Poland’s extensive history provides international students with a vibrant and culture-rich environment. Despite its painful history, the country has emerged as a popular destination, providing an array of architecture, cuisine and beautiful scenery.
Located in Central Europe, Poland is the perfect place for international students wanting to experience European culture whilst gaining a high quality education.
Following the Bologna Process, Poland has three levels of study and offers programmes in a wide range of subject areas. Poland’s higher education system is divided between publicly funded and private institutions. Both of these types of institution have their own levels of accreditation and subject specialisations. You will find 15 of Poland’s universities in the top 1,000 of the QS World University Rankings, with the highest ranked being the University of Warsaw.
The first higher education institution in Poland, now called Jagiellonian University, was founded 1364. It is one of the world’s oldest existing universities, and is ranked in the top 500 of the QS rankings. Poland’s higher education institutions are most noted for their offerings in fine arts, music and drama. You will also find a wide variety of technical schools in a variety of disciplines.
Sharing a border with Germany, Slovenia, the Czech Republic, Ukraine and Belarus, Poland is a fantastic country. It boasts vast landscapes and geographical features such as the Carpathian Mountains and the Sudetes. With a population of almost 39 million people, Poland is one of the most populous countries in Europe.
While it continues to progress, the country’s past continues to be one of its defining features. Many tourists travel to Poland to visit the historical Holocaust sites and concentration camps, where over 70% of all persecuted Jewish people were imprisoned during World War II. The country is now progressive and prides itself in being a religiously and culturally diverse, promoting creativity and intellectual thought.
Poland uses the Polish złoty (PLN) as its currency.
Higher education in Poland is free for Polish citizens. If you would also like to study for free, you must sit the same entrance exams as Polish students, and study a course taught in Polish. If you cannot fulfil this criteria, you will be expected to pay tuition fees. At a public institution, you can expect to pay between PLN 8,539 and PLN 16,000 per year. At a private institution, tuition fees will be higher, up to PLN 25,300. There are not a great deal of scholarships available to international students, so you should not rely on funding help. However, it might be worth checking with your institution of choice, as they may offer funding.
Living costs will depend on where you choose to live and the lifestyle you choose to lead. It is recommended that you allow at least PLN 2,500 per month for living costs. If you choose to live in university accommodation this will be cheaper than living in a privately rented apartment. To help with your living costs, you may be able to get a part time job. If you are from an EU/EEA country, you will be able to work with no extra permissions. If you are from any other country, your employer may need to apply for a work permit if you wish to work. You should not rely on a job to finance your studies as an international student.
Another living cost that international students need to consider is health insurance. If you are an EHIC holder, you will not need to purchase health insurance. If you present your EHIC, you should be able to get healthcare for free, the same as Polish citizens. If you are from an EU country and do not hold an EHIC, this is something you should apply for before you go to Poland. Countries such as the UK, Sweden and Slovakia also have an agreement with the Polish government that their citizens will be able to get access to free healthcare in the country – your country’s embassy will be able to provide information regarding this.
If you are from any other country, you will need to purchase health insurance that is valid for your stay in Poland. This can be done either before you leave your home country, or as soon as you arrive in Poland. If you do not purchase health insurance, you will have to pay for any medical treatment you receive, which will be very expensive.
If you are from an EU/EEA country, you will not need to apply for a student visa in order to study in Poland. You will need to apply for a temporary residence permit to cover the duration of your stay. This can be obtained at your local Voivodeship Office.
If you are from any other country, you will need to apply for a visa to travel to Poland. This visa is only valid for three months however, so you will then need to obtain a temporary residence permit to cover the duration of your studies. In order to apply for a visa, you will need to go to the Polish embassy or consulate in your home country.
If you require any further assistance or guidance with this process, contact your chosen institution for more information.
The official language of Poland is Polish. The country also has one regional recognised language of Kashubian, as well as many other minority languages being spoken.
It is extremely common for universities to offer courses at all levels in English. If your native language is not English, you may have to prove your proficiency to be accepted onto your course. If you do not meet the required standards, your university will probably offer English language courses to help you improve. You will be able to access more information about the specific requirements if you contact your university.
It is always recommended that even if you are studying in English, you make an effort to learn as much of the Polish language as possible. Communicating with the locals and other international students is a great way to practice. This is a skill that will look fantastic on your CV/resume, and could be extremely helpful if you wish to gain employment during or after your studies!
The capital city of Poland, Warsaw is home to almost 1.8 million people. It is one of the wealthiest capital cities in Central and Eastern Europe, as well as being an alpha global city and a major tourist destination. The historical old town is a listed UNESCO World Heritage site, and was once considered one of the most beautiful cities in the world before the bombings of World War II.
Located in Warsaw are many reputable institutions of higher education. You will find Warsaw University of Technology, one of the largest technology schools in Europe. The Warsaw School of Economics, the oldest university of economics in the country.
Find out more about Universities in Warsaw.
The history of Wrocław dates back over a thousand years, and is a mixing pot of many religions and cultures. The city has played host to many events over the years, and was a European City of Culture in 2016. In 2018, Wrocław was awarded the title of European Best Destination, illustrating that it really would be the perfect place for any international student to live and study in.
Find out more about Universities in Wrocław.
Institute of European Studies, Jagiellonian University PolandFind out more
Warsaw University of Life Sciences PolandFind out more
Browse higher education providers in Poland
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