A work placement in Slovenia? An opportunity to discover a Western country. Yes, the West. We often tend to associate Slovenia with Eastern Europe, and yet it borders Italy, and in terms of atmosphere, you’re almost in Italy! It’s a country full of opportunities, and its landscapes and culture will leave you speechless. The risk with Slovenia is that you won’t want to come back from your work placement abroad! It’s a country that’s particularly popular with our team: Sébastien has already been there several times (and you can read his feedback on our blog!). And the first tip for reducing the cost of your trip: book your flight to Venice from France, then take a bus from Ljubljana: you’ll lose 5 hours on your journey, but it’ll be 4 to 5 times cheaper depending on the time of year.

Budget for your work placement in Slovenia

Despite its proximity to Italy, Slovenia is still very affordable. A budget of €700 a month will be more than enough to cover your accommodation, travel and food. International Horizons will give you some advice on obtaining grants for your mobility. Slovenia is a relatively accessible country financially, the most expensive part being the flights to get there! However, whether it’s the cost of everyday goods or the cost of energy, Slovenia is a good place to do your work placement abroad. Koper, however, can be more expensive during the summer months: the town is located on the Mediterranean and is a relatively well-known seaside resort in the area! In any case, there are always good ways of saving money: sharing a flat with other ERASMUS students can be a good way of sharing costs. What’s more, it allows you to start your period abroad by meeting lots of people, and build up a social life quickly. Because, if a work placement abroad is important, it’s not just to gain professional skills, but also soft skills: autonomy, sharing and cultural openness. You can also make a few savings: apart from the tip of travelling via Italy to Slovenia, you can also save money by choosing accommodation close to the centre and avoiding the bus. The towns are pretty and on a human scale, and if you’re in a good location, you can really do everything on foot. Personally, I’ve never – never! – taken public transport in Slovenia. The weather there is quite pleasant, except in winter, so it’s always a pleasure to walk. If you want to go out, rather than going to all the bars in the city centre, there’s a stylish little square 10 minutes’ walk away that has a number of bars and nightclubs: it’s cheap, has a great atmosphere and is very, very festive. I spent a night there as a couchsurfer – well, when I started the club we didn’t have any money, so it was a system D! – and the evening was absolutely incredible. You can also go directly to the tourist office: there are lots of good deals and discounts, so you can make the most of the country and its many opportunities. Don’t hesitate to speak directly to a receptionist, who will be able to give you the best deals for your interests. It’s always appreciated when tourists ask for information, especially if you say your best “Dobro jutro”: it means hello, and addressing someone in the country you’re visiting with a few words in their native language shows not only your interest, but also your respect for the culture.

What you need to know

Slovenia is a country whose architecture has been extremely well preserved: despite the Nazi and then Italian Fascist occupations, the country has never been bombed, or at least only very rarely. As a result, the cities are still very much in their original state, with some very fine buildings that tell the story of the country’s history, in the same way as Italian cities such as Florence and Rome. A few anecdotes: the country has no racist party because nobody cares. There’s no environmentalist party, because everyone is. Also, there’s fruit and tea available in secondary schools. Everyone does sport. Slovenians speak an average of 3.2 languages: the highest rate in Europe. In short, the only problem Slovenians have is “when it snows”? So if you want to discover a country that’s peaceful, full of opportunities and friendly: let’s go to Slovenia! And for Narnia fans: the river in the film isn’t science fiction, it’s the Socha, and it’s in Slovenia; a turquoise river with real drinking water. Whether you’re looking for culture, sight-seeing or hiking, Slovenia has something for everyone. In fact, we’ve put together a list of some great towns to explore! Slovenia is a fairly open country in the European Union. For example, homosexuality was decriminalised in the country almost 20 years before in France! (Yes, yes!) Since 2022, same-sex marriage has been legal following a decision by the Constitutional Court, although this decision did not give rise to any major demonstrations like in France. What’s more, the country welcomes immigrants from the Balkans every year. Slovenia’s only major drawback is the freedom of the press, which is still restricted. However, there has been a marked improvement since the last legislative elections, which were won by the opposition. People in Slovenia are pretty chilled out: it’s very easy to meet people and build up a social circle. All you have to do is go out one evening and raise an elbow (with or without alcohol!): very quickly, you’ll be able to make friends with the locals. Slovenians are very approachable and rather curious! Well, they’re not quite Italian enough to pat you on the back in 3 seconds, but… not far off! And be careful in the street: there are French speakers in Slovenia too, and some secondary schools teach it! So be careful not to say just anything, it would be a shame to get hassled for nothing. By the way, despite my many visits to the country, I’ve never seen a single fight: and I can’t say the same for Nantes where we live ah ah.

Your work placement in Slovenia

It’s not easy to get a work placement in Slovenia, but it’s definitely worth the diversions. As French as we are, the language level expected is often a little high compared to what we can get. But, being very Europhile, there are plenty of Slovenian companies willing to give you the chance of a work placement abroad: and it’s our job to find the company that best matches your expectations. In fact, during your interview with one of the members of our team, be specific: the more specific your request, the more the placement in Slovenia will be perfectly suited to what you want. If you lack inspiration, one of our staff will be able to help you! Please be realistic about what the school expects, your wishes and your level of English. Whatever school you go to, if English isn’t your strong point, don’t ask the company to give you heavy responsibilities: you risk being overwhelmed, they’ll be disappointed and you’ll be stressed for nothing. The country offers a multitude of opportunities in all sectors: marketing, communication, culture, engineering, industry, shipping, sport, etc. All economic sectors are represented here. All economic sectors are represented here! The country does well to attract European start-ups: it’s not THE country of reference, but there’s plenty of scope to improve your skills and have a top-notch holiday. When it comes to tourism, speaking a language from one of the Baltic countries, or even Chinese, can be a huge advantage: many visitors from these countries come to explore Slovenia. The country launched a huge communication campaign several years ago through Feel Slovenia, which was a great success and had a big economic impact. It’s easy to apply for an internship in Slovenia. Send us your CV in English – in English, because if you send it in French, my friend, we’re not going to be able to do much for you. Then, the International Horizons team will call you back to put together the best possible internship project abroad and land you the job. The international placements we offer are tailored to your profile: we only do made-to-measure. What’s more, depending on your language level, we work with the company to adapt the assignments. Someone with an excellent command of the language will be given more complex and challenging assignments than someone with a poor command of the language. Find out more about Laura’s experience of her work placement in Slovenia! So, if you’re looking for a skills-enhancing work placement in Slovenia, contact us now, and you’ll soon be on your way to a work placement abroad! For more general questions, visit the International Horizons Internships Abroad FAQ.