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, theatre 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.
ENTRY INTO SLOVENIA
Migration is a way of life in the modern world. Like other Member States of the European Union, Slovenia supports the integration of foreigners holding a residence permit. Slovenia adheres to the principles and values of equality, freedom and mutual cooperation.
Citizens of the Member States of the European Economic Area (EEA) may enter Slovenia with a valid identity card or a valid passport and do not require a visa or a residence permit. A more favorable treatment upon entry and for the acquisition of a residence permit is also accorded to family members of the citizens from the EEA countries. Before their arrival to Slovenia, third country nationals must acquire a visa or a residence permit from Slovenia's diplomatic mission abroad. Source and more information: Ministry of Interior.
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
Higher education and thus related scientific research are at the very centre of development ambitions of the Republic of Slovenia. Slovenia aspire to high-quality and diverse higher education responding to the needs and expectations of society, and generating a large number of motivated and innovative experts with diverse knowledge and high ethical standards. The fundamental objectives of Slovenian higher education area include quality, excellence, diversity and accessibility. Quality enables everyone to obtain internationally comparable and recognised higher educational qualifications, and thus better employment possibilities and mobility in Europe and the world. The social dimension is also important in this sense, which enables broad access to higher education and provides conditions for successful completion of studies.
Higher education institutions in Slovenia include universities, faculties, art academies and independent higher education institutions. These promote the development of science, expertise and art, and integrate findings from scientific, expert, research and artistic fields into the education process. Faculties, art academies and higher education institutions may be established as independent higher education institutions outside universities. It is of key importance for the transfer of knowledge that universities and independent higher education institutions cooperate with one another and integrate with research institutions, and the business and non-business sectors. Higher education institutions monitor the needs for knowledge and employment needs in the environment. They provide information on employment possibilities in fields compliant with graduates’ competencies or their learning outcomes. More information
In addition to public universities and independent higher education institutions, there are also private institutions that determine their mission autonomously. Their operations are regulated by the same legal framework as those of public higher education institutions, which provides comparable quality standards and operating possibilities for both types of institutions. To learn more about educational systems and policies in Slovenia you can watch short video series which were prepared by our Ministry of Education, Science and Sport. Source: Ministry of Education, Science and Sport.
The University of Ljubljana, in the capital city of the same name, is the central and largest educational institution in Slovenia, ranked in the top 3% of best universities in the world. Other major universities include: