Studying in Bratislava (Part 2)

Light Castle by

Author: Joco Todorovski

The people – blue and beautiful eyes

All of them have it. And even if they don’t have them blue, still, their eyes are beautiful. The people are nice and very modest. They are all well dressed and have good manners. The older population is prone to alcohol, though, (you can sense it in the morning when you travel to lectures) but they are all nice. There are a lot of foreign students and workers here in Bratislava which, in my opinion, is becoming a big issue for the domestic population. Also, there are a lot of people from Africa, Asia, and the ex-Soviet Union etc. Slovaks are not so satisfied with so many foreigners in their society. Well, I must say that I haven’t heard it explicitly from anyone, but I can read their faces when they spot a foreigner in their surroundings. Also, as I’m aware, they are not so satisfied with the economy and politics in the country. To be honest, I don’t perceive them as the EU citizens. I’ve spoken with some of them about national issues and most of them don’t want to speak about that stuff and the history with the Czech Republic, ah – simply don’t go there.

Since I had issues with the visa acquirement and all the procedures I was exposed to I had a chance to meet all the nationalities that are residents in Slovakia. Before I went through all of that I thought they are just tourists but now I can clearly see that Bratislava is indeed multiethnic. There are a lot of scholarship programs that have origins in the communistic system in the past that allow a lot of students to come and study in Slovakia. I have one friend here – Sheeba. She is African and she is such a sweet person with very pure and traditional values which we, in this modern age of living, forgot about. She took me and my friends to a celebration/event of the African community in Slovakia. There was dancing to native African music, degustation of African food etc. The impression we got was that these nationalities are here for a long time and that they love Slovakia, also, they were speaking Slovak with each other. I think that the most interesting part of this multiethnic topic is that you can see a lot of foreigners in the city, but you don’t hear them speak their language, they speak Slovak.

Living in Bratislava

I’m going to make a quick guide about the main needs for living here. To live in Bratislava, you need approximately 300 Euros per month, including accommodation and living costs as well. But only if you are a student and if you have good money management, no shopping issues and you are ready to live in almost lousy conditions. In order to manage to live on this amount you will have to live in a dorm and eat at “collective cooking sessions” or in the dorm buffet. If you live in a dorm, it will cost you around 60e. This is what I pay, living with 2 roommates. But, of course, it all depends how you are used to live. If you want to have better lifestyle, you can move to a shared rented apartment, which will cost you somewhere around 100-150e per month. I have a friend that lives alone in a small flat and pays 280e per month. So, add another 250-300e for other costs – I am sure that you can do the math.

Although living with people from different nationalities can be fun, it can also be frustrating. I’m living on the ninth floor and we are all international students with scholarships here. You can hear different languages in the hall and you learn the mentality of the people walking and shouting different things at each other. The Arabs are the loudest. I used to go outside my room to see if they are fighting because sometimes when they discuss it looks like there is gladiator fight. The people that speak Spanish are very charming, Kyrgyz people are very calm, Ukrainians are cool and outgoing and all the others are nice. Under the conditions of living with so many different mentalities it is a real character building, to be honest, as a lot of needs are met in one place, at the same time… sometimes it can be rough to manage it.

tomato soup by


It is freaking expensive. If you eat in a student buffet it will cost you minimum 1.5 Euros per meal and if you cook with your roommates or friends it will cost you around a half of that price. Two of my friends are responsible for the cooking because they have different taste and often they have pretty interesting discussions: do the onions or spices go first and such. Sometimes we end up hungry because they get mad at each other and none prepares lunch. The most interesting people here are Mongolians and Arabic students. Mongolians eat rice and meat all the time, day or night. Arabs eat chicken in big amounts with lot of onion and seasoning. If they are hungry at 3 o’clock in the morning they will start cooking. When they cook, the whole floor smells like Christmas food stands and they often leave the doors to their rooms open so that they can have active discussion while doing it. Sometimes it is interesting, but mostly frustrating. Most of the restaurants have “menus” during lunch time and they cost from 4 Euros up. We discovered the best pizza EVER – in Pizza Hut so when you come, it is a must to visit it! I don’t like Slovak food, to be honest. Their fruits or vegetables don’t have taste and they don’t have something which you would comment on with a loud “wow”. This is all true except one thing: you must try the tomato soup. I’ve tried it for the first time here and I love it. They call it “Paradaikova polievka” and it is very tasty.


When is good it is good, but when it’s bad it is really bad. It doesn’t rain – water sprays all over like cold water spray system in cafés in summer. In the morning you have the sun, at noon it is windy, and in the afternoon it rains and like my grandmother often says: “The earth and the sky are merged, son!” J

p.s. Don’t get me wrong. I’ve expected something and got something else. Bratislava is great…for a period of time. J


11 thoughts on “Studying in Bratislava (Part 2)

  1. I was happy to read this article due to the informative and easy-to-understand writing style of the author. It sounds pretty sincere, showing the reader both sides of the coin. I have finished my studies in my homeland, but perhaps I would visit Bratislava as a tourist, so I find it useful. Great work!

  2. Zdravo Joco,

    Interesen article, mislam deka poubavo bi bilo dokolku ni napisese kako se razlikuva studiranjeto od kaj, namesto stereotipi za lugje od sekoj del na svetot.

    Pozdrav i se najdobro.

  3. Zdravo Joco,
    Jas aplicirav za jazicnata programa. no sakam da znam kakov e toj slovacki jazik? dali e lesen i dali se uci? dali ke mi bide tesko posle koga ke studiram da slusam predavanja na slovacki i da citam i pisuvam na slovacki?
    inaku jas potoa sakam da prodolzam na avijacija kontroler t.e ATC vo Kosice,, no se mislam i za finansiska matematika na Komenshenko univerzititetot vo bratislava. objasni mi te molam,, osobeno za jazikot bidejki jas ucev na angliski vo sredno skolo t.e Jahja Kemal i nz dali ke mozam da se priviknam na slovackiot jazik.

    1. Здраво Гоце!

      Искрено за јазикот не знам што да ти кажам т.е. колку ќе ти биде тешко и сл. Знам само дека јазикот се учи доколку учиш редовно и ги следиш предавањата и домашните задолженија што ги даваат таму. Мене на пример проблемот ми беше тоа што веднаш ќе почнеш да ја разбираш смислата на речениците и говорењето меѓутоа делот кога ти ќе треба да зборуваш е малку потежок затоа што има некои зборови со слично значење како кај нас во Македонскиот јазик и кога ќе ги видиш си викаш ова е лесно го знам. Е сега, кога ќе треба да ги употребиш малку ќе ти биде блуткаво пошто за една две букви се разликуват од нашите :))) Ама ќе се навикнеш немаш гајле само треба едно да направиш:

      ::::Да се опкружиш со Словаци и Словакињи (повеќе словакињи 🙂 ) за да можеш да го научиш јазикот побрзо::::::

      Јас и повеќето македонци бевме опкружени со интернационални студенти (т.е. дружевме со нив најмногу) и на тој начин си зборуваш на Англиски нон стоп или на “расипан“ словачки и нема резултат.

      Прво треба да имаш желба, другото е континуирана секојдневна работа 🙂



  4. Ok, Joco,

    it's time, as nobody commented on the Pizza Hut part.
    I am from that city you were studying in and believe me, Pizza Hut is not the best pizza in Bratislava and – definitely not in the world.
    It is the same as claiming that the best food in Skopje (or wherever) is in McDonald's.



    1. Dear Kristina,

      Prove me wrong! Take me to Bratislava, to that pizza place where the best pizza is and I will write another article or I will publicly announce that I found the best pizza in Bratislava. 🙂

      In another hand, tastes cannot be disputed 🙂

      All the best,


      1. Of course, I know, they can't be disputed.

        But you made Bratislava sound as if the best food there is to be found is American pizza sold by the international food chain, which my localpatriotism simply couldn't allow it and I had to react. 😉

        Anyway, next time you're there and me, too (very important point), I'll definitely take you to eat not only good pizza, but also good Slovak food – which, although for you it may be unbelievable – eventually does exist. 🙂

        Ajde cao,


        (this time not for Mladiinfo

  5. Hi Joco,

    Interesting read… thanks for sharing your experience! 🙂
    Are you still living in Bratislava?
    Well, I wanted to learn more about the international community in Braislava in general (i.e., not just students, but also working class etc.), and life in that context. Do you think that we could connect and discuss it briefly over mail / skype?

    Let me know; cheers!

Leave a Reply