Study in Czech Republic
The Czech Republic boasts the oldest institution of higher education in Central Europe, the Charles University. Located in Prague, the school was founded in 1348.
Modern Czech higher education uses the three cycle structure of bachelor’s, master’s and doctoral degrees. Higher education institutions are divided into universities and non-universities.Non-universities usually provide only bachelor’s degrees, while universities provide programs of study across all degree levels and academic disciplines.
The Czech Republic has 26 public, 2 state, and 44 private institutions of higher education.The two state institutions are specialized schools run by the Ministry of Defense and the Ministry of the Interior.Taken together, the schools offer master’s degrees in a wide range of disciplines, including architecture, art history, sculpture, theatre, theological studies, engineering, information technology, chemistry, physics, natural sciences, business, social sciences, forestry, education, and many others.Many private institutions focus on specific areas of study such as business.
Why Study in the Czech Republic?
The Czech Republic has a long tradition of high quality education and research, particularly in the fields of science, engineering and medicine.International students will find a welcoming environment; currently more than 37,000 foreign students are studying at Czech schools.
Many programs are now offered in English and other languages besides Czech. In addition, Mater of Business Administration (MBA) degrees are growing in popularity; most MBA programs use a case-study approach.
Tuition and Program Duration
By law, tuition is free for all nationalities at all public institutions of higher learning in the Czech Republic. Some fees do apply, such as admissions, extension of studies beyond original date, studies undertaken in addition to a student’s original plan, and fees for studying in a language other than Caech.
Private institutions set their own tuition and fees, and these typically range from $US 2,000 to $US 15,000 each year.
Master’s degree programs can last anywhere from one to three years. Master’s programs are very theoretical and students are required to take a final state exam and defend a thesis in a public forum.
Exact start dates are established by individual institutions, but most begin the academic year in October. In addition, most institutions divide the academic year into two 20-week winter and summer semesters, each including a 15-week instructional period, five weeks of exams, and a holiday. A two month holiday is usually taken in July and August.
There are many opportunities for employment in the Czech Republic after obtaining a master’s degree for all students, regardless of nationality. One-third of company directors in the Czech Republic are foreigners. Although business is increasingly conducted in English, students who have undertaken studies in Czech or are already proficient in Czech will find an advantage in obtaining employment.
All international students require long-term visas for studying in the Czech Republic. Additional information is available at the website for the Ministry of the Interior. Long-term student visas can take 3-4 months to obtain, so students should plan accordingly.
Students from EU-member countries, Iceland, Lichtenstein, Norway and Switzerland may use the European Health Insurance Card provided by their home country to obtain medical services.
Students from other countries are not entitled to public health insurance and must purchase commercial health insurance that covers at least €30,000 worth of care. Students on long-term stays are required to present proof of premium payment.
In addition to health insurance, all major hospitals accept major credit cards or cash as payment for treatment.
There are many student organizations in the Czech Republic dedicated to helping international students. These organizations include the Erasmus Student Network and The International Association for the Exchange of Students for Technical Experience (IAESTE).
Students not proficient in Czech will find many courses in the Czech Republic to assist them. Although these courses typically require an additional fee, some are covered by scholarships. The Institute for Language and Preparatory Studies provides multiple courses for students with language deficiencies, including intensive courses and online courses.
Undergraduate Studies in Czech Republic
A landlocked country in the heart of Central Europe, the Czech Republic shares a border with Germany to the west, Slovakia to the east, Austria to the south and Poland to the north. It is the product of a peaceful dissolution of the country of Czechoslovakia following the Velvet Revolution, which marked the end of communism in the region. It is now a parliamentary representative democracy headed by a Prime Minister. Culturally it has been influenced by the Bohemians, the Roman Empire, the Austrian Hapsburgs and occupation by communist Russia. Its economy thrives on tourism, scientific innovation, exporting electricity and the manufacture and export of automobiles, buses, trains and other transportation vehicles. Czech students who wish to continue their education following secondary school may choose to attend a public, state or private university. State schools prepare students for work on the police force or in the military. Public universities enjoy a more prestigious reputation than private institutions, which sometimes lack accreditation and have faced scandal in recent years. The Czech school year is split into two semesters. The first begins in mid-September and ends with final exams in January. The second begins in February and goes through June, with exams in the final weeks of the term. The school calendar may vary slightly from one institution to another, but will generally include several days off for various holidays and midterm breaks. Students may complete a bachelor’s degree in a diverse range of disciplines, including business, mathematics, literature, law, science, engineering and international studies. Most programs will require three to four years of full-time study. Many programs are taught in English, in order to attract international students who do not speak Czech. Graduates with a bachelor's degree may continue their studies in a master's or doctoral program. For residents of the Czech Republic, higher education at a public institution is funded by the government until the age of 26. International students may also have the majority of their academic expenses paid by the Czech government, although many fees are not covered. All students who attend private universities must pay their own tuition. Prospective students should contact universities directly to learn more. Students choose to study undergraduate studies in the Czech Republic for many reasons. Many students are attracted by the low tuition and affordable cost of living. Others are interested in the country’s rich cultural history as well as its proximity to the rest of Europe. The nation is known for its exemplary education and research in engineering, medicine and the sciences. Students of any discipline can benefit from knowledgeable professors and a diverse student body.