Study in Croatia with their Low Tuition Universities; Tuition Fees, Cost of Living and Student Visa Requirements Reviewed


Wanna study in Croatia as an international student? I reviewed the low tuition universities in Croatia, tuition fees, cost of living , visa requirements and how to apply to Croatian universities.

About Croatia

Croatia (Hrvatska), officially the Republic of Croatia (Republika Hrvatska) is situated in South-Eastern Europe at the crossroads of the Adriatic Sea and the Pannonian Plain. 

Croatia borders with Hungary in the north, Slovenia in the north-west, Serbia in the north-east, Bosnia and Herzegovina in the total length of the lower part of the Croatia’s crescent shape, Montenegro in the extreme south, and Italy and Slovenia on the Adriatic Sea.

Croatia is classified as an open and developing economy by the International Monetary Fund and a high income economy by the World Bank. Traditionally, Croatia is a tourism oriented country. Historical heritage, natural beauty and a pleasant climate make up the framework which, together with high quality accommodation, gastronomic excellence and a rich supply of activities and entertainment, enables Croatia to attract the modern-day tourist.

Zagreb is the capital of Croatia and also the largest city in the country. It is situated in the north-west of the country, along the Sava River with a population of almost one million inhabitants. It is the political, economic, cultural and scientific centre of Croatia.

Living Expenses

As a European country, Croatia is very affordable to study in; the average monthly living expenses in Croatia are estimated to be between 400 and 700 EUR, depending on the type of accommodation (student dorm or privately rented housing) and the city in Croatia. These amounts should be enough to cover food, accommodation, utilities, books, transportation and miscellaneous expenses. Of course, students may spend more or less than the estimated amounts, depending on their needs and lifestyle.

Student Visa Requirements

The visa application (Viza C) must be submitted to the diplomatic mission or consulate of the Republic of Croatia in the foreign national’s home country. The visa application can be submitted either in person or via e-mail.

Nationals of countries subject to the visa requirement also need to procure an entry visa for Croatia (Viza C). Information on countries subject to the visa requirement can be found on the web site of the Croatian Ministry of Foreign and European Affairs.

Students need to have a student residence permit. This is obtained through a consulate of Croatia in your home country or may be done through a local police office once you arrive in the country. It is best to have this in place before arriving.

Where to Submit Residence Permit Application

Third country nationals can submit residence permit application in one of two ways:

  • To the diplomatic mission or consulate of the Republic of Croatia in the foreign national’s home country
  • To the appropriate police department or police station upon entering Croatia if the student is coming to Croatia to study at a higher education institution as a full-time student at an undergraduate, graduate and postgraduate level. For more information about this document, the student should contact International Relations Office of the host university.

When to Submit Residence Permit application

Students submitting an application to the diplomatic mission or consulate of the Republic of Croatia in their home country should do so prior to their scheduled arrival in Croatia. The usual procedure can take three months or longer (including time needed for all the necessary documents to be translated into Croatian). There is also a fast-track option for handling the application and students can request this at the diplomatic mission or consulate, in which case they pay a higher fee.

Students submitting the application to the appropriate police department or police station in Croatia should do so upon entering Croatia during their short-term stay.

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Application documents

The following documents must be submitted with the application for temporary residence for the purpose of studying:

  • One colour photograph 35×45 mm
  • Valid passport and photocopy of a passport (non-EU citizens) or identity card (EU citizens)
  • Proof of secured housing (e.g. written proof of secured accommodation in the student dormitory or an apartment lease and proof of the landlord’s apartment ownership for students in private accommodation). Please note that upon your arrival in Croatia, within 48 hours, you have to register your address at the Foreigners Office at the local Police Administration Office. If you are staying at hotel or student dormitory your address will be automatically registered. 
  • Proof of health insurance
  • Proof of sufficient funds to support oneself
  • Proof of admittance to a higher education institution in Croatia written in the Croatian language.

Application Fee

The application fee for the temporary residence permit for the purpose of studying is around $73. International students receiving a grant from the Croatian Ministry of Science, Education and Sports and the Agency for Mobility and EU Programmes are exempted from this fee but they should pay for the cost of the issuance of the residence card in the amount of 3500 EUR and the duty stamp fee of 300 EUR.

Duration of Residence Permit

The temporary residence permit is usually granted for the duration of one year or for the duration of the academic year. 

Applying for Admission

Prospective students who apply to undergraduate study programmes as degree-seeking students and who have completed the minimum of four years of secondary education outside Croatia can apply to higher education institutions in Croatia using the Central Application System.

Applicants who have completed their secondary education in a country that does not have an established system of external evaluation of secondary education are advised to take the State Matura exams in subjects proscribed for admission to a particular study program. Namely, the results of the State Matura exams influence the candidate ranking in the selection process for admission to most study programs.

Candidates should send the following documents to the Central Application Office (at the Agency for Science and Higher Education);

  • Completed application form
  • Identification information
  • Proof of completion of all secondary school levels by that date (certificate of each level)
  • Confirmation of the results of final examination
  • Confirmation of the results of national or international competitions
  • Confirmation of sport statusPlease request detailed information about the application process from the higher education institution you wish to attend.

Graduate and Postgraduate Students

International students wishing to further their graduate or postgraduate programs in Croatia must submit their certificates for validation at the Office for Academic Recognition of Foreign Higher Education Qualification. All universities offering graduate and postgraduate programs for foreign students have that department. So the request is normally sent to the university concerned.

Tuition Fees

Studying in Croatia is relatively affordable and the tuition fees on whether or not it is public or private university or polytechnic.

For most undergraduate degree programs, international students can expect to spend about €800 to €2500. The cost for technical schools tend to be significantly higher than this. The highest costing programs include those in the sciences and medical programs. The costs for post graduate education is more, but will range significantly from one school to the next.

List of Low Tuition Universities and Colleges in Croatia

Public Universities

  • Josip Juraj Strossmayer University of Osijek
  • Juraj Dobrila University of Pula
  • University North
  • University of Dubrovnik
  • University of Rijeka
  • University of Split
  • University of Zadar
  • University of Zagreb

Public Polytechnics

  • Polytechnic of Šibenik
  • Međimurje Polytechnic in Čakovec
  • Polytechnic in Karlovac
  • Polytechnic in Požega
  • Polytechnic in Rijeka
  • Polytechnic in Varaždin
  • Polytechnic “Lavoslav Ružička” in Vukovar
  • Polytechnic “Marko Marulić” in Knin
  • Polytechnic “Nikola Tesla” in Gospić
  • Polytechnic of Zagreb
  • Polytechnic School for Social Sciences at Zagreb
  • Professional Health School of Higher Education in Zagreb

Public Colleges

  • College of Agriculture in Križevci
  • College of Computer Science Management in Virovitica
  • Police College

Private Universities

  • Catholic University of Croatia
  • Dubrovnik International University

Private Polytechnics

  • Polytechnic “Baltazar Adam Krčelić”, Zaprešić
  • Polytechnic “Hrvatsko zagorje” Krapina
  • Polytechnic Velika Gorica
  • VERN Polytechnic

Private Colleges

  • American College of Management and Technology
  • Business College for Management in Tourism and Hospitality
  • Business College “Minerva”
  • Business School PAR
  • Business College with Public Rights, Višnjan
  • Business School “Zagreb”
  • College for Inspection and Human Resource Management in Maritime Sciences
  • College for Safety at Workplace
  • College of AGORA
  • College of Applied Computing
  • College of Economics, Entrepreneurship and Management “Zrinski”
  • College of Information Technology Zagreb
  • College of International Relations and Diplomacy
  • College of Management and Design “Aspira”
  • Effectus – College for Finances and Law
  • International Graduate Business School Zagreb
  • Kairos College for Public Relations and Media Studies
  • Professional Business School of Higher Education LIBERTAS
  • Professional School of Higher Education for Business Administration Studies
  • Professional School of Higher Education for Technology in Pula
  • RRiF College of Financial Management
  • Technical College in Bjelovar
  • TV Academy – College of Multimedia and Communication in Split
  • Zagreb College of Journalism
  • Zagreb Polytechnic College
  • Zagreb School of Economics and Management


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