Serbia, a small country in southeastern Europe, has long been a hotbed of political and economic activity on the continent. The Balkan region contains within itself an infinitely fascinating and complex history that you can learn all about while you study abroad in Serbia. Encompassing the days of the Ottoman empire through a tumultuous twentieth century marred by violence and conflict to its currently peaceful state of relations among neighbors, Serbia presents a very enriching academic environment where to study abroad.
Serbia’s national borders have fluctuated greatly within past decades, as it has been an unfortunate focal point of regional violence and political instability. After the fall of the Soviet Union in the 1990’s Serbia broke off and established a union with Montenegro, before again separating and becoming its own independent country in 2006. As recently as 2008 the southern state of Kosovo also seceded from Serbia, earning international recognition as an independent nation.
Belgrade is Serbia’s largest city and a major hub of economic, political, and cultural importance in southeastern Europe. Home to a population of 1.2 million people and a handful of the finest universities in the country, Belgrade is also not surprisingly the most popular destination where international students choose to study abroad in Serbia. Belgrade has a legacy which spans thousands of years encompassing some of Europe’s oldest civilizations (it has also served as a key strategic battleground in some 115 wars).
There are a handful of smaller cities where international students can also choose to study abroad in Serbia such as Nis, Novisad, and Kragujevac, which are all home to their own public universities. Some programs will also enable you to study abroad in rural areas, a good option for students who want to experience Serbian culture outside of the big city.
Subjects & Courses
There are a few different paths you can take to study abroad in Serbia. While the most obvious would seem to study abroad at a Serbian university, this option is typically only available to international students that are fluent enough in the language to actually understand what their teachers are talking about. If you do not speak Serbian, then do not fret; there are a handful of international and satellite schools where you can still enroll in English-taught courses.
Some of the most common academic subjects explored by international students abroad in Serbia include history, political science, public health, and Serbian language. If you are enrolled in a study abroad program in Serbia which is custom built for international students (as opposed to enrolling at a local university), then many classes will focus on introductory lessons in regional issues, a great way to familiarize yourself within a new context abroad.
You can generally choose to study abroad in Serbia for either a single semester or full academic year. Some summer study abroad programs in Serbia may also travel throughout several different destinations within the region, which can be a great way to go if you want to explore as much of the Balkans as possible while studying abroad.
Scholarships & Costs
Serbia is not part of the European Union, and so the local currency is the Serbian dinar (which trades at about 110 RSD to $1 USD). Serbia is a fairly affordable destination where to study abroad, especially by European standards, with average costs also fluctuating between urban and rural areas. For information about what types of financial aid opportunities are available to help cover tuition and other costs while you study abroad in Serbia, be sure to check out our Scholarship Directory.
Accommodation & Visas
Homestays and student dormitories are generally the most popular forms of accommodation while you study abroad in Serbia. Weigh the pros and cons of each before deciding on which type of housing you will enroll in; for example while homestays are a great way to immerse yourself intimately in Serbian family culture, dormitories can also be a great way to meet peers from all over the world and experience what student life is like in the country.
Whether or not you will need to obtain a visa in order to study abroad in Serbia depends on your home country and the length of your stay. Students from many visa-exempt countries will be allowed to study in Serbia for up to three months before applying for a visa, while students coming from elsewhere may have to obtain permission prior to arrival. For more information regarding your personal circumstances, check out our Serbian Embassy Directory.
Benefits & Challenges
Regional Dynamics. Many outsiders are not familiar with the sensitive state of affairs in the Balkans, which has been a key focal point of activity in Europe for thousands of years. Studying abroad in Serbia will be your gateway to a fascinating history lesson.
Southeastern Adventure. While many international students prefer the glamour of Western Europe when looking for places to study abroad, venturing to this often-overlooked part of the continent will set you apart from the crowd and expose you to a beautiful land and culture.
Affordability. Lastly on a more practical note, Serbia is one of the most affordable destinations where to travel on the European continent. By leaning away from the west, your budget will take you much further.