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Study in Azerbaijan: Language & Culture

Officially, Azerbaijan has only one language: Azerbaijani. However, in reality, Russian operates as a de facto second official language. Azerbaijan was a part of the Russian Empire and then the Soviet Union until it gained independence in 1991. During this long period of Azeri history, Russian was the lingua franca of the entire Empire then, later on, the Soviet Union.

Jan 28, 2024

Officially, Azerbaijan has only one language: Azerbaijani. However, Russian operates as a de facto second official language. Azerbaijan was a part of the Russian Empire and then the Soviet Union until it gained independence in 1991. During this long period of Azeri history, Russian was the lingua franca of the entire Empire then, later on, the Soviet Union. As such, most Azeris, no matter their age, speak Russian fluently, even if they don’t use it in their everyday lives. 

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The fact that Azerbaijan was a part of the Russian Empire whilst being heavily linked with Iran has influenced its culture. Colorful, vibrant, elaborate choreography, ancient throat singing and drums fashioned from natural materials are the norm in Azerbaijan. Azeris realize that their culture is unusual and so never miss an opportunity to show it off. Any time spent in Azerbaijan will mean throwing yourself into this ancient culture head-on.

As safe and as exotic as Azerbaijan is, it does still have a breakaway region: the area of Nagorno-Karabakh. A collection of provinces in the west of the country, the region broke away from Azerbaijan in 1988, leading to conflict. In 2020, Armenia and Azerbaijan fought another war over the region. The war ended in a distinct Azeri advantage. Following a ceasefire signed in December 2020, Azerbaijan and its border regions quickly re-stabilized. As such, Azerbaijan is as safe as it’s ever been. If anything, it’s now less prone to outbursts of conflict. Still, don’t voice any support, no matter how tacit, for Armenia in your everyday life!

azerbaijan coffee

Azerbaijan is a Muslim country, but it’s also one of the most secular nations in the world. Only about 4% of Azeris practice any religion at all. Religion and state are completely separated and religion has no influence over Azeri law-making. 

Despite being secular, Azerbaijan is a socially-conservative country. This is more due to its being an ex-Soviet state than to its religion - or lack of. LGBT rights are not discussed in Azeri society. This doesn’t make Azerbaijan dangerous for LGBT students, just don’t expect to see any Pride parades in Baku. 

Study in Azerbaijan

Want an overview of Azerbaijan? Do you want to know why it's called the Land of Fire? Do you want to find out more about its unusual culture. The section gives you an oversight of all you need to know.

Education in Azerbaijan

Want to learn about how the higher education system works in Azerbaijan? Azerbaijan is a good destination for a variety of students, given its good programs, reasonable fees and its culture and history. Take a minute to find out more about the structure of the education system in Azerbaijan!

Student Visas & Permits

Do you need a visa to enter Azerbaijan to study? Learn more about the student visa process, and what you need to enter the country, depending on your citizenship. 

Housing & Living Costs

No matter where you study abroad, it’s important to create a budget in advance so that you’re prepared. Therefore, we’ve detailed average living and housing costs so that you can get a better idea of what you would be paying as a student in Azerbaijan.

Tuition Fees & Scholarships

Tuition fees for degree programs in Azerbaijan can vary. Both international and domestic students are expected to pay tuition fees in Azerbaijan, but these fees can vary a lot. We've put together information on how this works, and on scholarships, in this section.

Application Process

Learn more about how to apply to Azeri schools and the documentation you need to do it in this section.

Programs

Ready to look at education in Azerbaijan? Use our search engine to find and compare top programs in Azerbaijan today!

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The Keystone Team is comprised of experienced educators and advisors dedicated to providing valuable resources and advice to students all over the world.