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Since its independence in 1993, the nation of Slovakia has become a popular destination for both tourists and expatriates. Its well-connected location in Europe means that you are never far from its neighbours Czech Republic, Austria, Hungary, Ukraine and Poland and all they have to offer; many of Europe’s star cities are close enough for a weekend break.
Slovakia is not just a country to pass through, however, it is home to a number of impressive national parks, lakes, rivers and striking mountains. The entire region is mountainous, making it the perfect location for hikers, skiers and general nature lovers. Moving to Slovakia also means you’ll be able to make the most of your earnings as living costs are generally low. You can use your extra cash to enjoy Slovakia’s cultural secrets, like its high-quality wine, beers, cheeses and local cuisine.
It is more common to rent in Slovakia than it is to buy and often people live in apartments. It’s quite tricky to find somewhere to rent for less than a year so expect to pay a deposit of three months’ rent. However, always discuss this with the landlord or estate agent as often prices are negotiable. Bills are paid separately per month. Private landlords, estate agents and online websites are all commonly used to find accommodation and you can also use the English Newspaper, Living Spectator which has a user-friendly section on renting and buying.
Compulsory education begins at the age of six in Slovakia. Most education is done through the state system though there are private and international schools available in the capital, Bratislava. The school system is divided into two parts; primary school and secondary school. Primary is often divided into level one and level two which both last four years. Secondary schools are split into those that provide students with vocational courses and those that prepare students for university. It normally lasts four years and finishes with taking a leaving certificate examination.
Slovaks have a strong connection with the land and agriculture, indeed a large part of their population is still dependent on agriculture today. Slovakia heavily relies on traditions and folklore, whilst also being influenced by the diverse culture of its neighbouring countries. Each region has its own folklore, traditions and festivals.
You can take advantage of the stunning Slovak landscape by hiking through its mountains, skiing or a relaxing day at a spa which relies on Slovakia’s natural thermal springs. Whilst in the capital, you can enjoy more cosmopolitan living with a quaint fairytale backdrop and a vibrant nightlife.
When meeting a Slovak for the first time it’s common for them to take a formal approach, the title and surname are used and you should wait until invited in order to use their first name. Slovaks tend to be quite a private people but will open up once a friendship has been established.
The nation’s holidays and festivals revolve around a mixture of Christian and pagan folkloric traditions. Slovaks delight in enjoying the festivities and each one has its own chants and songs.
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