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Study in Croatia

Located in Europe, Croatia has long been providing excellent higher education to students. The University of Zagreb, which was founded in 1669, is the oldest continuously operating university in Southeast Europe. The Croatian higher education system values research and development, and welcomes international students to help their country to improve.

Why study in Croatia

Croatia (also known as Hrvatska) is a country that is classified as having a high-income economy and consistently ranks highly on the Human Development Index. Due to its membership of the European Union, the Croatian higher education system follows the Bologna Process. This means that higher education in Croatia is held to the same standards as other European countries, and will also mean that your qualifications should be recognised across Europe and the wider world.

Croatia has both public and private universities, as well as other higher education institutions, such as polytechnics. The public and private universities are focused on research and academic development in many different areas, whereas the polytechnics focus more on research and academic development in scientific and engineering disciplines.

There are 4 Croatian universities in the QS World University Rankings for 2023. The highest ranked is the University of Zagreb which is in the 801-1,000 group. Following Zagreb is the Josip Juraj Strossmayer University of Osijek, the University of Rijeka and the University of Split, which are all in the 1,000+ group.

About Croatia

Croatia, officially known as the Republic of Croatia, is a European country. It is located around Central and Southeast Europe, and has a coastline along the Adriatic Sea. Croatia shares land borders with Slovenia, Hungary, Serbia, Bosnia and Herzegovina and Montenegro. The country is home to over 3.8 million people, and is a major tourist destination.

Costs of studying and living in Croatia

Croatia uses the Croatian Kuna (HRK) as its currency.

The tuition fees as an international student in Croatia will depend on where and what you choose to study. Each higher education institution is able to set its own tuition fees for international students. Normally, fees at a private institution will be higher than at a public institution. On average, you can expect to pay between 1,000 EUR and 12,000 EUR per year for undergraduate studies. You may also have to pay additional fees, such as when you submit applications.

Your living costs will depend on where you choose to study and live. More popular tourist cities like Split and Dubrovnik will be more expensive than cities such as Zagreb. You should aim to budget between 400 EUR to 1,200 EUR per month for living expenses, including rent, food, transport and entertainment. Compared to other European study destinations, Croatia is highly cost-effective.

Student visas

Depending on where you are coming from, you may need to obtain an international study visa in order to study in Croatia. If you are not a citizen or permanent resident of Croatia, you will need a visa to formally enter the country. The visa for an international student is a study permit, and is also known as a Visa C. If you wish to stay for an extended period, you may be required to declare a temporary residence, which is normally granted for one year, or the duration of an academic year.

To be granted a temporary residence permit, you are must have valid health insurance. This may incur extra costs, so you will need to look at fees before you travel to ensure you have the correct cover to gain your permit.


The official language of Croatian is Croatian. There are many other recognised languages throughout the country, including Serbian, Czech, Hungarian and Italian, among others.

Courses at universities in Croatia are offered in Croatian and English. If you choose to study in a language that is not your first language, you might be required to provide evidence of your language proficiency, for instance by taking an English Language test. If you do not meet the required standards, your university of choice may offer language courses to help you improve.

Even if you are able to study in English, you should make an effort to learn as much Croatian as possible. Communicating with locals and other students is a great way to practise. This is a skill that will look great on your CV/resume!

Student cities in Croatia


The capital and largest city of Croatia, Zagreb is home to over 800,000 people. The city sits in the northwestern part of Croatia and has a rich history, dating back to Roman times. Zagreb is considered the economic and political hub of the country, with many large companies and the central government calling it home.


Split is the second largest city in Croatia and is home to around 160,000 people. It is a coastal city that sits on the Adriatic Sea, and is a highly popular tourist destination. Split is a culturally and historically important city, with its city centre being included in the UNESCO list of World Heritage Sites.


Historically known as Ragusa, Dubrovnik is one of the most popular tourist destinations in the Mediterranean area. It is a coastal city, and is home to over 40,000 people. It is an important historical area, and was added to the UNESCO list of World Heritage Sites due to its outstanding medieval architecture and fortified old town.

More information about studying in Croatia

Capital City Zagreb
Currency HRK, Croatian Kuna
Language(s) Croatian
Universities on StudyLink 2 universities
Major Student Cities Split, Dubrovnik

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