Monaco, officially the Principality of Monaco, is a sovereign city-state, located on the French Riviera in Western Europe. It is bordered by France on three sides and one side borders the Mediterranean Sea. The principality's mild climate, splendid scenery, and gambling facilities have made Monaco world-famous as a tourist and recreation centre for the rich and famous. However, in more recent years Monaco has become a major banking center and has successfully sought to diversify its economy into the services and small, high-value-added, non-polluting industries.
Situated on 299 acres along Western Europe's French Riviera, Monaco is a sovereign city-state, officially known as the Principality of Monaco. Albert II, Prince of Monaco, governs the city-state as a constitutional monarch. Monaco's bordering country on three sides is France, while the Mediterranean Sea forms its southern border with a coastline of only 4.1km (2.5 mi). Even though Monaco is the most densely populated country in the world, it is also the second smallest. Sandwiched between the country of France and the Mediterranean Sea in southwestern Europe, the tiny city-state of Monaco is at once the most densely populated, yet the second smallest country in the world. Over 30,000 people live within just under 300 acres of land.
The ruling family of Monaco derived from the house of Grimaldi. The country is now a city-state, governed as a constitutional monarchy by Albert II, the Prince of Monaco.
Monaco has a reputation for its active work in marine sciences and its sea-farming industry that producs an annual harvest of 800 tons of fish. Famous for its late director Jacques Cousteau, the Oceanographic Museum continues to gain attention and respect for its marine life exhibits.
Monaco is also known for its tourist industry, which attracts nearly 300,000 visitors annually. Two of the country's largest tourist attractions are its Formula 1 Grand Prix, a race that actually takes place through the streets of Monaco bordering the Mediterranean, and the luxurious Monte Carlo Casino.
Essential Facts about Monaco:
- The capital of Monaco has the same name as the country, Monaco or Monaco-Ville.
- The official language of Monaco is French, but three other language are common and widely spoken: Monégasque, Italian, and English.
- Monaco operates as a city-state and constitutional monarchy, governed by the Prince of Monaco, Albert II.
- Only about 19 percent (6,000) of Monaco's estimated 30,500 citizens are actually locals to Monaco. The remaining majority are French and Italians, with 125 other nationalities blended in.
- Monaco is world-renowned for its Formula 1 Grand Prix as well as its Monte Carlo casino complex; however, Monaco citizens are not allowed to gamble or even visit the famous casino!
- Monaco offers a tax-free lifestyle.
- Monaco has no airports; people arrive in the tiny country by vehicles, trains, or yachts. Helicopter service is available to and from the airport in Nice, France.
Sea breezes keep Monaco's summers temperate and comfortable, with an average high of 26°c (79°f) during the months of July and August. Meanwhile, Monaco also enjoys mild winters, rarely seeing temperatures below freezing, and January averaging around 8°c (46°f).
As a member country of the European Monetary Union (EMU), Monaco recognized the euro as its official currency in January 1, 2002, when it replaced the French franc.
Religion in Monaco
The predominant religion in Monaco is Roman Catholicism, observed by about 90 percent of the population, with the remaining 10 percent registering as assorted "other" religions.
Study in Monaco
Higher Education in Monaco
Monaco enjoys a very high adult literacy rate, estimated as high as 99 percent. The country places great value in education and devotes over 5 percent of its budget to fund education, as well as offer educational grants. Monaco's Councilor for the Interior oversees its National Education.
Originally known as the University of Southern Europe, in 2002, it was renamed as the International University of Monaco. The university currently offers degrees in business and business administration.
Other schools offering undergraduate and graduate programs in Business Administration include Charles III College and the privately run University of Southern Europe-Monaco (USE-M).
The Technical Lycée of Monte Carlo primarlly focuses on hotel management and hospitality, as well as business and specialized education.
The Lycée Albert I offers secretarial studies and accounting.
Four additional speciailzed institutions include the Municipal School of Plastic Arts, the Nursing School at the Princess Grace Hospital Complex, the Princess Grace Academy of Classical Dance, and the Rainier III Academy of Music.
The tuition fees in Monaco tend to be higher than many other European countries. Fees vary depending on the school a student attends, the program the students enrolls in, and whether or not the student is a citizen or an international student studying abroad. However, tuition per academic year begins around 8,000 EUR (USD$10,448).
Eligibility for Study Visas
The University of Southern Europe-Monaco (USE-M) offers special programs for international students who wish to study in Monaco, as well as for Monegasque region students to study in locations overseas, including in the United States.
Why Study in Monaco?
In spite of its more expensive tuition, Monaco allows students to enjoy an exceptionally high quality education in an intriguing country renowned for its natural beauty, as well as it national and cultural attractions. Students will also appreciate the opportunity to participate in learning more about the area's tourist industry and marine life studies, and perhaps eventually enter a career in one of those fields.