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Study in Iran

With the earliest Persian dynasty thought to have been established around 550 BC, Iran today is known for its long and rich history.

The country’s universities are known for their science and technology programs such as chemistry, engineering and physics are part of the reason why some prospective students may be interested in pursuing higher education in Iran.

Why Study in Iran?

There are many reasons for foreign prospective students to consider studying in Iran. As already mentioned, the first is for the country’s science and technology programs. For those interested in pursuing studies on the region’s history, culture, art and religion, taking courses and programs in Iran is an option. Another popular reason for studying in Iran is to learn and master Persian, the country’s official language.

Despite the many reasons for wanting to study in Iran, interested individuals may have to consider other factors in taking higher education in the country. For instance, a significant number of courses are not available to female students as decreed by the state, making it a possibility that taking the program you are interested in might be impossible in Iran.

About Iran

With an area of over 1.6 million square kilometers, Iran is the 18th largest country in the world. It is also considered as one of the world’s most mountainous countries, which might not be obvious when looking at its highly urbanized areas such as, Tehran, a cosmopolitan city located in the northern half of the country.

Tehran is home to more than 12 million of Iran’s 77.45 million-strong population (as of 2013) and is the most populous out of the country’s 31 provinces. The provinces are divided into counties and further into districts and sub-districts, and are also spread out over 5 regions of the country.

The official religion of Iran is Shia Islam, although others such as Sunni Islam, Christianity, Judaism and Zoroastrianism are present and recognized in the country. Religion plays a big part in the country’s culture, art, and government.

Cost of Studying & Living in Iran

Fees for international students vary depending on the university. For example, the University of Tehran has tuition fees ranging from $7,000 to $9,000 a year, while the yearly tuition fees at the University of Tabriz ranges from $800 to $4000.

In addition to tuition fees, prospective students also need to take into consideration the living costs in Iran. Rent in most cities can cost an average of $500 for a 1-bedroom apartment, with basic utilities coming in at around $33 a month. Some universities offer accommodation in dorms, which typically cost less than renting in the city center. Cheap meals on average cost around $5, while non-alcoholic local beer is available for around $6 per half-litre. For more details, you can check this page.

Visas

Students intending to study in Iran must acquire a Student visa. Requirements include two completed visa application forms, a valid passport, two recent 3x4cm photos, payment of the visa fee and acceptance letter or certificate from an accredited educational institution in Iran.

Language

Persian is the official language of the country, although English and Arabic are also taught from certain year levels in school. In most cases, proficiency in Persian is not considered during admissions. However, it is expected that students will become fluent in the language throughout the program, and for this reason, international students may be required to take extensive Persian language courses available at his or her university.

Cities

Tehran

As the economic centre and capital of Iran, Tehran is home to around 45% of the country’s industrial firms. It also houses four airports, with only two being active today. Private vehicles are a popular mode of transportation, although there is a subway system and bus lines for public transportation. Some popular tourist attractions in and around Tehran are the Golestan Palace, National Museum of Iran, Tehran Museum of Contemporary Art and Milad Tower.

Mashhad

The second largest city in Iran in terms of population is Mashhad, which is located in the northeast. It is also considered a tourism hub, with over 20 million annual visitors every year, with most visiting as part of pilgrimage, to visit the eighth Shia Imam’s (Imam Reza) tomb and shrine.

The Ferdowsi University of Mashhad and the Razavi University of Islamic Sciences are located in Mashhad, which is also home to a historic library called the Central Library of Astan-e Quds Razavi.

Karaj

Located west of Tehran, Karaj stands at the foot of the Alborz mountains. It receives tourists from other cities in the country mainly for its natural attractions, temples and palaces. Because of its proximity to the Alborz mountains, it has a number of ski resorts in close proximity.

It is also known for the educational complexes it houses, such as Center for Research in Agriculture and Nuclear Medicine of Karaj and the Faculty of Agriculture and Natural Resources of the University of Tehran.

Shiraz

Considered as the center of Persian culture, Shiraz is located in the south of the country. Saadi and Hafez who are considered two of the nation’s greatest poets were born in Shiraz. Their resting places are found there as well and are considered to be top tourist attractions. Other popular places to visit include the Old Town, mosques and gardens.

The province’s largest university and library are located in Shiraz, whose academic community is made up of educational institutions such as Shiraz University of Medical Sciences, Shiraz University of Applied Science and Technology and Islamic Azad University of Shiraz.

Image by Fulvio Spada:CC

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Map of Iran