The Slovak Republic (or, in short form, Slovakia) is a landlocked state in Central Europe. It is bordered by the Czech Republic and Austria to the west, Poland to the north, Ukraine to the east and Hungary to the south. The Slovak landscape is noted primarily for its mountainous nature, with the Carpathian Mountains extending across most of the northern half of the country. Slovakia is a high-income advanced economy with one of the fastest growth rates in the European Union and the OECD.
Slovakia is a landlocked, Central European country that is bordered on the north by Poland, on the east by Ukraine, on the south by Hungary, and on the west by Austria and the Czech Republic. Its capital city is Bratislava, which also is its largest city. The official language of the country is Slovak. Slovakia is a member of the European Nation, NATO, United Nations, and other international organizations. It is one of only three formerly communist states that are now a part of the European Union. Slovakia has one of the fastest growth rates in the European Union, and is considered a high income, advanced economy. Since the year 2007, Slovakia has become the largest car producing country per capita, in the world.
As far as climate is concerned, Slovakia’s temperatures will change fairly dramatically. This is often due to a change in altitudes. Bratislava and south Slovakia temperatures in the summer may rise to 30°C in summer, and on hot, sunny days up to 35-37°C. Northern Slovakia will experience milder summertime temperatures of 25°C and of course mountains will be cooler.
Slovakia has a long an interesting history. Ancient artifacts from Slovakia have been carbon-dated to 270,000 B.C. Historians believe the area in Central Europe that is now Slovakia began being inhabited by the Slavs in the fourth century A.D. In the ninth century Slovakia became part of Great Morovia with parts of what is now Poland, Germany and Hungary. After the Magyars defeated the Morovian Empire in the early tenth century, Slovakia came under Hungarian rule.
The middle ages saw mining become an important part of Slovakia. More Germans settled in the area in the thirteenth century. It was in 1526 when the Turks won the battle of Mohacs. Slovakia then became a part of the Austro-Hungarian Empire. Late in the 18th century, Slovakia nationalism began to catch fire. In 1848 when revolutions spread across Europe, Hungarians fought against the Austrians. A set of demands called the Demands of the Slovak Nation were presented but the Hungarians refused all of these demands. The Austrians regained control and the old order came back.
In 1867 the Austro-Hungarian Empire became a dual monarchy. Austria and Hungary became the two parts and they shared an emperor. It was in the late 19th century the Hungarians tried to make Hungarian the only language that could be taught in schools and many Slovaks traveled to the United States.
It was in 1914, when Czechs and Slovaks demanded independence. In October of 1918 as Austria collapsed, and the formation of a new Czech-Slovak state was created, called Czechoslovakia.
In 1938, Germans living in the Sudetenland area of Czechoslovakia demanded they cede from Czechoslovakia to become a part of Germany. In 1939 Britain and France allowed this merger without approval of the Czechs. It was also the year the German Army occupied what is now the Czech Republic. Slovakia became somewhat independent, but under the control of Germany.
In 1944 German troops crushed the Slovak National Uprising. It was after this period that Communism took a foothold in Slovakia, and a 1948 coup put the communists firmly in control.
In 1968, Alexander Dubeck, a Slovakian, became the head of government. He led a reform movement that became known as Prague Spring. Years of unrest followed until in 1989 Communism crumbled in the country. Three years later in 1993, Slovakia and the Czech Republic went their separate ways. In 2004 Slovakia joined the European Union and in 2009 accepted the Euro. Slovakia joined NATO in 2009, and is poised to move forward to strengthen its economic, educational, and political status in the EU.
Study in Slovakia
Education in Slovakia
Slovakia provides for ten years of mandatory education. Students enter primary education in their 6th year, second primary education will take them from 10-15 years of age and “high” schools are for those 16 and older until they reach university age.
Most Universities in Slovakia are government owned and operated although since 1990 there are more private and religious options. These “Private Spice” forms of higher education remain rare in the country. These are privately financed schools of higher education that are privately operated but approved by the Ministry of Education.
Studying in Slovakia offers cultural opportunities that may not be seen in other countries. Still emerging after decades of communist rule, higher education in Slovakia is a study in a society, economics, and an educational system that continues to emerge.
The education season is from August through May each year, with the opportunity for summer classes. School days are Monday through Friday.
Stage 1 “Bachelor” Programmes last 3 to 4 years. A Stage 2 “Masters” programme will last an additional 1 to 3 years. Doctorland programmes can take an additional 3 to 4 years.
Slovakia provides for higher education for its students at no charge. Costs for higher education in Slovakia for foreign students can range from 2,000 to 8,000 USD per school year. This is for tuition only. Living expenses would be on top of the estimate.
If students apply at a school of higher education, and there happen to be more applicants than speaces available at that particular school, students will need to take and pass, an entrance examination. These examinations can take very different forms at each particular school, depending on the demand for entrance.
The level of education in Slovakia is considered quite high when compared to other countries in the world. Many materials however, are a bit outdated and there is not the free independent thinking that is seen on other university campuses across the globe.
Because it is still emerging as an economic power, Slovakia offers opportunities not available elsewhere. It is a forward thinking, progressive country that has a very bright future.
Students will have to keep in mind that health insurance is mandatory in Slovakia.
If you are interested in furthering your education in a country that has emerged from under communist rule and is growing as a democratic republic, you should consider your options in Slovakia.