Dobar dan! Croatia is located at the crossroads of central Europe and southeast Europe. Though not your most traditional country to spend high school abroad, the blending of cultural influences will definitely make it a unique one.
Further, for students interested in exploring the outdoors or environment, Croatia is home to a variety of natural landscapes, beaches, and mountains.
Study abroad and learn more about Croatia's history or language. Embark on a teen travel program and learn as you visit Croatia's most important sites. One day you could be walking the streets of the old town in Dubrovnik and the next you could be on a beach in Hvar. There’s no better way to understand this lesser visited country than to spend high school abroad in Croatia.
Croatia is best for students who are interested in European history, enjoy the outdoors, and are curious about an up and coming country.
Study abroad programs are one of the two options high school students have for participating in a program in Croatia. Whether it's an exchange with a local high school or shorter term summer program, students can focus on areas of study like sustainability, business, and engineering while studying abroad in Croatia.
Secondly, students could explore and learn about Croatia through a teen travel program. These programs typically take place over the summer. They're also slightly cheaper than longer study abroad programs. You won’t be spending as much money for these programs, but you also won’t be overseas for as long, so the option is yours!
Planning Your Trip
Zagreb is both the largest city of Croatia and the capital. Hvar is an island and a port, offering beautiful beaches. Dubrovnik is known as “the Pearl of the Adriatic” and is another main city located on the Adriatic sea. It also has a wonderful pedestrian-friendly old town that is never ending when it comes to exploring the city (make sure to take a tour on the old city walls!)
Student visa requirements
For stays under 90 days, students will not need a visa (unless they are South African). All students will need a valid passport for identification purposes that expires at least three months after date of departure. EU citizens will just need an ID card to enter.
Homestays are encouraged for longer term programs. There is no better way to be immersed in the Croatian culture than to live with the locals themselves! For travel programs, students will most likely be in hotels, hostels, or dorms, depending on time of year and the program provider.
Croatia is relatively cheap compared to other European countries. It uses the juna which has an exchange rate of roughly 6.6. kuna to $1 USD. A meal at a local low-key tavern will cost around 60 kuna, so depending on what is included in your program, you can budget between 100-200 kuna per day (to be safe, and if you want to get mementos for friends and family back home!)
Because of its location on the Adriatic sea, Croatia has a warmer climate. Some things not to forget are a swimming suit, sandals/water shoes with backs so they can be worn in rocky beach areas, a good pair of walking shoes for the cobblestone streets, sunscreen, sunglasses, and a hat. And don't forget to pack light and bring a camera for the gorgeous scenery!
Health & Safety
According to the CDC, routine vaccinations are necessary for travel to Croatia, as well as Hepatitis A. In country, you will want to make sure to drink enough water (since it can get very warm outside) so you do not get dehydrated or suffer from heatstroke. On beaches, you will also want to exercise necessary precaution when swimming.
Croatia is a generally safe country. Pickpocketing and petty theft is a concern for visitors and you should make sure you are keeping your valuables near you. In more rural areas, landmines have been reported as a danger due to past wars, so never go around abandoned areas on your own and without consulting a local first.
Contributed by Julie Peterson
High School Abroad Programs in Croatia
CIEE Scholarships and Grants
CIEE’s need-based grants offer support to students who face financial barriers to studying abroad. CIEE awards need-based grants based on students’ EFCs and program selection.
The opportunity to study abroad should be available to everyone, regardless of their financial means. Annually, we award scholarships to about half of our study abroad students.
The Experiment in International Living
The Experiment in International Living offers a variety of need-based and merit-based scholarships to worthy high school students looking to participate in their program.