Written by S.M. Audsley

Looking for an adventurous study abroad experience? “Dober pocitek je pol dela.” This Slovenian proverb, translated loosely in English to “Well begun is half done,” is a nice reminder to get going on finding the best study abroad degree program that most suits your needs. Maybe you’ve been weighing up which country could offer you the best of the best. Slovenia, nestled in southern Central Europe, may seem like an unconventional choice, but the country is rich in both cultural opportunities, stunning landscape, access to all of Europe, and, most of all, great degree programs. This means Slovenia is a great choice for both an invaluable cultural experience and advancement in your career.

Slovenia’s location is one of its major perks. In-between Austria and Croatia, with the western end abutting Italy and touching the Mediterranean Sea, Slovenia boasts mountainous terrain with a mostly continental coastal climate. Those who visit and study abroad in Slovenia are able to hit the Alps; walk along some Mediterranean coastline; visit the Postojna Cave system which stretches an amazing 15 miles underground (so big it houses a 10,000 capacity concert hall and an underground train); and visit the picture-perfect Lake Bled. Ljubljana, the capital, has an international airport and affordable transportation, while also being very historic and scenic. Students can also learn the local language, but don’t worry too much about perfecting your Slovene, because there are many degree options in English and the country's people boast great English literacy, with the nation ranked ninth in Education First’s English Proficiency Index of all countries which don’t have English as their first language -- another one of the major appeals for choosing to study in Slovenia. Small class sizes and studies tailored specifically to international students make Slovenia seem like even more of a dream study abroad destination.

Here are five fields of study for students who want to take advantage of all that Slovenia has to offer.                                                         

1. Computer and technology degrees

Perhaps you never thought the words “cutting-edge computer and technology” would be paired with “Slovenia” -- but, look no further! Ljubljana and the Slovenian government recently announced its commitment to establishing the first international artificial intelligence (AI) research center, supported by UNESCO. If you want to study AI or would like to learn more about this emerging tech field, then perhaps you should look into studying at the University of Ljubljana.

Also, many start-up companies are gaining traction in Slovenia, too, reports John Kennedy in his Siliconrepulic.com article 10 start-up companies from Slovenia to watch. So, it’s a no-brainer that local universities are investing in faculty and facilities to train the next generation of successful computer and tech trendsetters and innovators. Also, Slovenia’s second largest university, the University of Maribor, is one of the leading teaching and research institutions in the fields of electrical engineering and computer science.

2. Mathematics degrees

If you prefer numbers to words and you enjoy the challenge of calculus and proving theorems, then maybe a degree in mathematics is for you, and pursuing one in Slovenia, on one of their stellar mathematics programs, could well prove a great fit.  Slovenia boasts a long-standing tradition of offering excellence in mathematics education. “Mathematics has had a long tradition at the University of Ljubljana," according to the university's website. "Ever since its founding in 1919, the university has been offering study programs in mathematics, following the high quality standards set by the existing study programs abroad.” Slovenia offers many advanced mathematics programs and challenging curriculum, training the next generation of math experts. 

3. Theater, film, and media degrees

Slovenian academia not only excels in the STEM fields, but they are also becoming more and more popular for students interested in pursuing creative arts degrees, notably theater, film, and media studies. With Slovenia home to many different types of landscape and architectural backdrops, there is potential to access dramatic and stunning locations for films and TV shows. Furthermore, the Slovenian government is offering big incentives in these fields, with 25% tax rebates for filming production companies to film in Slovenia. As an aspiring filmmaker, you could be poised to take advantage of Slovenia’s production and post-production discounts encouraging more filming in the country. The capital Ljubljana in particular is encouraging expansion of filming opportunities, which is set to also increase adjacent creative arts programming such as theatre, dance, acting, and media studies to grow concurrently. The potential is unlimited in this burgeoning creative scene.

4. Nursing degrees

Nursing is another field of study in which Slovenia has a lot to offer. You’ll want to do your research on nursing programs in Slovenia, but the two major universities in the country offer excellent opportunities to learn and advance your skills. Typically, on a three-year degree program, you learn the ins and outs of nursing, and if you choose to, you can specialize and work in various departments in the healthcare profession. Also, the country offers one of the only doctoral degrees in nursing in Europe. You can learn the intricacies of the human body, how to care for the sick and those in pain, in a nation which, generally speaking, gives one a good school work and life balance.

5. Master of Business Administration (MBA) degrees

Slovenia was included in the respected Financial Times’ listings of best global Masters of Management programs in 2018 for the first time. Although lower in the overall rankings, Slovenia outperforms other countries in regards to being rated second best value for money. 

It’s true that rankings do and don’t matter -- what matters the most if finding the best program that fits your needs and will set you up for success in your career. Many students interested in an MBA program might want to consider what Slovenia has to offer: good value for your money, a stunning European setting, access to neighboring European countries, and an international setting that might make you a better and more competitive candidate in future job interviews due to your experience studying abroad and living in Central Europe.

“Nobody can discover the world for somebody else. Only when we discover it for ourselves does it become common ground and a common bond and we cease to be alone,” said writer Wendell Berry. Studying abroad can be a life-changing experience, one you won’t want to take lightly. Do you research, make your pros and cons list -- you just might find Slovenia is at the top of your list for great places to study and learn...

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