Czech Republic AKA Czechia is a Central European country of 10.7 million inhabitants with a geographic extent of 78,886 square kilometers. Czech Republic is a landlocked country bordered by Poland to the north, Germany to the West, Slovakia to the East, and Austria to the South. The country was founded on January 1, 1993 separating from Czechoslovakia republic (which was established in 1918), historically the region was a part of Duchy of Bohemia, a monarchy (since 870 A.D.).
Study in the Czech Republic
Czech Republic is administratively divided into 13 regions and 76 districts, the western side is known as Bohemian and the eastern side is called as the Moravian region. Prague is the capital city of Czech Republic with a population of 1.3 million people, other big cities/town include; Brno, Ostrava, Plzeň, Liberec, Olomouc. Prague is the fifth most visited city in Europe after London, Paris, Istanbul and Rome (20 million tourist visiting Prague annually).
96% of the people in the country are Czech, with 1.6% Slovaks, other ethnicity amount to 2.4%, the largest immigrant community is from Ukraine, Russia, and Vietnam, wile 44% of the population is between age of 25 and 54. Demographically, most people in the Czech Republic do not adhere to a religion (72% as per Pew research survey, 2017), it consists of one of the most atheist/irreligious population in world after China, and Japan.
Czech Republic has warm, dry summers, and cold snowy winters with a precipitation of 1000 mm yearly, with a temperature of 0 to -20 °C in winters, averaging 18/20 °C in spring, 15 to 30°C in summer season. The Air Quality Index for Czech Republic is usually around 0-50 (good air quality), 50-100 (moderate air quality) for some days in the year, while rarely going above 100 (unhealthy for selective groups).
In terms of the Human Development Index (2019), Czech Republic ranks #27 (very highly developed) in the world. The GDP (nominal) per capital for the country was $23,452 in 2019 making it #39 in the world. Czech Republic is a high income market economy which runs on services, manufacturing, and innovation sector, maintaining a welfare state with universal healthcare and tuition-free (university) education. Czech Republic regardless of being a part of European Union uses its own currency Czech krouna, instead of Euros.
Industrial sector (high technology engineering, machine-building, steel, transport equipment, pharmaceuticals, chemicals, and electronics) of Czech economy accounts for 37.5%, while services sector (software, ICT, R&D, tourism) amounts to 60% and agriculture at 2.5%.
65% of the total energy production in Czech Republic is generated by coal and fossil fuels, 30% from nuclear power plants, and 5% from renewable energy resources. With more than 55,000 km of road network in the country and 9,505 km of railroad tracks, the country has the densest rail network in the world. The transportation system includes buses, trams, boats (Vltava River), railway trains, metro (subway) trains.
Education system in the Czech Republic
Czech Education system like other educational systems have 3 levels of education; primary school, secondary school, and university education. Primary language of teaching is Czech, while studies in foreign language are conducted in English language. The Ministry of Education, Youth, and Sports governs and regulates the educational system which has a budget of €4.6 billion (2016).
The university education system consists of 3 levels; bachelors (3 years), masters (2 years), and PhD (3-4 years). The university year is divided into two semesters; Fall/Winter (October to January) and Spring/Summer (February to June), winter vacations are for one month and summer vacations are for three months.
Universities in the Czech Republic
There are both public and private sector universities in the Czech Republic, about 26 public sector universities/institutes and 14 private universities/institutes exist in the country.
List of public sector universities in the Czech Republic
Public universities known for their specialization in Arts include; Academy of Performing Arts in Prague, Academy of Fine Arts, Prague, Janáček Academy of Music and Performing Arts, Academy of Arts, Architecture and Design in Prague.
Technical and engineering oriented universities include; Brno University of Technology, University of Chemistry and Technology Prague, Technical University of Ostrava, Technical University of Liberec, Czech Technical University in Prague.
Universities that are known for natural sciences, geosciences, and life sciences include; Czech University of Life Sciences Prague, University of South Bohemia in České Budějovice, Mendel University Brno, University of Veterinary and Pharmaceutical Sciences Brno, Charles University.
Other general public sector universities include; Police Academy, University of Defense, Prague University of Economics and Business, Tomas Bata University in Zlín, Palacký University Olomouc, University of Pardubice, Silesian University in Opava, Masaryk University, Jan Evangelista Purkyně University in Ústí nad Labem.
List of private sector universities in the Czech Republic
Private universities in Prague include; New York University – NYU Prague, Anglo-American University, University of New York in Prague, AMBIS University, University of Finance and Administration, Architectural Institute in Prague, Škoda Auto University, Metropolitan University Prague, College of International and Public Relations Prague, Institute of Hospitality Management in Prague, Unicorn College, Prague College, Westmoravian College Třebíč.
University rankings in the Czech Republic
Ten Czech universities were ranking among the top 1000 universities in the world (2020-2021). The highest ranked university is Charles University at #260, while UCT Prague and CTU Prague also made the top 500 list, ranked at #342 and 432 respectively.
Tuition fee at Czech Universities
Tuition fee at Czech universities can range from 0 to 22,000 euros annually, depending on what you study and where you study at, as well as the language of the study. There is no tuition fee for Czech taught programs but English taught programs have tuition fee requirements. Public universities are affordable in comparison to private sector universities/institutes in the country. Preparatory Czech language courses are also offered ranging from several months to 1 year, tuition fee depends upon the enrolled university.
Cost of living in Czech Republic as an international student
Czech Republic being a highly advanced economy and a developed country is one of the most affordable places to live as a student. Prague was ranked as the best place to live as a student, according to a survey done by AppJobs. The average cost of living for international students ranges from 300 to 600 euros a month (depending upon one’s lifestyle and accommodation).
Price of coffee in Prague ranges from 1.5 to 3 euros, 1 kg of apples cost around 1.5 – 2 euros, 1 liter milk is typically 0.5 to 1.25 euros, a dozen eggs cost 1 euro, a pack of cigarettes are 4 euros, fast food is usually between 5.5 to 9.5 euros, beer is around 1 – 1.5 euros.
Student dormitory (shared room) costs is around 150 euros a month, private (shared) accommodation ranges from 250 – 450 euros, while private flat (around main city locations, commercial hubs) start from 450 euros and above (per month).
Public transportation costs in Prague ranges from 4 euros for 1 day ticket, to 21 euros for a month, 56 euros for 3 months and 139 euros for a one year pass.
Public Holidays in Czech Republic
There are 13 public holidays in the country:
December 26 Saint Stephen’s Day
December 25 – Christmas Day
December 24 – Christmas Eve
November 17 – Struggle for Freedom and Democracy Day
October 28 – Czech Independence Day
September 28 – Czech Statehood Day
July 8 – Jan Hus Day
July 5 – Saints Cyril and Methodius Day
May 8 – Liberation Day
May 1 – Labor Day
March – April – Good Friday, Easter Monday
January 1 – New Year’s Day
Admission in Czech Universities
Admission in Czech Universities start from January with deadlines usually around March 31, some universities have deadlines up to June for international students, depending upon the program/faculty and the university.
The admission process involved applying online, universities have an application fee of about 20 to 75 euros. The admission process usually concludes with an online interview.
Required academic documents include:
High school transcript/degree certificate for bachelor degree programs,
Bachelor’s transcript/degree certificate for admission in Master degree programs,
Master’s transcript/degree certificate for PhD admissions,
PhD transcript/degree certificate for research (postdoc) positions.
Other necessary documents include; CV, Passport, Photograph, Motivation letter/Statement of purpose, Recommendation letter(s), IELTS/TOEFL certificates. English language test requirements are usually B1 or B2 level for applicants, while some programs/faculties/universities might waive off this requirement by conducting an online interview with the applicant in English.
There is also a process for authentication (superlegalization form the Czech Embassy) and recognition of foreign qualifications that is mandatory for granting the letter of acceptance, which can include; nostrification or internal evaluation.