The Republic of Belarus in Eastern Europe borders Russia, Ukraine, Poland, Lithuania and Latvia. This heavily forested nation thrives on service industries and manufacturing, with much of the economy being state-controlled. Seventy percent of the population lives in urban areas. After being redeveloped in the aftermath of World War II, it became one of the founding members of the United Nations. An elected president as well as a bicameral National Assembly govern this presidential republic. A former member of the Soviet Union, Belarus continues to have close ties to Russia, as well as to Syria and China.
Following secondary school, students may choose to continue their education at either a vocational institution or a public or private university. While vocational institutions specialize in training skilled workers for technical professions, accredited universities offer undergraduate and graduate degrees in business, science, medicine and other disciplines. Students may study business in Belarus in one of its 48 universities, the majority of which are in the capital city of Minsk or in in the southeastern city of Brest, along the Polish border.
The academic year is divided into two semesters. The first begins in September and runs through the third week in January. Following one week of winter break, the second semester begins in February and ends on the first of July. The summer break is two months long, with additional days off throughout the year for holidays and exam preparation.
The cost of higher education in Belarus is quite modest, as are the living expenses. The government pays for public education for its citizens from primary school through post-graduate programs, although international students must pay their own way. However, various grants and scholarships are available to both Belarusian and international students. Textbooks are included in the tuition, and the cost of living is very inexpensive.
Most undergraduate courses require four years to complete and students may study full time, in the evenings or via a correspondence course. A Master or Specialist Diploma requires an additional one to two years of study, while a PhD can require three or more years to complete.
Many international students choose to study business in Belarus due to the affordability and high quality of its higher education institutions. While many courses are conducted in English, most universities offer Russian and Belarusian language programs for foreign students who may require them to complete their coursework and to make their stay in Belarus more enjoyable. An increasing number of programs have international accreditation, and many Belarusian universities maintain partnerships with educational and research institutions around the globe.