Formerly the southeastern part of Czechoslovakia, you might have heard of Slovakia in its special appearance in the movie EuroTrip, when the cast spent time in Bratislava. Don't let the film fool you though, Slovakia is really modern with great cuisine, old historical castles, and beautiful landscapes.
Experience part of high school abroad in Slovakia, situated between the Czech Republic, Austria, Hungary, and Poland. Explore Slovakia while taking intensive language courses while living with a host family. Become really connected with a new community by taking classes at a local high school in Bratislava or Nitra for a year. Students interested in shorter term faculty-led programs can come to Slovakia to take part in international consulting projects, lectures, and service learning opportunities.
Slovakia is great for students who want to live in the melting pot of Europe and experience several cultural influences at once, have an interest in history, and love exploring old Medieval ruins.
If you're interested in doing high school abroad in Slovakia, you can choose from:
- A semester or full year high school exchange
- A short term faculty-led program
High School Exchange
Spend a semester, year, or gap year abroad in Slovakia, immersing yourself in European life and culture while living with a host family and attending classes alongside Slovak students. When you get there, you'll focus on your communication skills immediately, by taking intensive language courses. While attending school in Slovakia, you'll also get to focus on history, math, science, or even programming and geography.
What better way to prepare for college and your future than by having the chance to work in Slovakia on projects that you're passionate about? Students interested in cross-cultural understanding and international experiences can join some of the most talented faculty abroad on all sorts of projects in a wide range of fields ranging from business, political communications, finance and economics, and art and agriculture, to name a few.
Not convinced yet? Well looking at these 15 amazing castles in Slovakia might change your mind.
Planning Your Trip
Because Slovakia is part of the EU, short-term programs that last less than 90 days will not require a visa for students coming from North America. Longer study abroad programs, like semester, gap year, or full year exchange programs will require a student visa, but program providers will help students obtain one.
All travelers entering Slovakia must have a passport that will be valid for at least six months after the entry date into the country.
Upon arrival, most programs will place students with a host family to further contribute to their immersion experience and opportunity to really connect with Slavic life.
The official currency in Slovakia is the Euro, and unlike Western Europe, things tend to be cheaper in Slovakia. According to Lonely Planet, ATMs are very easily accessible in cities throughout the country, but students should withdraw money prior to spending time in a smaller village. Tipping is not necessary, as people in the service industry here are salaried.
Program costs vary depending on duration. Full year exchange programs cost between $11,595 to $14,500, and semester programs cost about half of that. Faculty led programs vary in cost, so please check with your service provider for the specifics of your program.
Czechs and Slovaks are known for their dark sense of humor and sarcasm. At first, it may seem like a new friend is being cold, but that's just how Slovaks are, so don't take too much offense to it.
Slovakia experiences four seasons, just like the US. Therefore, packing will really vary depending on the time of year in which you go.
Here are some things not to pack:
- High heels - the cobblestone streets and high heels do not mix too well.
- Expensive straighteners/blow dryers - because the outlets in Europe are different, hair essentials like straighteners and blow dryers that use a lot of heat have been known to burn out.
- Clothes you think you will only wear once - space is your suitcase is valuable, after all.
What to pack instead:
- Comfortable shoes with supportive bottoms. Ladies, for fancier nights, try boots or wedges instead of heels.
- If you really want to bring your own hair essentials, look into buying a converter/adapter that will work in Slovakia. The standard voltage is 230V, which uses power socket type E. Many travelers recommend buying a cheaper straightener there instead, so that they don't risk ruining their nice one.
- Plainer clothing that can be mixed, matched, and layered.
Health & Safety
Prior to entering Slovakia, it is recommended that travelers get vaccinated for influenza and hepatitis A. For more information about health and vaccinations, please refer to The Travel Vaccination Companion.
Slovaks eat a lot of meat, potatoes, dumplings, and beer (pivo)! For food recommendations about traditional Slovak dishes, Travel Food and Drink is a great guide.
As far as safety goes, the only thing to be concerned about in Slovakia is pickpocketing. To avoid the chance of this happening to you, we recommend wearing a traveler's belt under your clothing, so that you can store important documents like a copy of your passport and cash, and being aware of your bags at all times.