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Study in Bahrain

Graduate programs in BahrainStudy in Bahrain

While it might not be as fashionable as wealthy neighbours like Dubai, Abu Dhabi and Qatar, Bahrain (literally two seas in Arabic) is a worthy destination for international students looking for graduate programs in the Middle East.

Defined by its relationship with water, Bahrain consists of a series of islands off the coast of Saudi Arabia. While recent political upheavals have left their mark, Bahrain is a safe and interesting place to study a graduate program.

Population: 1,300,000

Education overview

Despite its small size, Bahrain is home to a surprising number of institutions where international students can study. There are four main public universities:

  • Arabian Gulf University
  • Bahrain Polytechnic
  • College of Health Sciences
  • University of Bahrain

Alongside these, there are numerous private institutions where you can study a graduate program in Bahrain. Some of the most popular include:

  • Ahlia University
  • Arab Open University
  • Gulf University
  • Royal University for Women

Universities in Bahrain are segregated by gender, so male and female students study in different institutions.

Graduate programs in Bahrain normally take between one to two years to complete, depending on the subject and mode of study.

Immigration and visas in Bahrain

International students looking to study a graduate program in Bahrain will need to apply for a student visa before arriving. The criteria will depend on your home country, but most students will need to demonstrate the following:

  • They have a valid passport
  • They are studying for more than three months at the institution
  • They have sufficient income to support themselves during their studies
  • A transcript of records and previous qualifications
  • Passing of an entrance exam

Life in Bahrain

Bahrain has a reputation for practising a more moderate version of Islam than its Middle Eastern neighbours, and is known for its tolerance towards other faiths. Despite this, international students from non-Islamic countries may find it a culture shock to see traditional dress or see shops close five times a day for prayer.

Food plays a big part of cultural life in Bahrain, with meal times an event in themselves. Try traditional meals such as Ghoozi (lamb stuffed with rice, eggs and spices), and chill out with a traditional coffee in a Bahraini cafe.

Working in Bahrain

Bahrain is a rich country, with the second highest value currency in the world. The country is known as the Middle East’s financial centre, with many major banks and financial organisations basing their Middle Eastern operations in capital Manama.

Bahrain has a large expatriate workforce and can offer international workers high salaries. Construction is a particularly popular industry for foreign workers, as well as the financial industry.

Students are unable to work while at university, but there are options to consider once you’ve graduated.


Almost all international students studying a graduate program in Bahrain will live in accommodation provided to them by the university.

University accommodation is a great way of settling into student life easily. You’ll meet fellow students, have your bills included and often be situated on campus. This is a great first option for most international students.

Students in Bahrain normally live in shared two or three bedroom flats near their chosen university.

Climate in Bahrain

Like most Middle Eastern countries, Bahrain’s climate is very hot and dry. Expect summer temperatures to exceed 40C, while winter rarely gets colder than 15C. Rain is rare, with Bahrain only getting around 10 days worth of rain each year.

Dust storms are frequent in June and July, driven in by winds from Saudi Arabia and Iraq.


The main method of transport in Bahrain is the car, with public transport rare and little used apart from taxis. Bahrain has one of the lowest gas prices in the world and an extensive network of highways.

Bahrain’s main airport is Bahrain International.


The currency of Bahrain is the dinar.

What to do next

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