Located in the South Caucasus region of Eurasia, known for its exotic landscapes and rich culture is the small country of Azerbaijan and its capital city Baku. Despite the land’s small area, it is rich in resources where two-thirds of the country is affluent in natural gas and oil. The cost of living there is affordable and matched with a good quality of living; the country is a very safe place to live and tremendously welcoming of its visitors. The country is known as The Land of Fire due to the belief that its surrounding mountains have an eternal flame and is bordered by both the Caspian Sea and Caucasus Mountains.
The official language spoken at Azerbaijan is Azerbaijani, this language falls under the umbrella of Turkish derivations and is close to the current modern Turkish language. Other sub-branches of the Turkish language are also used in Azerbaijan; the Oghuz languages.
Additionally, over 150,000 Azerbaijanis speak the language of their neighboring country, Russian and more 300 primary schools conduct their teaching in Russian. English is not commonly used in Azerbaijan and it is rare to find a citizen of Azerbaijan who speaks the language.
The currency used at Azerbaijan is the Azerbaijani Manat (AZN); this is issued by their central bank and is printed in the form of are 1 Manat, 5 Manat, 10 Manat, 20 Manat, 50 Manat and 100 Manat. The coins issued are 1 qepik, 3 qepik, 5 qepik, 10 qepik, 20 qepik, and 50 qepik. This is the only accepted currency in the country but it is easy to exchange your currency into Manats after arriving.
Azerbaijan located in the Caucasus region of Eurasia, the majority of the country is surrounded by mountains and is influenced by the Caspian Sea, the world’s largest lake, and flatland at the heart of the country. The land area of Azerbaijan is 86,000km², making it a considerably small country, and is home to around 10.5 million people. The weather as a result of the different environments in the country varies from one area of the country but the overall climate is dry subtropical.
The majority of Azerbaijan citizens are Muslims who practice the Shia Islam and only 15% practice the Sunni Islam, there are around 3% of Christians and no other religious affiliations have been officially recognized among the citizens of Azerbaijan.
It is reported that country of Azerbaijan is a presidential country with branches of power; however, high levels of corruption exist within its government and their political stability index is constantly fluctuating. Their most recent war was in 2020 The Nagorno-Karabakh conflict which is a territorial conflict with Armenia and though this war was viewed as over, the recent Russia – Ukraine war has heightened the tensions relating to the Nagorno-Karabakh war again as a result of being on close borders with Russia.
The country of Azerbaijan is considered safe and tourists are encouraged to visit, they have simplified their visa procedures recently and allow several residents of other countries to apply for an e-visa. Given Azerbaijan’s natural and rich historical culture, the country’s tourism sector continuous to grow. Tourists are attracted to the country’s beaches and visit during the summer most frequently as the weather is enjoyable by then; there are also several attractions in Azerbaijan such as the UNESCO world heritage site located in “Icherisheher” which is a historical area and is best known for the palace of Shirvanshahs and Maiden Tower which attractions thousands of tourists annually. Another attraction adored by nature lovers is the Gobustan Rock Art Cultural Landscape; which is now declared a national historical site and people go to view the ancient remnants of graphics found on these rocks and learn about the depictions about earlier times. Even though there is a language barrier to visiting Azerbaijan, the friendliness of the locals and their willingness to help tourists and their hospitable nature will make up for this.
The food in Azerbaijan has been in influenced by neighboring countries and their recipes have been modified to reach the most delicious way of preparing their traditional foods; one thing to expect while at Azerbaijan is that you will taste foods like nowhere else. Their most famous and traditional dish is called the plov, this is a rice-based dish with seasoned meat and vegetables and broth. Another famous dish is the Dushbara, these are dumplings stuffed with minced meat, tomatoes and onion. As a result of being a Muslim country, the people of Azerbaijan prepare a lot of food with meat and view it as welcoming sign to serve it to their guests.
With Azerbaijan’s blend of historical buildings, architecture and quality of constantly improving education, the country is becoming a popular destination among international students. Plus, living at Azerbaijan comes at a relatively low cost.
There are currently 38 universities in Azerbaijan, 15 of which are located in the capital city Baku. The country offers a variety of degrees for study which are recognized globally and the cost of living there is perceived as affordable matched with a good quality of living. Most importantly, the country is rated as very safe with extremely low crime rates and friendly citizens.
Living in Azerbaijan is on the constant rise; however, it is still not an expensive place to live. When grocery shopping for examples you can expect to pay the following; $8 for an egg carton, $6 1 kg of tomatoes, $6 for a standard bread loaf and $5 for a liter of milk. Transportation is not expensive in the country as they have a solid public transportation system and the majority of the people rely on taking the bus as it connects all places around Azerbaijan. The single ride costs $0.18 and is less when you buy a monthly card.
Living in Azerbaijan is an ideal opportunity for students who are keen on attending classes and studying but also value their time spent off campus. The country is becoming more diverse with time as many tourists are attracted to go to Azerbaijan to enjoy its rich culture, history and calming landscapes. There are several options or accommodation there and the country’s public transportation system is continuously improving allowing the residents to commute hassle free.
Student housing is offered at the majority of the universities in Azerbaijan, the cost differs greatly depending from one university to the other. By deciding to live in the university housing, you are more open to meeting other international students and being close to campus.
Another option is to rent an apartment; a one-bedroom apartment is near the city center will cost an individual between $400 – $850; a two-bedroom apartment would cost $700 – $1900. The different amenities differ between apartments and the rent would cost less if it is not located in the city center; however, given the universities locations, this is the most convenient location.
The cost of living at Azerbaijan is not viewed as very affordable; the utilities for two people renting is around $100 collectively, 1kg of apples is for $5 and a one-bedroom apartment for rent in the city center will vary from $400-$850. The cost of living at Azerbaijan has been on the rise recently but if you are trying to live on a specific budget, it will be possible as there are several alternatives for all almost all good at Azerbaijan.
The number of universities in this small country are only 38; however, they are recognized globally and offer quality education. The overall tuition fees to attend university at Azerbaijan are not high but the degrees available to study are many.
The universities at Azerbaijan offer studies in the following bachelor’s degrees which students can complete in 3-5 years depending on their selected specialization, post graduate degrees which are completed in one or two years and PhD degrees which are usually completed over four years because applicants are usually balancing between their studies and a job by then. There is a total of over 300 available programs in Azerbaijan and the top ranked universities are listed below.
The top ranked university of Azerbaijan is located in the capital city and was established in 1919. The university currently offers a total of 10 schools and 17 undergraduate specialization options; the university is mostly known for its outstanding science program. Where the university developed several affiliations with over international universities in sciences and has over 30 research labs. Their degree in physical science is the best rated at the university and has received international accreditation. The tuition fees for foreign students range between $1200 – $3000 depending on your desired major and, if you are eligible, they award financial aids to students as well as merit scholarships.
At first, the Azerbaijan State University of Economics was part of Baku State University but was established as an individual university in 1934. The university offers 14 different faculty studies and has 18,000 enrolled students. The university is the best in the country when looking for a degree in Economics and is the only profiled university in this field in Azerbaijan. The university is affiliated with five other universities abroad and offers the chance of study abroad. The tuition fees for international students varies between $1200 – $ 1500, scholarships are available and the number of international students is increasing.
Khazar university was founded in 1991 and is located in the capital city. It is divided into three different undergraduate schools; the school of sciences and engineering, school of economics and management and school of humanities, education and social sciences. The university is known for offering programs which utilize the country’s resources best; their oil and industry courses vacant under their school of engineering are a main reason as to why locals enroll in at Khazar Univeristy, as well as international students alike. At Khazar University there is the option of pursuing a dual degree for the students who are passionate about more than one field of study and want to widen their job prospects in future, they account for similar courses and help decide on such a step. The university also offers merit-based scholarships for international students and is linked with Erasmus in order to facilitate the process of starting at a new university and being at a different country for all international students.
Nakhchivan State University is among the largest universities in Azerbaijan and is acknowledged for its modern building equipped with teaching and researching facilities. There are two faculties at the university, economics and foreign languages and 56 specializations for undergraduate studies, there are approximately 4000 enrolled students and around 400 foreign
students. Nakhchivan university is known for offering medical and dentistry studies which are not common among other universities in Azerbaijan, thus students who are hoping to pursue a medical degree should look no further.The university focuses on its placement globally and has strengthened its position in recent years by signing agreements with 50 universities from across the globe. The tuition fees are higher in comparison to other universities at Azerbaijan, they range from $1000 – $5000 depending on the degree; however, the university offers financial aid to international students.
This was the first private university in Azerbaijan and was founded in 1991. Their undergraduate program is divided into 5 different specialties with the first on offering seven different degrees in engineering, the second specialty offers 11 degrees including economics, business, finance and management. The third specialty focuses on offering humanities specializations, the fourth specialty offers four different science degrees and the last specialty is a degree in design. The unique degrees offered at Western Capital University are attract different students, resultantly, the campus culture is diverse. They offer financial aid for international students to enable the students who cannot pay the $2000 tuition fee consider Western Capital for their studies.
Even though the number of universities in Azerbaijan is not many, deciding upon which university to study at is still difficult especially as there are other universities which are recognized globally and provide benefits for international students such as Azerbaijan Technical University which is best for students who are willing to study engineering and technology related fields, Azerbaijan University of Architecture and Construction and Baku Slavic University which stands out because of its excellent sports program.
Your citizenship is going to be an important factor when figuring out which documents to prepare for your student visa; however, the visa procedures for Azerbaijan are simple and can be processed online for some countries. The important thing to account for is that you must register visit at the State Migration Service of the Republic of Azerbaijan as your visit will exceed 10 days. The following documents are required for a study in Azerbaijan:
Processing of a student visa to Azerbaijan may take up to 90 days; therefore, it is extremely important that you begin the application process well ahead of time.
After selecting the program which best fits you and deciding upon the university of your choice, you will then be required to upload the required documents to the university’s website, some universities require proof of English presidency along with your application but it is not a requirement for all, and wait until you receive a conditional offer form the university. If you wish to accept it, then you will be obliged to pay a down payment to ensure your place at the university, then you will have to apply for the student visa and begin setting up your living arrangements for when you arrive!
The Azerbaijan Government awards scholarships to national and international students; they are applicable for undergraduate studies, graduate studies and PhDs as well.
The first type of awarded scholarship is given for only the first semester at your university years and is awarded to the students who achieve the highest scores on their admission examinations. There is also another type of scholarship awarded for full tuition for international students and is awarded by the government; students who provide official income sources may be granted this type of scholarship. Lastly, there are universities who also provide financial aid to international students who require some help with their tuition.