The present Albania has two distinct groups the Ghegs who live in north of the Shkumbin River and speak Albanian dialect and the other Tosks who live south of the river and the Tosks. Albania is a land of villages and towns which have small populations. Albania was occupied by Illyrians during ancient times. Later it was invaded by Romans and their civilization spread. The Roman Empire divided in 395 A. D. Albania was occupied by Goths, Bulgarians, Slavs and Normans. For more than 400 years the region was occupied by the Ottomans. Albania gained their independence in 1913 during the First Balkan War. Albania became a self governing country and the boundaries were marked. Ahmed Beg Zogu became the first president when he seized the power in 1925. He declared himself a dictator and ruled the country. During World War II the Germans occupied Albania, but were forced out the following year. Agriculture
Being a mountainous country, it remains an agricultural nation, the Adriatic coastal plain and the country’s valleys are the most important farming areas. The main crops of Albania include the corn, grapes, olives, sugar beets, wheat and the potatoes. The farm animals are also raises which include goats, sheep, pigs, chickens. By implementing the latest equipment in the country the agricultural production was increased which includes the chemical fertilizers. The government also introduced the establishment of ownerships of private lands. To prevent the erosion of the coast pine forests have been planted. The coasts are unspoiled and the sea and the beaches are beautiful sights for visitors. Geography and climate
Most of the Albania is mountainous region located in Balkans which has been a part of Ancient Greece. The region of Albania includes coastal Albania which is a narrow strip between the Albanian coast bordering the Adriatic sea and Ionian sea. The northeastern Albania forms the inland region to the north of Shkumbin river and the southeastern Albanian which is the inland region to the south of the Shkumbin river. The country receives annual rainfall from 40 to 60 inches. The major rivers of Albania are the Bune, Drin, Shkumbin, and Vjose all of which empties into Adriatic Sea.
The country has mild winters and warm summers. In lowlands the climate is Mediterranean. The highlands have continental climate with differences in seasons. The Albania has rich culture and it opens doors for learning and exploring the country. The country sides are beautiful which are remote and lush. The places in Albania provide ideal opportunities for an individual to explore the landscape of the amazing coastal lines. Industry
The government owns majority of larger businesses and only small businesses are owned by private people in the country. There are few industrial plants and the larger mines and factories are owned by the government. The country’s main manufactured products includes the cement, fertilizers, food products and the cement. Most of the factories are situated in the capital city of Albania. The country has large deposits of mineral rich in mining. The country produces chromites and lignite from the southern Albania and exports them. Apart from these minerals are nickel and the copper. The other sources of economy come from the forests resources. Culture
The culture of Albania is shaped by the geography and history of Albania. The symbol of double headed eagle has appeared in stone carving which dates back to tenth century. The symbol represents bravely, freedom, valor and heroism. The country is home to Muslims, Jews and Christians. The Albanian people are tolerant towards religions of varied communities. They are known for their peaceful co-existence with other religious groups. There are many historical monuments in the country such as Butrient, the cities of Berat and Gjirokaster, the tombs of Illyrian, Roman amphitheatre and the fortress of Nashtove. The other famous architectural constructions are found in Byllis, Amantia, Apollonia, Phoenicia and in other places. There are three UNESCO world heritage sites in Albania. The codices of Berat are one of the world heritage site that is record in 2005 in world register.
Albania’s code of honor is Besa which means to ‘keep the promise’ Besa is one of the important concept which deals with moral and ethical values in Kanun. The Kanun form thes Albanian traditional and customs and cultural practices that is complied by Leke Dukagjini. Besa refers to taking care of the needy and being hospitable to every person. Albanians are known for their compassionate and helpful gestures. The people of Albania protected around 2000 Jewish people during holocaust, the genocide which occurred during the Nazi regime, in Germany World War II. The Jews were provided with basic necessities and treated as family members.
The food forms the important culture in Albanian’s culture, The most commonly used vegetables oil is olive oil. The cuisine includes vegetables such as peppers, tomatoes, egg plant, potatoes, cucumbers, cabbages and spinach. Sea foods are popular cuisines in Albania. Holidays
Albanians celebrate various ceremonies and festivals to remember the historic days. The Independence Day and the Flag Day are celebrated on 28, November. Major cities hold festivals and parades of military to mark the important days in Albanian history. Christmas is celebrated b y Christians and Bajram is celebrated by Muslims. Architecture
Albania has rich culture that’s embedded in its history. The architecture reflects the social, religion and cultural aspects that has contributed towards Albanian landscape. The Albania’s principalities are found on the city walls, and some of the historic structures were damaged during invasion of Albania by Ottoman forces. With the advent of Christianity, many churches were constructed in the towns and cities. The Byzantine churches are best known archeological examples. The mosques constructed by Ottoman reflect the legacies of Byzantines and ottomans. clothing
The clothing of Albania developed through long processes and it records 200 varied forms of clothing’s in the country. The costumes are decorated with symbolic elements of snakes, eagles, suns, moons and stars. The costumes are won on special occasions and celebrations such as weddings and religion holidays. The clothing is usually produced from the livestock materials such as wool, leather, hemp fiber, silk and linen. Music and dance
Folk music forms the important identity in Albanian music. The folk music of Albania has influenced the other countries such as Greece, Bulgaria and Turkey. The traditional music of northern Ghegs and southern labs and tosks differs in their stylistic differences. The songs of Albania are revolved around the ancient history with themes of honor, hospitality revenge and treachery. Albania is also influenced by western culture with rock, hiphop and pop music. During the nineteenth and twentieth centuries the classical music was popular. The dances of Albanian have varying styles with different choreography. Albania Cities
The major cities of Albania are Tirane, Durres, Vlore, Elbasan.
Tirane: It is the largest and capital city of Albania. It’s the cultural, economic and all governmental activities hub ofthe country. Tirane is the most populated city and it is surrounded by hills. It lies on the western side of Albania. Two rivers Tirane and lane flows through the city. Lying on the east is Mountain Dajitri with a small valley that overlooks the Adriatic Sea. Tirane has many universities and commercial companies.
Durres is one of the oldest city in Albania and lies opposite the ports of Bari and Brindisi. The city is one of the largest cargo port and stands at 10th place along the Adriatic sea, The fort forms the link to western Europe. Many industries are located in this city which produces plastic, tobacco products and leather goods. Durres is one of the popular tourist destinations.
Vlore: is second largest port in Albania and a commercial center. The city was founded by Greeks in sixth century BC.
Elbasan: This city is located along the Shkumbin river and it played a key role in spreading Christianity. The city is famous for its two ancient walls. The city is also known for its stills standing, cobblestone streets, old houses and the clock tower. Education
When the communism ended in 1991, the education system was recognized and the compulsory education program was extended from eight to 10 years. There was widespread chaos in the economic and political structures in Albania. These led to shortage of supplies of books and educational materials leading to disturbances in the functional operations in the schools. Later in 1990 the schools were reconstructed and the education learning conditions were improved. The educational programmes in Albania comes under Ministry of education. The education system includes three stages of primary education, secondary education and the tertiary education. The academic system begins in September or October and ends in June or July. The general education continues after the primary school. The official language in Albania is Albania which is the primary language in all the public schools. Some of the universities in Albania are the following;
University of Triana: The university of Triana is located in Triana, and is a public school. It is one of the largest universities in Albania. It was established in 1957 with the merging of five institutes of higher education. The university includes eight colleges, 50 academic departments and 41 study programs. The college offers bachelor and master degree programs.
Polytechnic University of triana: This university was founded I 1951 and it marks the beginning of higher education in Albania. The university includes six faculties and one research institutes and development.
Fan Noli University: The University was established I 1971 in two campuses Korce and pogradec. The university offers full time and part time programs in various fields such as agriculture, business, teaching, economics, nursing, tourism, architecture and education.
University of Medicine of Tirana (UMT) Albania: This University is one of the largest public teaching center of university. The university offers postgraduate education in medical sciences in the Albania. The university if one of the most popular university providing professional expertise in scientific research and prepares medical professionals in all areas of medicine. The University of Medicine, Tirana was founded in 2013 with the council of ministers. The university consists of three faculties and 21 academic departments. The university offers bachelor, masters and professional degree programs and also specialty studies for medical practice. The university also includes dental medicine which is of 2-4 years.
Quick Facts The official name of Albania is Republika Shqiperise ( republic of Albania) The capital of Albania is Tirane Mt Dajt is the popular tourist spot in Tirana Berat is the oldest town in Albania and is known as the city of 1001 windows. Albanian’s terrain is occupied by mountains and hills, along the coast are the small plains Albania has the democratic form of government The head of the state is the President and the head of the government is the Prime Minister Supreme Court is the highest court in Albania The Official language of Albania is Albanian, and the other language spoken in Greek The currency of Albania is Lek The national symbol of Albania is the golden eagle. The country’s dialing code is 355. Mother Teresa the Nobel laureate belonged to Albania. Muslims form the majority population in Albania as it was ruled by ottomans. The Republic of Albania was established on 29th April 1991. Albania proclaimed as the first Atheist state in the world in 1967. Albania has reduced unemployment rate and stands at fourth place. Mountain Korab is the highest point in Albania. The oldest and ancient lake Ohrid is found in Albania. The lake is protected as a heritage by UNESCO. There are 13 small islands in Albania. Albania has the fastest and cheapest internet facility in Europe. Albania is the largest hydroelectricity producer in the world. Pumpkins play an important role in Albanians life. Pumpkins have a special place in Albania, they are used in cuisines, as gifts and for displays. The country has trading relations with Italy, Greece, Germany and Turkey
Admission Process in Albania
To enroll in Albanian’s university you should apply for admission as a freshman/ as transfer students. Online application can be used to apply for the university admission. You need to complete the common application form. Application form to be duly filled and signed. Once admitted in university you need to apply for housing and sing the housing contract online. You need to have least a B average or a 3.00 grade point average (GPA) on a 4.00 scale. Academic performance is important, Good English proficiency is required. Students need to have an average high school academic performance with 60% out of 100%. Check every year's application deadlines for Summer and Winter applications.Immunization records to be submitted by September. You need to attend international student orientation program in Mid September. The class registration begins in mid September and classes begin on 24th September.
Student Visa Application Process
Before travelling to Albania, you need to have a visa. Visa requirements differ from one country to another. You need to obtain the visa from Albanian diplomatic missions. Those who wish to stay for more than 90 days in Albania need to have a residence permit and should apply for a long-term visa, type DThe original passport should be valid for 6 months and duly signed. Those who wish to study in Albania need to have a visa that is valid for six months. Applicants need to complete the visa application form completely. Provide two pass port photographs Pay fees for the visa application Provide proof for the hotel bookings, airline reservation Have a reference letter from the college studies Proof for financial system for their stay, travel, booking, airline reservation They need to have health insurance schemes to meet the medical expenditures Produce current bank statement and one copy A reference letter from your institution
The standard of living in Albania is very low, as the country is mountainous. People here are mostly farmers working in the farms and others work in factories. The government c controls the wages of the workers, and they need to put 8 hours of work daily and work of six days in a week. All the items of food and other consumer products are regulated by the government and there is no income tax. The government offers free services of healthcare, education other social services. The government strictly forbids the people of Albania to own automobile, and few people in the country enjoy the privileges of having television set. The diet of Albanians includes milk, bread, cheese and vegetables. The main mode of transportation is bus, bicycles and trains. The laws enforced in Albania in 1990, permits the people to practice the religion and use the place of worship. There are only nine cities in Albania and the living standards of people are low when compared to other European countries. Albanians incomes are very small. Most of the people are Muslims. Others are Greeks and tosks belonging to orthodox churches. Albania is a country to live peacefully. Its an affordable country, safe and to live a retirement life on the sunny shores.
Cost of Living for Students
One can find many restaurants for food in the country. The cuisine is influenced by Turkish from over 400 years of Ottoman rule. Fruits and vegetables are grown around the houses by many people. All kinds of grapes are grown in the region. Salads are made from fresh tomato and onion. People going out for meals are common and most of them make their own bread. An Albanians dinner includes hearty stew with potatoes, onion and rice. The main meat is lamb, savory pie, Byrek is common. The simple dish of baked lamb and rice is called Tave kosi. Many pastry shops provide desserts and snacks. The popular and traditional drink in Albania is Boza which is made from maize and wheat.
One can expect clean hotels in cities. There are plenty of hotels starting as low as 15 Euros/ night. Albania is a safe place to visit. In some cities there are no traffic lights and one need to be careful while crossing the roads. Pick pocketing and violence can occur in slums and better to avoid those places. Avoid carrying expensive items with you. Its better to drink bottled water. Using of mosquito repellent is needed in summer, carry medicines with you as the stores are closed from 12 noon to 4pm. Towns and villages do not have well equipped clinics. People are hospitable, respect local people. Albanians keep guns at home and nothing to be worried about it. One can expect power cuts without any warnings. Prepaid sim card and Vodafone can be purchased. All major cities have ATM facility, the most accepted credit/debit cards are the international visa and master cards. The Euros are accepted every where in the country.
Albanian being the official language, English is understood by most people. The outdoor recreation of people is road cycling. Different modes of transportation can be used to reach different places in the country, by bus, boat, yatch, car, taxi and train. You can find number of shops to buy different goods. Tirana international Airport began operations in 2016. Albania is popular for antique objects, curved woody objects, ceramics, motifs and copper objects. The country offers low cost of living worth Mediterranean climate. One kg of tomatoes is 94Lek, one kg of apples is 112Lek, and one kg of potatoes is 69Lek. The prices in Albania are cheap compared to other countries in Europe. The country is a perfect place to choose and explore. There is limited choice of food varieties. Life in Albania is relaxed and moves at slow space. Albanian language is difficult to understand and learn. The utilities such as water heating, electricity and garbage disposal ranges around 40 Euros to 70 Euros.
During celebrations, Albanians buy traditional dessert’ ballokume’ and take part in various activities. They participate in festivities; go out for lunch with their families and relatives. Teenagers take shower daily when they actively participate in physical exercises. They wear neat ironed clothes. Students studying in Albania can get involved in plenty of extracurricular activities. They can start their own programs; attend public functions/ lectures by eminent personalities. Albania offers master studies in MSc, MA, MBA ,part time programs in BBA, bachelor studies in BSc’s and BBA’s. The universities offer law studies and academic courses in Albania. Many universities provide residence halls, students can opt for apartments.
Documents for University Admissions in Albania Application form Application fee has to be paid which is non refundable Certificates of all secondary and high school certificates of universities included Certificates to be attested/ have official stamp/seal of the school/ college studied, and the Ministry of Education certified copy of passport or other document for identification exam results of TOEFL/IELTS testtwo letters of recommendations from teachers or others giving a report of your academic performance in English CV in English four passport size photos