Studying overseas is becoming more and more popular. And there is little wonder why - traveling to see the world, experiencing a different culture, and making lifelong friends with diverse backgrounds are all truly appealing prospects. Such a move is often a pivotal decision that can be both very rewarding and transformative. Just imagine how much you can grow as a person as you learn a new language, study in a different educational environment, and adapt to a new culture. Think about all the new interests you may be able to develop and the unique, life-changing opportunities you are likely to encounter. For sure, Cyprus is one interesting place that can offer you all of these experiences and more.
Curious? The number of foreign students in Cyprus has increased in the last three years by 10,000 and tripled in comparison to 2013. The latest figures for 2018-2019 published by the Cyprus Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports and Youth show that there are more foreign students now in Cyprus then the local ones.
|2018-2019||Cypriot Citizens||European Nationals||3rd World Nationals||TOTAL|
|Number of Students||23,872||17,959||9,255||51,086|
These numbers are indicative of how popular and appealing Cyprus has become among international students. Read on to learn more about what you can expect if you too decide to move to Cyprus to study.
Cyprus Is Home to Numerous Universities
The right university can propel you towards a very promising future. As a student, it is where a lot of personal transformation can take place. The university is your foundation for a stable and better life ahead. To begin with, it is important to have several options to choose from. In that aspect, Cyprus is not wanting. Your university options are abundant. Here are a few of Cyprus’ most prominent universities that appear in multiple ranking sites (such as The World University , Webometrics , Scimagoir.com , QS Top Universities , URAP , Unirank )
Cyprus University of Technology
Established in 2009, this university specializes in the field of scientific research. It is best known for its Department of Medicine (especially Cancer research) as well as the Department of Technological and Business Innovation. CUT is officially accredited by the Ministry of Education and Culture of Cyprus. The most important faculties include:
- Geotechnical Sciences and Environmental Management
- Management and Economics
- Communication and Media Studies
- Health Sciences
- Fine and Applied Arts
- Engineering and Technology
- Language Centre
University of Nicosia
Established in 1980, this is the largest university in Cyprus. It specializes in the fields of medicine as well as blockchain and digital currencies. The University of Nicosia is officially accredited by the Ministry of Education and Culture of Cyprus. It offers more than 100 Bachelor, Masters, and Doctorate programs. It is renowned for being the largest university in Southern Europe that teaches in English. It is also the first and largest medical school in all of Cyprus. Faculties or school departments include:
- School of Business
- School of Education
- School of Humanities and Social Sciences
- School of Law
- Medical School
- School of Sciences and Engineering
University of Cyprus
Established in 1989, it excels in numerous fields including Biological Sciences as well as Mathematics, and Statistics. The University of Cyprus is officially accredited by the Ministry of Education and Culture of Cyprus. It boasts a faculty body whose members received many international awards. Among the awardees is Prof. Christopher Pissarides, a 2010 recipient of the Nobel Memorial Prize in Economic Sciences. The university's educational offer include undergraduate and postgraduate programs in numerous faculties, such as:
- Biological Sciences
UEuropean University Cyprus
Established in 1961, it excels in numerous fields, especially in the sciences. The university is renowned for implementing one of the EU’s largest research programs. It is part of Europe’s Larger Higher Education Group. It is also one of only 110 universities worldwide that feature a Microsoft Innovation Center. European University Cyprus is officially accredited by the Ministry of Education and Culture of Cyprus. Many of the university’s staff has achieved international recognition, including biochemists Ada E. Yonath, a 2009 Nobel laureate in Chemistry, and Robert Huber, a 1988 Nobel Laureate in chemistry. The university’s educational offer includes undergraduate and postgraduate programs in numerous faculties, such as:
- School of Medicine
- School of Sciences
- School of Law
- School of Business Administration
- School of Humanities, Social and Education Sciences
- Distance Education Unit
Officially established as a university in 2009, Frederick University has been functioning as an educational institution since 1965. From 1975, it started offering higher education programs. It is renowned for being 1 of the 21 universities in Europe to receive an E-xcellence label for Associates in Quality. In practical terms, Frederick University offers assured quality and e-learning opportunities. It also means that the school always keeps up to date with the newest developments. It is officially accredited by the Ministry of Education and Culture of Cyprus. The university offers remote learning opportunities, and vocational programs as well as undergraduate and postgraduate studies in:
- School of Education and Social Sciences
- School of Business and Law
- School of Engineering
- School of Health Sciences
- School of Communication and Cultural Studies
University of Central Lancashire Cyprus
The university has been operational since 2012. It is registered and fully licensed as a university in Cyprus. It has accreditation from the Ministry of Education and Culture of Cyprus and the UK Quality Assurance Agency for Higher Education. Completing studies with UCLan Cyprus will grant you a Double Degree or 2 certificates; a degree from UCLan Cyprus and another from UCLan UK. Therefore, studying at this university will allow you to get internationally accredited.
UCLan Cyprus offers undergraduate and postgraduate studies as well as remote learning opportunities. The educational offer includes:
- School of Business and Management
- School of Law
- School of Sciences
- Institute of Professional Studies
Cyprus Offers Student-Oriented Environment
Leaving one’s country to pursue academic studies in a foreign land is a major shift in the life of a student. In pursuing the life of an international student, unique needs arise. It is crucial to identify, prioritize, and meet these needs so you can enjoy living abroad, be less stressed, and be more focused on your studies.
Cyprus accommodates the basic needs of its students
Certain countries make it hard for international students to survive, let alone thrive during the course of their academic studies. That’s not the case in Cyprus. Thanks to numerous student-friendly options, you can easily meet your basic needs, including:
- Food, accommodation, and transportation
- Medical and insurance needs
- Academic needs including quality of educational offer and teaching
- Quality-of-life-related needs
Cyprus caters to individual-specific needs
Apart from the basic needs, shared among all individuals who want to study abroad, each student will also have their own personal preferences. Cyprus is a diverse place which means you can choose:
- Whether you want to live close to the city or not
- How close you’ll be to the beach or other natural landmarks
- Your preferred climate zone
Cyprus Has a Reliable Infrastructure.
Cyprus government, as well as local businesses, have made a lot of conscious efforts to transform the island into a place that’s both student-friendly in general and supportive to foreign students. If you decide to move here to study, you’ll discover in no time that Cyprus has built a reliable infrastructure that international students like you will greatly benefit from.
According to the Speedtest Global Index , as of August 2019, Cyprus ranks 36th in the world for mobile Internet speeds, coming very close to mobile speeds in the US (which ranks 35th), while doing much better the UK (ranking 46th). For the fixed broadband speeds, Cyprus ranked 87th. While that’s a lower rating, it’s still fairly competitive compared to the rest of the world.
Access to banking systems and financial facilities
The commonly preferred currency around the island is the Euro. If you happen to bring foreign currency, or if you’re planning to use your debit/credit card, here are a few things worth noting:
- Banks are available in every province (especially The Bank of Cyprus)
- Online banking is available
- Transaction charges are generally low (if there are any at all)
- Foreign currencies can be exchanged in these banks and in available currency exchange offices (be sure to always google the rates first and make sure to shop around for the best rates)
- ATMs or cash machines are quite accessible (even in the smaller towns and villages that are not frequented by foreign students or tourists) and often accept foreign cards
In addition, opening your own bank account as a foreigner has become much easier. For example, you can send the required documents via email. You don’t have to make a minimum initial deposit and processing is trouble-free and quick.
Importantly, although some grocery stores and small shops may not accept debit or credit cards, Mastercard and Visa are widely accepted in banks and major establishments such as hotels, restaurants, and larger retail stores around the island. Some of these establishments may also accommodate the use of other cards such as American Express, Cirrus, or Maestro.
Access to health care
You’ll find that access to healthcare for foreigners can be quite affordable and several emergency medical treatments will be administered in public hospitals free of charge. The European Health Insurance Card is available and recommended for foreigners for easier access to medical care in Cyprus. It’s a free card that gives you access to medically necessary and state-provided procedures during your temporary stay in any EU country. You can apply for this insurance here . Locally, you may seek direction from Citizen Service Centers or District Post Offices regarding submissions.
Lots and lots of good quality coffee
It is no surprise that coffee will be available almost everywhere you go in Cyprus as it is a sort of welcoming ritual to offer a cup to any guest. Every village in Cyprus has at least one coffee shop because drinking coffee in a traditional coffee shop is an integral part of the social life and everyday life of Cypriots. The locals drink coffee in the morning, in the afternoon with friends, and even after dinner. So, if you love coffee, you don’t have to worry about not having access to a cup of your favourite beverage because the locals love it too.
The government is friendly to foreign students
The government is focused on establishing Cyprus as an educational and research hub of Europe. With the recent surge in the foreign student population, these efforts continue. The government is offering incentives that are motivating the local universities to make their facilities, systems, and policies even more inviting to foreign students. Here are some of the more recent developments that may sway the undecided to consider studying in Cyprus more seriously:
- New scholarships being offered to top students from other countries
- Permission for working students to do part-time work for up to 20 hours
- The construction of an additional student housing is already underway with more than 2,000 rooms to be added by the end of the year
Enjoy Yourself While Studying In Cyprus
Of course, student life is not only about education. You’ll be happy to know that if you study in Cyprus, you’ll have plenty to do and see in your free time as well. Below, we present the most popular recreational activities you can enjoy to relax and refresh yourself after a stressful time at school:
Travel Around the Island
If you come from a country that is cold, rainy, and cloudy for considerable periods of the year, you’ll definitely enjoy the mild weather and the temperate climate of Cyprus. Summers usually have up to 10 hours of sunshine per day with temperatures rising above 30 degrees C. The colder days of spring see temperatures of low to mid-20s, but there’s still plenty of sunshine for anyone to enjoy while exploring the island. Winters are fairly mild so you don’t have to worry about bringing layers of warm clothing.
If you are an avid student of history or just love sightseeing, you’ll enjoy getting to know the historical and archaeological heritage of the island. Since the island is small, you can explore it by car doing day trips, driving around to see:
- The Ancient Kourion (best to check out while there: the theater, the House of Eustolios, and the large Byzantine basilica)
- The Ancient Salamis (best to check out while there: the Grand Hellenistic statuary in the ruins of the Gymnasium, ruins of Byzantine churches, and the large Reservoir showcasing ancient engineering)
- The Karpas Peninsula (best to check out while there: the mosaics of Agia Triada at Sipahi Village, the ruin of Agios Filon church in Dipkarpaz Village, and the famous Golden Beach
- Larnaka (best to check out while there: the Skala, the Agios Lazaros, and the Salt Lake to its west)
- The St. Hilarion Castle (if you love legends and myths, this place has plenty of stories to offer.
- The Kolossi Castle (an old Crusader stronghold during the Holy Land Crusades)
- The villages in the Troodos Massif (home to stone-cut traditional houses, cobblestone alleys, and churches and monasteries with wall and ceiling paintings that go back to the medieval era. Nine of these churches have been given a UNESCO World Heritage Status. The most famous of these is the Church of Archangelos Michail)
- The House of Dionysus (named after the mythical god and housing an assortment of mosaic floors which depict scenes from the Greek mythology)
- The Cyprus Museum (in the capital Nicosia, where you can get a better understanding of almost all of the island’s history from the Neolithic age to the Ottoman era
Sun Bathe & Swim
If you enjoy water slides and tube rides, Fasouri Watermania is the best waterpark to go to while in Cyprus. And if you love the beach, you’ll find sandy, golden beaches and clear blue waters stretching from the north to the south of the island. Here are just a few of the best beaches in Cyprus:
- Nissi Beach: This is the most famous beach in Cyprus and is usually packed with visitors most of the year.
- Cape Greco: One of the most beautiful places to visit. It’s just amazing and magical.
- Konnos Bay: One of the more famous beaches that offer plenty of things to do.
- Bay of Aphrodite: Named after the mythical goddess and the place says it all.
- Makronissos Beach: A Blue Flag awarded quieter beach with golden-white sand.
- Coral Bay: Another popular tourist resort with amazing scenic views.
- Fig Tree Bay: A calmer but very scenic paradise that is loved by tourists.
- Lara Bay: Quite a hidden gem as you’ll need a 4X4 to get to see its stunning beauty.
- Finikoudes Beach: Another Blue Flag awardee and very popular during summer.
- Mackenzie Beach: Restaurants & bars are just nearby and watersports are available.
Studying in Cyprus affords a lot more perks or benefits.
There are a lot more reasons why foreign students are flocking to Cyrus:
- The mild weather and temperate climate of Cyprus is a considerable bonus to many.
- Cyprus is one of the safer European countries you can decide to live in.
- You can immerse yourself in a highly Interesting and welcoming culture.
- Cyprus is an English-speaking country. Programs are taught in English. English is a street language so English-speaking foreigners can explore and mingle with locals and the general crowd without fear.
- An exclusive Immigration Department branch is in play to handle and speed up applications of new foreign students.
- It is very easy for EU citizens to immigrate to Cyprus while it is also very practical for non-EU nationals to process student visas.
- Access to scholarships and financial aid are available for international students. Inquire at your prospective university for more information.
- There is a focus on research within academic institutions. Cyprus universities have the highest rate of EU research grants. This naturally leads to faster development and advances in different fields that are under study. And if you’re chosen field is covered, you can very well expect to be on the forefront.
- Cyprus provides students with the chance to experience a multicultural environment. Locals are easy to interact with. The presence of other foreign nationals increases cultural diversity within the island. Considering that as of 2018, foreign students now outnumber local students, it is likely that the number of foreigners in general (including tourists) represents a big percentage of the population.
- Cyprus cuisine is rich in flavour and choices. There is a lot of variety in the dishes you can try. With countries like Greece and Turkey as its close neighbors, expect Mediterranean dishes in restaurants and food shops. There’s also the influence of British colonization, the French, as well as the Italian occupation. So expect to tickle your fancies with different types and tastes of food.
- The geographical position of Cyprus carries a lot of advantages. It is close to vacation spots like Africa, the Middle East, and Asia; giving you further options on places to explore during a school break.
- Cyprus is a great place for touristic studies and practice. Fine, sandy beaches with shallow water are yours to explore in Cyprus. The great thing about it is that there are many well-developed tourist beaches and likewise, there are many untouched sandy beaches in remote places. You get to experience both worlds.
- A great number of foreign companies are conducting businesses in Cyprus and more are establishing networks over there. This opens up several opportunities for future employment after you’re finished with your schooling or even while you’re still studying.
- It is a country with a great and colorful history. It is strategically set at the maritime crossroads of eastern Mediterranean. Throughout the ages, Cyprus has come across many invaders and settlers. Those who’ve fallen in love with the land stayed on as immigrants, infusing local culture with their own. Romans, Greeks, British, Ottomans, Turks; all these and more have spiced up and evolved the culture of ancient Cyprus.
- -For many, Cyprus is the wiser choice over Malta. With proper planning, you can live and study in Cyprus at a cheaper rate. Both are awesome tourist spots but Cyprus is larger and offers a lot more places to explore. The weather is similar. However, you should expect more rainy days with Malta. So, if you prefer the sun; Cyprus is your island of paradise.
- Traveling to and from Cyprus is convenient. There are three international airports in Cyprus, namely: Larnaca International Airport (which is in the southeast side of the island), Paphos International Airport (which is the best option if you plan to go to the west side of the island), and the Ercan International Airport (which is in the northern part of the island). The Larnaca International Airport is the biggest of these three airports and by itself, with its 60 check-in counters and 40 gates, can easily accommodate millions of travellers in a year. Congestion-wise, with all three airports’ capacities put together, travelling to and from the island would be hassle-free.
How Do You Get a Student Visa?
Non-EU citizens need a student visa in order to be able to study and even work in Cyprus. Before you can enter the country as a student, you will have to obtain the following documents:
- A completed student application form M58
- Proof of payment of Student Entry Visa fee
- Duly certified copy of the applicant’s academic qualifications
- Proof of English proficiency (if the language of the country of residence is not English)
- A certified copy of the applicant’s passport or any travel document, the validity of which should cover the whole duration of stay
- A certification or clearance from the primary law enforcement agency of the applicant’s country of residence attesting to his/her good character and conduct
- A medical certificate clearing the applicant of any sort of contagious disease or any other apparent health problems that may become a hindrance to his/her studies
- A valid certification showing the applicant’s (or a sponsor’s) financial capability to shoulder costs of tuition fees and all other expenses pertaining to living in Cyprus. Certification of scholarship from the sponsoring institution will also be required if the applicant is an awardee
- A Letter of Invitation or Acceptance issued by the educational institution in Cyprus where the applicant has applied to study
Some educational institutions in Cyprus may pose additional requirements like prepaid initial tuition fees and more. It’s best to check their websites first. You should further confirm how the above documents are to be sent (whether by mail or electronically). Once the applicant’s visa has been approved, accommodations and travel arrangements need to be settled with the designated office or representative of the university of your choice.