Back to Slovenia: another country that the Team has scoured – like all the countries on offer, in fact, it’s one of our golden rules! Almost all of us have been there. A little spoiler: everyone loved it, and so did all the people we advised to go there, and you can read Laura’s testimonial here, who did her work placement in Slovenia. Personally – Seb – it’s certainly one of my favourite countries, along with Italy and the Czech Republic. I’ve been to Slovenia three times, twice as part of International Horizons. And whether on a personal or professional level, I really found it superb: the people, the towns, the beaches, the mountains… despite the country’s small size, it benefits from an interesting geographical location that allows it to offer landscapes and activities that are as diverse as they are varied! Here’s a round-up of some of the country’s most memorable experiences!

Feedback from Slovenia: the kindness of the people!

Slovenians are really nice! Whether it’s our local partners, the barmaid at Costa Coffee who let us squat on the wifi for 10 days, the couple who put us up during a trip to Ljubljana and so many others. Anecdote: we couldn’t get through to one of the high schools in Slovenia, so in Ljubljana we decided to turn up in front and try to force a meeting. A pupil – Marek – kindly showed us the way in impeccable English that would make Tristan – who is of English origin – swoon, and then showed us around the school while we waited for the headmistress to join us. We were served tea during the visit, and vegetables … because everything is free for the well-being of young people! What’s more, you don’t even have to go to class if you use the sports facilities instead. The Slovenian education system relies heavily on young people to take responsibility for themselves, and it works! People are friendly, always ready to give information or help, and they all make an effort to speak English to you: they’re all trilingual anyway. In general, Slovenians all speak … Slovenian, of course, but also English and German or Italian. It’s the European country where people speak the most languages per capita.

Feedback from Slovenia: safety is paramount 

Another anecdote: one evening, we had a few drinks in… a few bars in town. Already, I’d lost my identity card: a waiter had kept it in his hand and had gone round the main square to bring it back to me! It’s the only country where I’ve experienced this: most of the time I have to redo my damn papers because I’m absent-minded: I admit to losing them quite regularly. That same night we partied until 5am in the bars and clubs of the capital: we met people from all walks of life, and there were no fights. And, no kidding: it felt good. Because in Nantes, generally speaking, if your skirt’s too short, if you’ve had too much to drink, if you’re alone, you’re almost guaranteed to get beaten up after 2am. Slovenia is really dynamic, but without the hassle. Really, apart from Georgia (because yes, we’ve been there too, and if you want the feedback it’s over here!), I’ve rarely felt as safe as I do in Slovenia.

Feedback from Slovenia: Breathtaking landscapes (and you know some!)

Apart from the capital, Slovenia offers a wide range of landscapes! The Alps, with the Socca, that turquoise river – and the colour is natural – that you saw in the World of Narnia, Koper, with its beaches and marinas, or Bled, that immense lake with an island at its centre. Slovenia is just as good for nature lovers as it is for city dwellers: you’ll find everything within reach tomorrow, because the country is small and has excellent transport links. If you’re a sporty type, Slovenia can even be done by bike: well, we’re rather small-bodied, so we hired a car! Incidentally, I forgot a book with my passport in it when we returned the car at Ljubljana airport. Luckily, the rental company chased me through the airport to bring it back (Slovenians are really nice!).

Koper was the subject of another trip for an ERASMUS conference. The town is on a human scale, it’s an old town by the sea, and it’s a lovely place to explore. There are large – very large – terraces by the sea to enjoy the idyllic setting in the sunshine, or the lively evenings at night. You can also enjoy the city and its narrow streets to make your best Instagram post, it’s full of colour, or go and chill out on the beach or in the old port of Koper.

We discovered La Socca on our way across the Italian border to Slovenia, and it’s a real treat. The water is really turquoise, and it’s a colour-blind person who sees colours as dull who’s telling you this! For the anecdote, because I know you love it: without GPS on the way back from Ljubjlana, we wanted to go to Koper. After endless kilometers in a rented car smashed to the ground with barely visible headlights, small mountain roads, a very clichéd and therefore not very reassuring roadside restaurant on the mountainside, a near miss with a deer, or a stop to pee in the middle of the forest with temperatures crazy low given the altitude: big surprise when we arrived in … Trieste in Italy! It was night time and I booked the first hotel right in the centre: a smoking room, it stank to high heaven, one of the worst nights of my trip ah ah.

Feedback from Slovenia: Ideal situation for travelling 

Slovenia is ideal for travelling, especially to Northern Italy and the Balkans. In less than 4 hours by car, you’re in Venice, so you can enjoy the Dolomites (and Belluno – Diego will once again be proud that I’ve been able to put his town in a blog post!), and the whole Veneto region! The bravest can even go as far as the incredible Bologna! To find out more about Bologna, check out our Top 10 most fun cities in Italy. On the other hand, you can quickly reach Split, Zagreb or Pula in Croatia, and take advantage of its beaches, or push on to Albania or Montenegro to enjoy their picture-postcard landscapes.

Feedback from Slovenia: the sweetness of life!

Slovenia has several particularities: no far-right party, no green party. Why is that? For a start, the country’s inhabitants are all ecologists, so there’s no need for politics to promote them. There’s no Le Pen or Meloni either: the country welcomes a lot of immigrants from the Balkans, but in Slovenia, nobody gives a damn. Well, it’s a bit of a cliché, isn’t it? You can always find a few idiots, bullshit is international. In fact, when you ask a Slovenian what their biggest worry is, it’s usually knowing when the next snowfall will be. Slovenia really is a great place to live: the country is affordable – if you want an idea of the budget, you can build your own thanks to our blog article about the country – and you meet lots of lovely people. The first time, we slept at a couple’s couchsurfing place, and had a great time! We also met a student who shows us around the more typical, less touristy places, and we shared a few drinks in a rock club – with the Twisted Sisters in the spotlight that evening – and it was a lot of fun. Slovenia is the art of living without pressure, in a spirit of continual benevolence. I’m sounding a bit carefree when I say that, but that’s really the feeling the country gave me. On another trip, we went for a drive in the mountains and when we ran out of batteries, we asked a retired couple for directions: that’s all it took for us to be invited to eat and share a good meal. Slovenia is a bit like Italy, but without the touch and feel of Marseille!

On that note, travel fans, if you want your work placement in Slovenia, International Horizons can find you a work placement abroad within two weeks, so get in touch!

For more general questions, visit the International Horizons Internships Abroad FAQ.