The Czech Republic is a landlocked country in the middle of Europe. The country is bordered by Germany, Poland, Slovakia and Austria. The Czech Republic is divided into three regions: Bohemia, Moravia, and a part of Silesia. The total area is 78,866 square kilometres and the country’s population is around 10.4 million people. The capital city is Prague, with 1.2 million inhabitants, and there are 5 other metropolitan cities with a population exceeding 100,000. The country is surrounded by extensive mountain ranges, which form most of the border. The highest point of elevation is the peak of Mt. Snežka (1,602 m).
The Czech Republic has moderate climate with four seasons corresponding to the temperate climate zone.
The significance of the Czech kingdom peaked in the 14th century under the rule of Charles IV, the Czech king and Holy Roman Emperor. After 1620, the Czech Lands became part of Austria and later the Austro-Hungarian Empire. The Czechs and Slovaks declared independence in 1918 and Czechoslovakia was established as a sovereign country. After Hitler's occupation of the country in 1938, Czechoslovakia was split into the Protectorate of Bohemia and Moravia, and the Slovak state. The Czechoslovak state was restored after the Second World War and The Communist Party came to power in 1946. Free parliamentary elections in 1990 marked the end of communism in Czechoslovakia. At the end of 1992, Czechoslovakia split into the Czech Republic and Slovakia. The Czech Republic joined NATO in 1999 and the European Union in 2004.
The Czech Republic is a parliamentary democracy. The Czech Republic maintains a welfare system that provides universal health care and higher education for its citizens. It possesses an advanced economy and, in 2006, it achieved the status of developed country. The Czech Republic also ranks as the ninth-most peaceful country in Europe.
The official language is Czech. The Czechs and Slovaks understand each other without major problems.
Over 37,000 foreign students are studying at Czech higher education institutions and their interest is growing as the offer of study programmes in foreign languages (especially in English) is increasing. Czech universities are involved in a wide range of international cooperation activities.
Czech higher education dates back as far as six hundred years. In 1348 Emperor Charles IV founded a university in Prague which is the oldest academic institution in Central Europe.
Czech higher education institutions are divided into public, state and private institutions.
Courses are divided into semesters, years or blocks and are composed of teaching periods, examination periods and holidays. Studies usually begins in October and the academic year is divided into two semesters: winter and summer, with a five-week examination period after each semester. A semester normally consists of 15 weeks of teaching followed by an examination period.
The main requirement for entering a Bachelor´s degree programme or a full Master´s degree programme is the completion of a full secondary general education or vocational education with a “maturitní zkouška” high-school graduation exam.
Students who want to study full-time should apply directly to the higher education institution of their choice. The deadline for submitting applications is usually the end of February or March. Most higher education institutions require applicants to take entrance examinations, usually held between June and September. Examinations at higher education institutions for the arts take place earlier, in January, and the deadline for filing applications is normally the end of November. Student administration departments can provide information on applications, admission requirements and studies. Foreign applicants who want to study a Czech-language programme must prove adequate knowledge of the Czech language by an official certificate or by taking a language exam at the university.
Foreign students should submit a Long-term Residence Permit or Visa, passport, or personal identification number if need be, before starting the studies.
Find more information about how to apply to a university in the Czech Republic.
The Czech Republic has a long tradition in quality education and research, especially in Sciences, Engineering and Medicine. Students can take short study visits or complete a study degree in a wide range of traditional as well as new and innovative disciplines.
Universities in the Czech Republic offer accredited Bachelor’s, Master´s, and Doctoral degree programmes as well as lifelong learning courses. Traditional universities usually offer all types of degree programmes while non-university institutions provide Bachelor´s degree programmes.
Bachelor´s degree programmes last 3 to 4 years. A final state examination is required at the end of bachelor studies, usually including the presentation of a thesis. Master´s degree programmes may be taken after the completion of a Bachelor programme (1 to 3 years), or may be taken as full programmes (4 to 6 years). Master´s graduates also have to take a final examination and present a thesis. Doctoral programmes, normally lasting 3 years after the completion of a master’s degree, focus on independent creative work in research, development or arts. The doctoral thesis is based on original work and must be published.
Some institutions provide also study programmes leading to the degree of Master of Business Administration (MBA), focused on enhancing managerial knowledge and skills.
Courses are usually taught in Czech, however, there is a wide range of programmes delivered in English and other foreign languages, designed for international students.
Some Czech higher education institutions, as well as private language schools organise language courses for foreign students. Several public universities offer summer school Czech language courses lasting 2 to 4 weeks. Summer Schools offer language courses at various levels of proficiency, seminars on the Czech literature, culture and history and free-time activities.
The methods of assessing students differ according to the field of study. These can be partial examinations take place after each semester or one exam after each completed study module. Students are assessed mainly by a system of transferable credits or points.
Higher education at public and state institutions is free of charge for citizens of all nationalities, with the exception of studies taken in a foreign language. Private universities fix their own fees. The tuition fees differ from 2,000-15,000 USD per year and the amount depends on the relevant institution and study programme.
Students from European Union countries, Norway, Iceland, Liechtenstein, Switzerland and certain other states do not need a visa to come and study in the Czech Republic. To enter the Czech Republic, EU students only need a valid passport or national ID card.
After being accepted for studies in the Czech Republic, student should turn to the local Czech embassy or consulate to apply for a student visa. Regulations listed below should be considered as guidelines only and students should consult their local Czech embassy or consulate for the latest information. Students arriving for a period longer than 3 months must apply for a long-term residence permit for study purposes.
The following documents are mainly required for receiving a student visa or a residence permit:
Registration at the Foreign Police Department is compulsory for all foreign nationals staying in the Czech Republic for more than 30 days. They must register within three days from the date of arrival to the country.
Find more information about student visa and residence permit in the Czech Republic.:
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