- Population: 38,545,000
- Currency: Euro (EUR)
- University Students: 1,440,000
- International Students: 72,000
- English-taught Programs: 800
Poland is located in the north eastern part of Europe, partially bordering with Germany. Sitting on 312,679 kilometers (120,728 square miles), it is the seventh biggest country on the continent. Ever since Poland joined the European Union in 2004, it has been enjoying strong economic growth. Poland is also one of the few countries in Europe that enjoyed economic growth in spite of the economic crisis of 2009.
With a history dating back to over a thousand years, Poland’s cultural heritage is incredibly rich, with the cities of Kraków, Gdansk, and the country’s capital, Warsaw topping the list of must see cities in Poland. If you are a nature lover, Poland also boasts of a variety of breath-taking natural features like the Tatra Mountains or the Masurian Lake District.
Despite a painful history, Poland has risen to become a modern and dynamic member of the EU, especially in terms of education. Poland is becoming increasingly popular with international students ever since many of its universities began to focus on international recruitment. This factor led to an increase in the number of international students to over 70,000. A fast-growing economy, rich cultural heritage, solid education system and a European lifestyle makes Poland an increasingly popular choice with students looking to study abroad.
Universities in Poland
Students who dream of studying abroad should know that Poland is home to world-renowned universities. Poland is also home to some of the oldest universities in the world. Over time, the education system has significantly changed to the benefit of students. Because of the nation’s dedication in the pursuit of world-class schooling, Poland now prides itself on having over 450 higher education systems—with Jagiellonian University being the oldest University in Poland, founded in 1364.
When choosing a university in Poland it is important to note that most universities focus on specializations unlike other European universities that tend to offer diverse ranges of subjects. Poland has 14 universities that feature in the QS World University Rankings® 2019, while 23 rank within the top 300 in the QS EECA University Rankings 2019. Here are some of the highest-ranked universities in Poland:
- University of Białystok
- Casimir the Great University
- University of Gdańsk
- Jagiellonian University
- University of Warmia and Mazury
Business Schools in Poland
There is a wide selection of both private and public business schools, which include:
- The University of Economics in Katowice
- Cracow University of Economics
- Poznań University of Economics
- Warsaw School of Economics
Study in English in Poland
You do not have to be well versed in Polish to study in Poland. The country has over 800 courses taught in English. A good understanding of English allows you to study in a majority of Polish Universities. Here are some of the many Universities offering studies in English:
- Adam Mickiewicz University in Poznań
- AGH University of Science and Technology.
- Cardinal Stefan Wyszyński University in Warsaw.
- Collegium Civitas.
- The Cracow University of Technology.
Tuition Fees in Poland
For Polish students, education is free. Do not worry. However, as an international student, the tuition prices are still meager compared to many European countries. As a student from EU member states, you are also not required to pay tuition fees for courses taught in Polish. However, you may have to apply with local students for admission.
For students outside the EU, studying here requires you to pay tuition fees. The good news is that Poland offers lower prices compared to many other European nations. The average for international students are the following:
- EUR 2,000 per year for 1st, 2nd and long duration Bachelor studies
- EUR 3,000 per year for doctorates, masters and medical postgraduate internships
- EUR 3,000 per year for vocational courses
- EUR 2,000 per year for an yearly introductory Polish language course to commence studies in Polish
Please note that in the end, the institution itself determines the prices. Depending on where you go and the course you choose to pursue, these prices can range from EUR 2,000 to 6,000 per year. For MBA programs, the costs can start from EUR 8,000 to 12,000 per year.
Scholarships in Poland
If you are a student looking for extra funding for your studies abroad, then you are in luck. The Polish government offers scholarships for international students available for specific subjects. To see what is available, you can visit the National Agency for Academic Exchange. Eramus+ and Scholarshipportal.com are also reliable websites where you can get scholarship programs.
Most institutions offer scholarship programs but mainly based on a merit basis. You can contact your preferred institution to see what you can receive as an international student.
Cost of Living in Poland
Living costs in Poland are cheaper compared to many European countries. When you live in Poland, besides rent, there are additional expenses that may come up in the process. Basics such as electricity, heating, water, and garbage can total to around 155 EUR per month for an 85 square meter apartment. Most of the property owners also require a two-month deposit when you move into an apartment.
Food can set you back around 100-150 EUR per month. As an international student, you can save up on these costs by buying groceries for shops and cheap supermarkets such as Tesco and Carrefour. There are also affordable restaurants that charge as low as 5 EUR per meal.
Public transport will cost you around 50 EUR for a semester pass available to students for six months. Depending on the distance between your residence and campus, you can even choose to walk as you enjoy the panoramic views along the way. If you already have a vehicle, the cost per liter of gasoline is one EUR.
During your time studying, you are required to purchase books and other study materials. Although these materials are provided on campus, you can save money by buying them from bookstores with old used products.
Internship & Company Placement in Poland
Poland is an exciting country to do an internship. The country’s economy is considered to be one of the best, and the economy is growing. Outside agencies as well as university departments source placements in Poland, while the majority are advertised over the internet or university career centers.
In fact, many higher learning institutions support and assist students with placement applications. The following websites can also get you quality placements in the companies of your choice:
Working While Studying in Poland
With the rapid economic growth in Europe, low cost of living, and the availability of graduate jobs available, Poland could have the career opportunities of your dreams. Career opportunities are looking good in Poland. Recent OECD surveys showed that the country’s labor market is booming and has grown since 2018.
There are varieties of jobs available for foreigners too. Those arriving from EU member states can come to Poland and start their search for work immediately. However, should you be invited for an interview from a non-EU country, you should first need to confirm whether you need a visa from your local Polish embassy.
Applying for a Student Visa to Study in Poland
If you are a student coming from an EU member state, all you need to have is a valid travel document confirming identity and citizenship. However, for students not from EU member states, you are required to provide a passport and a VISA.
Poland is a part of the Schengen zone, meaning that you can apply for a Polish visa and travel all around Europe except for the UK, Cyprus, Bulgaria, Ireland, Romania, Croatia, and non- EU states.
Follow these steps to apply for a VISA as a non-EU student:
- Find a Polish consulate that can process your application in your country.
- Read and understand all the instructions.
- Make a visa appointment with the embassy in many cases through their website.
- Prepare all the necessary documents required of you.
- Confirm all the documents on the embassy’s website.
- Submit all the documents and wait for processing. It takes around 15 days.
Valid proof of acceptance by an educational institution, proof of funds to cover your stay, and health insurance is required in applying for your visa. Please contact your local embassy for more information.