Slovenia, officially the Republic of Slovenia, is a nation state in Central Europe at the crossroads of main European cultural and trade routes. It borders Italy to the west, Austria to the north, Croatia to the south and southeast and Hungary to the northeast. Relative to its geography, history, economy, culture, and language, it is a very diverse country distinguished by a transitional character. It is characterized by a high economic and social level.
The Republic of Slovenia sits at the crossroads of southern Central Europe bordering Austria, Croatia, Hungary, and Italy. Geographical diversity - mountains, forests, sea - makes the region attractive to many. Historically, it’s been a well-established trade route between Europe and Asia and an important seaport for trade along the Adriatic and Mediterranean Seas.
This parliamentary republic was the first former Communist country to join the European Union (EU) and it’s a member of North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO).
Slovenia’s forests are exceptional in their biodiversity, which includes more than 24,000 species of animal. Although a very small portion of the Earth’s landmass (0.004%), a full 1% of the Earth’s living organisms are native to Slovenia, where 12.5% of the nation is covered under ecological protection laws. Only Finland and Sweden have a higher percentage of forestland than Slovenia’s 58.5%.
Perhaps the most notable of Slovenia’s animals is the Lipizzan horse, beloved around the world for its extraordinary beauty and exceptional performance in entertainment and sports performances. First bred in the Kras plateau region, the horse gets its name from the Italian spelling (Lipizza) of the village name - Lipica.
Slovenians love their cars, crowding the nation’s highways and motorways at a higher than average density than the rest of the EU.
From the coastlines to the Alps, Slovenia provides a diversity in geography and climate that is rarely found elsewhere. Its temperate climate is held in check by four major geographical features that buffer harsh winter extremes and a long expanse of sea coast that replaces extreme summer heat with the balmy weather Slovenians love. Higher elevations do see snow in the winter, however, but mountain ranges surrounding the nation shields it from the high winds experienced elsewhere in Europe.
By European standards, Slovenia enjoys a low population density, just 262 people per square mile. About 83% of the people are of Slovene descent; 57.8% identify as Roman Catholic (2002).
Its whole-hearted embrace of the arts puts Slovenia at the top of the map for cultural diversity celebrated in grand style. So popular are events involving song and dance, prose and poetry, theater and film, food and fun that the city of Maribor was commemorated as the EU Capital of Culture in 2012. Slovenians enjoy festivals galore, including the delicious annual Festival of Roasted Potatoes.
Sports fans love studying in Slovenia, where the geography and climate provide the ideal playing field for many team and individual sports. The celebration of indoor and outdoor sports, summer and winter, has paid off for Slovenia, which claims 22 Olympic medals and 19 Paralympic medals won since 1992.
Even though it was hard hit by the global economic crisis of 2007 - 2010, Slovenia remains one of the richest Slavic states, with a GDP of $22,192 per capita. Prosperity levels vary widely across the country, though. Lingering economic woes are attributed to relatively high taxes, an inflexible labor market, and an aging population.
Roughly two-thirds of the population is employed by the service industry and the remaining one-third by construction and industry (mainly automobile, electric / electronic equipment, machinery, pharmaceuticals, fuels).
Almost everybody older than 64 is retired. Low birth rates in the last couple of generations have left the workforce short on the workers needed to fill jobs made available by retirees. Opportunities for work after graduation are plentiful.
Study in Slovenia
Higher Education in Slovenia
The national interest in education for all ages makes Slovenia an ideal college destination. Slovenia’s education system is rated #12 best in the world and #4 in the EU. The national literacy rate is 99.6%.
The University of Ljubljana, in the city of the same name, is considered Slovenia’s central university and is superb, ranked in the top 3% of best universities in the world. Other major universities include:
- The University of Maribor (public)
- The University of Primorska (public)
- The University of Nova Gorica system (private)
- The Euro-Mediterranean University of Slovenia (EMUNI), the only international university in Slovenia
Tuition rates vary according to field of study and are listed here at the Slovenian tolar (SIT) rate, which has been replaced by the Euro (€). As of this writing, one Euro equals $239.649 SIT. The Euro:US dollar exchange rate is 0.77€:$1.00.
- Social science study programs for one year = $1,500 SIT = $8.19 US
- The arts, natural sciences, and technology study programs for one year = $2,000 SIT = $10.92 US
Some foreign students can obtain tuition exemptions in certain circumstances. Learn about these exemptions from the International Cooperation Service of the Slovenian Ministry of Education, Science, and Sport.
The nation’s diverse animal life makes it an excellent place to study veterinary sciences while its abundance of forests and plant life provide the ideal setting to study botany and horticulture. Students interested in the study of natural sciences will find Slovenia’s remarkable biodiversity becomes a living laboratory replete with unique study opportunities.
Slovenia’s rich history brings the arts alive. Many students choose Slovenian universities for in-depth study of European culture, including linguistics, history, and the humanities. The University of Ljubjana even operates its own art gallery.
Slovenia’s cultural diversity makes it an exceptional location to study international relations, foreign policy, and language arts but science and technology hold a strong place in Slovenian academics, too, where the study of medicine and dentistry are encouraged.
Students wishing to enroll in a Slovenian university must obtain a temporary residence permit before entering the country for the first time. The following five conditions must be met before a student visa will be issued:
- Proof of acceptance to a Slovenian educational institution
- Proof that the student has the money to cover the cost of living in Slovenia during the education process
- Proof of health insurance
- Proof that the student has no criminal record in his or her mother country
- Proof of a valid passport
Slovene is the official national language but Italian, Hungarian, and Romani are legally protected, too.
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