Do you know Cyprus has more than 30 private colleges that are open to international students?
It’s an amazing thing, don’t you think?
Cyprus, being a small country in size, has so many colleges that are welcoming thousands of international students every year.
Colleges in this country must be pretty good then, right? If they were not, why would so many people choose to come here?
Oh boy, I also had the same questions running up in my mind while I was applying for the Cyprus student visa. It’s only after coming to Cyprus; I got to know the actual reality behind it.
You would be surprised to know that half of those colleges aren’t even registered to function as a college or a government certified academic organization.
They call themselves “Colleges,” but they are just “Institutes.”
Have you ever been to an institution in your country to learn some basic computer skills, or to prepare for the IELTS exam, or to learn some basic hotel management skills, or to learn something else?
You would get a degree from there, but it won’t have much in value, right?
Yeah, most of the colleges in Cyprus are like those institutes.
You feel like you are in a classroom in a reputed college, but you are just being frauded by a money-making-institute at the end of the day.
Today in this article, we will discuss various things about private colleges in Cyprus that you must know before you think of applying for them.
Related article: Cyprus Student Visa Detailed Guide, Everything You Need To Know.
Colleges are best friends with Agents and Consultancies
Without agents, colleges will die.
They will literally have to close down the business if agents stop bringing the students to them.
If there is no college, how would agents suck the money out of innocent students, trapping them in the name of a better future in Cyprus?
When an agent says the particular college is the best, chances are it’s the worst.
The worst college gives the best commission to the agents. Hence, to earn more money, agents would get you registered in an unregistered institution.
If you go directly to the college for admission, they would tell you to go to an agent. In case you don’t have an agent, they would appoint one for you from your country.
It’s a vicious circle.
Rule number 1:
- Never trust the agents blindly.
Rule number 2:
- Most of the colleges don’t give a damn about you or your future. They are just here to make quick money.
Here are some of the lies agents tell you that is totally fake.
- You can easily earn 1000 Euros per month.
- We will help you find a job.
- You can work full time in Cyprus as a student.
- You can easily travel to other European countries from Cyprus.
To know more about these lies in detail, please read the following article.
Your actual college fee isn’t 5000 Euros
Let me explain.
Your college fee is only around 2500 Euro a year.
Yeah, yeah, I know.
Your agent and your college have told you that your college fee is around 4600 to 5000 Euros.
But in reality, that not your actual college fee. When you apply, you have to pay around 3000 Euro to the college, and the remaining 2000 Euro goes to the agent’s pocket.
To understand this in detail, I suggest you read the following article.
90% of these so-called colleges don’t have a hostel facility
The agent you are applying through would never say that the particular college you are applying to doesn’t have a hostel facility.
I have seen students sitting desperately in front of the colleges with their bags and luggage because they were told that there would be an on-campus accommodation facility when they arrive, but in reality, there isn’t any.
Oh, poor kids. It’s so sad to see that.
I have helped at least 10 students to find a place to stay because they were just sleeping on the park benches.
Can you imagine the situation?
Agents make money from you saying that there will be a hostel facility in the college. When you arrive in Cyprus, they will just take you to a flat with 20 people and tell you to adjust there.
You go to college to complain, but the college says, “We don’t know anything about this; talk to your agent.”
When you try to talk to your agent, they don’t pick up your call.
Chances are, they have already blocked your number.
You should always check the authenticity of the information which is presented to you. If you just follow whatever your agent says, you will definitely fall in their trap.
Colleges don’t care whether you attend the lecture or not
I have been to 5 colleges. Sat on the classes and attended their lectures.
Not once, but I have frequented them quite often. You know I am a very curious person. I just wanted to see how other colleges teach or how they function.
You will be surprised to know that they don’t take attendance. If they did, they would have thrown me out. But they didn’t, cause they don’t care.
The teacher comes, teaches, and goes. Yup, just like that.
In some of the colleges, most of the classes are empty.
One of the colleges had 5 students in the class, where there should be 60 students.
Where did the other students go? Nobody knows because nobody cared.
You barely get to see any Cypriot students in the classes
Few of the well-renowned colleges in Cyprus have students from all over the world, including Cypriots.
They don’t advertise much because their academic excellence shows who they are.
Butterfly goes where the flower is, right?
Now there are the third class colleges. You will get to see their advertisement banners all over the country.
But the fun fact is that the number of Cypriots studying in their college is a big ZERO.
If the college is so good, why wouldn’t the Cypriots come to read there?
They don’t come because they know the reality. Simple.
Colleges need to run. The business needs to grow.
The only option now is to bring students from other countries that are vulnerable because they don’t know much about Cyprus and the reality of the colleges.
Hence most of the students from Asia and Africa fall into their trap.
Teaching Methodologies are nothing but jokes
When I was in my country, I was so happy because I was going to Europe to study.
I was eager to experience the European ways of learning and teachings. But I was unknown about reality.
Some of the colleges in Cyprus and their teaching practices are nothing but a hard slap in the face of the European Education System.
I have many incidents to share. I will write to them as I have experienced. These incidents are from multiple classes in multiple colleges.
Incident number 1:
The teacher came 15 minutes late for the class. As soon as she entered, she opened the computer and the projector in front of her.
She opened a PDF file and told the students to copy from it. Students started copying, and she started chatting on Facebook.
15 minutes passed.
“Goodbye, class,” and she left.
What did the students copy? What was it? She didn’t say anything.
She could have just emailed the PDF file to the students. There was no need to waste time just for the sake of copying it. There were barely 10 students in the class.
I wonder if she even knew how to forward a mail.
Students were confused.
The teacher was an idiot.
Incident number 2:
The teacher was in the class teaching European History to the students. He was maybe 40/45 years old.
He couldn’t speak good English. Most of the time, he was speaking in Greek.
All the students in the class were totally confused.
He was teaching from a book. He couldn’t even pronounce the basic English words properly.
Now, I am not judging him on the basis of his English level. I am just angry at the college administration that put him there to teach international students.
If there is a problem in communication, how would the students learn?
The majority of the Cypriot teachers in these colleges don’t have a clear English accent.
But the colleges don’t care. They get their money; that’s enough for them.
Incident number 3:
An inspection was going on from the government. They were checking multiple colleges on how things were going in there.
One of the colleges called the students and told them to be in college on the particular day of inspection, or else they will fail the exams.
Students got afraid. Most of them attended the class. Usually, there used to be 3 to 5 students in the class, but that day, 45 of them were there.
The total number of students that day in college was around 200.
The inspection team arrived. The classes were full.
They became happy, the college became happy, and the students became happy.
The next day, the same story.
3 to 5 students in the class.
But nobody cared.
Some other incidents:
- One of the colleges only calls the students to get registered and pay the tuition fees. Once they are registered, they can come next year to register again.
- They tell you to buy a book. Usually, books are expensive. So they tell the students to print the book from their library.
Now, it’s not free. Even though you have already paid the money for the use of the library, you have to pay again to print out the books. This way, the college makes the extra money from the students.
- Teachers don’t attend classes. They just come and act like they are teaching. They are there just to earn money.
I have experienced 100s of incidents like these. I hope you got the idea.
Examinations are there just for the sake of formality
Before the examination day, the colleges usually put some revision classes.
What happens in these classes? I will tell you what happens.
The teacher brings the examination paper and tells the students to copy all the questions.
Some of the teachers give you 20 questions, out of which 15 will be there in the exam.
But most of them just give you the whole question paper.
You just go home, recite the answers and write them on your answer sheet on the examination day.
From top to bottom, it will be the same.
Voila, 100 out of 100.
Aren’t you a genius? At least your friends and family will think that, won’t they?
Funny thing is, some of the students fail the exams even though the whole question paper was out.
Some of the teachers are very nice actors, you know.
They give you the questions and tell you not to tell anybody.
I am damn sure the college administration told them to leak the paper.
But they act like they are doing this heavenly deed all on their own.
Why do they do this?
If the student’s marks are good, more students will get attracted.
More students mean more money.
This business strategy is always a boom.
Most of the courses they teach aren’t accredited
Before we move on with the article, let me tell you what Accreditation is.
Accreditation means that the programs of study that are being taught in a college or an institution are fully structured within the Bologna Accord framework throughout Europe and the world, and they are fully recognized and appreciated mainly in both the public and private sectors, in Europe and abroad.
In simple terms, you might get to study Bachelor in Hotel Management, finish your degree and have a certificate from one of these colleges.
Still, the certificate you get from that College mightn’t be accepted by other colleges or institutions within Cyprus or other countries in the world because the course wasn’t accredited.
When you apply for a course in a college, they register you in that course.
After you finish your first semester or 1st year, they will only let you know that the course is accredited or not.
Suppose you studied computer science for a full year, and one day the college tells you that the computer science course isn’t accredited and you have to change the course, how would you feel?
Don’t you feel betrayed?
You obviously would do.
You won’t have any alternate options other than changing your course and starting again with a different subject.
A lot of students have gone back to their homes because the college played fouled to them.
If the college tells the student that the course isn’t accredited while they are applying for the visa, the student mightn’t apply to them.
Hence, to butcher the money out of you, they lie.
Until you research yourself about the course and ask them beforehand, they mightn’t tell you the truth.
If you don’t pay the college fee, they won’t renew your visa
Your temporary residence permit in Cyprus is for 1 year.
Before your visa finishes, you have to renew it again.
The college prepares the documents for you and helps you with the interview in the migration department.
But, if you don’t pay the college fee, they won’t help you with the visa renewal.
Some of the good colleges in Cyprus don’t care about the tuition fees. They help you renew your visa even though you haven’t paid the fees.
But the other third colleges are so hungry for the money; they are just merciless.
When students don’t have enough time on their visas, they seek asylum.
Not getting help from college is one of the major reasons for students to seek refuge.
Read here in detail about why so many International students in Cyprus end up seeking asylum?
If you have followed the article till now, then you know how most of the colleges and agents work together to make money from you and how the college education and examinations are just formalities in Cyprus.
Some of you might be happy after reading the article because now you know that you can easily pass the exam and it’s ok even if you don’t attend the classes.
But, think it through. Is that what you really want?
Would your parents be happy to see their child scoring “A” grade in the examinations but failing in life?
If your intention to come to Cyprus is just to earn money, then I guess things will be ok for you. But don’t think you will make millions in here.
With these culprit colleges, you will barely get to survive, let alone saving some money.
Read here in detail how much can an international student earn in Cyprus to understand better.
If your sole purpose for coming to Cyprus is to study, then I suggest you stay far from these kinds of colleges and agents.
Do proper research and then only apply.
If your parents can support you, then I suggest you apply for Universities rather than a college. Universities in Cyprus are much better.
Please read here about the top 5 Universities in Cyprus for International Students so that it will be helpful for you to choose.
If the university is expensive for you, then apply to a college.
Even though most colleges in Cyprus are a piece of crap, some are really good.
They are good doesn’t mean they are perfect. It just means they will screw your life lesser than the other colleges.
Before applying to any college, try to gather as much information as you can about it.
- Ask people who are already in Cyprus.
- Listen to what they have to say.
- Make sure the course you are going to take is accredited.
- Make sure the college degree won’t just be a piece of paper without any value.
If you have thought of coming to Cyprus, make sure you won’t regret anything after arriving here.
I wish you all the very best.
I suggest you read the following articles to know better about Cyprus: