Partner Country of the Month October: Croatia
Our partner country for the month of October is Croatia! Whether it's dreamy beaches and enchanted forests, vibrant cities, or winding villages - here you'll find everything a student's heart desires! So if you are still looking for the right country for your semester abroad, Croatia is a very good choice. To give you a little insight into the country and its many advantages, we would like to introduce you to the two cities of Zagreb and Rijeka and our partner universities.
General facts & Figures
- Capital: Zagreb
- Population: 4.06 million
- Establishment: 25th of June 1991: Independence from Yugoslavia
- National holiday: 30th of May (Statehood Day)
- Currency: Kuna (HRK)
- Time zone: UTC+1 CET / UTC+2 CEST (March-October)
- Official language: Croatian
Brief language excursion
Did you know that Croatia has a total of 1,246 (!) islands? In a global comparison, this puts the country at 22nd place among the countries with the most islands. In fact, only 47 of the Croatian islands are inhabited and there is still a lot of untouched nature. However, it is not only the numerous islands that have made Croatia a popular holiday destination for tourists over the years. On the mainland, too, the Republika Hrvatska impresses visitors with its diverse landscape: the characteristic long coastline offers over 1,700 km of beautiful beaches. In addition, both inland and on the sea coast, you will find cities such as Zagreb, Split, or the "Pearl of the Adriatic" Dubrovnik, which are well worth visiting. Last but not least, Croatia's most famous sights include several national parks, first and foremost the Plitvice Lakes National Park. Known as the location for the famous Winnteou films, this natural wonder is home to 16 lakes and waterfalls surrounded by rock formations and forests - an ideal place for hiking or weekend camping trips!
Zagreb is the capital of Croatia and at the same time the largest city in the country with 820,000 inhabitants. The metropolis is located in northwest Croatia, surrounded by the Sava River, the largest river in Croatia and Slovenia. The Medvednica Mountains border the city to the north. Zagreb itself is divided into the upper town (Gornji Grad) and the lower town (Donji Grad). While the upper, historical part was laid out as early as the 13th century and is characterized by predominantly baroque architecture, the lower town was not created until the middle of the 19th century due to the expansion of the settlement area. This means that a walk through the city centre allows you to admire the varied architecture on every corner.
In addition to its status as the country's most important business location, Zagreb is also considered the cultural centre of Croatia. With numerous theatres, art galleries and museums, the city offers a wide range of cultural events. In addition, Zagreb's art and culture scene has also established itself on a European level with the Zagreb Film Festival or Dance Week. The nightlife of the "party city" is also impressive: a wide range of small bars, pubs, and nightclubs can be found, all in the typically relaxed Croatian atmosphere.
Those who have had enough of the city life in the capital can relax in the nearby Medvednica Mountains with extensive hikes - in winter, the mountains even serve as a skiing area. In the warmer months, Lake Jarun in the southwest of Zagreb - also called the "Zagreb Sea" - with its large leisure and sports park is an ideal recreational area.
University of Zagreb / Sveučilište u Zagrebu
Founded in 1669, the University of Zagreb is the oldest Croatian university and at the same time the oldest educational institution in Southeast Europe. Today, it offers over 70,000 students the opportunity to choose from a variety of study programmes offered by 31 faculties. At the same time, it is an important research institution.
A semester abroad at the University of Zagreb gives students the opportunity to get to know life in the Croatian capital. The various university buildings are mostly centrally located throughout the city, so studying and exploring the city can be perfectly combined. In particular, the National and University Library of Zagreb with its impressive entrance hall is a eye-catcher.
At the University of Zagreb, it is possible to study in Croatian or take courses in English. The range of courses is constantly being expanded to meet the university's international standards. Also of interest: in order to delve even deeper into Croatian culture, the Croaticum (Centre for Croatian as Foreign and Second Language) offers students at the University of Zagreb various Croatian language courses at all levels.
For insights into everyday study life, the University of Zagreb has made a video for prospective international students. Further information on the cooperation between the Universities of Bayreuth and Zagreb as well as testimonials from former exchange students can be found here.
Rijeka is the third largest city in Croatia and is located on the Kvarner Bay in the west of the country. As a port city, it represents an important transhipment point for Southern, Central, and Eastern Europe. Thanks to the Mediterranean climate, the average annual temperature in Rijeka is a pleasant 23°C. Due to the mild weather conditions and its location on the coast, Rijeka is also considered a popular holiday destination on the Croatian Adriatic. The many beautiful stretches of beach invite visitors to relax, but are also ideal for sailing and windsurfing due to favourable wind conditions.
The small old town with its numerous shops, restaurants, and cafés as well as the waterfront promenade also contribute to the special flair of the town. Aside from the lively pedestrian zone ("Korzo"), the Trsat fortress above the city and the harbour area around the "Molo Longo" are also worth seeing. Not least because of the wide range of events around the motto "Port of Diversity", Rijeka was presented as one of the European Capitals of Culture as recently as 2020.
Especially during the carnival season, Rijeka shows its colourful side: the city's own carnival is considered the third largest in the world! So if you are planning your semester abroad over the months of January/February, it is worth visiting the many traditional festivities, concerts, and masquerade balls.
University of Rijeka / Sveučilište u Rijeci
Founded in 1973, the University of Rijeka (UNIRI) is one of the country’s younger universities. Around 17,000 students study and research at ten faculties in Rijeka and the neighbouring town of Opatija.
The university is actively involved in European university cooperation through its participation in the Young Universities for Future of Europe initiative (YUFE). Its modern orientation is also reflected in UNIRI's ambitions to make its teaching increasingly international, among other things by expanding the range of courses offered in foreign languages.
UNIRI's active student community is organized through the Student Cultural Centre. There are also opportunities for international students to get involved in various projects, such as the International Student Film Festival.
All other important information about a semester abroad in Rijeka can be found here. UNIRI has also compiled helpful tips on living and studying in Croatia in a guide and information on how to get there in a brochure. The university's international website offers further details on the study programme in Rijeka.
Students (bachelor's/master's) can apply for a semester abroad in Croatia for the following academic year by 1 December. All information about the application process can be found here.
Thanks to funding under the Erasmus+ programme, all tuition fees at the foreign university are waived. In addition, students staying in Croatia receive a monthly grant of €330 according to country group 3. You can read more details about the funding here.