If you are looking for a friendly, non-conformist and inexpensive location to study abroad, the city of Bratislava in Slovakia should definitely be on your top list! The quality of higher education in Bratislava is comparable with other EU countries, while the cost of living is much cheaper. Situated right in the middle of Europe, Bratislava enables you to travel conveniently to other beautiful capitals in the neighboring countries and to fully enjoy your study experience abroad. About 56,000 students attend some of the largest Slovakian universities located in Bratislava. This is more than 10% of the total population of the city. Therefore, making friends and socializing should never be a problem in the Slovakian capital.
EU/EEA/Swiss students can be employed in Bratislava on the same terms as Slovak nationals. If you are an English speaker, you can find some part-time jobs and internship opportunities in Bratislava. However, you will often need at least a basic level of Slovak skills to be considered for a position here.
Bratislava’s main profits come from banking, IT, tourism and service sectors. Major foreign investors set their headquarters in Bratislava, and others opened outsourcing offices and service centres. The multinational companies typically look to hire young, multilingual English-speakers.
If you are interested in extraction and energetic industries, Bratislava has offices of national companies such as Slovnaft (oil refining), SPP (gas distribuition) and Slovenské elektrárne (energy production). Large international employers in Bratislava include companies such as: Volkswagen, Siemens, Microsoft, IMB, Henkel and more.
With a population of only 500,000, Bratislava has a relaxed atmosphere, lacking the cram and noise of other capital cities. The city has beautiful sights, with the Danube river crossing the city and the hills (called “White Carpathians”) surrounding it.
You will be fascinated by the Bratislava Castle that dominates the city, now serving as the Slovak Parliament, and housing collections of the Slovak National Museum. Some other attractions include: the Devin Castle, St Elizabet’s (Blue) Church, St. Martin's Dome, the Primatial Palace, boat rides on the Danube and the UFO restaurant on the top of Novy Most (New Bridge).
In the city-centre, you will find many cafes, pubs, restaurants and clubs. Bratislava has a fun and active night life, both in the Old City and around student dormitory areas. Locals here are welcoming to foreigners and you will enjoy a rich and diverse international community.
If you feel like going outdoors, you can go hiking and explore some winter sports in the Tatra Mountains, which are within easy reach of Bratislava. Bratislava is the only capital city that borders two countries, Austria and Hungary, and you can travel to Vienna (one hour away) or Budapest (two and a half hours) by train.
Bratislava attracts many foreign students to pursue a full degree, an academic diploma or a short course abroad. Erasmus exchange students are especially popular at universities in Bratislava. You will be able to get by using only your English knowledge, as most young people here, as well as people working in tourist areas of the city speak good English. Czech, Polish and German are also popular in Bratislava.
Over 1.5 million tourists visit Slovakia each year, and Bratislava is the main attraction. Most of the visitors come from the Czech Republic, followed by Poland, Germany, Ukraine, Austria, Hungary, and Russia. You will be exposed here to a genuine multicultural experience, interacting with tourists and your international peers.
Bratislava has a mild climate, with four seasons, warm summers and cold winters. During summer, the average high temperatures are 25°C (77°F), and in winter they can drop to -1.7°C (29°F) on average. The period from May to September is often considered the best season to visit this capital at the centre of Europe.
Slovak University of Technology in Bratislava (STU) is the best technical university in Slovakia. According to the Slovak higher education ranking scheme prepared by ARRA, STU has been the best university in chemicals technologies, computer and technical sciences in the long term. Other world rankings list STU as the best technical university in Slovakia and third best in Slovakia and Czech Republic.
Comenius university in Bratislava has 13 faculties and serves 27,000 students each year within all three degree study programmes, 21,000 of whom are full-time students. Comenius university offers diverse study programmes encompassing a broad range of human knowledge - from medicine, humanities and social sciences, to natural sciences, mathematics and theology.