Croatia is a well-known vacation destination in Europe due to its charming coastlines, breathtaking mountains, delectable food, and proximity to major European cities. But apart from its natural attractions, its rich cultural heritage and multilingual people attract modern learners around the globe. With a total of 128 excellent universities, the country is seen as an ideal study destination for students seeking a unique academic experience. In this article, we will be looking at the top universities in Croatia for international students.


Top Universities in Croatia for International Students

1. University of Split

The University of Split is the best university in Croatia for international students and is a public university predominantly in the scientific and technical fields. Its faculty of Electrical Engineering, Mechanical Engineering, and Naval Architecture (FESB) is the largest technical faculty outside Zagreb and included foundational courses that contributed to the university’s success. Furthermore, the university’s English-taught Medicine program is internationally recognized and has several international students enrolled. Graduates of the said program are eligible to write to the Canadian and U.S. medical licensing exams.

Throughout the years, the University of Split has expanded its expertise to humanities, social sciences, theology, kinesiology, and law. There are presently 13 faculties enrolling over 40,000 students. The university is a member of the EUA or the European University Association. They also collaborate with several international organizations on bilateral projects, especially the FESB.

2. University of Zagreb

The University of Zagreb is Croatia’s largest university and one of the oldest in operation in Europe. This top university in Croatia began as a Jesuit-run academy from its foundation in 1669 until 1773, when it shifted to the leadership of Pope Clement XIV. From the foundational courses of law, philosophy, and theology, the university grew to offer a broad range of subjects. These are engineering, architecture, science, humanities, and the arts. Several courses within these faculties are taught in English, including business, medicine, economics, and agriculture.

The University of Zagreb is presently composed of 29 faculties, three art academies, the University Centre of Croatian Studies, and over 70000 students. The university also engages with academic agreements from universities abroad such as the University of Toronto, Macquarie University Sydney, and Heidelberg University, to name a few.

3. University of Rijeka

The University of Rijeka, one of the best universities in Croatia for international students, is a state-funded university founded in 1973. It is directly managed by the Ministry of Science, Education, and Sport that ensures the modern university remains a strong knowledge center in the region and beyond. The university has nine faculties, four departments, one art academy, a university library, and diverse student services. International students can choose to study medicine, tourism, humanities, economics, engineering, applied arts, law, maritime studies, and teacher education. Most programs are taught in Croatian, but several are held in English, German, Hungarian, and Italian.

While already one of the top higher education institutions in Croatia, the University of Rijeka continues to improve its education system to be more socially responsible and open to international students and staff.

4. Josip Juraj Strossmayer University of Osijek (UNIOS)

The Josip Juraj Strossmayer University of Osijek, or simply the University of Osijek, is one of the oldest and largest higher education institutions in Croatia. It carries the name of the Roman Catholic bishop Josip Juraj Strossmayer, who is known for his valuable contributions to education and public works. Today, the university is composed of 12 faculties, one academy, and several organizational units in the areas of technical sciences, natural sciences, social science & humanities, medicine, and biotechnical studies. They are particularly known for the Faculty of Electrical Engineering, Computer Science, and Information Technology (FERIT).

The University of Osijek is among the top European and Central Asia universities in prominent university rankings. It is also a member of the European University Association, which is a cooperation of international universities for academic matters and research policies.

5. University of Zadar

The University of Zadar was refounded in 2002 as a full-fledged university but can trace its origins as a theological seminary in 1396. This top university in Croatia for international students has continued to grow since its reestablishment and is now the largest integrated tertiary institution, managing 25 departments in the sciences, languages, humanities, and social sciences. There are also specialized centers for foreign languages, maritime research, coastal research, and onomastic research. Its adoption of the Bologna Process shortly after its second foundation established its presence in the international scene.

The University of Zadar cooperates with various academic associations, whether in Croatia or abroad. These activities include joint studies with foreign universities, global research projects, and encounters with political and economic representatives from all over the world.

FAQs about Studying in Croatia

Is Croatia Good for International Students to Study In?

Croatia may be a relatively small country in South-Eastern Europe, but its strategic location contributed to its cultural diversity and multilingual community. Thus, its openness makes it a conducive learning environment for students regardless of their background.

Tuition fees for international students depend on the type of program and its duration. It ranges from 800 EUR/year for social science disciplines, 2200 EUR/year for technical sciences, and around 3000 EUR/year for medical sciences. Living expenses in Croatian cities start at 400EUR per month including accommodation, transportation, food, utilities, and books.

Check Also: Programs in Europe for International Students

Can International Students Work in Croatia While Studying?

All full-time students enrolled in higher education institutions are allowed to work part-time in Croatia, including international students. They can coordinate with the Student Service Center in their university town to access prospective employers. Student work positions are only temporary or on a part-time basis to ensure that the learners still fulfill their student obligations. Employers cover health and pension insurance of foreign part-time workers as well.

Those attending short study programs must first seek approval from their respective institutions if they will be allowed occasional student work.

Can International Students Stay in Croatia After Graduation?

International graduates who wish to stay in Croatia must fulfill a few conditions depending on their nationality. EU/EEA nationals who plan to stay in the country for longer than three months must declare temporary residence to the police department nearest their place of residence. Non-EU/EEA nationals must apply for work and residence also to the nearest police station or consular post in Croatia. The residence and work permit granted to non-EU/EEA citizens is the EU Blue Card and allows temporary residence and work in the country.


We hope that this article on the best universities in Croatia for international students was helpful. Make sure to also check out the Available Programs in Europe!

About the Author: Hyun Lee

Hi! I am Hyun, and I am the founder at Global Scholarships. I've received a full-tuition scholarship at Birmingham-Southern College and a $1,000 Burger King Scholarship for my undergraduate degree and was offered a fully funded scholarship consisting of tuition, living stipend, and health insurance for computer science Ph.D. program at North Carolina State University. You can read more about my scholarship journey here. If you are interested, you can follow me on Linkedin where I regularly write about scholarship opportunities.

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