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Meet Bratislava

Aleksandra Baranova

29 June 2023

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Slovakia has a strong position on the European educational market. Compared to other European capitals, Bratislava is a small but beautiful and dynamically developing city. It attracts not only tourists, but also foreign students, because at the universities of Bratislava you can get a high quality preparation in any field of study.

Facts from the history of Bratislava

Bratislava is a modern, green metropolis on the Danube River, located at the foot of the vineyard-covered slopes of the Little Carpathians in the south-western part of Slovakia.

Under the rule of the Austro-Hungary Empire Bratislava was one of the most important cities of the monarchy. Nineteen rulers were crowned here, including the Archduchess of Austria, Maria Theresia. The Archduchess even preferred Bratislava Castle to her Viennese residence.

At different periods of its history Bratislava was the capital of the Kingdom of Hungary, the First Slovak Republic, and the Slovak Socialist Republic. After the dissipation of Czechoslovakia Bratislava became the capital of Slovakia, a major cultural, political and industrial center of the country. It is the only city that borders two European countries, Hungary and Austria, at the same time. This is a big advantage for students who like to travel. You can take a ferry from Bratislava to Vienna in 70 minutes, and to Budapest in two hours. It takes even less time to travel by car or train. In 2017 Bratislava was third richest region in the European Union in terms of GDP per capita after Hamburg and Luxembourg.

Bratislava items of interest

The dominant feature of the capital is Bratislava Castle, which was the residence of Hungarian kings in the distant past. The courtyard reveals an impressive panorama of the city.

Another iconic landmark of Bratislava is an example of modern architecture, the Bridge of the Slovak National Uprising (Most SNP). It does not have a single support in the bed of the Danube River and belongs to the World Federation of Great Towers. At the top there is the UFO restaurant and viewing deck. Bratislava will be appreciated by architecture and visual art connoisseurs. The City Gallery and the Slovak National Gallery have unique collections from different eras. The Slovak contemporary art is presented in the "Nedbalka Gallery", whose interior layout is similar to the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum in New York, and in the "Danubiana Meulensteen Art Museum", a unique symbiosis of art, architecture and surrounding nature.

Life and Study in Bratislava

Despite the fact that the center of Bratislava is very busy, there is a quiet atmosphere and no crowds of tourists, such as in Prague. The Slovaks are friendly nation, very friendly to foreigners. In the capital, as in the rest of the country, Slovak language is spoken.

The standards of living in Slovakia and Bratislava in particular is another factor that attracts foreign students here, in addition to the opportunity to get higher education in Slovakia. The universities of Bratislava are listed in the prestigious international and European lists.

Among the top five universities are the following ones:

Comenius University in Bratislava. In 2019 the university celebrated its 100th anniversary since its foundation. It includes 13 faculties and offers the widest range of study programs in the country (more than 900). The status of a respected university is supported by a large number of scientific and research projects on European and international bases.

Slovak University of Technology in Bratislava. It has 7 faculties. Students are involved in research in the field of natural sciences, informatics, construction, architecture, chemistry, food, and materials science. Graduates of the university are among the most sought-after and highly paid specialists at the labor market.

Technical University of Košice. Students from 40 countries study here because the university openly welcomes diversity of cultures and ideas. During the educational process the emphasis is placed on the quality of education and the readiness of graduates to work in international teams.

Matej Bel University in Banská Bystrica. It is a relatively young university (it was granted the status of a university in 2010), but is a member of the European University Association. Students can get a degree in education, social studies, economics, law, and other fields of studies.

University of Prešov. The third largest university in Slovakia in terms of the number of faculties, the main focus is the liberal.

Free education in Slovakia is possible in the state universities, provided that the student has a good command of Slovak language (at least B1 level), and the program "GoStudy Slovakia" will help to achieve the necessary level. The great advantage of education in Slovakia is that there is no need to pass the nostrification exams. In the Czech Republic, for example, it is required.

Places of interest in Bratislava

For a complete tour through the Slovak capital it is worth visiting not only the popular items of interest, but also the coffee houses, streets, parks, and galleries where the locals love to go.

Gift shop in the museum (Obchod v muzeu). You can buy original gifts for your family and friends: hand-painted cards, bitters in miniature bottles, Bratislavské rožky - cookies with flavorful poppy seed and nut fillings, and many other things. The cozy atmosphere is created by retro music, carved wooden furniture, and friendly sellers. The store is next to the museum, where you can admire the antique household and interior items.

St Martin's Cathedral catacombs The Cathedral is the second most famous item of interest after Bratislava Castle, but not everyone knows that the tombs of archbishops, cardinals, and members of famous aristocratic families are located in the catacombs under the Cathedral. To go down the stone stairs and spend some time in the cool silence is a special experience, you should not miss it.

Horský park in the Old Town. The park is hidden in residential neighborhoods, so the average tourist probably would not think of going there. Winding nature paths, the Church of Our Lady of the Snows, a cozy cafe where you can drink hot tea or coffee, an outdoor exhibition of Slovak sculpture of XX-XXI centuries - everything settles for a quiet rest "in the moment".

Flat Gallery is a gallery in the apartment of the artist Andrej. At the university he studied history and focused on architecture. Andrej belongs to the Bratislava bohemian circle, knows many of the beginning artists personally, regularly visits their work studios and selects works for his gallery. The paintings you like can be purchased.

The Old Market Hall on the Slovak National Uprising Square. Each Saturday from 9:00 to 15:00 you can buy seasonal farm products here: cottage cheese and sausage, fresh fruits and vegetables, jams, honey, syrups, pastries. In front of the market building, which itself is an architectural monument, there are often festivals and photo exhibitions are being held.

"Aušpic restaurant & lounge. The place with traditional Slovak cuisine is great because there are no crowds of tourists as in the center of the Old Town. The restaurant offers an impressive panorama of the Danube River from its windows, and in summer you can relax here with a meal on the outdoor patio."

Life in Bratislava is attractive for the foreign student from all points of view: the possibility of travel often and cheaply, high-quality European education and interesting career opportunities.

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