Slovakia is one of those European countries in which education is available not only for local but also for foreign students for free.
The studies will take place in one of the Slovak universities and in the Slovak language.
The good news is that the Slovak language belongs to the Slavic languages, and on average one year of preparatory courses is enough for an applicant to reach the required level of language proficiency for learning.
So, let’s see step by step what you need to do to become a student of a Slovak university and holder of a Slovak residence permit.
0) every foreigner applying for a residence permit in Slovakia must provide a valid police clearance certificate with an apostille, no older than 90 days;
1) you need to have a certificate of secondary education, on which you need to put an apostille (on the insert it is obligatory too);
* attention – if you already have a higher education, for example, a bachelor’s degree, and are applying for a master’s degree, then you need to provide a diploma of the last higher education;
2) it is necessary to make a translation to Slovak language and nostrification of the certificate/diploma (it is the recognition of your foreign document in Slovakia);
3) depending on the university, it is necessary either to provide a state-recognized certificate (which can be obtained in the preparatory courses or by passing the international exam for the level of proficiency in the Slovak language) or upon admission to pass an interview where your level of proficiency in Slovak is determined. Some universities do not require either one or the other, but you need to be prepared that it’s hard to study without knowing the language, and you might not pass the first session;
4) the conditions of admission, as well as a list of faculties, which are required and which are not entrance exams, each university posts on its website usually by the end of January of the year of admission. Since applicants in Slovakia can register an unlimited number of applications for admission, the option of entering a faculty without entrance exams remains a reliable “fallback” option in case an applicant has not made it to a faculty with entrance exams.
The most popular universities among students from Eastern European countries: Comenius University in Bratislava, Matej Bel University in Banská Bystrica, Slovak Technical University in Bratislava.
When you choose a University and a specialty (or several), you need:
1) register in the application system for studies. The faculties websites have links to the system in which you need to register. Submission dates vary from February to early April.
2) print out the application (applications) and, together with a translated copy of the passport, and a receipt of payment of the fee send by mail to the address of the faculty.
3) it is necessary to contact the educational department of the faculty in order to inform them about your intention to enter and that you will receive a certificate (diploma) later than the Slovaks, so its sending may be delayed.
4) it is necessary to collect all the documents that are prescribed by the rules of each specific University. For example, it can be an autobiography, medical certificate, certificates of language exams (if any), etc.
5) as soon as you receive a diploma / certificate in your hands, it must be translated into Slovak and nostrified. Send one notarized copy to the Ministry of Education of Slovakia for the transfer of grades to the Slovak system, the other – to the city government (okresný úrad) of Bratislava for its nostrification.
6) pass exams (if necessary).
7) after nostrification of the certificate/diploma, it must be submitted to the university no later than the last one for admission (depending on the university).
8) after confirmation of study, it is necessary to provide all information to Cudzinecka policia and submit documents for a residence permit.
www.minedu.sk Ministry of Education of Slovakia
www.saia.sk Slovak Education Information Center for the Third Sector
www.scholarships.sk Slovak Academic Association for International Cooperation
https://www.vladnestipendia.sk/sk/ Website about scholarships to study in Slovakia