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Czechia: one in five students are international

The international student population in Czechia has grown significantly over the last 20 years – and now one in five students are international, research has shown.

Czechia's position in the centre of Europe is a pull factor for many international students. Photo: Unsplash

Around 30% of the country's international students study English

What’s more, almost half of those choose to stay to work in the country.

The number of international students in Czechia has jumped from 11,000 to 55,000 since 2002. Data from the Czech Statistical Office shows how the landscape of inbound international study has notably evolved – even since 2012, when 40,000 international students studied at Czech institutions.

The Czech National Agency for International Education and Research – known as DZS – has recently conducted research focused on international students and their motivation for choosing Czechia as a study destination, as well as the challenges they face.

With a full report due to be released in November 2023, The PIE obtained preliminary data from the report.

Surveys show that around 30% of the country’s international students study English.

Source: The Czech National Agency for International Education and Research

“The main reason for choosing Czechia is a specific study program, then a specific university,” Aneta Sargeant, head of study in the Czechia at DZS, told The PIE.

The research also showed that international students value the geographical position of the country. Sargeant highlighted Czechia’s position in the centre of Europe, giving ease of access to travel to other destinations and being very well interconnected by railways.

Living costs, lower university fees and safety also play an important factor in deciding on the study destination.

As for the challenges that international students who have chosen Czechia face, the main one they grapple with is visa procedures, according to the surveyed students.

“The process to obtain visa for non-EU students is often perceived as complicated and long – by law it can take up to 60 days, in some cases it takes even longer,” said Sargeant.

“This process represents a major challenge and lowers the competitiveness of Czechia as a study destination.”

However, the overall picture painted is a positive one; some 90% of graduates surveyed implying that studying in Czechia contributed to improving their career.

In fact, the research found that almost half of the country’s international students – some 45% – stay in Czechia and become part of the local economy.

Many students go on to have a lifelong relationship with the study destination, with 87% continuing to follow Czech culture and events after graduation, even after more than 10 years.

A further 79% said they are willing to spread the “good name of Czechia”.

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