1. Higher education in Croatia

1.1 Accreditation and recognition

Since passing The Croatian Qualifications Framework Act in February 2012, the Croatian higher education system has been fully aligned with the European Higher Education Area. This means that Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees, as well as other qualifications, should be afforded the same respect as those from elsewhere in the EHEA.

Some degrees offered in English are validated by non-Croatian universities but there most are Croatian accredited.

Degrees in dentistry and medicine are recognised throughout the European Union and, for the time being at least, students who graduate from Croatia will be automatically able to work in the United Kingdom.

The degree in Veterinary Medicine at the University of Zagreb is additionally accredited by the European Association of Establishments of Veterinary Education. This provides an extra level of recognition and should mean that this degree will be recognised in the UK no matter what happens with Brexit.

1.2 Application process

Students applying to Croatian universities ordinarily have to take the State Matura exam if they intend to study a Bachelor’s degree in Croatian. Students gain access based on their performance in this exam when ranked against all other candidates. For a rough idea of the level of the Matura in comparison with British qualifications, this summary from the UCAS website might be of interest.

However, for English-taught Bachelor’s degrees, the process is different. Most private universities will accept direct applications from international students. Assessment will be based primarily on previous education. For British students, this will ordinarily mean A’ levels. BTEC Level 3 Extended Diplomas may be accepted for some subjects but not for medicine, dentistry and veterinary studies.

If you wish to apply to study medicine or dentistry in English at a Croatian university, you will have to take an entrance exam. These exams are rarely held in the United Kingdom but are occasionally offered in Germany. This might change as more British and Irish students consider Croatia every year. The entrance exam typically includes questions in biology, chemistry, maths and/or physics. The first exam is usually held in March or April for admission the following October. A second exam might be offered in July if there are still places available.

For veterinary medicine, there is currently no entrance exam. Assessment is based entirely on existing qualifications and work experience. We are able to advise students on their likelihood of success based on their previous education.

You can start the application process for the following degree programmes directly through

2. How much does it cost to study in Croatia?

2.1 Tuition fees at Croatian universities

Tuition fees at Croatian universities depend on the language of the degree programme. Ordinarily, degrees taught in Croatian at public universities do not charge tuition fees. However, all of the degrees listed on this website do not fall into this category because they are offered in English.

International programmes at Croatian public universities can charge tuition fees and private universities are of course free to charge whatever they want. This means that in reality, practically every degree on our site will have a different annual tuition fee and it is better for you to search out the degrees that are of interest to you in order to see what it would cost you. Generally speaking, Croatian higher education is extremely affordable by European standards.

Students who speak Croatian and embark on competitive English-taught programmes with a view to switching later to Croatian-taught programmes will not be successful.

Health sciences courses

Medicine, dentistry and veterinary medicine courses taught in English costs the most in Croatia, between €7,000 and €10,000 per year.

Currently, only public universities teach health science subjects in English. We do not foresee any significant changes over the next few years.

Undergraduate courses in other subjects

Except for health sciences, public and private universities in Croatia have roughly the same English undergraduate course offerings. It’s generally cheaper to study at a public university, but we would advise that you choose a course for its quality and reputation rather than purely for the cost.

Croatian public universities use different models to calculate their tuition fees. The University of Rijeka and the University of Split apply a merit-based fee policy, which means the better grades you achieve, the less you have to contribute to your educational costs. On the other hand, the University of Zagreb sets a fixed fee of around €3,800 for their English undergraduate courses.

Croatia private universities charge their undergraduate students between €3,700 and €7,000 per year.

2.2 Costs of living in Croatia

The average living cost for a student in Croatia is €600 per month, but it can be a lot higher in touristic cities like Dubrovnik and Split. Zagreb and Rijeka are the most student-friendly cities due to their low cost of living and good public transportation infrastructure.

You should budget a minimum of €200 per month for accommodation in Croatia. This is the price for a standard single room. If you prefer to live on your own in a one-bedroom apartment, the rent could be as high as €500 per month. Public transportation is cheap. You can get a monthly pass for around €30.

3. Student life in Croatia

3.1 Student accommodation in Croatia

High-quality education, safe environment and low living costs make Croatia one of the best places to study in Europe. Another appeal of studying in Croatia? The housing situation – it’s one of the most affordable and accessible in Europe for international students. In many European countries, there have been cases where international students deferred university entry because they struggled to find a place to live. Not so for students in Croatia. And here are the reasons.

Help is always available.

With the exception of the University of Rijeka and University College Algebra, Croatian universities do not provide accommodation to full-time international students. There is only a limited number of public student dormitories, so they are often reserved for exchange students and visiting professors. For full-time international students, renting in the private market is often the only option.

Croatian universities offer extensive resources to assist you in finding private accommodation. For example, the University of Zagreb publishes a list of websites and social media groups where you can find English information about apartments the city of Zagreb. Zagreb School of Economics will put you in touch with a student buddy who can offer insights, as well as some other fellow international students in a similar position who might be willing to team up with you. VERN University will give you a list of reputable real estate agents after you complete the enrolment process.

Rent is very affordable.

If you are lucky enough to get a double room in the student dormitory of the University of Rijeka, your rent is only £165 per month! You will share the laundry room, kitchen and bathroom. In addition, you will have access to great sport facilities, a study room and a restaurant. If you are willing to share your room with one or two other students, rent could be even lower. For example, a shared room in the student dormitory of University College Algebra would cost you as little as €100 per month.

Private accommodation in Croatia is cheap compared to other countries. The rent for a room in a furnished, shared flat in Zagreb is between €200 and €500 per month. In other cities, the average price is €250.

The process is easy.

In Croatia, there is an increasing number of organisations whose main objective is to make the process of finding housing and relocating as easy as possible for international students. A great example is HomeinZagreb. The company provides several types of student accommodation, anything from small studios to big apartments with several bedrooms. The search and payment processes take place entirely online, which means you can sort out your accommodation before arriving for university. Moreover, you can sign up for transfer services and get advice on signing the Lease Agreement and applying for a stay permit!

It is a common practice among Croatian universities to have partnerships with housing agents. This makes sure international students can easily and quickly find accommodation close to campus at a reasonable price. However, you are not obliged to use your university’s housing agents.

An alternative way to find private accommodation is to post advertisements at faculties, in Studentski centar (Student Centre) or web portals ( and

Useful links:

3.2 Health Insurance

You must have valid health insurance whilst studying in Croatia. It is a prerequisite for being granted a temporary residence permit.

European Health Insurance Card (EHIC)

As a British citizen, you are entitled to a European Health Insurance Card (EHIC) for the duration of your course in Croatia, as long as you intend to return to the UK at the end of the course and you are not undertaking work such as part-time jobs or paid internships simultaneously with your studies.

The EHIC is issued by the NHS free of charge. In your EHIC application, it’s vital that you provide official university letters which show the name and address of where you will be studying in Croatia, the start and end dates of your course and details of the qualification you are studying for. The application form and details of the application process can be found on the NHS’s website.

Your EHIC will allow you to access public healthcare provided in Croatia at a reduced cost, or sometimes for free. It covers the treatment of pre-existing medical conditions. In the event of an accident or unforeseen illness, your EHIC will cover your treatment until you return to the UK. The cover you receive will be based on the standard healthcare system of Croatia and will not be based on NHS terms and conditions. As a result, you might find yourself having to pay for treatments that would ordinarily be provided for free in the UK. For example, all Croatian citizens pay a mandatory healthcare contribution. Even with the EHIC, you will have to pay a mandatory co-payment of HRK 10 each time you visit a doctor, dentist or receiving a prescription.

The EHIC does not replace your travel insurance. It does not cover costs such as mountain rescue in ski resorts, return flights to the UK or stolen and lost property.

Make sure you always carry your EHIC card and passport because you will need to show them if you use any of the health services in Croatia.

Croatian Health Insurance Fund

If you have a part-time job or paid internship with a Croatian employer, they will pay for your mandatory health insurance. In this case, your health insurance will be purchased from the Croatian Health Insurance Fund (HZZO). The HZZO mandatory health insurance costs approximately €65 per month and is payable in local currency (HRK).

If for any reason your employer does not purchase the HZZO mandatory health insurance for you, you must register personally at the HZZO or buy an insurance policy from a private provider.

In addition to the HZZO mandatory health insurance, you may also consider buying the Croatia Supplemental Health Insurance (CO DZO), a voluntary form of health insurance which covers all the co-payments you have to make for using healthcare services. The CO DZO costs HRK 70 per month.

Universities in Croatia

About A Star Future

A Star Future provides information and guidance to British students looking to pursue their undergraduate studies abroad.

Through our presentations in schools and our websites we aim to ensure that British-educated students are well informed about their choices.