Study Abroad Guide - Czech Republic

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The Czech Republic has become an increasingly attractive destination for international students because of the many advantages it offers, including a central location, friendly people, charming attractions, and affordable tuition and living costs.  Approximately 40,000 foreign students are enrolled in Czech universities, and the EU has deemed it the 12th most popular destination for students in its Erasmus exchange program. 

A Young and Growing Nation

Formed in 1993, when it separated from Slovakia, the Czech Republic (also known informally since 2016 as Czechia) lies in the heart of Europe and offers an excellent base for exploring other European countries, such as neighboring Germany, Poland, and Austria. After the Velvet Revolution of 1989, when the country emerged from communist control, it has experienced rapid economic growth.  In 2006, the Czech Republic became the first former Eastern Bloc state to be considered a “developed country” by the World Bank.

Higher Education in the Czech Republic

Czechia’s higher education system dates back over 600 years and includes 70 universities, two-thirds of which are private.  Twelve Czech universities are featured in the top 200 of the QS University Rankings for Emerging Europe and Central Asia 2016.  Here are the three most highly rated:

Charles University

Founded in 1348 by King Charles IV in the magical capital city of Prague, Charles University is one of the oldest universities in the world and the most prominent university in the Czech Republic.  It houses 17 divisions and serves 53,000 students.  A favorite among young people studying abroad, Charles University has developed partnerships with over 200 universities around the globe.  When study breaks are needed, Prague provides a seemingly endless supply of charming distractions.

student exploring Prague.jpg

Czech Technical University

Also in Prague and about 300 years old, Czech Technical University offers 100 degree programs in engineering and related fields.  It enrolls approximately 24,000 graduate and post-graduate students each year.  Its many renowned alumni include Christian Doppler of the “Doppler effect.”

Masaryk University

Masaryk University is located in Brno, the Czech Republic’s second largest city.  It is a member of the Compostela Group of Universities and the Utrecht Network, both of which promote cooperation among European universities.  Because it offers programs in English and German, it holds special appeal to foreign students.  There are about 36,000 students among 9 divisions.

Transferring Money for Tuition and Living Costs

Tuition costs vary depending on whether the university is public or private, as well as in which language you’ll be studying.  If you can tackle the challenge of learning Czech, it could be an excellent investment.  Believe it or not, all students attending Czech public institutions of higher learning—regardless of nationality—are exempt from tuition, as long as their classes are taught in the Czech language.  (All three of the universities listed above are public.) 

Programs in English or other foreign languages at public universities have fees starting at about 1,000 Euros per semester.  Private schools can fix their own fees, which range from 0 to about $22,000 USD per year.

The cost of living is also very reasonable in the Czech Republic.  Average living costs fall between $350-$750 per month, which includes meals, housing, transportation, and culture. 

While the country is a member of the EU, it is not part of the Eurozone and therefore has its own currency: the Czech koruna or crown.  The current exchange rate is $1,000 USD to about 22,000 crowns (CZK).  When transferring money internationally in order to cover tuition and living expenses, be sure to get the best foreign exchange rate and the lowest fees by comparing money transfer companies.  That way, you’ll have more funds leftover to explore the Czech Republic’s fairytale castles, winding cobblestone streets, and beautiful countryside.

 


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