Slovenia is not a country that usually ranks as the first option for international students. Actually, most people are not even capable of locating it on a map. However, as it happens with many European countries, Slovenia is actually an excellent option! Besides affordable universities in Slovenia, students can enjoy a wide variety of benefits, and the country has a great mixture of natural and urban areas, so everybody will be pleased studying here.
In 2020, there were nearly 4,000 international students at public universities alone. And these numbers are increasing at the speed of light! We will discuss cheap universities in Slovenia in this article.
Studying in Slovenia
Slovenian higher education is divided into two groups: academic education and professional or vocational education. The latter is shorter, and its main objective is giving students the tools and skills to enter the job market faster based on the needs of the economy. Both of them are offered by public universities and private institutions.
Public universities are free for full-time students from Slovenia, the European Union, countries with which Slovenia has bilateral agreements, and those with international protection. However, tuition fees for international students are very affordable when compared to the fees in other countries.
Also, education is paid for part-time students and post-graduate students regardless of their nationality, and there is no difference in fees for domestic and international students.
Another reason why Slovenia is an excellent option is the affordable cost of living. The majority of restaurants offer discounts to students because the government subsidizes food for them. There are student dorms available that cost between $100 and $170 monthly, and if you prefer to rent a private flat, there are options at around $250.
Additionally, Slovenia is full of things to do. Cultural events are regularly organized and nightlife is great in the main cities. You can also visit the natural areas of the country and go skiing or explore the forests, or even visit other European countries. Slovenia is in the center of Europe, so visiting other countries like Italy will take you only a couple of hours.
For those interested in enrolling in a Slovenian university, in this article, we will cover the most important things you need to know, which include requirements, fees, and a list of the cheapest universities in Slovenia!
Check Also: Programs in Europe for International Students
What do I need to study at a university in Slovenia as an international student?
As we said, Slovenia has both public universities and private institutions. Private ones are higher education institutions that are properly accredited but don’t belong to any university. In order to enroll in any of these, international students have to complete certain preliminary steps during the application process.
No matter which institution you chose, the process starts on the eVŠ portal. There, you will fill an application form with all your personal information and the university and program you chose. You will also have to submit all the requirements and documents they ask for. They have a video tutorial to help you during the process.
Additionally, you will have to complete the Recognition of foreign education, which is done on the same website and will prove that you are qualified to study in Slovenia.
Depending on the major and the university you chose, you will also have to pass a test to prove your skills, capacities, and abilities in certain areas. These could be applied if you are pursuing a major such as engineering, medicine, architecture, music, and even education!
Something important that you must consider is language. Although Slovenian is the official language of the country, many universities offer programs that are completely taught in English. There are some that give you the option of taking certain courses in English. If you want to go for a challenge and learn Slovenian, many universities offer language courses you can take before starting the major.
Once you chose a program, you will have to submit language proficiency proof if you are not a native speaker, no matter if it is English or Slovenian.
Cheap Universities in Slovenia
1. University of Ljubljana
Named after the capital city of Slovenia, the University of Ljubljana was founded in 1919. It has 23 faculties and academies which offer over 150 bachelor’s degree programs. It is the leader in the fields of research and development, it has many extracurricular activities, and it is affiliated with other universities in and outside the country.
It has buildings in Ljubljana and Portoroz, which include the National and University Library of Slovenia and the university library, with over one million books.
Students can choose between part-time and full-time programs, and this cheap university in Slovenia has English programs, but some are only opened if a specific amount of students enroll. They also offer combined degree programs, professional (vocational) programs, and a long-distance study option.
The bachelor programs are meant to last between 3 and 4 years, but they also offer a single-cycle master program, which lasts between 5 and 6. This program was designed for majors that are regulated by the European Union, such as medicine or architecture.
Tuition fees for the large majority of the bachelor programs go from 3,000 EUR (around $3,370) to 5,500 EUR (around $6,180) per year. There are a few exceptions which are cosmetology, physics, medicine, mental medicine, pharmacy, and laboratory medicine. For these majors, fees increase significantly and go from 8,000 EUR (around $9,000) to 15,000 EUR (around $16,850).
If you go to their website, they have a whole section that is exclusively for international students. There you’ll find a list of the majors organized by faculty where you can check the tuition fees of each of them, the language in which they are offered, if there are any other required payments, etc. However, the international guide section has much more information, as it is divided into 17 different pages, so go check it out if you are interested in studying here!
2. University of Maribor
The University of Ljubljana was the only university in Slovenia for a long time, or at least until 1975 when the University of Maribor was founded. It has 17 faculties that are located throughout Slovenia because the university has campuses in eight cities. These are located in Ljubljana, Kranj, Celje, Hoče, Krško, Velenje, Brežice, and of course, Maribor. The University of Maribor is one of the cheapest universities in Slovenia!
Approximately 15,000 students are educated here each year and choose one of the 185 programs offered, which include both academic and vocational programs. Around 10% of places for the new students of the first year are available for international students.
This university has student dormitories for domestic and international students. They are located on five of the campuses. There are 633 single rooms and 1117 double rooms available each year. Make sure to apply early because the number of spots for international students is limited.
They have a tutoring system in which a senior student or a professor is assigned to a new student. This is made with the objective of helping students to make the transition between secondary and tertiary education, and to improve their academic performance.
The application process is done through the eVŠ portal and students must also complete the recognition of secondary education. Fees for international students can go from 1,800 EUR to 3,900 EUR (around $2,000 and $4,500). When visiting their website, we recommend you to check their brochure and their survival guide. Always check the links on the right column because they usually have useful and up-to-date information.
3. University of Nova Gorica (UNG)
Founded in 1995, the University of Nova Gorica is very close to Italy. It has buildings in Nova Gorica, Vipava, Gorizia (very close to the Slovenian border, in Italy), and Ajdovščina.
It has seven schools, four laboratories, and six research centers. There are many options for courses completely taught in English. They offer bachelor, master, and Ph.D. degree programs in the areas of natural sciences, management, engineering, biotechnical sciences, art, and humanities.
The application process is explained in detail on their website but is very similar to the process explained above. Depending on the major, tuition fees go from 2,800 EUR to 5,000 EUR (between $3,150 and $5,600). Students also have to pay an enrollment fee of 75 EUR (around $85). This tuition fee is very affordable compared to the excellent education that you will receive at the University of Nova Gorica.
There are special offers for international students in which you can pay an extra amount of 1,500 EUR ($1,700), to stay on a 10 monthly residence in a double room apartment. Take a look at their website to learn much more!
Although programs in most schools are taught in English, their language center offers Slovenian language courses for international students.
4. University of Primorska
Founded in 2003, the University of Primorska is located in the coastal region of Slovenia, with buildings in the cities of Koper, Portorož, and Izola. The great news is that the University of Primorska is a cheap university in Slovenia!
It has six faculties of management, education, humanities, health care, tourism studies, and mathematics, natural sciences, and information technologies. They offer 74-degree programs from which around 6,000 students receive education each year. It also has a college of design and a research institute comprised of 16 research groups.
They offer programs in Slovenian and in English. Some combine both languages. However, there are plenty of options for those who want to complete their education in English. Each faculty has its own website, and each year, they share a list of the English programs available. For example, the faculty of Natural Sciences and Information Technologies has three undergraduate programs, three masters, and two doctorates in English.
Although you can choose to study in English, the university wants to make sure that international students are able to communicate outside the classroom. That’s why they offer a 60-hour Slovenian course to all new foreign students. This course is completely free. Also, second-year students have to take a basic Slovenian exam to ensure they aren’t going through language difficulties or that they don’t need extra classes.
Faculties also assign tutors to international students so they can adapt to the new environment, understand how things work in the university and the city, ask them any questions, and meet new people.
To know how to apply, check their admissions page. The process is similar to what we already mentioned above. Take into consideration that you’ll have to take specific tests in some faculties to prove your knowledge of certain subjects, like calculus.
Regarding tuition fees during the 2018-2019 cycle, international students that aren’t from an EU country had to pay between 2,500 EUR and 5,100 EUR (around $2,800 and $5,700) per year. Only two programs (political science and economy and finance) are over that range, at 7,000 EUR (around $7,850) per year.
Make sure to read the degree programs carefully before applying. This university offers short professional programs and bachelor’s degrees. Some faculties, like management, offer a management professional certificate, a bachelor’s management program in Slovenian, and a bachelor’s management program in English. So, be careful and choose the right one!
If you need help to finance your studies at the University of Primorska, there are scholarships available for students from certain countries. They are based on bilateral agreements and have opportunities for students from all over the world: Italy, Japan, Mexico, China, and many more. Check the list to learn more!
Other private institutions
Besides public universities, Slovenia has several small private institutions that specialize in one area. There is, for example, the College of Accounting and Finance that offers a Bachelor’s degree in Economics.
However, most of them only offer programs in Slovenian and only grant professional certificates, or only have a couple of postgraduate programs.
We hope that after reading this guide on cheap universities in Slovenia, you learned more about the university system in Slovenia and chose the perfect one for your needs. If you are interested to study in Europe, feel free to check the Available Programs for International Students.