Studying in Prague as a foreigner – briefly yet clearly from A to Z

Prague and the Czech Republic in general are very attractive from many different aspects, whether it’s the nature, the cities, history or monuments and sights. Of course, no less attractive is studying here as Czechia offers a complex and developed education with widely famous giants, such as Charles University or Czech Technical University (CTU) in the front lines. However, the overall process to living and studying here, and the documents can make your head spin real quick. This is why we have summarized the process so that you will not have to look for it everywhere on the internet.

University study system in the Czech Republic

All universities in the Czech Republic use the ECTS credit system, which is the same as in the rest of Europe. This unified system allows students to study abroad in a different university and it would still count into their study programme.

You will usually need to complete 30 credits per term and you can obtain up to 10 credits per course. The number of credits reflects the hours you will have to study. In other words, the more credits a course has, the more difficult the course should be.

Like in all other countries, the Czech Republic also offers bachelor’s and master’s degrees as well as Ph.Ds. As a student who has just finished secondary education, you can choose from bachelor’s or master’s study programmes. Bachelor’s study programme is the more commonly selected one as there is more to choose from and the length of studies is shorter. After you finish your master’s studies and still wish to further deepen your knowledge, you can continue to study for a Ph.D. degree.

Study in Czech or English?

For someone, the tuition fee paid for the study programme in English may be a problematic issue, because sometimes the amounts are not small. However, there is a way around it. If you apply for a Czech study programme and study only in Czech, you won’t pay any tuition fees. Many universities are aware that foreign students often consider this possibility and therefore they offer various preparatory courses.

Preparatory courses are paid courses, which aside from Czech language, also include numerous other subjects, such as Maths, Physics, Biology or History. The subjects depend on the course you will opt for. The main goal of these courses is to prepare you for entrance exams and also give you an edge when enrolling to universities as a freshman. 

Choose your Czech university and study programme

Whether you wish to major in accounting, medicine, informatics, mechanical engineering, theology or even philosophy or law, Czech universities offer it all. To make everything simpler for you, we have prepared a detailed description about each large public university, their faculties and their study programmes, so you can find out more information about, for example, Charles University, UCT, VŠE, CTU or CULS.

Nostrification in the Czech Republic

Nostrification is a term used for recognition of foreign education. The aim here is to  recognise the validity of the foreign school report in the Czech Republic, however, not everyone needs it. Only students from countries which don’t have an international agreement with the Czech Republic have to undergo this procedure. This whole process is done by a Czech representative office, therefore most of the documents will have to be officially translated into Czech.
For the recognition you will need these following documents:

  1.  a completed application
  2. legalized and then officially translated Foreign Degree, Diploma or Certificate into the Czech language, made by a translator listed on the Register of Certified Forensic Experts and Translators of the Czech Republic (or its officially certified copy)
  3. legalized and then officially translated document with subjects and hours (content and scope of foreign education) for every particular year of study.
  4. proof of payment for administrative charge – 1000 Czk
  5. proof of address in the Czech Republic (f.e. copy of the passport, rent treat…)
  6. power of attorney (above all for underage applicant – younger than 18 years)

For applicants who will live in Prague, you should submit your application to the Registry of the Prague City Hall in Prague.

Nostrification examination

If the authority is not sure whether the education completed in a foreign country is enough or not satisfying at all, they will order for a nostrification examination. Based on the results the authority will approve or reject your application.

The examination will consist of 1 to 5 subjects focusing on geography, social sciences, English, history, physics, chemistry, math, etc. It all depends where the student is lacking. The test givers will notify the candidate beforehand about the contents of the exam. It’s also important to mention that the exam is in Czech, however, you can bring an interpreter with you who will help you with the translation.

With or without a visa in Czechia?

If you have been accepted to the university, the next step is to solve the topic with a visa. This can be divided into two categories.

Students from EU/EEA and Switzerland

Students from EU/EEA and Switzerland only need their passport or ID card. However, if you are planning to stay in the Czech Republic for longer than 30 days, you will still have to report to the Foreign Police Department about your arrival and stay within 30 days after your arrival. It’s also possible to let the person providing accommodation to you fill in the registration for you and submit it (landlord, dormitories).

Students from other countries

Students from other countries outside the EU have to follow a rather long process to obtain a visa in order to stay in the Czech Republic. It all starts with visiting a Czech embassy with an application form. Aside from that, the embassy usually requires you to have these documents: 

  1. application form
  2. ID, passport and a passport photo
  3. proof of financial resources – usually in a form of a bank account statement
  4. a confirmation of a provided accommodation
  5. health insurance
  6. an abstract from register of criminal records – usually have to be translated into Czech with an official stamp

For more information about visa requirements visit the official website of the Ministry of Interior of the Czech Republic.

If everything is alright with the documents, the embassy will then issue the visa to you. Also note that the whole process from the beginning to getting the visa may take up to several months, so try to do this as soon as possible.

There are short term visas (less than 90 days) and long term visas (for more than 90 days). If you plan to study here for a longer period of time, the most optimal choice is to opt for a long term visa.

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Globalduck community
Are you entering freshman year and looking for friends, or are you already a student, but you want to experience something else and meet new faces? We regularly organize various events for everyone.

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