Slovenia, one of the pearls of the Adriatic Sea, is considerably cheaper to live and study in, if compared to its neighbors Italy, Austria, Croatia, and Hungary. That is why it attracts thousands of young people from around the world, who go there to pursue a higher education diploma and opportunities for a fuller and better life. In this article, we will be looking at ways to study in Slovenia for free.

Many of these foreign students fall so much in love with the country that they choose to make it their home for good. This happens as much because of the high-quality education that the Slovenian universities provide, as because of the friendliness of the Slovenian people.

There are some peculiarities of the Slovenian higher education system that have to be explained before we move on to highlighting the options for earning a degree for free.

All undergraduate programs that allow the student to earn a Bachelor’s Degree upon completing them successfully are called the First Cycle of Study.

Then, all Master’s Degree Programs are called the Second Cycle of Study. In the same way, all Ph.D. programs are referred to as the Third Cycle of Study.

Unlike many other countries in Europe, higher education in Slovenia is mostly free. The three biggest state-funded universities in Slovenia are the University of Ljubljana, the University of Primorska, and the University of Maribor.


How to Study in Slovenia for Free

1. If you are from the EU or one of the countries listed below, you can study in Slovenia for free.

All of them provide free higher education to full-time students enrolled in the First or the Second Cycle of Study, provided that they are nationals of the EU or one of the following countries:

  • The Republics of Northern Macedonia
  • Bosnia and Herzegovina
  • Kosovo
  • Serbia
  • Montenegro

Also, students from these countries and the EU can study for free at one of the semi-private universities in the country. These are higher education schools that are partially financed by the state. However, they can earn only one Master’s Degree for free, and for every other one, they will have to pay the full tuition fee.

Tuition fees are paid in full by students who are non-EU nationals, or nationals of any of the non-EU countries listed above. Also, part-time and Ph.D. students pay the full amount of the tuition fees charged by the respective higher education provider. Finally, there are many entirely private universities in Slovenia, where tuition fees are also fully payable by the students regardless of their nationality.

Even so, we have found out that the average tuition fees in Slovenia are quite affordable. For example, most programs of the First Cycle of Study cost between two and five thousand euros. Then, most Master’s Degree programs, which fall into the so-called Second Cycle of Study, cost between EUR 2,500 and EUR 7,500.

Finally, there are Ph.D. programs, which appear to be the most expensive – between three and twelve thousand euros.

Whereas scholarships in other countries depend on the kind of program the student is enrolled in, in Slovenia they are distributed on the basis of the candidate’s nationality.


2. Apply for Universities in Slovenia

To study in Slovenia, you first need to get accepted. So, you need to apply to universities in Slovenia and get accepted. You can find the application procedures on the universities’ websites. So, follow the instructions and apply!


3. Get Scholarships

If you are non-EU nationals, you will need to apply for scholarships in order to study in Slovenia for free. So, here’s the list of scholarships for you!


Scholarships for Ukrainian Students

These scholarships are provided by the Slovene Human Resources and Scholarship Fund to Ukrainian nationals doing a Ph.D. or a Master’s Degree in the fields of economy and law. Every year, the Fund provides three scholarships – two for Master’s Degree students and one for Ph.D. students.

These scholarships cover the student’s living costs (EUR 700 per month) and tuition fees (up to EUR 5,000 per academic year).


Scholarships for Students from Jordan and Ghana

These are three scholarships – one for Ph.D. and two for Master’s Degree students provided again by the Slovene Human Resources and Scholarship Fund. The amounts are the same as the ones quoted above, with the only difference being that there are no conditions regarding the field of study.

There also are three scholarships for students from Ghana granted by the same provider and under the same conditions as the ones for Jordan nationals.


Scholarships for nationals of Western Balkans

These scholarships are available through the Public Scholarship, Development, Disability, and Maintenance Fund of the Republic of Slovenia. They are granted to Ph.D. and Master’s Degree students doing their research in the fields of Medicine, Technology, or Natural Sciences.

The scholarship covers the candidate’s living costs; (up to EUR 8,400 a year) and tuition fee (up to EUR 3,000 a year). Getting these fully-funded scholarships is a great way to study in Slovenia for free! When granted the scholarship, the student takes the obligation to finish their studies in time and pass all of their exams with scores that are stipulated in the scholarship’s contract.


Multinational Scholarships Provided by the Slovenian Government

Every year, the Slovenian Ministry of Education, Science and Sport provide scholarships for students who wish to come to study in Slovenia from the following countries:

  • Bulgaria
  • China
  • Greece
  • Japan
  • Israel
  • Italy
  • Poland
  • Russia
  • Switzerland
  • Turkey

They are mostly available to exchange students, who come to the country to earn a Bachelor’s or a Master’s Degree. As we established that EU nationals are exempt from tuition fees in Slovenian state universities, the funds can be used to cover the candidate’s living costs.


4. Get a Job in Slovenia

International students in Slovenia with a student visa are allowed to work in Slovenia. So, working is a great way to study in Slovenia for free!

Check Also: Programs in Europe for International Students 

Scholarship Applicants Must Have Valid Residence Permit

There is one very important requirement for all scholarship applicants from outside the EU: they need to have a valid residence permit or visa issued by the Slovenian authorities. Without these, they cannot move into the university’s dormitory or enroll in a particular program.

The procedure of obtaining a residence permit takes up to three months and a visa is typically issued in a month’s time. In order to apply for a temporary residence permit in Slovenia, you have to produce the following documents:

  • Valid passport
  • Health insurance
  • Letter of Confirmation (that you have sufficient means to support your studies)
  • Evidence of no criminal history issued by the candidate’s home country


Final Words on How You Can Study in Slovenia for Free

To sum up, I would like to point out that many students are able to study in Slovenia for free. This makes Slovenia one of the most attractive destinations for foreign students from around the world. The country combines typical Balkan hospitality with the highest standards of European education.


We hope that this article on how to study in Slovenia for free was helpful. To know more information on studying abroad, check out the Programs in Europe for International Students.

About the Author: Hyun Lee

Hyun is the founder at Global Scholarships. He has received a full-tuition scholarship at Birmingham-Southern College as well as $1,000 Burger King Scholarship for his undergraduate degree and has been offered a fully funded scholarship consisting of tuition, living stipend, and health insurance for computer science Ph.D. program at North Carolina State University. Read more about his scholarship journey here.

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