“There are two educations. One should teach us how to make a living and the other how to live.” – John Adams.
July is here; exams are over and leave room to a summer that, like every year, promises to be legen-DARY. Now for many people, this summer is set to open new horizons as teenagers around the world will soon enter university and a new chapter in their lives.
In this sense, those starting in Ljubljana will not be disappointed. To them I can say my own time there has truly been a cracking illumination.
In fact LJ is home to more than 30 centers of higher education, 26 of them composing faculties at Univerza v Ljubljani, and that host a community of over 40 000 students coming from all over the country and the surroundings; blondes, brunettes… each as attractive as the next.
Reputed institutions such as the Faculties of Economics, Social Sciences, Electronic and Engineering or Architecture as well as the private Business and Entrepreneurship school Gea College make of Ljubljana a place providing education of the highest quality.
The Faculty of Economics for instance, is constantly ranked among the Top 5 centers for Business and Economics studies in Central and Eastern Europe, with courses both in Slovene and English which year after year ensure high performing student satisfaction rates.
Another not less considerable perk of being a student in Ljubljana is the cost of living. With tuition fees lifted for anyone under the age of 25, a whole lot of privileges granted by the government relieve families’ finances and attract more than 2000 foreign students from across the continent.
Student dormitories, for instance, cost between 80 and 150€ a month (A MONTH…!), all costs included (ALL OF THEM…!!!). And those who’d fancy a bit more privacy can find a whole lot of apartments in the very city center for 200-300€, still very reasonable.
And as this was not enough, the government is also subsidizing our meals! The glorious Studentski Boni feed you in many restaurants across the city with soup, salad, main course, drink AND dessert, all for the affordable price of 3.50€, which makes me seriously think of how much of a rip off being a student in the UK is in comparison.
Concerning nightlife, as I describe in my previous post, there is a whole variety of clubs and bars where concerts and parties of every type bring happiness to students who go out every single night of the week because why not.
As for transportation in Ljubljana, everything is at walking distance and if needed really cool bikes can be found at the flea market at a ridiculous price. Fun fact is that Ljubljana is home to an important bike trading business. I would not say it is common, but people get their bikes stolen occasionally. No one gets too angry as you can always find another cheap one at the flea market where, funny enough, you may even find the one you were stolen!
Bicycle robbery is the most common “crime” in LJ, which besides implying one should be careful with it, says a lot about Ljubljana’s safety as a city.
For those who do not feel like walking, a city bus card of unlimited use can be purchased for just 20€ per month which (surprise!) also includes a bike rental service, because Ljubljana wants you to sweat out these 3.50€ meals.
And if one wants to explore the country in the weekends, student discounts on car renting services and an extensive carpooling network - a cheaper and faster alternative to boring buses – will enable you to reach every hidden corner of the surroundings.
Now while having a very solid academic reputation, Ljubljana also offers plenty of extra-curricular activities.
Sports courses including volleyball, swimming, yoga or Pilates for less than 20€ per semester, language or photography courses, a choir for aspiring singers, and plenty of student associations that organize inter-faculty sports tournaments, business competitions, field trips and workshops of all types offer an ideal way to relieve one’s mind off exams.
I can tell there is no better way to relieve stress than singing your lungs out or punching the hell outta that horrendous rag doll spotted at the gym.
Bottom line is that there is no more beautiful life than that of a student. One comes in first year an idiot to leave four years later still an idiot, but a highly employable one. While studying in Ljubljana, lost souls will get to find each other at last, some will fall in love, others will just get fat. Memories will be collected over liters of beer and cherished friendships are to be forged forever. And while decisively walking towards the prospects of employment, one will look back over the countless all nighters survived and realize it truly was the best fun of a lifetime.