In a few words, Croatia (Republika Hrvatska, HR) is a small country in southeast Europe with about 4.6 mil. inhabitants covering an area of 56 538 km2.
Geographically, Croatia is divided into three regions: Panonian lowland, mountain and coastal. Politically, it is divided into 20 counties (županije), which are subdivided into cities and communities.
The capital is Zagreb with around 1 million inhabitants. Other larger cities are: Split, Rijeka, Osijek, Zadar, Pula, Dubrovnik, Šibenik, Varaždin, Karlovac, Bjelovar etc.
Beside Croats, there are many other ethnic communities. Most citizens are Roman Catholics.
The official language is Croatian. Many people also speak English, German and Italian (especially in the coastal area).
Croatia’s economic aspirations lie in tourism and agriculture. The main industries are: food, chemical, petrochemical, pharmaceutical, textile, leather, wood, tobacco and shipbuilding industries. Croatia also acts as ‘the exit to the sea’ for the land-locked Central European countries and a link between East and West.
Croatia is a Republic and the political system is a parliamentary democracy, which was established in 1990. The government is represented by the President, the bicameral Parliament (Sabor, made up of the Deputy house - Zastupnički dom and the County house - Županijski dom) and the Government (Vlada).
Croatia has eight national parks: Brijuni islands, Risnjak mountain, Plitvice lakes, Paklenica gorge, Sjeverni Velebit mountain, Kornati islands, the Krka river and the island of Mljet as well as many nature parks and game reserves. The love for nature is also expressed in the national anthem: Lijepa naša Domovino (‘Our Lovely Homeland’).
Croatia is a young country, born in 1991 thanks to the courage and devotion of its citizens. It has a long and rich history, signs of which can be found almost everywhere.
If you don’t know where to start in your discovery of our country, begin with numerous natural beauties, our traditional hospitality, and of course, our coast, which is said to be the most beautiful in Europe.
In Croatia, you can experience two different types of climate. The Mediterranean climate prevails in the coastal region, with a lot of sunny days, hot summers and mild winters. You can enjoy yourself on numerous beaches during five warm months (June – October). In the continental region, there is, of course, the Continental climate: pretty hot during the summer, and pretty cold in the winter.
Average temperatures during the summer period are between 25-35 °C. It is rather windy by the seaside, so windsurfing is possible (and enjoyable).
It doesn’t rain a lot in Croatia. There is the same number of sunny and rainy days. If you are going to stay here in September or onwards we suggest you to bring some warm clothes as well (e.g. jacket, sweaters).
Croatian meals are a mixture of Mediterranean and Continental cuisine. You may find some meals similar to yours, or something completely different that you won’t find anywhere except in Croatia.
If you decide to go to a restaurant to have dinner, be prepared to pay a price somewhat higher than you might expect, but it will surely be a real pleasure for you to choose among all the kinds of fish and meat dishes, as well as other delicious meals. Recommended Croatian meals are (listed according to their regional origin): štrukli (pastry filled with cottage cheese, boiled in an onion soup or baked),orehnjača (walnut roll), purica s mlincima (turkey with boiled dough), janjetina s ražnja (roasted lamb on the spit), krumpir ispod peke (potato baked under a coal covered pot), paški sir (goat cheese from the island of Pag), dalmatinska pašticada (veal in a special, tasty sauce), čobanac (stew made of various kinds of meat), fiš-paprikaš (river fish stew), kulen (paprika flavored sausage).
Of course, here you may also find numerous restaurants offering international (e.g. Italian, French, Chinese) cuisine. We hope that you will be satisfied. Most of you, as well as other students in Croatia, will go to the students’ restaurants, numerous pizzerias, hamburger and other fast-food places. Of course, you will have to try ‘our’ (actually oriental) fast food: ćevapčići (or just: ćevapi) and burek. There’s much to say about drinks. The first Croatian word most visiting students learn is ‘pivo‘ (beer). You can choose between several Croatian (e.g. Karlovačko, Ožujsko, dark Tomislav) and imported beers. There is a large offer of wines. In the northwestern part of the country (where Zagreb is situated), there are many sorts of wines, which are popular, but very sour. So we suggest you try wines from the coastal region (e.g. Malvasia, Merlot and Teran from Istria, and Babić, Kaštelet, Postup, Dingač, Pošip, Debit and Zlatni Plavac from Dalmatia) or Slavonian wines (Traminac, Frankovka and Graševina from Kutjevo). Among spirits the most popular are loza (grape brandy) and pelinkovac(bitter wormwood flavoured liqueur).
Last but not least: tap water is drinkable anywhere in Croatia.
Yes, members of IAESTE Summer Reception Team will contact you before your arrival and tell you what papers you should bring (e.g. certificate of student status, health insurance etc.) and arrange meeting time and place (depending on your transport it can be a bus or a train station, airport or if you are coming by a car some other place) and take you to your room/apartment. Also, this contact form IAESTE Croatia is a great way to answer all of your potential questions or doubts.
A member of IAESTE Croatia Summer Reception Team will take you to your working place and introduce you to your employer on your first day of an internship.
Croatia uses 220V / 50 Hz electricity.
Electrical plugs and sockets can be different from those in your country so please check this before you come and get adequate adapters and voltage converters if needed. This especially concerns ones who are coming from outside of Europe, UK, Switzerland…
For more info, please check this links:
Croatia is divided into two predominant climate regions - Continental and Mediterranean. Regarding that, weather conditions are different depending on which city you are staying in. Mediterranean part has climate with mild winters and hot and sunny summers. Inland climatic conditions imply cold winters and warm summers. Summers in continental Croatia tent to get the wettest season too.
Find more info here:
If you are staying in the dormitory than yes, they are part of your room inventory. But, if you are staying in a private accommodation (renting a room or a flat) than we cannot guarantee ones and we would recommend checking this information before coming to Croatia.
Croatian kuna is the currency of Croatia and after you come, IAESTE will help you in opening a non-resident bank account which you will use during your stay. You will receive your salary in kunas.
Please pay attention to the fact that in most cases you will receive your first payment after one month of your traineeship, so make sure you bring enough money to cover your costs in the meantime.
When trainees arrive to Croatia, IAESTE provides them with a SIM card which they use during their stay. It is necessary for a trainee to have a decoded mobile phone In order to use the SIM card, so please check your cell phone before your arrival.
Rooms at the dormitories usually don't have wireless Internet, so you will need to bring a LAN cable in order to get laptop internet connection.
No, it is against the rules to accommodate other people in student dormitories and we would recommend booking a hostel.
Here are some links where you can read more about Croatia, and where you can find some guides when exploring towns & places…
The Croatian currency is the Kuna (kn, HRK). It is divided into 100 lipa (lp). Coins have denominations of 1, 2, 5, 10, 20, 50 lipa and 1, 2, 5 kuna while notes have denominations of 5, 10, 20, 100, 200, 500 and 1000 kuna. Money can be exchanged in every bank, exchange office (mjenjačnica), exchange machine, travel agency and also in many (marked) shops, but unfortunately not in post offices. A receipt is issued for each exchange transaction (Receipt for the Purchase of Foreign Means of Payment). A copy of the receipt is given to the customer. Foreign nationals can convert unused kunas back into a foreign currency after presentation of the receipt of the original exchange of foreign currency into Croatian kunas. In principle, retransfer can be effected only in banks. Accessing money through ATMs is possible in all larger cities and the more important tourist areas; the ATMs of Zagrebačka banka accept EuroCard/MasterCard, and ATM of Euronet accept Diners, American Express and soon Visa.
Goods and services bought in Croatia cannot be paid for directly with travelers cheques. Travelers cheques and Eurocheques must first be cashed in exchange offices for Croatian kunas. Travelers cheques issued by the leading international banks and travel agencies are accepted in Croatia. Banker’s drafts issued by reputable international banks can be drawn in Croatian banks for Croatian kunas. Personal cheques are not accepted for direct payment for goods and services, but they can be cashed for Croatian kunas in Croatian banks (following a confirmation by the issuing bank).
In Croatia, you can use the following credit cards: American Express, Diners, Visa, and EuroCard/MasterCard. Diners and MasterCard cards are accepted in offices of Zagrebačka banka. Privredna banka Zagreb works with MasterCard and with AmeX. The principal for the Visa card is HVB Splitska banka.
Do not forget to bring some money with you, for the expenses until you receive your first salary (usually at the end of the month). It would be wise to bring money in some widely spread currency (USD, EUR).
Shops in Croatia are open all day long (mostly from 8.00 till 20.00, except Sundays), especially in the summer period, so you may go shopping at any time. Banking hours are 8.00-19.00, on working days (unless noted otherwise).
Prices vary a lot depending on the shop, so you should take a look around before buying anything.
The exchange rates for KN: www.hnb.hr/tecajn/htecajn.htm
|Prices of some basic commodities:|
|bread (1 kg)||5-7 kn|
|milk (1 l)||5 kn|
|beer (0.5 l, shop)||5 kn|
|mineral water (1l, shop)||4 kn|
|coffee (cup)||6-9 kn|
|beer (0.5 l, pub)||10-20 kn|
|disco, entrance||15-35 kn|
Public holidays in Croatia are the following:
|January 1st||New Year’s Day|
|May 1st||Labor Day|
|June 22nd||Antifascist Day|
|June 25th||National Day|
|August 5th||National Thanksgiving Day|
|August 15th||Our Lady of Assumption|
|November 1st||All Saint’s Day|
|December 25th & 26th||Christmas|
If you cannot do without the news, foreign press (various newspapers and journals in English, German, French, Italian… languages) can be found at news-stands usually at central squares, rail stations and in hotels. In Zagreb, there is a large foreign press bookshop Algoritam at Gajeva 1 (at Hotel Dubrovnik building). If you have a TV in the student dormitory, there are three national channels: HRT 1, 2 and 3.
During summer, there is a news service for tourists in English and German on HRT 1 usually at the end of the broadcast. There are also some local televisions like: Nova TV, OTV (Zagreb), Slavonska TV (Osijek), TV Marjan and Adriatic TV (Split). People usually watch (if they have a satellite receiver) many satellite channels like CNN, SKY, Eurosport etc.
HR is the national radio network with 3 channels (many frequencies depending on the area). It has news in English and German. Popular radio stations are:
We use 220V/50Hz alternating current. Most plugs have two round pins. You should bring a plug adapter and a transformer if you want to operate with electronic devices that do not correspond to Croatian standards.
Post offices are marked with a yellow ‘HP’ sign. There you can make phone calls, buy postcards, stamps, phone cards and send letters, packages and faxes abroad.
You can phone from post offices or from telephone booths. Telephone booths can be found almost everywhere. Booths are operated by phone cards (telefonska kartica) which may be bought at news-stands or in post offices. there are phone cards of 15, 30, 50, 100 kn. Unfortunately you cannot use international phonecards and there is no discount when you use the telephone booths. Country Direct Services work for the USA, Canada, UK, Italy and the Netherlands. Telephone booths have instructions in foreign languages, so they can be used with ease. It is much cheaper to phone from the post office.