Chances are that you can only think about the U.S. city when you hear the word “Georgia”, but there’s a small corner of the world full of beautiful traditions that has the same name. Georgia is a small country with just 3.7 million habitants that is located in the Caucasus region (Eurasia). It was part of the Soviet Union until its collapse and became independent in 1991. Although difficulties for this country didn’t stop there, important reforms and the warm hospitality of Georgians have turned this little nation into an attractive destination for international students. In this article, we will be looking at the cheap universities in Georgia.
After the Rose Revolution in 2003 were Georgians demanded a change of power, important reforms were made to improve the economic industries and military capacity of the country. And as education is a fundamental element to have better societies, the higher education system was significantly improved.
Attracting international students is one the priorities of the Georgian government, so they’ve created special programs and made efforts to achieve it.
The country obtained visa liberalization from the Schengen Area in 2017 and it is part of the Erasmus programs. The National Center for Educational Quality Enhancement (NCEQE) is in charge of promoting international cooperation in education and created the Study in Georgia program to attract students from all around the world.
Universities in Georgia offer bachelor degrees (between 180 and 240 credits or three to four years), master degrees (120 credits or two years), and doctorate degrees (180 credits or three years). There are longer programs like medicine or veterinary which require between 300 and 360 credits to obtain the degree.
The Admission Process at Georgian Universities
Domestic students have to pass the Unified National Examinations in order to be admitted at a Georgian university. However, this could not be the case for international students because some majors do not require taking any test.
Once you’ve chosen a program and submitted the required documents, you can contact the Ministry of Education and Science of Georgia (MES) and the NCEQE to get more information and assistance. Those are the official institutions in charge of international programs and applicants.
The Language of Instruction at Georgian Universities
Georgia’s official language is Georgian. It is spoken by the majority of the population and has its own writing system. This is the primary language of instruction at universities.
However, there are many programs available that are completely taught in English. Only a few combine English with Georgian.
As Georgia was part of the Soviet Union, Russian is also spoken in the country, and there are a few programs available in Russian as well. Actually, learning a lit bit of Russian could help you during your free time. Unless you are in the capital city, you’ll realize that not a lot of people speak English.
Tuition Fees of Georgian Universities
Georgia has both public and private universities which charge annual tuition fees. However, most of them are very affordable. Prices for domestic students or programs in Georgian usually go from 1,000 USD to 3,000 USD.
Programs in English for international students are slightly more expensive. Prices usually go from 2,500 USD to 5,000 USD. There are a few exceptions comprised of more specialized programs like medicine or MBA.
Living Costs in Georgia
Georgia’s official currency is the Georgian Lari (GEL). 100 GEL is around 35 USD. You can rent a one-bedroom apartment for 300 USD per month in the capital city. In the rest of the country, 200 USD (and sometimes less) will be enough.
Having a monthly budget of 10 USD for transportation will be more than enough. You’ll need around 100 USD for food. In 2016, the cost of the basic food basket was of 76 USD. A meal at a local restaurant usually costs 5 USD.
Additionally, Georgians are known for being extremely friendly with visitors. For them, guests are a gift from God, and foreign visitors are guests in their country. That’s why you may end up being invited to multiple dinners by people you just met or receiving help from people who don’t even know your name.
Cheap Universities in Georgia
1. Georgian Technical University
The first cheap university in Georgia is the Georgian Technical University. This university started as a faculty of another university, the Tbilisi State University (TSU). It became autonomous in 1928 and was officially accredited as a university in 990.
It has 8 faculties of mining and geology, informatics and control systems, chemical technology and metallurgy, transportation and machine-building, power engineering and telecommunications, civil engineering, social and humanities, and architecture, urban planning and design.
This university is the most important in the technical field. In recent years, it has educated 60% of scientists and engineers of the country.
It is located in the capital city, Tbilisi, and has nine campuses throughout the city. 23,000 students receive education here each year.
The application process is explained in detail on their international student’ section. All documents must be translated into Georgian. A commission decides if applicants must take a test and/or go to an interview, and the application must be approved by the official entities in charge of higher education.
Tuition fees for the English programs are of 9,000 GEL (around 3,100 USD); 3,500 GEL (around 1,200 USD) for the Russian program; and 2,250 GEL (around 800 USD) for the Georgian program.
2. Shota Rustaveli State University
Shota Rustaveli State University is located in Batumi and was founded over 80 years ago. It has nine faculties of education, law, humanities, business and economics, social and political sciences, physic, mathematics and computer sciences, natural sciences and healthcare, technology, and tourism.
It has around 6,000 students that chose one of the 43 bachelor degree programs. There are also 28 master degree programs, 15 doctorate degree programs, and three research institutes.
The admission procedures and document requirements are listed here. It only consists of submitting documents.
Tuition fees are 2,250 GEL (around 800 USD) for bachelor degree programs. Because of that, Shota Rustaveli State University is considered a cheap university in Georgia. However, the majority of the programs are taught in Georgian.
3. Tbilisi State Academy of Arts
The Tbilisi State Academy of Arts is perfect for those who want to dedicate their lives to the arts. There are many specialties in all the areas of design and architecture.
This affordable university in Georgia has four faculties of fine arts, design, media arts, visual arts, architecture, and restoration, art history, and theory.
Along with the academic facilities, they have a museum with 618 paintings, a big exhibition hall, and a tapestry museum.
Some of the programs offered include drawing, sculpture, painting, civil architecture, environmental design, interior design, graphic design, digital media, photography, etc. They also offer preparatory courses.
In order to be admitted, prospective students interested in studying in the faculties of architecture, fine arts, media arts, and design must take an exam and a test in artistic skills. This last test is not required for the rest of the faculties.
Tuition fees are 2,250 GEL (around 800 USD) for both bachelor and master degrees.
4. Shota Rustaveli Theater and Georgia State Film University (TAFU)
Next on our list of cheap universities in Georgia is the Shota Rustaveli Theater and Georgia State Film University (TAFU). It specializes in performing and visual arts. It was founded in 1923 and has brought together professionals from the whole Caucasus region.
It is a public university and has more than one thousand students. There are three faculties of art sciences, media, and management; film and television; and drama.
The university has two academic buildings in the capital city of Tbilisi. It has a theatre, a publishing house, a library, a film studio, a training center, and a museum.
They offer bachelor degree programs in the areas of mass communication, art history and theory, art management, cultural tourism, acting, film, theatre director, audiovisual director, and different performing arts specializations. They also offer different master and doctorate programs.
To learn more about admissions and tuition fees, contact the university staff.
5. Tbilisi State Medical University
As it happens with the first university of our list, Tbilisi State University was originally a faculty of TSU. Nowadays, it is the biggest and most important healthcare university in Georgia.
It was founded 100 years ago and has 10,000 students. 25% of them are international students. There are five clinics for academic teaching, practices, and rotations.
It has seven faculties of physical medicine and rehabilitation, nursing, pharmacy, stomatology, medicine, public health, and a second medicine faculty which is international. All of them offer bachelor, master, and doctorate degrees. The nursing faculty also offers professional programs.
The university is affiliated with more than 120 universities around the world and is the founder of the Eastern European Medical Association.
They offer programs in Georgian, English, and Russian. There a few offered in French.
International students pay much more than domestic students, and the programs in English are the most expensive ones. Annual tuition fees go from 3,000 USD to 13,000 USD. Visit their admissions section to learn how to apply and to get more details about each major’s tuition.
6. The Agricultural University of Georgia
The Agricultural University of Georgia is a private university that has between 4,000 and 5,000 students and is one of the cheapest universities in Georgia.
It has three schools of agricultural and natural sciences, business and administration, and technology and engineering. They offer 18 programs in total. Bachelor programs include agronomy, chemistry, biology, forestry, food processing, construction engineering, mechanical engineering, liberal arts, business and administration, electrical and computer engineering, and viticulture and oenology.
Master and doctorate programs include agricultural science, natural science, engineering, and veterinary.
The university has modern facilities with 50 scientific labs, 17 research centers and institutes, and a library. There are student residences, a theatre, and a sports center.
Average tuition fees per year are 750 USD. Contact the international affairs department to learn more about admissions and specific tuition fees.
7. Caucasus University
Caucasus University is a private university that was originally founded as the Caucasus School of Business in 1998. In 2004, it became what it is today.
This cheap university in Georgia has eight schools of law, media, business, governance, technology, social sciences, health care, and tourism. The university has modern facilities that include a court hall, an architecture workshop, a media studio, a start-up lab, an online radio, and much more!
The School of Business has interesting options. It offers double master degrees and joint degrees (bachelor and masters) in affiliation with universities abroad, such as Georgia State University (the U.S.), Robinson College of Business (the U.S.), and the Grenoble Graduate School of Business (France).
It has a great employability rate as 98% of its graduates are employed.
Annual tuition fees for international students are of 5,000 USD for all the bachelor programs available in English. To learn more about the admission process, programs available, and fees, visit the international students’ section.
8. Georgian Institute of Public Affairs (GIPA)
Established in 1994, the Georgian Institute of Public Affairs (GIPA) was created with the objective of developing the areas of policies and public administration in Georgia. It was founded with the investment and help of different official agencies and education institutions of the U.S.
It has four schools of law and politics, social sciences, journalism and media management, and government. It also has a social sciences Ph.D. program and a department of rural development.
The university has great employability statistics, with 90% of graduates working in both private and public sectors.
Each major has different admission procedures and tuition fees. For example, law costs 1,500 USD approximately, and audiovisual and media arts cost 1,850 USD approximately. Check the detailed information of each program here.
9. International Black Sea University
We end our list of cheap universities in Georgia with the International Black Sea University. Founded in 1995, the International Black Sea University was created with the objective of fostering social and economic development in the region.
It has five faculties of social sciences, education and humanities, computer technology and engineering, business management, and law. Over 2,000 students receive education in one of the 24 bachelor programs. Additionally, there are 12 master programs and 4 doctorate programs.
They are very interested in the professional and personal growth of their students, so they have 33 clubs, different sports teams, and research units that organize multiple events each year.
If you’d like to learn even more about higher education in Georgia and your study opportunities there, check the website of the program Study in Georgia which was created by the NCEQE.
I hope that this article on the cheap universities in Georgia was helpful. If you are interested, I highly suggest that you visit cheap tuition category!