Do you like diverse nature, cities steeped in history and delicious comfort food after a long exam season? If you answered yes to these three questions, and are looking to study somewhere in Europe – there is a perfect solution for you: Study in Poland!
Poland’s tradition of academic education goes back to 1364 when King Casimir the Great realised how important it was to have a class of educated people. Thus, Krakow Academy, today known as Jagiellonian University, was established. Today, Poland has over 450 HEIs (Higher Education institutions) to choose from and being a member of the Socrates-Erasmus network, Poland has slowly built a reputation for students looking to get an unforgettable study experience and an internationally recognized degree.
There were 72 743 foreign students from 170 countries studying in Poland last year and the numbers grow steadily.
Read on to discover what exactly makes Poland a good choice for a study destination.
Poland – Quick facts & figures
October – June
More about Poland
For many students, the cost is one of the main worries when looking to study abroad. After all, one has to take into account books, transportation, and tuition. Here is where Poland comes into play! While Polish universities follow the Bologna study standards and offer top-notch education, the cost is reasonably low compared to the alternative.
Tuition fees start from less than 1700 EUR per year. But the low costs do not apply only to the tuition. Despite having one of the fastest-growing European economies, Poland still has relatively low prices.
And as a student you have a lot to think of: a shared flat in the city center will cost you around 110-170 USD, a room in a student dormitory around 100 USD?
Still wondering if you can afford it? The public transportation is cheap and offers a discount for students, and during the warmer months, you can use public bikes which are almost free of charge. What a dream for the cost wary!
But we know that studying is more than worrying about exams and looking at the price tags. Living in Poland, you can find ways to relax and unwind, regardless of where you find yourself. Even universities understand the importance of relaxing. Every year, each university organizes its own carnival called Juwenalia. During Juwenalia, all classes are canceled so that everybody has time to party.
With 16 UNESCO World Heritage Sites in Poland, a rich history spanning over centuries, and a bustling nightlife, Poland will surely transform your study time into an unforgettable experience.
Lastly, finding friends will be a piece of cake! Hospitality is deeply rooted in Polish culture. Expect every casual invitation for dinner to end up as a three-course feast. Polish grandmas will always find a reason to feed you more and Poles won’t hesitate to offer you their flat for a night if you run into problems. The Polish people regard history as an important part of their identity and the locals will gladly tell you breath-taking stories about their hometown, instantly becoming a free and attractive tour guide.
No matter where you find yourself, from bustling cities to quaint little villages, your stay in Poland will always be comfortable and interesting.
Poland is a geographically diverse country and has a climate to match. With its moderate climate, Poland offers both maritime and continental elements. This means you can expect many sunny days but many rainy days as well and don’t be surprised when the summer turns out to be quite hot or quite rainy. Winters in Poland are normally very cold, with temperatures dropping below freezing, and with a lot of snowy days. Perfect for cosy study sessions but if you come from a warmer climate, make sure you bring appropriate clothes!
Poland has a long and proud tradition of keeping educational institutions going, at times despite prohibition. Did you know about the Polish Flying University?
In the late 1800s, when universities were heavily controlled and only admitted men; Polish scholars began a brave underground movement in which courses were taught in secret. To avoid authorities, these meetings were held in private homes teaching everything from philosophy to arts and science. Additionally, the meetings frequently moved from location to location around Warsaw, earning it the name Floating or Flying University. And the most famous graduate of The Flying University? Marie Skłodowska Curie who went on to win multiple Nobel Prizes for her work.
Today, women and men can enjoy education freely and without the need to fly around.
Polish universities are divided into private and public ones and offer three degrees: bachelor’s, master’s, and doctorate degrees. For international students, this means you can complete any level of your education in Poland.
Both public and private universities follow the objectives and the standards set by the Bologna process. Therefore, degrees earned in Poland are internationally recognized. That should make for a compelling reason to make one of the Polish cities your home while you study!
While the requirements differ all students wishing to study in Poland, students should have to have a:
- A valid passport
- Official letter of acceptance to a school in Poland
- Confirmation of having funds to studying and living in Poland
- Health insurance
If you are wondering about health insurance – it is suggested to sort this out before you come to Poland, so you are insured during your studies.
If you don’t own this card, you can get health insurance in your home country or buy health insurance in Poland. The cost of it amounts to 40 PLN per month, which roughly translates to 10 US dollars.
For non-EU students, it is recommended to purchase their own international medical insurance before arriving in Poland. Otherwise, they are required to sign a voluntary health insurance agreement with the National Health Fund (Narodowy Fundusz Zdrowia – NFZ) and pay their own insurance fees, which amount to about 17 USD a month. With insurance, you are entitled to free medical care and can use university health care clinics and health centers if you need to.
Housing & Living Costs in Poland
Housing and cost of living in Poland are relatively cheap, especially when compared with other countries in Europe. To give you an idea of how much money you would need, here are some prices of food and utilities in Poland:
Most universities in Poland offer accommodations to enrolled students. The price and quality may vary depending on the city and university of your choice. Normally you would pay around 65-80 USD monthly for a shared room and around 110-170 USD for a single room. It is important to know that the standard of the dormitories may vary greatly even between various student houses offered by the same university so you should do some research before deciding on one. One thing is for sure, whichever student house you pick you will be greeted by a friendly and helpful atmosphere.
While some students stay in student dorms during their course of studies, a lot of students prefer to rent private apartments. If you come from outside of Europe this might be a new experience, and one many Polish students would warmly suggest. You see, it is quite common in Poland to rent a room in a bigger apartment.
Since most students share flats in this way the student network is large and it is easy to find a roommate to split the costs. It is the ultimate deal, you pay for the accommodation and get new friends for free! The price range differs between cities and it depends on various factors: the location of the apartment as well as the size of the room you wish to rent.
The price of renting an apartment in Poland is obviously strongly related to its location and standard. The apartment located in the city center will always be more expensive than the one in the suburbs. Below you will find average prices for renting apartments in Poland:
- Bydgoszcz:1227 – 2335 PLN
- Gdansk:1882 – 3430 PLN
- Krakow:1663 – 2834 PLN
- Lodz:1157 – 2338 PLN
- Poznan:1405 – 2550 PLN
- Warsaw:2127 – 4495 PLN
- Wroclaw:1731 – 2919 PLN
*Average prices calculated on the basis of all ads from a given city. The price, however, strongly depends on the standard of the apartment and location.
If you would rather be on your own, don’t worry about having to share! It is possible to find an apartment for one thought fair warning: the prices for one-room apartments are slightly higher.
Regardless if you pick to stay in a dorm during the course of your studies or rent out a private apartment with a group of other students your options for housing are plentiful and depend solely on your preference!
Tuition Fees & Scholarships
While education in Poland is free for Polish students, don’t worry, the prices of education for international students is still far lower than in many other European countries.
If you are an EU/EEA student you are not required to pay tuition fees for courses taught in Polish but you compete with Polish students for admission spots.
If you are not from an EU country, studying in Poland requires you to pay tuition fees. The good news is, that prices in Poland are lower than in many other European countries.
- 2230 USD per year for first, second and long cycle studies
- 3350 USD per year for doctoral, postgraduate and medical postgraduate internships as well as scientific, arts, specialist and post-doctoral internships
- 3350 USD per year for vocational courses and apprenticeships
- 2230 USD per year for an annual preparatory Polish language course to commence studies in Polish
Study fees at both public and private universities are established by the institution itself as long as they are not lower than the costs of the education process.
The fees normally range from around 2230 USD to 6700 per year and depend on the institution and study program (for MBA programs: about 9000 – 14,000 per year).
You should keep in mind that actual fees and specific study conditions are decided by an agreement between individual institutions or between the student and given university. So it is always important to check at the site of the university you are interested in to know for sure.
Being an international student you have another advantage and that is being eligible for various tuition and scholarships.
Your options include:
- A scholarship awarded by a Polish partner.
- A scholarship awarded by the sending partner (for example your country or university).
- A scholarship awarded by Polish higher education institutions.
And while you might need a scholarship to study in Poland, it means you don’t have to compete with Polish students to be admitted into the university.
Looking to study a master’s in Poland? We’re offering a €5,000 scholarship!