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Source: EURES The European Job Mobility Portal. For up-to-date information visit the Living and Working Conditions section about Croatia on the EURES Portal.

How to find a job

Employers advertise vacant jobs on the website of the Croatian Employment Service, on private portals for job seekers and on private websites. You can also find job advertisements on notice boards, in daily newspapers, professional journals and gazettes, as well as on the websites of professional organisations (chambers, associations). Public sector jobs are always published in the Official Gazette (Narodne novine). In smaller towns, announcements are also made on radio.

Many large employers use online application forms on their own websites to create a database of potential candidates for future job openings. In addition to job advertisements, small private employers use private channels and recommendations to reach the best candidtes.

Private agencies for occasional and temporary employment have databases of candidates that can be accessed. Workers sign an employment contract with the agency, which provides workers for employers who have a temporary need for additional workers.

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How to apply for a job

How to apply is described in every job advertisement. A CV is compiled in chronological order, it must contain personal information, information about education, additional knowledge and skills and work experience, as well as interests and hobbies. It should be typed using a computer and in Croatian, unless otherwise requested. A photograph is not necessary, but you can always include a photograph in your CV, such as a passport photo. The recommendations of former employers are usually not mandatory, but if you have some, it may be useful to enclose them.

Public sector employers will also require an application form to be submitted with a CV and proof of qualifications and skills (certificates, diplomas), proof of a clean criminal record, proof of citizenship and residence, and other documents, as necessary.

Private employers will usually request the application to be made via e-mail, which must contain a CV, and sometimes documents such as diplomas, certificates of professional exams and others, depending on the nature of the job. Sometimes you will be expected to submit an online application on the employer’s website and other forms of application will not be considered, while other employers, usually smaller ones, will only require an application by telephone.

Open applications to employers are usually well received. Since we cannot know what form of application an employer will consider the most acceptable, it is advisable to enclose proof of qualifications and skills, as well as recommendations or contact information of persons who can provide recommendations, if applicable, to the CV and a cover letter.

An application should be adapted to the employer you are contacting, and the CV should emphasise the knowledge and skills applicable to the job for which you are applying. Furthermore, it is usually not advisable to contact an employer in another way than the one specified in the job advertisement (by telephone instead of e-mail, by e-mail instead of regular mail, etc.).

Before an interview with the employer, it is wise to research the employer's activity, the workplace structure, dress code and other information that may be useful in a job interview to make the best possible impression. Needless to say, a lack of interest, being late and an untidy appearance will disqualify you from the selection procedure.

In selecting a candidate for the job (conversation, testing, interviewing, etc.) and signing the employment contract, the employer may not request the worker to provide information that is not directly related to the job (family status, religious or national affiliation, etc.).

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Finding accommodation

The most common way to find a property to rent or buy is via publications (web portals, press), but a significant number of specialized agencies mediate the lease or purchase of apartments. When leasing a property, most lessors will request a deposit of one month’s rent, which is returned when moving out of the property. If you use services of an agency for mediating, the commission fee is usually the price of one month’s rent. When buying a property, the commission fee to agencies for mediating the purchase is usually around 3 % of the price of the property. Interesting to note, the prices are usually expressed in EUR, even though the actual payment is processed in HRK.

Renting an apartment

Monthly rental rates, as well as purchase prices of apartments, vary in different parts of Croatia; prices are the highest in Dubrovnik, Split and other tourist centres along the Adriatic coast as well as in Zagreb as the country’s capital, while in smaller continental towns it is possible to find much cheaper accommodation. Prices vary within cities, depending on how old it is, the equipment in the apartment, the location and additional amenities nearby. The average rental price for an apartment with a surface area of 50 m2 in Zagreb is about 500-600 EUR/month, but it is possible to find an apartment at a lower as well as at significantly higher price. The rental price does not include utilities, which also vary, and on average amount to about HRK 1 000 a month (app. EUR 130 per month). Utility bills are lower during the summer and higher during the winter.

Buying an apartment

The average price per square metre of an apartment is approximately 1,630.00 EUR/m2, but it may significantly vary in different regions. In the east of Croatia, and especially in rural areas, the price of an apartment is less than EUR 1 000 per m2, or even EUR 700 per m2 (the price is even lower for a house), while along the coast the price often reaches EUR 3 000 or even EUR 4 000, also a frequent asking-price per m2 in Dubrovnik. In Zagreb, the average price per square metre of an apartment is approximately EUR 2 000 per m2.

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Recognition of diplomas and qualifications

The importance of transparency and mutual recognition of diplomas as a crucial complement to the free movement of workers

The possibility of obtaining recognition of one’s qualifications and competences can play a vital role in the decision to take up work in another EU country. It is therefore necessary to develop a European system that will guarantee the mutual acceptance of professional competences in different Member States. Only such a system will ensure that a lack of recognition of professional qualifications will become an obstacle to workers’ mobility within the EU.

Main principles for the recognition of professional qualifications in the EU

As a basic principle, any EU citizen should be able to freely practice their profession in any Member State. Unfortunately the practical implementation of this principle is often hindered by national requirements for access to certain professions in the host country.

For the purpose of overcoming these differences, the EU has set up a system for the recognition of professional qualifications. Within the terms of this system, a distinction is made between regulated professions (professions for which certain qualifications are legally required) and professions that are not legally regulated in the host Member State.

Steps towards a transparency of qualifications in Europe

The European Union has taken important steps towards the objective of achieving transparency of qualifications in Europe:
- An increased co-operation in vocational education and training, with the intention to combine all instruments for transparency of certificates and diplomas, in one single, user-friendly tool. This includes, for example, the European CV or Europass Trainings.
- The development of concrete actions in the field of recognition and quality in vocational education and training.

Going beyond the differences in education and training systems throughout the EU

Education and training systems in the EU Member States still show substantial differences. The last enlargements of the EU, with different educational traditions, have further increased this diversity. This calls for a need to set up common rules to guarantee recognition of competences.

In order to overcome this diversity of national qualification standards, educational methods and training structures, the European Commission has put forward a series of instruments, aimed at ensuring better transparency and recognition of qualifications both for academic and professional purposes.

  1. The European Qualifications Framework

The European Qualifications Framework is a key priority for the European Commission in the process of recognition of professional competences. The main objective of the framework is to create links between the different national qualification systems and guarantee a smooth transfer and recognition of diplomas.

  1. The National Academic Recognition Information Centres (NARICs)

A network of National Academic Recognition Information Centres was established in 1984 at the initiative of the European Commission. The NARICs provide advice on the academic recognition of periods of study abroad. Located in all EU Member States as well as in the countries of the European Economic Area, NARICs play a vital role the process of recognition of qualifications in the EU.

  1. The European Credit Transfer System (ECTS)

The European Credit Transfer System aims at facilitating the recognition of periods of study abroad. Introduced in 1989, it functions by describing an education programme and attaching credits to its components. It is a key complement to the highly acclaimed student mobility programme Erasmus.

  1. Europass

Europass is an instrument for ensuring the transparency of professional skills. It is composed of five standardised documents

  • a CV (Curriculum Vitae),
  • a language passport,
  • certificate supplements,
  • diploma supplements, and
  • a Europass-Mobility document.

The Europass system makes skills and qualifications clearly and easily understood in the different parts of Europe. In every country of the European Union and the European Economic Area, national Europass centres have been established as the primary contact points for people seeking for information about the Europass system.

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Top of Form

Types of employment

Any person over the age of 15 and under the age of 18 may be employed, unless they attend compulsory primary education. Minors may not be employed to perform jobs that may endanger their safety, health, morality or development.

Employment relationships are usually concluded for indefinite periods, on a full-time basis. An employment contract may be concluded for a fixed period of time for a job whose termination has been stipulated in advance as being for a certain period of time, to perform a particular job or in relation to a particular event. It is possible to stipulate a trial period, for a maximum of six months.

Employees can conclude an employment contract with several employers until they reach a full-time rate (40 hours a week); for a period more than full-time, with the written consent of the employer, an employment contract may be concluded with another employer for up to a maximum of eight hours a week or 180 hours a year.

An employer may hire a person who is employed for the first time in the occupation for which they are educated as a trainee while using the employment aid for first-time work experience or traineeship, or they may be accepted to a professional traineeships for work without employment, which is one of the measures of the active employment policy.

Crafts, independent professions (healthcare workers, veterinarians, attorneys, notaries public, auditors, engineers, architects, tax consultants, bankruptcy managers, interpreters, translators, tourist workers, scientists, writers, inventors, journalists, artists, athletes, etc.) and agriculture and forestry activities are considered as independent activities.

Artisans may perform the activity of nannies if they have business or residential premises and equipment that fulfil the conditions for performing the activity of a nanny (unless the activity is performed in the parent's living space) and meet the other stipulated conditions:


In the event of temporary employment through an employment agency, workers conclude an employment contract for a definite or indefinite period with the agency. The agency concludes a contract on the assignment of the worker with the end user for a period of up to three years for jobs, and exceptionally for a longer period of time. If the agency has concluded a permanent employment contract with the worker, for the periods when the worker is not assigned, the agency shall pay them a salary in the amount of the average salary paid to them during the last three months.

Definition of seasonal work

The Labour Law does not define the concept of seasonal work, but seasonal work is considered to be work related to specific part of a year and is repeated from year to year in such a way that in certain periods there is high volume of work, while in other periods there is less or even no need to perform the work (different intensity of business activities). The employer is obliged to provide the employee with a daily rest period of at least twelve hours continuously during each period of twenty-four hours. Exceptionally, such rest period may last shorter, i.e. eight hours continuously, for adult workers working on seasonal jobs, which are performed twice during the working day. In that case, the use of replacement rest period must be allowed immediately after the end of the period spent at work due to which he used the daily leave for a shorter period.

There is no difference between seasonal and any other temporary job when it comes to rights and obligations, taxation or social contributions.

Temporary and occasional employment in seasonal jobs in agriculture

Working in agriculture depends on the weather conditions. Paying the whole month in situations when it’s not possible for workers to work more than a few days was expensive for employers. Temporary and occasional employment in seasonal jobs in agriculture prevents black labour market because employers have the opportunity to legally hire workers in line with demands and weather conditions, without an administrative burden.

Seasonal worker in agriculture under this regime can be:

  • unemployed jobseekers that are not registered with the PES
  • unemployed jobseekers registered with the PES
  • retired persons 

Engaging in such work does not cause loss of unemployed jobseeker registered with the PES status by itself.

Seasonal worker under this regime cannot be:

  • Employed or self-employed persons who are in working or social status on the basis of which they are compulsorily insured according to special regulations
  • Persons employed under an employment contract for permanent seasonal jobs
  • Persons diagnosed with general incapacity for work, persons insured for extended insurance according to a special regulation (e.g. seafarers)
  • Minors (under 15)
  • Persons who use maternity or parental rights according to special regulations

This type of work cannot last for more than 90 days in total. The seasonal employment contract is concluded by recording the daily voucher / value coupon at the beginning of the working day in the completed Agreement on seasonal work in agriculture / booklet (USP-1 form). The contract defines the duration of the employee's working day (not longer than 12 hours), breaks (30 minutes for working hours of at least 6 hours per day), and daily (12 hours continuously) and weekly rest (24 hours continuously). Registered employers buys daily vouchers and unused coupons can be returned. 

A worker employed in seasonal work in agriculture is obliged to submit the data on seasonal work in agriculture during that year to the Croatian Pension Insurance Institute, at the latest at the end of the year, in order to determine the length of insurance realized.

The minimum daily net compensation is yearly established by the minister of labour decision. For 2020 it's 93,25 HRK. There is no upper limit.

Permanent seasonal employment

If the employer predominantly operates seasonally, a fixed-term employment contract may be concluded for the performance of permanent seasonal work. In the case of concluding such contract, employer is responsible for calculating and paying contributions for extended pension insurance.

The contract for such engagement contains additional data on:

  • conditions and time for which the employer will pay the contribution for extended pension insurance (or the contract may refer to the appropriate collective agreement or ordinance governing these issues)
  • the deadline within which the employer is obliged to offer the employee the conclusion of an employment contract to perform work in the next season
  • the deadline within which the employee is obliged to declare himself on the offer, which may not be shorter than eight days.

If the employee unjustifiably rejects the offer for concluding an employment contract, the employer has the right to request a refund from the employee for the paid contributions.

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Employment contracts

An employment relationship is established by signing a written employment contract. If an employer does not conclude an employment contract in writing or does not issue a written certificate of concluded agreement to the worker before they begin to work, it shall be considered that the employer concluded a permanent employment contract with the worker. The employer shall provide a copy of registration for compulsory pension and healthcare insurance to the worker within eight days from the expiry of the deadline for registration. The deadline for registration is no earlier than 8 days before work starts, and no later than 8 days before the work starts.

An employment contract shall contain all relevant conditions, and at least information on the following:

  • contracting parties and their residence or seat,
  • place of work,
  • title of the job or a short list or description of tasks,
  • day on which work starts,
  • in the event of a fixed-term employment contract, the expected duration of the contract,
  • duration of annual vacation or the way of specifying the duration of the annual vacation,
  • termination periods or the way of specifying termination periods,
  • basic salary, supplements to the salary and the periods of payment of income,
  • duration of the regular working day or week.

Employment contracts for permanent seasonal jobs, for jobs performed at a place of work outside the company seat and for workers posted abroad shall contain other mandatory elements.

An employment contract may be concluded with a trainee for a fixed period of time. After completing their internship, the trainee shall take the professional exam, if stipulated.

If the professional exam or work experience are stipulated as a requirement for performing the tasks of a certain profession, the employer may accept a person who has completed the educational programme for such profession for professional traineeships for work without employment. The provisions on labour relations apply to persons doing professional traineeships for work, except for the provisions on conclusion of an employment contract, salary and compensation of salary and termination of the employment relationship.

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Working hours

Full-time work is eight hours a day, or 40 hours a week.

An employee who works at least six hours a day shall have the right to a break of at least thirty minutes every day, which shall be paid and calculated in the working hours.

Daily rest shall be no less than twelve hours. The exceptions are employees performing seasonal jobs performed in two shifts during the work day; their daily rest shall not be less than eight hours. Such worker shall have the opportunity to use replacement daily rest.

The employee shall be entitled to weekly rest of no less than twenty-four hours. It shall usually be used on Sundays and on the day that precedes it and the day that follows it.

If there are justified reasons, the worker shall, at the request of the employer, work overtime, but total hours should be no more than 50 hours a week. Overtime work may not amount to more than 180 hours a year, unless stipulated otherwise in a collective agreement (up to no more than 250 hours a year). Overtime work of juvenile employees is not allowed, while a pregnant woman, a parent with a child up to three years of age, a single parent with a child up to six years of age and an employee working part-time may work overtime if there is consent to such work in writing.

Overtime work shall be paid at an increased rate; this also applies to work in difficult working conditions and night work, and work on Sundays, holidays or other days which the law stipulates as non-working days.

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Leave (vacation, parental leave, etc.)

For every calendar year, a worker shall have the right to paid vacation in the amount of no less than four weeks (for minors and persons working in difficult conditions no less than five weeks); the worker shall have the right to exercise this right after six months from the beginning of work. Depending on difficult conditions, complexity of work, age, family status, and work performance, additional vacation days may be added to the base, and most employers allow for no more than 30 working days of vacation. Holiday and non-working days stipulated by the law are not included in the annual vacation period. The period of temporary disability for work, established by an authorised physician, is not included in the annual vacation period. The worker may not waive the right to vacation and may not replace the use of annual vacation time for the money.

During a calendar year, an employee is entitled to paid leave of no more than seven days for important personal needs (marriage, wife's birth, severe illness or death of a member of the immediate family). A collective agreement, a labour ordinance or an employment contract may also define longer periods of paid leave. At the request of a worker, the employer may grant the worker unpaid leave, during which time the rights and obligations arising from the employment relationship shall be suspended.

Holidays in the Republic of Croatia are:

1 January (New Year’s Day)

6 January (Epiphany or Three Kings’ Day)

Easter in 2020 12 April

Easter Monday (second day of Easter, 13 April 2020)

1 May (Labour Day)

30 June (Statehood Day)

Corpus Christi (in 2020, it falls on 11 June)

22 June (Anti-Fascist Struggle Day) 5 August (Victory and Homeland Thanksgiving Day and Homeland Veterans' Day)

15 August (the Assumption of Mary)

1 November (All Saints’ Day)

18 November (Remembrance Day for all victims of the Homeland War and Remembrance Day for the victims of Vukovar and Škabrnja)

25 December (Christmas)

26 December (first day after Christmas, Saint Stephen’s day)

In the Republic of Croatia, public holidays are non-working days.

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The minimum wage is the lowest monthly gross wage that shall be paid to a full-time worker, and all workers working in the Republic of Croatia are entitled to it. The amount is determined once a year, and the Central Bureau of Statistics publishes it in the Official Gazette. The minimum gross salary in the Republic of Croatia in 2020 amounted to HRK 4 062.51 (approx. EUR 533.51).

The way of determining a salary may be defined by collective agreements, labour regulations and individual employment contracts. An employment contract may stipulate more favourable conditions, but not less favourable than those stipulated by collective bargaining or labour regulations. In any event, the employer shall pay the worker an appropriate salary, under the same conditions for both genders.

Salaries are paid once a month after completed work, in cash, no later than on the fifteenth day of the following month, generally into the employee's bank account. A worker shall be entitled to an increased salary for difficult working conditions, overtime and night work, and for work on Sundays, holidays or other days which the law stipulates as non-working days. It is common practice that employees receive an increase of 0.5 % for each year of employment (usually defined by a collective agreement); some employers pay a transport allowance (non-taxable), while some employers also pay out a hot meal allowance in the non-taxable amount of HRK 5 000 a year. Non-taxable income for work achievements, salary supplements or similar may go up to HRK 5 000, while bonuses for the employees (Christmas or holiday allowance, etc.) go up to HRK 3 000. From 2020, employers may also pay additional and supplementary health insurance policies to their workers up to the amount of HRK 2 500 a year in compliance with legal requirements.

Income tax is paid at a rate of 24 % and 36 %; other contributions to be paid are the contribution for pension insurance (20 %), health insurance (16.5 %) and surtax from 0 to 18 % (depending on the place of residence). The pension insurance contribution is a contribution from the salary (a liable person is the worker), and the health insurance contribution is a contribution to the salary (a liable person is the employer). Workers have obligatory insurance in case of unemployment and injury at work, paid from the State Budget.

The employer shall no later than fifteen days from the day of payment of the salary, compensation of salary or severance allowance, provide the employee with a calculation indicating how these amounts have been determined. Contributions from and to salaries are calculated by the employer, and the employee shall receive the net amount after all deductions.

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End of employment

A fixed-term employment contract shall end upon the expiry of the period for which it was concluded, and may be cancelled before this time in certain conditions. The contract may be cancelled by the worker, the employer or they may conclude a contract on the cancellation.

An agreement on the termination of the employment contract shall be concluded in writing, as well as other forms of termination of an employment contract.

Regular termination

The employer may terminate the employment contract with a termination notice (between two weeks and four months, depending on the duration of the employment relationship) if there is a justified reason (termination due to business-related reasons, termination due to personal reasons, termination due to the employee's misconduct and termination due to failure to meet the requirements of the probation period). The employee may terminate the employment contract with a prescribed or agreed termination notice without giving any reason. The termination notice is defined by the Labour Act, and in practice the most common termination notice lasts one month.

Extraordinary termination

The employer and the worker have a justified reason for termination of the employment contract without termination notice (extraordinary termination) if, due to a particularly serious breach of an employment obligation or some other particularly important fact, the continuation of the employment relationship is not possible. The party to the employment contract that terminates the employment contract extraordinarily shall have the right to claim damages for non-performance of employment contract.

The employer shall return to the worker all the documents and a copy of de-registration from compulsory retirement and health insurance within fifteen days from the day of end of the employment relationship. At the worker's request, the employer shall issue a certificate on the type of work the worker performed and the duration of the employment relationship. The certificate may not contain anything that would make it difficult for a worker to conclude a new employment contract.


A pension may be old-age pension (premature and full) or disability pension (due to professional or complete disability to work). The right to an old-age pension is acquired at the age of 65 years with at least 15 years of pensionable service, and the right to early retirement pension is acquired by the insured person when they reach the age of 60 with 35 years of pensionable service. In the transitional period from 2020 to 2030, women acquire the right to old-age pension on more favourable terms at a lower age. As of 1 January 2030, the terms for women and men will be equal. In order to exercise the right to a disability pension, a person must meet the requirement of disability to work in addition to the service requirement (at least one third of the working service must be covered by the years of pensionable service), as defined by law. If disability is caused by a work injury or occupational illness, the right to disability pension is acquired irrespective of the years of pensionable service. Family pension may be used by family members of a deceased insured person if they meet the stipulated conditions.

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Healthcare system

The Croatian healthcare system is based on patients’ rights.

Healthcare covered by compulsory health insurance (three levels)

Primary level: exercised at the chosen primary healthcare physician, family medicine (general) physician, gynaecologist, dentist and paediatrician.

Secondary level:  specialist-expert healthcare and hospital healthcare

Tertiary level: most complex forms of healthcare from specialist-expert and hospital services.

A referral for hospital treatment at the nearest contractual hospital according to the place of residence of the patient is issued by the selected primary healthcare physician or an emergency medicine physician. In the event of emergency medical assistance, such treatment is possible without a referral. Emergency telephone number 112.

Within the scope of compulsory health insurance, patients can use medicines from the Basic list of medicines of the Croatian Health Insurance Fund (HZZO). Insured persons participate in the cost of some medications, while some medicines are paid in full. Medications prescribed by a doctor (prescription medicines), as well as those that can be used without a prescription, can be purchased at a pharmacy.

Citizens of the European Economic Area and Switzerland who are travelling in Croatia or who are in Croatia only temporarily for any reason and who have compulsory health insurance in one of the European Union Member States have the right to use the necessary healthcare on the basis of the European health insurance card.

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Income and taxes

The applicable tax system of the Republic of Croatia provides for state taxes: income tax,

value added tax, special taxes and excise duties (special motor vehicle tax, coffee and non-alcoholic beverages tax, automotive liability insurance premiums and no-fault vehicle insurance premiums, excise tax system for alcohol, alcoholic beverages, tobacco products, energy and electricity). There are also different types of county, city or municipal, joint (income tax), and gambling taxes.

The general VAT rate in Croatia is 25 %, while for certain products and services lower rates (13 % and 5 %) apply.

Income tax is paid at a rate of 24 % or 36 % on the tax base, depending on the amount of income. There are also contributions for pension insurance (20 %), health insurance (16.5 %) and surtax from 0 to 18 % (depending on the place of residence). Workers have obligatory insurance in case of unemployment and injury at work, paid from the State Budget.

Example of calculation:  http://www.rrif.hr/kalkulator_placa.html.

Information on tax exemptions and advantages is available on http://ccenterclient.porezna-uprava.hr/.

The average monthly salary in Croatia in December 2019 was HRK 8 766 (net HRK 6 559). Above-average salaries are paid in sectors of air transport, computer programming, consultation and related practices, crude oil and natural gas extraction, basic pharmaceutical products and preparations, production of refined petroleum products and financial services.

The lowest salaries were earned in clothing manufacturing, building management and maintenance services, landscaping and conservation, protective and exploration activities, other personal service activities, and the production of leather and related products.

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Education system

Preschool education and care for children are a part of the educational system of the Republic of Croatia and are intended for children aged between six months until the time they start primary school.

Primary education lasts for eight years; it begins by enrolment in the first grade of primary school, it is compulsory for all children and usually lasts between the ages of six and fifteen. This applies to all children residing in the Republic of Croatia regardless of their citizenship.

Secondary school education allows everyone to gain knowledge and continue their education after primary education under the same conditions and according to their abilities. Programmes for acquiring secondary general, secondary and lower vocational education provide knowledge and skills for work and continuation of education. Training and specialisation programmes complement the acquired knowledge, qualifications and skills for working in a profession. Secondary school education usually covers the ages from the completion of primary school to reaching adulthood (between 13-15 and 17-19 years).

Depending on the type of curriculum and the programme they provide, secondary schools are called: grammar schools (general or specialised); vocational schools (technical, industrial, craft and other, determined by type of the curriculum), art schools (music, dance, art and other, determined by the type of curriculum). Secondary school education of adults includes special programmes for obtaining secondary or vocational qualifications, lower vocational qualifications, re-training programmes and training and specialization programmes.

Higher education activities are performed by tertiary institutions. Tertiary institutions are universities and faculties and art academies they comprise, universities of applied science and colleges of higher education.

University study programmes prepare students for performing activities in science and higher education, in the business world, in the public sector and in society in general. University study programmes have three levels: undergraduate, graduate and postgraduate studies.

Universities of applied science and colleges of higher education are established for the purpose of performing activities of higher education through organization and performance of professional studies and may carry out professional, scientific and artistic activities in accordance with the Scientific Activity and Higher Education Act and their by-laws.

Professional study programmes provide students with an appropriate level of knowledge and skills that enable them to work in professional occupations and for direct employment. Professional study programmes cover two levels: professional study programme and specialist graduate professional study programme.

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Cultural and social life

Many Croatians spend their leisure time in associations and clubs, as well as in informal social gatherings. On weekends, they visit relatives and friends or go on excursions. The sea is only hour and a half away from the capital, and inhabitants of Adriatic Croatia visit nearby mountain areas. Evening outings that last well into the night are inevitable for young people, both in clubs and bars, as well as private parties at home or spontaneous outdoor parties, especially during the summer.

Sports facilities and a wide range of cultural events are available in larger cities. Over the recent years, summer festivals have become internationally recognised. In smaller cities, the availability of organized content is significantly smaller, but the smallest towns and villages have active choirs, tamburitza ensembles, klapas (a cappella singing groups), carnival associations, volunteer fire brigades, etc.

Croatia's regional diversity is also visible in leisure time. Social life in rural areas contributes to the preservation of the rich heritage of the Croatian people through costumes, music, customs and competition in old sports. The Adriatic coast and islands are famous for water sports and traditional games such as boccé, while hiking and winter sports are more common in the continental Croatia. Hunting and fishing are equally represented on the coast and on the mainland.

Gastronomy is an important part of Croatian culture and identity. Climatic diversity, clean environment and historical influences have resulted in a wealth of supply, from fish delicacies along the coast, to spicy dishes in Pannonian Croatia, simple but tasty dishes typical for mountain areas, to numerous desserts, wines and home-made brandy (rakija). The coffee culture is one of the most recognisable features. Cafés open their terraces with the first rays of sunshine. Over coffee, we spend time together, make deals or simply read the newspaper in silence. Saturday's morning coffee in the city centre is typical for the entire Croatia.

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