Slovenia, officially the Republic of Slovenia, is a state in Central Europe at the crossroads of main European cultural and trade routes. It is a full member of the European Union since 2004. It borders Italy to the west, Austria to the north, Croatia to the south and southeast, and Hungary to the northeast (more information — video)
Relative to its geography, history, economy, culture, and language, it is a very diverse country distinguished by a transitional character. It occupies an exceptional position at the meeting point of the Alps and Mediterranean, and includes the mysterious Karst and expansive Pannonian plains. Geographical diversity - mountains, forests, sea - makes the region attractive to many. In Slovenia, you can swim in the sea in the morning and climb mountains in the afternoon. 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. Slovene is the official national language but Italian, Hungarian, and Romani are legally protected for the minorities. Slovenian is a South Slavic language and one of the few Indo-European languages that have preserved its dual (grammatical number). One of the major challenges faced by the Slovenian language at the beginning of the 21st century was Slovenia’s accession to the European Union, whereby Slovenian obtained the status of one of the EU official languages. Universities offer Slovenian courses for students to meet their specific needs. All interested foreigners can also learn the Slovenian language online (freely accessible).
Since the earliest times, the diverse and rich natural and cultural traditions have fostered the creativity of writers and artists. »Like heaven under Triglav«, as Slovenia was described by Ivan Cankar, one of the giants of Slovenian literature.
Slovenia is a member of all the major international organizations, including the European Union and NATO. In the first half of 2008, it was also the first of the new Member States to hold the EU Presidency. In the second half of 2021, Slovenia will hold the Presidency of the Council of the EU for the second time.
In Slovenia, the natural world is dominated by green, while the country features diversity and contours in all regions. Two-thirds of Slovenia is covered with forests. Slovenia’s forests are exceptional in their biodiversity, which includes around 19,000 species of animals. Only Finland and Sweden have a higher percentage of forestland than Slovenia’s 58.9%. 37% of the territory is protected as Natura 2000. Slovenia has one of the highest numbers of underground caves in the world in terms of country area. A number of endemic animals called proteus or ‘human fish“ live in them. This rare and mysterious species has the ability to fully recover after injury and even restore missing body parts.
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.
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 seacoast 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. Its wholehearted embrace of the arts puts Slovenia at the top of the map for cultural diversity celebrated in grand style. So popular are events involving music and dance, prose and poetry, theater and film, food and fun. The city of Maribor was commemorated as the EU Capital of Culture in 2012.
Sports fans love studying in Slovenia, where 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 88 Olympic and 48 Paralympic medals.
Slovenia remains one of the richest Slavic states, with a GDP of $22,123 per capita. Prosperity levels vary widely across the country, though. 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, hi-tech, machinery, pharmaceuticals, fuels, tourism). Opportunities for work after graduation are plentiful.
FACTS ABOUT SLOVENIA
• Capital: Ljubljana
• Official language: Slovenian
• Political system: Democratic Republic
• Population: 2 million
• 78 years life expectancy
• 20,271km2 area
• 1382 km border
• 46,6 km coastline
• 58,9 % forests
• 2,864m highest peak
• 10,200 underground caves
• 3,2320 organic farms
• Currency: Euro
• Slovenia is the only country in the world with “love” in its name
• Located in Central Europe, borders Italy, Austria, Croatia and Hungary
• Home to the oldest grapevine in the world (all vineyards cover 21,600 ha)
• Highest peak: Triglav (2864 m)
• Coast: Adriatic Sea (47 km of coastline)
• Nature: the third most forested country in Europe
• Over 8,000 currently known karstic caves and pits, including the Škocjan Caves which have been included in the UNESCO list of natural world heritage
• Home to numerous top athletes (Tina Maze, Goran Dragić, Anže Kopitar), artists, musicians and composers (Slavko Avsenik, the author of the most frequently played instrumental composition in the world “Na Golici”)
• Member of the European Union since 2004
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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