Slovenia is a small state the size of Israel with a population of just under two million and a capital of Ljubljana. For a foreigner living and working in Slovenia is not very common.
The country is very green, nature rules, and one of the positive aspects of emigrating to Slovenia is the possibility of having the Alps within reach. It is the ideal destination for mountain sports enthusiasts, as skiing and hiking are two of the most popular activities among Slovenians.
Slovenia has a good infrastructure, the roads are new and well maintained. The disadvantage is the poor public transport system. You can not get very far without a car.
In general, it is not a dangerous or violent country. The majority of crimes reported to the police are thefts, so you should only watch your wallet and personal belongings. The number of cases of violence and crime is very low. Everyone can go for a walk in the middle of the night without any problems.
Medical care is free, even if it is very slow and you can even wait more than a year for an operation. Education is also free and kindergartens are subsidized.
Even though it’s a poor country, the cost of living is not as low as it might seem, and rents and house prices are very, very high, and young people stay with their parents until they are 30 or so. It’s not uncommon to have more than one generation living under one roof.
One of the worst things about living in Slovenia is undoubtedly the weather. In a year there are more than 150 rainy days, which means that it rains almost 50% of the days. The average temperatures are 21 ºC in summer and about 0 ºC in winter.
As for the food, it should be said that the typical cuisine is a combination of many regional specialties with a Slovenian touch.
People are great and very helpful to foreigners, even if they are not as warm and open-minded as Italians, but much more than Germans or Swedes. Of course, in order to fully integrate into society, you have to know the language, but Slovenian is particularly difficult. It must be said, however, that many people know English.
As for work, you should know that the unemployment rate in Slovenia is quite low, it is 4.2%, and the average salary is about 1 000 €.
The question is: Is it really possible to find a job in Slovenia? If you aren’t working in the field IT and don’t know the language, I strongly doubt that you can find a job, unless you have local connections.
On the other hand, if you know Slovenian, you may find a job, and the type of work you’ll find will be proportional to your language skills. Also remember that workplace protection is limited and wages are lower than in other Western European countries.
Living and working in Slovenia pros and cons
Living and working in Slovenia, pros
- The proximity to many European countries: Austria, Croatia, Hungary, Italy, Germany, Serbia, Czech Republic, Slovakia and Switzerland
- Infrastructure. Internet coverage is excellent, roads are good, and airports are connected to most major European airports.
- Beautiful nature, (Alps, Adriatic coast, etc.). Plenty of vegetation, uncontaminated water and clean air
- Good public services. Health care is of high quality and education is free and toll-free.
- Very safe country
Living and working in Slovenia, cons
- Difficult to find work and low wages
- Difficult to learn language
- Bureaucracy present everywhere
- High rent costs, especially in Ljubljana
Living and working in Slovenia, conclusion
In conclusion, the question for many is whether it is better to move to Slovenia or Croatia.
Slovenia is richer, more prosperous, has a better freedom index, higher life expectancy, and higher GDP per capita. It is a clean and tidy country and people usually speak three languages.
Instead, Croatia is warmer, sunnier and its coastline is endless and fantastic! It is much bigger and therefore has more to offer and the Croatian language is a bit simpler than Slovenian.
In the end, the two countries are equal in my opinion. But in general, life in Slovenia is not bad. It depends on what your priorities are in life. If you are looking for a quiet and family life, then it is a good place to live, but if you are looking for a business solution, I would say it is not the right place.