it is subdivided into 100 Lipa (shorted to “lp”).

Universities, colleges and schools in Croatia

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Browse by country

Netherlands
Netherlands
The Netherlands is a very popular study destination. Internationals choose this beautiful country because Dutch universities are some of the best in Europe, the living standards are high, foreigners are always welcome, and you get to live in one of the happiest and safest countries in the world. The Netherlands is also renowned for innovative technologies and engineering solutions, which is reflected in the wide range of Engineering degrees offered by universities. English is spoken by around 90% of Dutch citizens, so forget about language barriers. Also, bike lanes and the “cycling culture” will help you to stay fit and healthy, and there are diverse job opportunities and internships for international students.
Czech Republic
Czech Republic
In the Czech Republic, you will enjoy top-quality education and research, especially in subjects like Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. The number of English-taught degrees offered by Czech universities is constantly growing. This is a response to the numerous international students attracted by academic opportunities and great living standards at reasonable costs. The Czech Republic is among the safest countries in the world, according to the Global Peace Index, and it allows you to travel around Europe easily. While out of class, you can visit local attractions like the Prague Castle, St. Vitus Cathedral, the local spas, and hot water springs, etc.
Finland
Finland
Finland is an excellent choice for all internationals and especially for EU/EEA students who can study at local public universities for free. The beautiful Nordic country has one of the best education systems in the world and ranks among the safest and happiest nations in the world. You can also choose from over 400 English-taught programmes. In your spare time, you can explore the breathtaking Finnish nature and landscapes, as well as the numerous lakes that give the country the nickname ‘The Land of a Thousand Lakes.’ From here, you can easily travel to neighbouring countries like Norway, Denmark, Sweden, Russia, or Estonia.
Ireland
Ireland
Ireland is among the top countries in the world in terms of quality of life, peace, safety, and development. It represents an appealing blend of beautiful landscapes, English-speaking environments, and a strong, welcoming, and rich culture — of which the Irish people are very proud. International students also enjoy the full support of Irish universities, which hire and train staff that are able to help with accommodation, studies, visa details, or any other challenge.
Norway
Norway
Norway is a paradise for anyone who wants to study abroad for free. Public universities don’t charge any tuition fees. This policy applies to all international students, regardless of their nationality. The academic standard is very high, and professors are easy to approach, always willing to go the extra mile for their students. Additionally, classes are organised in small groups, which further improves learning and cooperation. You can choose from a wide range of English-taught programmes, and you don’t need to worry about language barriers outside of classes either, because most Norwegians speak English as a second language. Internationals should find it easy to adapt to Norway’s society, which is based on equality and fair opportunities — reflected both in the legal system and in people’s behaviour.
Poland
Poland
Poland represents a great mix of quality education and affordable costs. International students can choose from over 400 universities where programmes are taught in Polish and English. The main advantage of choosing a Polish-taught degree is that you won’t have to pay any tuition fees. Polish people are known for their hospitality and specific sense of humour, which means you’ll have a lot of fun interacting with locals, making friends, and exploring your surroundings. When you’re not in classes, feel free to travel around, visit the beautiful castles, or go skiing in the Tatra Mountains (during the winter).
Sweden
Sweden
Sweden is a very ambitious, eco-friendly, and visionary country. For example, by 2040, it aims to produce all its energy from renewable sources. Universities play an important role in achieving development goals, thanks to their world-class research facilities. If you’re from the EU/EEA, you can study at public universities for free. As a student, you will discover and easily adopt the three main values of Swedish society: freedom, equality, and sustainability. These values are reflected in every aspect of the local society, and you’ll quickly learn to appreciate them. Language barriers are also almost non-existent since around 80% of Swedes speak English.
Switzerland
Switzerland
Switzerland has one of the most advanced free-market economies, which is reflected in the high living standards and the satisfaction of people living here. In terms of higher education, Swiss universities are constantly ranked among the best in Europe, and they shine in areas like Business, Tourism, Culinary Arts, and Engineering. When compared to Western universities, tuition fees in Switzerland are affordable, and all studies — especially PhD programmes — are world-class. You’ll have the opportunity to develop in a multilingual environment and try learning international languages like German, French, or Italian. If you settle down here, the unemployment rates are low, and salaries are well above the European average.
United Kingdom
United Kingdom
Universities in the UK are some of the most highly regarded in the world, and for good reasons. Some of the world's most highly regarded research takes place in British universities, which are regularly featured in international rankings. While studying in the UK, you will be able to develop in a highly multicultural environment with high chances of pursuing lucrative careers after graduation. The teaching in the UK is designed to encourage new idea generation, encouraging individual research and group cooperation, through class discussions and creative assignments.
Canada
Canada
Canada is one of the most popular study destinations in the world due to its high focus on the quality of its universities and its emphasis on attracting international students who can later immigrate. Canadians are very welcoming to international students and they invest a lot into making sure students are safe, treated fairly, and enjoy their stay in the country. Study in one of the strongest economies in the world while enjoying a high living standard and a flexible study environment. Classes have smaller student groups ensuring everyone gets the attention they need, and encouraging group assignments and debates.
United States
United States
The United States is home to some of the most prestigious universities and colleges in the world. With over 150 universities featured in international rankings, the U.S. has some of the best business schools, medical schools, and engineering schools. Universities and colleges in the U.S. are well known for academic flexibility and ways to customize your study experience with optional studies and extracurricular activities. Depending on where you will be studying, you will be able to visit iconic places like the Statue of Liberty, Empire State Building, Goldengate Bridge, The Grand Canyon, Mount Rushmore, Disney's Magic Kingdom Park, and much more.
Israel
Israel
Israel attracts international students through high standards of education and a wide range of English-taught degrees. Local universities shine in areas like Technology, Sciences, Business, and Entrepreneurship. In fact, Israel is a renowned land of innovation, having earned itself the nickname ‘Start-Up Nation’. While living and studying here, you will discover a wonderful culture developed throughout 4,000 years of history; different cultural influences are noticeable everywhere, especially in Israeli food, art, and history. In major cities, English is widely spoken, so communication shouldn’t be a problem. In your spare time, you can visit one of the over 400 nature reserves and 80 national parks.
Australia
Australia
By studying in Australia you will take advantage of the great student environment both inside and outside classrooms. In addition to some of the best business and engineering schools in the world, you will be able to explore a greatly developed country that still retains its wild side with its warm climate, beautiful beaches, and the Great Outback, with over 500 national parks. Many Australian universities provide internships and work placements, preparing students early on for the job market.

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