Nirupam Kumar Mundra from India
May 29, 2022 – Among the growing number of foreigners moving to Croatia, international students are increasingly visible. So who are these foreign students who choose Croatia, and why? In the fifth of a new series, we get the outlook on living and studying in Croatia through the eyes of its foreign students, continuing with India’s Nirupam Kumar Mundra.
Among the many foreign languages heard in the Croatian capital these days is the growing number of students choosing to do their higher education in Croatia. A safe and affordable EU country, with a rapidly expanding program of high quality English language courses, with excellent post-graduation employment opportunities are just some of the reasons to choose Croatia. And the quality of this education was highlighted recently, as Algebra University College signed an academic partnership agreement with Goldsmiths, University of London (as previously reported on TCN), allowing algebra students to study in the under the approved programs of one of the top 500 universities. in the world according to the World University Rankings.
Despite the growing excellence of higher and postgraduate English language education in Croatia, the opportunities are not so well known, and that is why TCN – in partnership with Algebra University College – has compiled an authoritative guide to what you need to know about studying in this beautiful country. Consult the Total Croatia Study in Croatia guide.
Nothing paints the real picture of studying in a foreign country better than the real experiences of students living the daily reality. In a new series on TCN, we meet some of the international students who have fallen in love with Croatia, many of whom plan to stay and work here if they can find a job. We take a look at the facts of life, why they chose Croatia, and what advice they have for those considering studying in Croatia.
Time to meet Nirupam Kumar Mundra from India who is doing a postgraduate course in Applied Computer Engineering, Game Development at Algebra University College.
1. You have chosen to study in Croatia. Tell us what were the main factors in this decision.
I come from India. We don’t have any universities that offer graduate studies in game development. I was looking for universities across Europe and found that the course I was looking for is offered in Zagreb at the University of Algebra. The main factors I chose for education in Croatia were the program that appealed to me the most and the tuition fees, which were very affordable. The reason why Europe is rich in culture and people. I feel like I’m on another planet, which I don’t want to leave.
2. What is the experience so far? Give us some pros and cons.
About the experience, I love the education system here. We have a vending machine at the university and a lounge. The technology used in college is breathtaking to me.
- Beautiful city and people.
- Traveling does not take much time.
- Very good education system.
- Difficult to understand when buying groceries and food. The description is in Croatian on almost all products.
- Non-Croatians will sometimes have difficulty communicating.
- Renewal of the residence permit each year.
3. How was your perception of studying in Croatia different from reality? Tell us anything that surprised you about the experience?
When it comes to studying in Croatia, I can talk all day about things that surprised me. I was amazed how we can sit randomly in class without gender rules. My university has an app where we can track our grades, attendance and check exams and news. I love swiping my college ID when I walk into class, it’s for attendance. I know all of these things are very common here, but not for me. Especially I like the teaching structure. One day of lectures and another day is practice, a perfect way to learn.
4. Was it easy to complete the paperwork to enroll in the study program? Any suggestions for improving things?
Enrolling in the study program is so much easier. If there is a slight difficulty in doing so, the university is always available to help us with the process. Usually students from my home go to third party institutes to apply to overseas universities, but I did it myself.
5. Tell us a bit about housing and the cost of living.
I started paying 500 euros when I arrived here, due to the lack of exposure to the town and the houses here. Later, I started to learn things and I found myself a new accommodation for only 250 euros/month. Some of my Indian friends paid 180 euros/month (this includes rent and utilities).
6. Finding work is a key priority for students, both to help fund study, but also after graduation. Have you struggled to find work and what are the main obstacles?
I chose a different career path for my master’s studies. I have to start from scratch, so I decided to devote all my time to university, so I didn’t try to apply for a job here. I don’t think I’m the right person to talk about this issue.
7. Tell us about the Croatian way of life and make friends. How did it go for you ?
What I see is that making friends here is easy, everyone here is polite, friendly and welcoming. During my three years in Zagreb, I never encountered any racism or toxicity from students or anyone else.
8. Do you plan to (try to) stay in Croatia at the end of your studies? Why not?
I intend to find work here. My chosen career, which is game design, has some good opportunities in Croatia. More importantly, I love Europe.
9. Three things you liked the most about your study experience in Croatia?
Festival arrangements and outdoor parties with music and decorated with beautiful lights.
Going on a trip to the coast of Croatia is the best.
Parks and libraries – they look like cinema locations.
10. What advice do you have for people considering studying in Croatia?
It will be difficult the first months, I will tell you one thing if you get to know Croatia and its people: it is worth living here. As Croatia is not in the Schengen zone (but it will be soon) with a Croatian residence permit you can only travel to Bulgaria, Romania and Cyprus, which I consider a limited option for a few non -Europeans. I highly recommend learning a few Croatian words. It would help in a situation like buying food, groceries, also for travel and shopping.
To learn more about study options in Croatia, see the Total Croatia Study in Croatia guide.
For more information on the courses offered by Algebra University College, visit the official website.