In the middle of the Mediterranean Sea lies an island nation that has a mix of both Greek and Turkish influences. Cyprus is nestled right in the middle of three continents: Europe, Asia, and Africa, all contributing to the diverse cultural influences on the island. Cyprus has distinct natural scenery, from the warm and sun-kissed beaches to the Troodos Mountains filled with ski slopes in the center of the island. With fewer international students compared to other more popular destinations, study abroad in Cyprus will give you more intimate interactions with locals and provide you with a much more culturally-rich experience.
As a rather popular place for international programs, around 8,000 international students study abroad in Cyprus every year. With so many students from around the globe populating this island nation, students’ study abroad experiences are filled with a multitude of intercultural interactions, which compliment their academic experience. A little less than four thousand square miles, Cyprus has much to offer students looking for a truly international education; big things really do come in small packages.
Nicosia. Are you looking for a city with a cosmopolitan feel? As the capital and most populated city in Cyprus, Nicosia has just that. As the financial hub of the island, Nicosia is home to many colleges and universities that attract international students and foreign workers from all over the world. The city even houses the country’s esteemed University of Nicosia, and is an ideal destination for students interested in studying accounting, history, literature, and international relations.
Limassol. A major tourist attraction, Limassol is the second largest city in Cyprus and a hub for international business, hosting one of the busiest ports in the Mediterranean. With its historic museums and medieval castles, tourists and students alike will find plenty to enjoy within the city limits. With the attraction of international business and over one hundred schools scattered throughout the city, Limassol is no stranger to international students.
Study Abroad Programs in Cyprus
The most important benefit of studying abroad in Cyprus is that it gives students a well structured center for learning in an international environment. Its location in the middle of the Mediterranean Sea gives Cyprus the opportunity to take in various people and cultures from around the world. This intercultural environment is reflected in the higher-education environments, with roughly 30 percent of students coming from abroad.
International Relations is one of the most popular subjects of study in Cyprus, providing students with the necessary skills and knowledge to work in an international environment as well as comprehensive skills in political, social, and economic fields.
Business Administration and Management is another common focus of study abroad programs in Cyprus; studying in such a strategic location (between three continents!) allows students to have an up close and personal look at international business exchanges. Business programs in Cyprus typically focus on teaching necessary skills for students to become leaders in a global business environment. Additionally, Cyprus is home to more than 1,000 international businesses, making it a great place to find internships to supplement academic studies too.
Classes in Cyprus can take on various forms, depending on the particular field of study, from lecture to tutorials to seminars. The official languages in Cyprus are Greek and Turkish; however, English is a commonly spoken language and used in some university settings. Not only are study abroad programs in Cyprus offered year-round, but students will enjoy soaking up 300 days of sunshine on this beautiful island in the middle of the Mediterranean.
Scholarships & Costs
Studying abroad is a once in a lifetime opportunity to explore new cultures, meet new people, and eat exotic food; however, don’t be alarmed by the price tag, as it can add up! The good news is: there are scholarships available for students who want to study abroad in Cyprus, especially those with good academic records. Scholarships can be awarded to students as either full or partial tuition reimbursements. Although, some scholarships will cover all tuition costs, accommodation fees, textbooks, and even provide students with a money allowance.
Overall, Cyprus is quite affordable by European standards and the cost of living is fairly low. For example, a combo meal at your favorite fast food joint may cost you a little more than $6 and a bottle of water might cost around 70 cents. The national currency in Cyprus is the Euro, so familiarize yourself with the currency exchange rate before you set off on your study abroad adventure.
Accommodation & Visas
Studying abroad in Cyprus can be exciting to say the least, giving you the chance to enjoy the beautiful climate, take advantage of the nightlife, and explore the diverse communities that make up the small island nation. When you look into the neighborhoods surrounding your university, think about the style of housing you want to live in. Most students in Cyprus live in dormitories that can accommodate anywhere from one to four students. The benefits of staying on-campus are accessibility to your classes and your peers (say hello to a short walk to class every day). Some international students choose to rent an apartment while studying abroad in Cyprus, in order to have more independence and privacy. Living expenses for international students in Cyprus can range from $200 to $450 a month.
Any student wanting to study abroad in Cyprus will need to obtain a student visa, as these are necessary for all full-time international students. Students can apply for a visa at an embassy or consulate of Cyprus in their home country. In order to apply, students must complete the necessary application, which includes the following: payment of a processing fee, passport sized photos, academic records, evidence of proficiency in English, and a photocopy of an active passport. Each school’s admission office will usually communicate the required process to all incoming international students, and assist them through the process as needed.
Benefits & Challenges
Although not necessarily on every student’s bucket list of study abroad destinations, Cyprus is quite a gem and it would be unfortunate to miss out on the opportunity to live and study here ever for a few weeks!
Study abroad programs in Cyprus will give students a very different experience than top-pick European study abroad destinations. Yet, the country remains accessible to students looking for adventures to the rest of Europe on their free time. Luckily, students can experience the entire country in a small amount of time, so exploring outside the country won’t mean sacrificing local travel.
The bicultural environment of Cyprus provides students with unique exposure to how Turkish and Greek influences come together through music, food, and art. Unfortunately, these two cultures intermingling in such a small environment does cause some friction and challenges within the political environment, but these clashes will be equally educational. Don’t be afraid to learn more about the negative issues that come from an intercultural environment, especially if you are studying culture or international relations (it will be learning in real-time!).
Besides the beautiful landscape and climate, Cyprus has become a center of global education and an ideal place for students looking to study abroad in a “off the beaten path” destination in Europe. Studying abroad in Cyprus will give students the opportunity to immerse in a one-of-a-kind culture and learn about issues affecting locals, as well as the global community.