Work in Slovenia | Everything you need to know
Slovenia is a hidden gem in Europe, very underestimated for expats, but this beautiful country of mountainous landscapes and coastlines have many good factors in its favor like high incomes, a prosperous service sector and their many many opportunities towards expats. With just 2 million inhabitants you can find that Slovenia doesn’t has busy and full of concrete cities but greenery urban centers where you can enjoy the benefits of a big city and the cozy feeling of a small town.
Slovenia is inhabited by around 2.1 million people whose national language is Slovenian. The capital city is Ljubljana and their currency is Euro (€). Country located in the Balkans has stunning mountains and a beautiful, rocky coastline with a continental climate with Mediterranean impact on the coast. Summers are warm and sunny, winters tend to be cold. Picturesque area is perfect to explore all around the year in a free time while living in Slovenia
5 Curiosities about Slovenia
- They are bee lovers, around 80.000 people are beekeepers in Slovenia and it’s considered almost like a religion.
- Actually, Slovenia is among the favorite countries in Europe, ahead of Sweden, Ireland, Denmark or Switzerland.
- Slovenians definitely are not the “fight me” type, they rank as the 7th country in the world’s leading measure of national peacefulness” survey, out of 163!
- It has the world cheapest ski resort, a stay here may cost you half of the total in other ski resorts.
- A really (really) beautiful lake resides here, the Lake Bled with a warm temperature of 26º it’s a daydreaming destination, plus it has a tear shaped island in the middle with the Church of the Assumption from the 15th century.
Culture in Slovenia
Slovenia has a rich culture that has survived until these days thanks to the efforts of their people, the cornerstone of Slovenian culture is their language, Slovenians are very proud of their cultural traditions and language and you can see their cultural activity like festivals not only in the main cities but also in each corner of the entire country, each little town, is submerged into their roots. They have many notable events that even counts with international recognition like the Ljubljana Biennial of Graphic Arts (which has gained a reputation as one of the greatest European visual art events) the annual Ljubljana Summer Festival, Festival Lent in Maribor, the Life film festival, the Exodos festival of dance arts in Ljubljana, the Ana Desetnica street theatre gathering, the PEN Writers’ Meeting in Bled, the Vilenica Writers’ Meeting in Sežana, and the Biennial of Industrial Design.
As you can see it’s a very active country regards cultural events, you can find cultural news and when is going to be the next celebration in kulturnik, and don’t hesitate to join any of their activities by visiting their many centres spread along the country.
Cuisine in Slovenia
Part of the rich culture in Slovenia is their food and wines, yes, wine get a special spot in the Slovenian cuisine, for every 70 people there is a vineyard in Slovenia so you can see it’s a big deal. Along with wine, honey is also distinctive in Slovenia, they respect and adore bees, so many of the population are beekeepers and actually, this profession is born in Slovenia.
Hotpot dishes are the highlights of Slovenian culinary style, every meal tends to start with this kind of dish. Also with so many influences, Slovenian food has become a jewel, mixing cultures, so we have Light, fluffy pastries and subtly flavoured, fresh pasta dishes, Austrian strudel or dumplings as a result of this mixture.
Between the famous dishes in Slovenia we have:
- Bled Cream Cake: from the Gorenjska region, it’s a cream slice made of dough and packed with a layer of vanilla/custard and a thick layer of cream.
- Prekmurska Gibanica: This is a dough-like pastry stuffed on the inside with various fillings, but most commonly poppy seeds, cottage cheese, apple, or walnut.
- Carniolan Sausage (Krajnska Klobasa): This is a sausage made from pork, bacon, garlic, salt, pepper and is smoked.
Work in Slovenia
Work week in Slovenia consists of 40 hours, divided into 8 hours per day from Monday to Friday and they usually aren’t flexible. Slovenes are hardworking and don’t mind working long hours. Working day usually starts between 7 am and 9 am depending on the sector you work in. Their work culture is often compared to Germans or Austrians, they take their job very professionally.
The business environment is open for expats, providing them with good conditions and opportunities. As an employee, you are entitled to the same conditions of healthcare as nationals, and you have four weeks of holidays. Recently the Slovenian government introduced new benefits like study leave for work-related courses or flexible working hours for mothers. The average annual wage is €26 000 which is fair enough for living a good life.
Work in Ljubljana
Most expats decided to go to work and live in Slovenia choose the capital city as a place to stay. Ljubljana is the center of economic development for this Balkan country. In your future working place, you should meet both nationals and internationals since the environment is diverse.
Slovaks are trustworthy and straightforward and expect the same from their employees. They also highly appreciate punctuality and consider being late as a sign of disrespect. Similarly important is dress code, companies usually adapt their own dress code which in larger companies tend to be more formal than in smaller ones.
Main industries include machinery, steel, chemicals, ceramic, textiles and automobiles.
Taxes in Slovenia
Income tax rate in Slovenia is based on the progressive scale, that means a few factors such as salary have an influence on the height of your rate. The scale starts at 16% and ends at 50%, the lowest tax is paid by individuals earning €8.500 and less, the highest tax applies for earnings from €70 000 and over. Taxation rate rules are the same for residents and non-residents and the application form can be submitted both online or filled in person and sent by post. There is no fee, however, in case you wouldn’t apply within the limit of time you might be charged a fine.
You can read more about tax identification numbers and find necessary forms here.
Finding accommodation in Slovenia
While looking for a place to stay you might be pleasantly surprised because the range of choice is really big. Options vary from a bed in a shared room to a fully furnished apartment. The most convenient way to find accommodation is to hire an estate agent since it happens that landlords, especially older ones might have trouble with speaking English. Even though it seems like a perfect way, because all the job is done for you, keep in mind that for this service you will have to pay a fee, which is often one to three months of rental which can appear to be a big part of your budget.
To look for accommodation on your own, start from Internet websites e.g. this one, choose the type of accommodation you are interested in and see offers available. Compare a few apartments or rooms and choose one that suits you the best. A similar opportunity gives Facebook groups about accommodation rental in Slovenia, join them and turn on notifications about new posts.
Don’t look for a place to stay at the last moment. Since you are doing it remotely it may take even more time than if you would actually be there, so start earlier, it will let you avoid a lot of stress.
Living cost in Slovenia
Slovenia is definitely the most expensive country from former Yugoslavia, however, it’s still affordable for expats without much sacrifice. Prices of food are average like in Europe, for a loaf of bread you will pay around €1.17, for one litre of milk, it’s around €0.84. Quite similar to European standards are also prices of transportation. If you would like to take a taxi you have to pay €1.20 for the start and then €1 for every kilometre, one litre of gasoline costs on average €1.25.
See the table below for more everyday expenses of living and working in Slovenia:
|Description||Cost in Euro|
|Food**||15 – 30|
|Public transport (Monthly pass)||35|
|Mobile rate (per minute)||0.07|
|Pint of local beer||3|
|Fitness club monthly pass||40|
* Prices can vary depending on the neighbourhood, the number of people living in the apartment and facilities.
**Depends greatly on your diet and which shops you buy food and drinks from.
Expats in Slovenia
Slovenia is a beautiful country with majestic landscapes and a diverse nature from snowy mountains to cosy small towns and warm lakes to take a dip. Most of the expat community stay in Ljubljana because it’s not a big country and, in general, Slovenians are very friendly and welcoming towards expats to the point they will treat you like a king or queen, remember they are very proud of their culture so they won’t wait 1 sec to show you all their traditions and customs
Where to Learn Slovenian
As you already know Slovenians are very proud of their language, so it is needless to say that when they see foreigners trying to speak their national language they become even more open than usual. For this reason, when it comes to practice, you will have many opportunities since nationals will gladly help you with your progress by small talk while making grocery shopping or buying a beer in a pub.
There are plenty of free online courses intended for foreigners to learn Slovenian, you can visit websites like this slonline.si to start even before departure. You can also see, being already there, if there are any private teachers offering language courses. Learning from somebody who knows Slovenian will let you develop pronunciation in an excellent way. Also don’t be afraid to ask your newly made friends to speak Slovenian with you, even if they are foreigners too! Knowledge of the language will help you to get around better and faster so don’t hesitate to start.
While living and working abroad it takes some time to overcome homesickness and feel comfortable in the new place. Slovenia welcomes their expats warmly, both in a professional field and private life, so feeling there like a home might appear easier than you think. This affordable country with good work opportunities for internationals and a vivid expat community is a good place to start living and working abroad.
Now you have solid basics to move to Slovenia, of course, there is some research and preparation ahead of you however if you have any questions don’t hesitate and contact us. We will be happy to help you!