Record number of foreigners studying at Czech universities
More than 60,000 foreign students were enrolled at Czech universities last year – a record high. Most full-time diploma students from abroad are from Slovakia and ex-Soviet states. Most exchange students who come only for a semester are from the United States.
The number of foreign students enrolled at Czech universities has increased three-fold over the last fifteen years. In 2018, foreigners accounted for around 15 % of the total number of students enrolled in Czech higher education institutions. The country’s two largest cities and homes to the biggest two universities, Prague and Brno, are considered some of the most attractive and popular student destinations in Europe.
Tens of thousands of foreign students began enrolling in semester-abroad programs at Czech universities after 1998, when the country joined the Erasmus program. The number of Erasmus students is growing fast, but the Americans make up the biggest percentage of foreigners coming for short-term studies. This year, there were five times as many Americans as in 2006. After Americans, most short-term students are French, German and Spanish.
Majority of foreign students in the Czech Republic comes from neighboring Slovakia. As the languages are mutually intelligible, Slovaks – unlike other foreign students – have no problem in taking courses taught in Czech. About 11,000 foreign diploma students are from Russia, Ukraine, Kazakhstan and Belarus. There is a steadily rising interest in studying in the Czech Republic among students from China and India, too.
The fields of medicine and pharmaceutical studies are most popular for incoming foreign students, who rarely come to Czech universities to study law, teaching or pedagogy. Most of them head to the Czech Republic to complete master’s or full-time doctoral programs.
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