A comprehensive guide to moving to Slovenia Expats moving to Slovenia can look forward to the diversity of this central European country, its temperate climate as well as many spoken languages among its people. Read our InterNations GO! Guide to find extra information about the land and its people, climate and how to get to Slovenia. Need to move abroad? Organizing an international relocation is not something you should do on your own. The Land and Its People Slovenia is a major Central European country with a diverse geography, population, and climate. Although Slovenia is one of the European countries with the lowest population density, with a population of two million over 20,273 square kilometers, it does have residents from all across Europe. In the 2002 census, 83% of residents identified as Slovene, whilst nearly 13% of people were born outside the country. This diverse population means that expatriates should have no difficultly settling in after moving to Slovenia. Due to its location within Europe and the variety of countries that border it, the population of Slovenia speaks a range of different languages. Whilst Slovene is the official language, many residents also speak Italian, Hungarian, and English. Slovenia is ranked in the top percentile of European countries in terms of foreign language skills, with English, Italian, German, French, and Spanish the most common. This means that if you are an expatriate from an Anglo or European country, then communication in other languages should not be an issue. The Climate in Slovenia Slovenia has an agreeable, temperate climate, and its proximity to the Alps and location near their slipstream means that it is one of the least windy places in all of Europe. Like much of Central Europe, Slovenia’s climate is temperate, but there are significant differences between different regions. In the Northeast, for example, the climate is more continental with a more noticeable difference between the seasons, especially summer and winter, whereas the coastal regions have a warmer, sub Mediterranean climate. Although the amount and frequency of precipitation does vary considerably across the country, most areas are guaranteed snow during the winter months, whereas the rainfall can vary between 80 and 350 centimeter for the year depending on location. Getting to Slovenia Getting to Slovenia is relatively simple for those moving to the country. Although air transport was at one time an issue for Slovenia, the last twenty years have seen the development of a number of new airports and a restructuring of the air transport system. The busiest airport is Ljubljana Jože Pučnik Airport, which is located near the capital city and is connected to many major European and international destinations. Many flights to the country are serviced by the state owned airline, Adria Airways, which is the largest airline in the country. However, some low cost airlines have since started to fly to the country, which will make moving to Slovenia easier than it once was. If you are shipping your furniture and heavier belongings, you can do so to the port of Koper, the major commercial and industrial port in the country. Whether you are moving abroad for the first time or relocated multiple times before, the process raises many questions. Our complete guide to relocation will ease your doubts along the way, from the initial preparations to how to negotiate a relocation package, we help you GO! prepared with the key answers. Healthcare in Slovenia The healthcare system in Slovenia is similar to that of many other countries across Europe. The country has state healthcare funded through state collected health insurance. If you are looking to live in Slovenia as an EU citizen, then this state healthcare is also available to you for free provided you present your European Health Card when requesting treatment. Once you start working, however, you will be required to take out health insurance, so even if you are moving to Slovenia from outside of the European Union you can receive free treatment once you are working and earning. In comparison to other countries in the region, Slovenia has a good healthcare system. It also boasts 24h pharmacies, and better equipment and technology than many other Central and Southern European nations. Education in Slovenia Education in Slovenia is regulated, delivered and monitored by the National Education Institute of the Republic of Slovenia. The education system works in a similar way to that of many other Central European nations, where free, compulsory schooling is provided up until the age of 16. Between the ages of 6 and 14, this education takes place at a Primary School, and upon graduation students enter Secondary School. There are a number of English speaking international schools in Slovenia, including the British International School of Ljubljana, which are perfect for the children of expatriates living in Slovenia for work purposes. If students wish to continue their studies after the age of 16, they can enroll in one of the three Slovenian public universities, of which the University of Ljubljana is most prestigious, or the privately run University of Nova Gorica. Alternatively, one could enroll at the international university, EMUNI (Euro-Mediterranean University of Slovenia), which offers many courses in English and other European languages. Slovenia’s economy is built on a highly educated and skilled workforce, and its excellent schooling and university systems play a big role in this. Transport in Slovenia The driving age in Slovenia is 18 and they drive on the right hand side of the road. Seat belts are required and are strictly enforced, as is the law requiring children under 12 to sit in the back. The speed limit is 130 km/h on the motorways, but only 50 km/h in residential and urban areas. In order to drive on motorways, drivers will need to purchase a permit from a gas station. Due to the poor quality and slow travel times of the national train network, many people prefer to drive, which can cause build ups and traffic on the major roadways. Many people, however, do use the public bus services, particularly in city centers and residential areas. These buses have right of way at all times on the roads. Do you want to relocate? If you have never moved abroad, the process will be overwhelming, and if you have, you know the burden that lies ahead. Whatever stage you are at, InterNations GO! can help you with a complete set of relocation services, such as home finding, school search, visa solutions, and even pet relocation. Economic Overview Slovenia has the richest economy of all the Slavic countries, and currently has a GDP per capita at 83% of the EU28 average. Despite being hurt by the economic crisis of 2008, Slovenia’s economy has remained strong in the years since, and it has served far better than some other European nations. This strong economy is predicated on trade with other European countries, including Germany, Italy, and France. It is estimated that around 66% of trade is conducted with other EU members. Slovenia’s other traditional industries are agriculture, fishing, and forestry, however, these now only account for around 2.5% of the country’s GDP, with the service and financial industries making up around half of the country’s economic output. One area where traditional industry is growing, however, is organic farming — located in the Alpe-Adria bioregion, organic farming now accounts for 3.3% of Slovenia’s agricultural output. Where at one time Slovenia resisted foreign investment in the local economy, they have now opened themselves up other countries, with Croatia and American company Goodyear making significant investments in the last twenty years. Work Permits for Slovenia As Slovenia is a full member of the EU, as an EU citizen you will not need a permit for working in Slovenia. However, if you are planning to stay for more than three months then you must apply for a residence permit, even though you are an EU citizen. For those relocating from outside the EU, you will need to follow the work permit application process in order to legally work in Slovenia and apply for a residence permit as well. You can start this process by contacting a Slovenian embassy or consulate, or contacting the Slovenian Ministry of Interior directly. In addition, your work permit will be awarded on the condition of your employer, but if they are keen on gaining you as an employee, then this should not be a problem. Social Security in Slovenia Slovenia has a comprehensive social security system for those working in the country. Under the provisions of Slovenia’s constitution, the state must make adequate arrangements for healthcare, pensions, and disability benefits. They also have specific programs targeted to help at risk citizens and their families, and those who cannot find work due to a permanent disability or other ailment. In terms of pensions and retirement, Slovenia’s provisions are similar to those elsewhere in Europe, and is set up to help the most vulnerable citizens. Expatriates are eligible for these schemes, but your employer must register you with the correct government department upon the start of work in order for you to qualify. Expatriates might also want to check out the possibility of a social security agreement between Slovenia and their country of origin. Do you want to relocate? If you have never moved abroad, the process will be overwhelming, and if you have, you know the burden that lies ahead. Whatever stage you are at, InterNations GO! can help you with a complete set of relocation services, such as home finding, school search, visa solutions, and even pet relocation.