Albania is situated on the eastern shore of the Adriatic Sea, with Montenegro and Serbia to the north, Macedonia to the east, and Greece to the south. Albania is a parliamentary democracy with a transition economy. The Albanian capital, Tirana, is home to 421,286 of the country's 2,831,741 people. Free-market reforms have opened the country to foreign investment, especially in the development of energy and transportation infrastructure. Students looking for a truly unique country for educational opportunities at the level of higher education will find Albania to be a diverse and ideal choice. The country is located in Southeastern Europe with Macedonia to the east, Greece to the South, and Serbia, Montenegro, and the Adriatic Sea also forming its borders. It is also near Italy, across the Strait of Otranto. The country's capital is Tirana and most locals speak Albanian.
The country has a rich history and sits in one of the most diverse areas of the world. It is a safe country to travel to and as such some students have attended colleges and universities here. However, this is not necessary a common thing to do. The country does not have a strong economy right now, but it does have a democracy that is fairly strong and developed. About 2.8 million people live in Albania, with about 421,000 of them living in Tirana.
The climate of Albania ranges from one area to the next. In the lowlands, a moderate Mediterranean climate is present. This affords the country with mild winters and warm summers. The highlands have a more continental climate with more seasonal differences including colder winters with some snow. Throughout the year, though, precipitation is heavy and this can play a role in the overall activities individuals can participate in here.
The country has a strong culture which students are likely to participate in while living here. The strong history here is also a key component and it is evident on everything from the country's architecture to the religious elements present. The countryside are remote and lush. They make for the ideal opportunity for the individual to explore the natural beauty of this area. However, in the larger cities, every modern amenity is available including access to the Internet.
The country uses lek as its currency. Keep in mind it is not a part of the European Union and euros are not accepted here. However, ATMs and credit cards are widely accepted. Students can also convert funds through financial institutions for direct payments.
Study in Albania
Education in Albania
Albania has a good school system, but it is not necessarily one of the strongest in Europe. Prior to the establishment of the current government, for example, the country's literacy rate was only 85 percent. Schools were not easily found during World War II. However, things have changed and the country's literacy rate today is 98.7 percent, one of the highest in the region. The University of Triana is the oldest university here and it was founded in 1957.
Higher Education in Albania
Students spend up to four years in preschool before moving into primary education for nine years. From there, students enroll in either regular secondary school for three years or into a vocational school for between two and five years. Tertiary education provides four three years of education for a bachelor's degree as well as another 1.5 to two years for a masters degree. Doctoral educational follows this and can take as long as three additional years of schooling.
Students here focus on mathematics, sciences, and the humanities. The number of universities, both private and public have increased over the years as well. Some offer new areas of focused study. Most are now offering e-learning programs for students as well.
Universities in Albania
Both private and public universities existing in Albania. In fact, there are numerous opportunities available to citizens as well as international students. The following are some of the universities found in the country:
- Aleksander Moisiu University, located in Durres, a public school
- University of Tirana, located in Tirana, a public school
- Polytechnic University of Triana, located in Tirana, a public school
- Fan Noli University, located on Korce, a public school
- University of Vlora, located in Vlora, a public school
Some of the private universities here include satellite schools from around the world. Schools include Kristal University, American University of Tirana, European University of Tirana, Epoka University, Polis University, and Marlin Barleti University, also of Tirana.
The school year is divided into two semesters. Students enrolling in higher education will find some differences between schools in this. In most cases, the school year begins in September and ends in June, encompassing two semesters during that timeframe.
Costs range widely. This is because the government does not set tuition costs. Rather, the schools themselves do. For this reason, students will find a wide range of pricing options available. In some cases, educational costs can range from the equivalent of €2000 up to €6000 per year.
Obtaining a Travel Visa as a Student
Students who wish to learn in Albania will need to seek out the proper visa. Visa requirements differ from one country to the next. Albania is not yet a member of the European Union, so easy travel is not readily available. Nationals of some countries do not need to carry a visa. The best access to visas is by contacting the local embassy in the student's home country.
The requirements to obtain a visa as a student are basic. Students must have been accepted into an educational program recognized by the state at one of the universities there. Additionally, students must have health insurance and financial means to provide for themselves during their stay. It also requires the student to be healthy and to remain in school during his or her time in the country.
Why Study in Albania?
There are many reasons to choose Albania as your international location for study. Students come here for the rich culture and the diverse needs of the economy. Some remain and work, though there is a high level of competition for jobs in many areas. International students will find a variety of research studies, though, many of which can provide an opportunity for students to be a part of the medical field. Overall, the country is safe, offers affordable education, and has a low cost of living. It is centrally located too, making European travel easy to do.