Study in Croatia

Azure Mediterranean, glamorous coastal cities, 1000 islands and a wild hinterland: Croatia is one of the most beautiful countries in Europe according to necessaryhome. The small state between Slovenia and Bosnia and Herzegovina can no longer really be called an insider tip. Compared to other Mediterranean countries such as Italy and Spain, however, the clocks tick a little differently here.

There are numerous well-visited vacation spots along the almost 2000 km long Adriatic coast. If you want, you can also find hidden bays and traditional fishing villages. Studying in Croatia offers the opportunity to combine the pleasant with the useful.

Croatian coastal cities

In lively coastal cities like Dubrovnik or Split you can drink cocktails in front of a historical backdrop, watch the hustle and bustle at the harbor or relax on one of the city beaches.

There are more than 1000 islands in the crystal clear waters off the coast of Croatia. Islands like Ciovo, Silba or Korcula await you with wonderful beaches, evergreen forests, olive groves and picturesque towns. Pac or Krk are popular destinations for party-goers.

Nature and culture

There is also a lot to discover in Croatia off the coast. A total of eight national parks ensure that Croatia is the ecologically best preserved area in Europe. The most famous of them are the Plitvice Lakes in the Dinaric Mountains. There are sixteen lakes connected by waterfalls and rivers and a dense forest area. They provide habitat for numerous bird species and even for brown bears.

Croatia also has a lot to offer culturally. Above all, the capital Zagreb, located on the border with Slovenia, impresses with numerous historical buildings and countless museums and galleries. The extensive range of cultural and leisure activities is best discovered while studying in Croatia.

University landscape in Croatia

The Croatian university landscape is divided into state and private universities. Currently there are in Croatia

  • seven state universities (sveučilišta),
  • three private universities
  • 16 Polytechnics ; mostly in government hands
  • almost 30 colleges of applied science ; mostly privately run

Some of the universities in Croatia have a long tradition and are largely state-funded. They mostly offer academic degrees, whereas the polytechnics, which are similar to those of a technical college, are known for job-related study programs.

Reforms in the higher education sector

When Croatia joined the EU in 2012, the higher education sector underwent fundamental reforms. In terms of equipment and study structure, the universities have caught up a lot in recent years and have largely aligned themselves with European standards. The accreditation authority Agency of Science and Higher Education Croatia ensures a consistent quality of the universities.

The language of study at most Croatian universities is Croatian. Some universities, such as the Zagreb School of Economics and Management, also offer English-language courses.

Study system in Croatia

Croatia has joined many other European countries and participated in the Bologna Process. The Croatian study system today is accordingly divided into three study sections. Academic achievements obtained during a study abroad in Croatia are assessed in the form of credit points.

Bachelor and Master in Croatia

In the university undergraduate course, students have the opportunity to acquire their bachelor’s degree (prvostupnik). The bachelor’s degree usually lasts three to four years and offers access to the master’s degree. As a rule, 180 to 240 ECTS points are required for studies in the undergraduate area.

In the second part of the course, the graduate course, students can obtain their master’s degree (magistar struke) within one to two further academic years. Between 60 and 120 ECTS points are estimated for a master’s degree.

At the Polytechnics and Colleges of Applied Science, too, the course is divided into an undergraduate and a graduate course. Students acquire their first professional qualification (stručni pristupnik) within two years. However, this is not internationally recognized.

Postgraduate studies

The last university stage is the postgraduate course. This offers students the chance to acquire the highest academic degree: the Doctor of Science or Doctor of Arts. 180 ECTS points are set for the doctoral program. The course lasts at least three years and ends with extensive research.

Alternatively, there is the possibility of a one to two year specialization course, which leads to the title of University Specialist.

Study in Croatia

Croatian peculiarities

In addition, it is possible to study in Croatia and acquire a so-called Professional Bachelor (stručni prvostupnik) within three years. This title enables students to specialize in a field of the professional field studied in a graduate course within one to two additional years of study. This can be followed by studying at a university.

Individual subjects are excluded from the three-tier study system in Croatia. These include

  • medicine
  • Dentistry
  • Veterinary medicine
  • Law
  • Teaching position.

The study of these subjects takes between five and six years. During this time you have to acquire 300 to 360 ECTS points. The course concludes with a diploma and the academic title of Master or (in medical subjects) Doctor.

Structure of the academic year in Croatia

An academic year in Croatia is usually divided into two semesters. The winter semester usually starts at the end of September or the beginning of October and ends at the end of January. The summer semester starts at the end of February and ends at the end of May / beginning of June. The long semester break is in the summer months of July and August.