Higher Education in the Czech Republic for Foreign Students

According to the Czech Statistical Office, in 2021, over 52 thousand foreign students were enrolled in the country’s universities. The largest number of students came to study in the Czech Republic from Slovakia, as well as from other non-EU countries such as Kazakhstan, Vietnam, and India.

You too can pursue education in the Czech Republic — in this article, we will explain how to do it.

Previously, we discussed obtaining higher education in EU countries in general.


Czech universities can be public or private. Both options are under the authority of the Ministry of Education, Youth, and Sports, but public institutions are established under the control and supervision of the government, while private institutions are granted a license by the Ministry to operate.

Based on the programs offered, Czech universities can be categorized as:

  • Non-university: mainly bachelor’s programs, sometimes master’s programs;
  • University: all types of educational programs, as well as the right to engage in research, scientific, artistic, or other activities.

From what age can one enroll in a university in the Czech Republic?

It is recommended from the age of 18 — this minimizes complications. A minor applicant is unable to independently sign a dormitory contract or rent an apartment. If the specialty involves the use of expensive equipment, the responsibility cannot be placed on the child.

However, it’s always possible to negotiate. Check which universities in the Czech Republic accept students under 18 or contact the faculty to discuss possibilities.

After turning 18, one can enroll at any age, but for students over 26 years old, education, even in public institutions, is no longer free.

How Long Does Education Last in the Czech Republic?

As part of the Bologna Process, most universities in the country have adopted a three-tier structure: bachelor’s, master’s, and doctoral degrees. The higher education system in the Czech Republic is as follows:

Bachelor’s Degree

Standard duration (including internships) is at least 3 and not more than 4 years.

Master’s Degree

For continued education: 1 to 3 years. If the program has been specially accredited and does not require completion of a bachelor’s degree for admission, then it ranges from 4 to 6 years.

Doctoral Degree

Typically from 3 to 4 years.

If there is a maximum period within which a specific area of study must be completed, this is specified in the rules of the respective faculty. Successfully completing university studies requires passing all parts of the state exam with a result that entitles you to a diploma.

Is it possible to work while studying?

Yes, students are allowed to work part-time. Please clarify this when applying for a visa.

How much does education cost in the Czech Republic?

In state universities for students up to 26 years old, it is free. In other cases, the institution itself calculates the amount.

As part of international cooperation, the Czech Republic offers many scholarships for foreigners at universities. They are intended for both exchange students and those who have decided to independently move to receive education and stay to work in the country.

Foreigners have the opportunity to enroll in Czech universities for both bachelor’s (3 years) and master’s degrees (2 years).

Admission conditions for foreign students stem from specific international agreements to which the Czech Republic is bound. Applicants from other European Union countries are treated as domestic students.

Universities in the Czech Republic will be free for those who have the ability to study in Czech in state universities. To confirm language proficiency, during the admission process, you must take a test or provide a document confirming its completion.

If a student plans to stay in the Czech Republic for more than 3 months (for educational purposes), they must obtain a residence permit. Applicants from non-EU countries, Iceland, Norway, and Liechtenstein must obtain a visa.

Detailed information on laws and regulations for foreigners can be found on the website of the Ministry of the Interior of the Czech Republic.

Where to Find Information for Admission to a Czech University?

The main document regulating education in Czech colleges and universities is Law No. 111/1998 Coll. on Universities. Specific information can be found in the rules of education and exams of each institution.

The Czech Universities Portal can assist foreigners in selecting a suitable educational institution.


1. Choose a Study Program

Start by exploring faculties and departments to select the direction that best aligns with your interests and expectations. It’s useful to check the language of instruction at the university, which is often Czech, English, or other languages.

Many educational institutions offer preparatory courses lasting a year. By enrolling in such a course, prospective students can improve their Czech language skills and prepare for entrance exams. Some programs provide knowledge in specific fields such as economics, medicine, technology, etc.

Note: In Czech state universities, education in Czech is free. For foreign-language programs, fees are charged according to Article 58 of the Law on Universities. The amount of the fee is determined by each university independently. Consider utilizing scholarship programs.

2. Prepare the Required Documents

First and foremost, you need to successfully complete the previous level of education, i.e., obtain a high school diploma. For admission to a university in the Czech Republic for a master’s degree, you need to have a bachelor’s degree, and for a doctoral degree, you need to have a master’s degree.

You will also need nostrification — official recognition of previously obtained education — a document proving that your education is equivalent to Czech education. This procedure is carried out either by specialized authorities, secondary schools in the Czech Republic, or universities themselves if they have the appropriate accreditation. The proof must be notarized.

Additionally, you will need a completed application, proof of payment of the application fee (500-1,000 crowns), and additional requirements depending on the specific program (motivational or recommendation letter, language proficiency test).

So, the approximate set of documents looks like this:

  • Completed and signed application
  • Copy of high school diploma and transcripts*
  • Document on the nostrification of the diploma
  • 2 color photographs 4×5

*Notarized and translated into Czech.

3. Check Special Requirements

Each university regulates the admission process differently. Requirements for individual programs may vary. Always check the specific requirements for students on the university’s website and consult the university’s academic or international department for guidance.

4. Submit Your Application

Forms are available on university websites. An electronic application system is used, which helps students track the status of their application. The printed form with the document package must be sent by mail. Notifications will be received online on the website and via email.

5. Take the Entrance Exam

The educational institution may require an additional entrance exam. These are usually conducted in the Czech Republic, but it may be possible to take them abroad.

6. Wait for Admission Notification

After the application deadline and entrance exams, the university will decide on admission. Usually, by the end of June, you will know whether you have been admitted or not. If the decision is positive, you will be asked to pay the tuition fee for the first semester (if necessary). Then you will receive an official letter of acceptance, confirmation for visa and residence, and a study contract.

7. Apply for a Visa

Depending on your nationality, a visa may be required. It is recommended to start the process immediately after receiving the official acceptance letter. It takes up to 60 days.

8. Address Other Issues

The receiving university will provide guidance on organizing your arrival in the Czech Republic, information about the campus, and available services. Note: there is no legal right to accommodation, and the state is not obliged to provide housing for students. If no accommodation is available, you will have to rent a room or apartment yourself.

There are numerous scholarship programs available in the Czech Republic. Let’s consider some of them:


This is an EU program for students from all over the world. It offers support options for bachelor’s, master’s, or doctoral students. Implemented jointly with an international partnership of universities.

For studying in the Czech Republic in 2023, for example, the Erasmus Mundus Joint Masters program was relevant. You can check the list of educational institutions offering such scholarships on the website. The Erasmus grant covers travel and accommodation expenses.

University Scholarships in the Czech Republic

For outstanding academic results, to support doctoral students, for social needs, or for living expenses, Czech universities provide their own scholarships. When you finalize your choice of educational institution, check on the website if there is an opportunity to apply for a grant.

Scholarships under International Agreements

Such scholarships are awarded only to applicants officially recommended by the relevant authorities: Czech embassies abroad, ministries of education, or others. Support is intended for bachelor’s, master’s, and doctoral students who express a desire to complete their studies or internships at one of the Czech state universities.

Summer School of Slavonic Studies

Scholarships for participation are awarded annually by the Ministry of Education, Youth, and Sports of the Czech Republic. These are Czech language courses organized by several state universities in the country. They are intended for foreign students, teachers, translators and interpreters, and other specialists interested in the language or Slavistics.

International Visegrad Fund

Host countries: Czech Republic, Hungary, Poland, Slovakia. For foreign students from a number of states, the fund offers several grant programs supporting master’s students, doctoral students, and researchers in all fields. Participation is possible for up to 4 semesters.

Josef Dobrovsky Scholarship

A short-term (15-45 days) grant for scholars who need to study local historical, cultural, artistic, linguistic, geographical, or suitable data for their work.

Zdenek Pesat Scholarship

Another short-term (up to 4 weeks) grant supporting foreign scholars, university teachers, doctoral students who conduct research in the field of Czech literature.

Education in Czech universities is free, but this does not negate other expenses such as accommodation, meals, and leisure activities.

Where to Live During Studies?

In the Czech Republic, there are two main options — to stay in a dormitory, if you are lucky, or to rent an apartment. The competition for a place in the campus is high. The news portal Refresher conducted a study regarding the ability of universities to accommodate students in dormitories. For example, at Charles University, there are about 50,000 students (as of 2023) in 3 branches in 3 cities, but only 10,000 beds are available in Prague. At MUNI, there are 35,000 students, and only 4,000 beds. Other students are forced to look for accommodation elsewhere.

If you are among those unlucky ones who didn’t get a place in a dormitory, use rental housing portals for students, such as Studentreality. On a Czech website for apartment searches, prices start from 2,000 crowns in Prague (if you select the “for students” filter).

How to Get Around the City?

A student ticket provides a discount on public transportation (if you are under 26). In Prague, the fare for a pass is 130 crowns (as of 2023), while in Brno, it’s the most expensive at 275 crowns. The taxi fare per kilometer in Prague is 25 crowns, and in Brno, it’s up to 30 crowns.

Where Can Students Eat in the Czech Republic?

University canteens are inexpensive, and students are offered discounts. You can have a hearty meal for prices ranging from 70 to 115 crowns. Cafes and restaurants will be more expensive, starting from a minimum of 200 crowns.

Organizing Leisure Activities

Sometimes it’s essential to meet friends at a café or pub, engage in fitness activities, or watch a new movie because student life shouldn’t just be about endless studying. According to Numbeo — a database on the cost of living where people upload information about local prices — a small table was compiled.

City/ProductCappuccinoBeer (0.5L)Monthly Fitness SubscriptionMovie Ticket

Foreign students spend their time not only studying but also working part-time, especially during the summer. A young person can delight their families not only with excellent academic performance but also with small gifts on holidays, such as money transfers.

An assistant in this matter can be the Korona app. Available for download on the App Store and Google Play, it has several advantages, including sending money to 50+ countries without commission on conversions.

In our blog, we talk about life and studies in European countries. Feel free to visit and read more.