How to Study Abroad in Czech Republic: Application Process, Tuition and Cost of Living

Czech is considered one of the most beautiful countries in Eastern Europe, it was formed at the start of 1993, having formerly been part of Czechoslovakia. Previously, a communist state under the influence of the Soviet Union,Czech has experienced rapid development in the past few decades, and in 2006 became the first former Eastern Bloc state to be ranked as a “developed country” by the World Bank.

Presently, the Czech Republic is an increasingly popular study abroad destination for international students, with well more than 44,000 international students currently enrolled at its universities. EU statistics released sometime in 2014 listed it as the 12th most popular studyabroad destination for Erasmus students in Europe. There are tons of perks for those who choose to study abroad in the Czech Republic: world class universities, cheap tuition fees and living costs, and last but not least, a vibrant and colorful cultural life.

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Applying to study in the Czech Republic 

The number one requirement for applying for a bachelor’s degree in the Czech Republic is the completion of a full secondary general education. If you apply for a master’s degree, you will be evaluated based on your undergraduate qualification; if you apply for a doctoral degree (PhD), you’ll be expected to have completed a master’s degree.

Students are equally able to apply for several courses at various institutions and faculties. The deadline for submitting applications is typically the end of February or March. Most of their higher education institutions offer the option of applying via electronic form, online. At most universities, applicants are expected to sit entrance examinations, which are usually held between June and September.

Assessment methods also vary from university to university, and depend largely  on the field of study. The European Credit Transfer System (ECTS) is employed by most universities in the Czech Republic, making it much easier for students to transfer course credits both within the country and also more widely within the European continent.

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Visas to study in the Czech Republic

Good news for some of you: the Czech Republic is a member state of the European Union, and students from other EU countries don’t need a visa in order to live and study here. All you need is a valid ID or passport and an acceptance letter from your university. For students coming from outside of the EU, a student visa is required. Contact the Czech embassy in your country for guidelines on specific visa requirements, as these vary from one country to another.

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Fees and funding 

Tertiary education at all public universities in the Czech Republic is free for students of all nationalities – as long as you are willing and able to learn and study in the Czech language. If you desire to enroll in a foreign language course, additional costs would apply. For example, the fees for English language programs average around CZK 108,334 (~US$4,500). Students should also expect to pay some fees for administration, and for any additional programs completed. Private institutions charge different tuition fees, usually  in the range of US$2,000-15,000 per year.

Life in the Czech Republic is equally much cheaper than in most Western countries. Expenses covering food, accommodation and public transportation would  total around US$350-750 per month, though of course it depends on your lifestyle and your own budget. Costs can equally vary depending on the city you choose to study in. However, it is safe to say that students who come from Western Europe or the US will be surprised by the affordable and yet high-quality lifestyle in the country.

In order to support yourself whilst studying, you might like to find a part-time job. Students from the EU/EEA and Switzerland do not require  an employment permit, and students from other countries will need employment and residence permits in order to work. However, no employment permit is required from international students up to the age of 26 whose working days do not go beyond seven successive calendar days or a total of 30 days within a calendar year.

Charles University 

The highest-ranked university in the Czech Republic, Charles University sits fifth in the EECA rankings. It was founded sometime  in 1348 by Emperor Charles IV and remains the country’s largest university, with 17 faculties and about 49,200 students. It’s the number one choice among international students travelling to the country, and its internationalization program currently has led to partnerships with almost 200 universities worldwide. The campus of the medieval institute is found in Prague, only adding to its international appeal. The Czech capital, hugely popular among tourists, offers an attractive and lively setting, alongside various work opportunities.

Masaryk University 

This is the second largest public university in the country, and coincidentally,is  in the country’s second largest city, Brno. Founded sometime in 1919, it’s a member of the Compostela Group of Universities and the Utrecht Network, both of which seek to increase collaboration between universities across Europe. At the moment its ranked 17th in the EECA rankings and teaches well over 36,000 students across nine faculties. The university equally offers  programs taught in English and German, making it an obvious choice for many international students.

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