With the many snow-capped mountains found throughout the country, and sunny seaside coasts littered along the Adriatic and Ionian seas, Albania is without a doubt a unique country that enjoys a very unique geographical landscape. Found nestled between northern Greece and the clear waters of Italy, Albania is a southeastern European country rich in culture, having been inhabited by different civilizations throughout history due to its strategic location.
For aspiring international students today, Albania is considered one of the best niche bets for a study abroad destination located in Europe for its affordability, safety, and cultural mystique.
In this article, we will be recommending some of the best scholarships in Albania you can get to aid your studies in this sunny land by the Mediterranean.
Living Costs in Albania for International students
The prices for most living costs in Albania are lukewarm. Although the recommended monthly budget is €755, many are reportedly able to get by with €500 and €600 per month. Tirana, Albania’s largest city, is best known for its affordability. Here, rent costs €200 to €300 per month at most for studio-type apartments. Utilities bill €48 on average and €18 for the internet. The monthly public transportation pass only costs €13, as well. Food is also very inexpensive overall, with most grocery products costing a euro or less.
Can international students work in Albania?
International students are not allowed to work in Albania during their studies. Work rights are not included in Albanian study visas. Those who truly wish to seek employment in Albania, however, may apply for work permits after completing their studies.
Top Universities in Albania:
Although not a study destination as popular as its neighbors, Albanian universities show promise and are worth looking out for. Albania offers a good educational foundation at an affordable price, which continues to improve and reform over the years to match the world-renowned Bologna system with varying levels of success.
Another thing to note is that Albanian education is unique, what with the diverse faculties of foreign languages instruction is carried out aside from the primary vernacular. As is the case in the University of Tirana (UT), Albania’s national and highest-ranking university, which offers courses in English, Greek, German, Chinese, and romance languages. Other similarly remarkable Albanian universities are the University of New York Tirana and Epoka University (EU). These two private universities are critically acclaimed among locals and come with a reputation rivaling even the UT.
Best Scholarships in Albania
1. EU Scholarship
As one of Albania’s top academic institutions, admission to Epoka University (EU) can be a most competitive affair. However, as a small non-profit private university, chances of admission to EU are further limited by the relatively hefty fees it comes with. To supplement this, the EU provides scholarships to some of its most outstanding students each year in order to aid them in their respective academic pursuits.
The most notable of these is the EU’s Master Study Program Scholarship, which offers scholarship discounts for all master’s students. This scholarship at Albania starts at a minimum of 10% for a 2.70 CGPA and caps at 50% for a 4.00 CGPA, based on each graduate’s CGPA. This scholarship will last only until the expected normal duration for obtaining a master’s degree and will not be applied on any extensions thereafter.
2. UNYT Scholarship
A university rising among the ranks within the Albanian academe, the University of New York Tirana (UNYT) does not lose when it comes to the scholarships it offers to continually draw in stellar talent into its classrooms. In fact, UNYT has some of the best scholarships in Albania that all easily go up to a 100% discount (or tuition waiver) for its students.
Interested applicants may avail these scholarships according to what best suits their strengths, unlike most universities that are usually based solely on academic merit. For instance, talented student-athletes may avail themselves scholarships through the Special Achievement Program, which sponsors successful students in the fields of art, science, and sports.
3. UET Scholarship
Though a relatively young institution, the European University of Tirana’s (UET) is not to be underestimated with the formidable growth and reform the university has undergone since its inception. One of UET’s most remarkable reforms is the structural adjustments the university put itself through in order to accommodate more students by making itself more financially sound without sacrificing its own quality.
Efforts to improve accessibility to higher education have been one of UET’s highest priorities over the past decade, which are proven true by the wide range of scholarships the university offers each year. In fact, a significant portion of its student population has received at least a partial scholarship from one of these programs.
These go under four names, each with their own standard criteria–Excellence, Talent, Social, Leadership, and Pashko. Successful candidates will be expected to put in working hours as part of the program and may be allowed to reapply the next year if they meet the minimum hours set for their scholarship (i.e., full scholars will need to work 150 hours while part-timers are expected to work half that).
4. Boren Awards
A large part of Albania’s charm is its language, which is a driving factor for many to pursue studies in the country.
Albanian is a preferred language of the Boren Awards, a prestigious scholarship set up by the US Government to fund language and cultural studies for its citizens to undertake abroad. In this program, interested American international students enrolled in a US university may apply for scholarships with amounts ranging $8,000 to $25,000 for study periods of 8 to 52 weeks in their chosen countries.
These Boren-funded study programs are very flexible and customizable, with the most important condition only being that language must be a central element of each scholar’s studies over the duration of their grants.
5. WMI Scholarship
The Wells-Mountain Initiative (WMI) is a US-based non-profit organization that seeks to foster positive social change across the globe. To realize this vision, the WMI opens applications for scholarships each year to undergraduate students from developing countries who have proven themselves passionate for community building.
This scholarship available for Albania is eligible for students who will be undertaking studies in their home countries or another country in the developing world, with 50 – 60 awarded per year. Each scholarship amounts to a maximum of $3,000/year, intended to support school-related expenses such as tuition and instructional materials, although the median of grants given is stated to be more or less around $1,500.