Poland is one of the largest and most populous countries in the region – ninth largest in Europe by area, and sixth in the European Union (EU) by population Situated in the center of Europe. Poland has enjoyed strong economic growth in recent years, particularly since joining the EU in 2004; in the midst of the economic crisis of 2009, Poland was the only European nation to report economic expansion.
With a history which dates back for over a millennium, the cultural heritage of Poland is exceptionally loaded. This includes its longstanding traditions in the higher education sector, with the first university in Poland founded in the 14th century. In modern time, Poland is becoming an increasingly trendy study Base, with more than 57,000 international students choosing to study there in 2015/16.
For many of those who choose to study in Poland, the country’s appeal is amplified by its relatively low living costs, which has remained below those of most European Union members. University costs are likewise relatively affordable, classically no more than US$4,500 per one Academic Year.
Click on the tabs below to learn more about the top universities in Poland, popular cities for students, applications, visas and more..
Why Choose Study in Poland?
Some Reasons why you need to study in Poland:
1. Culture and Tradition
Poland’s tradition of academic education goes back to 1364 when King Casimir the Great established the Cracow Academy, known today as the Jagiellonian University. The Cracow Academy, being one of the oldest in the world, took after academies in Bologna and Padua, and was the second university in Central Europe after Prague.
2. Contemporary System
Today, the Polish higher education system is developing rapidly. Poland holds fourth place in Europe (after the United Kingdom, Germany and France) in terms of the number of people enrolled in higher education. The total student population at over 400 university level schools is almost one and a half million. Each year almost half a million young people begin their education at universities and colleges. The Polish university level schools offer over 200 high quality types of study as an integral part of the European Higher Education Area. Most schools offer courses in foreign languages.
3. Bologna System/ scheme
Poland plays an active role in the Bologna Process. Owing to the introduction of three-stage education modeled on Bachelor/Master/Doctoral studies as well as the European Credit Transfer System, both Polish students and international students studying in Poland stay fully mobile and can continue their education elsewhere in the European Union without any problems. Within just the Erasmus Program that has been going on for over 20 years now, over 43,000 foreign students have come to study in Poland while almost 100,000 students from Poland have taken part of their education in another country within the European Union. Foreign students coming to Poland can expect the most attractive and diversified education opportunities meeting high European standards. They can study medicine, biotechnology or engineering, but also art and business and many other subjects. The diploma awarded to them upon graduation is recognized not only Europe-wide but also in most countries of the world.
4. High Standard of Education
The Polish higher education system is well developed. The quality of the education provided is monitored and regularly evaluated. The main Polish institutions in charge of quality assurance in higher education are: the Polish Accreditation Committee, the General Council of Higher Education and the Conference of Rectors of the Academic Schools in Poland. There are over 5,000 courses available in Poland and each of them has had to gain the Polish Accreditation Committee’s approval. Among them there are a number of fields of study that have received the grade: excellent. The list of excellent fields of study is available at the Polish Accreditation Committee website: http://www.pka.edu.pl/?q=en/oceny.
5. Competitive costs of living and studying
Compared to other EU countries, the tuition fees in Poland are really competitive and the costs of living are a fraction of what a foreign student would have to spend in other European cities.
Find out more and apply
For the essential information about studying in Poland and applying for higher education programs, visit the Go-Poland website.
Language of instruction
There are more than 5000 courses in Poland taught in Polish language and more than 700 courses taught in foreign languages particularly in English. All courses in Polish are available here. All courses in English and other foreign languages are available through “Study-finder” tool.
Archetypal Course Tuition Fees
Full-time studies (in Polish language) at public higher education institutions (HEIs) are free of charge for Polish students – plus international students who are citizens of the EU/EEA or who are from the countries that hold the Card of the Pole (Karta Polaka).
All other international students are required to pay tuition fees that on average are the following:
- EUR 2000 per year for first, second and long cycle studies,
- EUR 3000 per year for doctoral, postgraduate and medical postgraduate internships as well as scientific, arts, specialist and post-doctoral internships,
- EUR 3000 per year for vocational courses and apprenticeships,
- EUR 2000 per year for an annual preparatory Polish language course to commence studies in Polish.
Fees at public and non-public HEIs are established by the institution itself under the condition that they cannot be lower than the costs of education process. The tuition fees range from EUR 2000 to 6000 per year and depend on the institution and study program (for MBA programs: about EUR 8000-12,000 per year).
Student visas and immigration
Scholarships and financial support
Average length of a full-time higher education program in Poland
- Bachelor’s degree program: 3 – 3.5 years
- Master’s degree program: 2 – 6 years
- Doctorate/PhD: 3 years
English language for studying in Poland
Meet language requirements for university admission in Poland by choosing an English language preparation course offered by English language schools worldwide, including Poland. By taking the right English exam training course you will advance your language skills in order to get the needed scores for IELTS, TOEFL, CAE, or other English exams.
Universities in Poland
There are more than 500 universities in Poland, most of which are within the private sector. The country prides itself on having produced many notable university alumni, including the first ever woman to win a Nobel Prize, Marie Curie, and the famous astronomer Nicolaus Copernicus.
Six universities in Poland feature in the QS World University Rankings® 2018, while 22 rank within the top 300 in the QS EECA University Rankings 2018 – a dedicated ranking of the top universities in Emerging Europe and Central Asia. Here are some of the highest-ranked universities in Poland:
University of Warsaw
Located in the Polish capital, the state-funded University of Warsaw is currently ranked sixth in the EECA rankings. Founded in 1816, it’s Poland’s largest university, with 54,800 students enrolled across its 21 departments. The University of Warsaw’s long history is also packed with interesting events and legends. During World War II, for instance, the campus was turned into a military barracks by German soldiers, so academics established the so-called “Secret University of Warsaw” and continued educating students in various hidden locations.
The country’s oldest university, and one of the oldest in Europe, Jagiellonian University is another of the most prestigious universities in Poland, ranked joint 14th in the EECA rankings. Established in 1364, it has a long tradition of educating the country’s future leaders. Among the numerous notable alumni of the university are John III Sobieski (King of Poland until 1696), Nicolaus Copernicus (famed for formulating a model of the universe with the sun at the center), Pope John Paul II and two Nobel Prize winners, Ivo Andrić and Wisława Szymborska. Today Jagiellonian University teaches about 38,500 students at its campus in Krakow, Poland’s second largest city.
Warsaw University of Technology
Warsaw University of Technology also features in the QS EECA University Rankings, in which it is ranked 19th among universities in Emerging Europe and Central Asia. It claims a place among the leading technological institutes in Europe, and is one of the region’s largest providers of technical education. Located in the Polish capital, the university has about 36,100 students and 19 faculties, which cover all fields of science and technology. Founded back in 1899, the university was one of the first universities in Poland to teach engineering. In recent years, its graduates have become known for making up an impressively high percentage of Polish managers and executives.
University of Wroclaw
Another historic university – founded in 1702 by Leopold I, Holy Roman Emperor of the Habsburg dynasty – the University of Wroclaw is ranked 52nd in the EECA rankings. It’s the largest university in the region of Lower Silesia, currently teaching over 40,000 students and around 1,300 doctoral students across 10 faculties. The university’s main focus is scientific research and its alumni include nine Nobel Prize winners.
A comprehensive list of Poland universities
- Academy of Business in Dąbrowa Górnicza
- Adam Mickiewicz University in Poznań
- AGH University of Science and Technology
- Bialystok University of Technology
- Cardinal Stefan Wyszyński University in Warsaw
- Collegium Civitas
- Cracow University of Economics
- Cracow University of Technology
- Czestochowa University of Technology
- European University of Business
- Gdansk University of Technology
- Gdynia Maritime University
- Graduate School for Social Research (GSSR)
- Jagiellonian University in Kraków
- Jan Długosz University in Częstochowa
- Koszalin University of Technology
- Kozminski University
- Lazarski University
- Lodz University of Technology
- Lublin University of Technology
- Maria Curie-Sklodowska University in Lublin
- Medical University of Bialystok
- Medical University of Gdańsk
- Medical University of Lodz
- Medical University of Warsaw
- Nicolaus Copernicus University in Toruń
- Opole University of Technology
- Polish-Japanese Academy of Information Technology
- Polonia University in Czestochowa
- Poznan University of Medical Sciences (PUMS)
- Poznan University of Technology
- Poznań University of Economics and Business
- Pultusk Academy of Humanities
- Rzeszow University of Technology
- SGH Warsaw School of Economics
- Siedlce University of Natural Sciences and Humanities
- Silesian University of Technology
- SWPS University of Social Sciences and Humanities
- The Fryderyk Chopin University of Music
- The John Paul II Catholic University of Lublin
- The Maria Grzegorzewska University
- University of Bialystok
- University of Ecology and Management in Warsaw
- University of Economics in Katowice
- University of Finance and Management
- University of Gdansk
- University of Lodz
- University of Silesia in Katowice
- University of Warmia and Mazury in Olsztyn
- University of Warsaw
- Vincent Pol University in Lublin
- Vistula University
- Warsaw School of Computer Science
- Warsaw University of Life Sciences – SGGW
- Warsaw University of Technology
- Wroclaw Medical University
- Wroclaw University of Economics
- Wroclaw University of Environmental and Life Sciences
- Wrocław University of Science and Technology
- WSB Universities Group
How to Apply For International University Program in Poland
Poland is natural! There are few countries like it in Europe, with such a long history of resistance groups, fighters and real-life Phoenixes, who raise stronger from their own ashes.
Considering the culture and the cohesion the Polish people have with everyone entering their country, as well as the low living costs and the multitude of universities, there’s no surprise that Poland has become one of the most preferred destinations for international students worldwide.
For a smoother transition and application process, we developed a small guide for you to follow. It goes like this:
Choose the right degree subject in Poland
First things first, you should choose a discipline. If you haven’t decided yet, you can check out the most popular subjects in Poland, as suggested by our data.
- Management, Organization & Leadership;
- International Relations;
- International Business;
- General Engineering & Technology.
Choose the right Polish university
Polish universities are really cheap, compared to the rest of Europe. Some of the best are:
- Warsaw University of Technology, in Warsaw;
- University of Economics in Katowice, in Katowice;
- University of Wroclaw, in Wroclaw;
- Cracow University of Economics, in Cracow;
- Wroclaw University of Environmental and Life Sciences, in Wroclaw.
Be Ready to Apply
As for any country, your first concern should be the VISA. Poland is a member of the European Union, so EU/EEA students don’t need a VISA. Meanwhile, non-EU/EEA students should read about it and start preparing the necessary documents and setting appointments as soon as possible.
Consulates and Embassies will handle your paperwork, and the website for the Ministry of Foreign Affairs will help you with your Polish VISA, if there are questions or you don’t understand the instructions.
Also, check if you qualify for a scholarship in Poland. There are quite a few, so it’s worth a shot to see if any of them suits you.
Where to apply for a Polish Master’s degree?
To apply to a Polish program, you need to access the university’s page and follow the steps there. Unlike other countries, Poland doesn’t have a certain website, where you can make a general application, which you can then send to a list of universities. You will have to work for it, so the rewards will feel even better, at the end.
You can check the Study-in-Poland website, where you can find frequently asked questions, information about life in Poland and what other things you should consider before moving there. Also, they have a list of featured universities on their homepage, so you could easily find phone numbers, programmes, e-mails and information about each of them.
Language requirements for a Polish university application
Dear God, you will need an English proficiency certificate… And you will need it right now!
Seeing how the application documents for both VISA and your Master’s program require proof of your bilinguality (I know, cool word), you should invest time and effort and ace one of the following tests:
Required Application Documents
General application documents
There is a list of minimum requirements that all students must reach, so they could get into a Master’s program. This list includes:
- a matriculation certificate or equivalent document;
- an English proficiency test.
Also, the most common admission documents required by Polish universities are:
- undergraduate diploma or an official duplicate (issued by the university);
- candidate’s CV with the details about the school and professional career optionally;
- one academic reference and one personal reference;
- filled out application form;
- 4 passport-size photographs;
- copy of the candidate’s ID;
- proof of English language proficiency (unless the first degree was taught in English);
- medical certificate with no contraindication for studying;
- admission fee payment receipt.
Specific Entry Requirements
If you opt for a Master’s program in a department of arts, physical education, teaching profession, medical or technical universities, you will have to take an additional aptitude test.
Also, depending on the program, other documents might include:
- notarized secondary school certificate or an official duplicate issued by the candidate’s high school;
- a supplement to the undergraduate program diploma or a copy of your Bachelor’s thesis.
University application deadlines for Poland
In most cases, the academic year at Polish universities consists of 2 semesters of 15 weeks duration each.
- Beginning of October: Fall semester starts;
- Mid-February: Fall semester ends;
- Mid-February: Spring semester starts;
- End of June: Spring semester ends;
- Beginning of July – end of September: Summer vacation.
The Final Steps after Receiving Your Acceptance Letter
Firstly: that means you in already
Secondly: You need to take the steps one by one
As an EU/EEA student, you won’t need a VISA, but no matter what country you come from, you will need to apply for a temporary residence permit, as you Master’s degree will surely be longer than three months.
Do not forget to call your university’s International Relations Office and get more information on the more practical aspects, like coming to Poland, medical care and insurances, your driving license, and more…
Cost of Living for International Students in Poland
Tuition fees in Poland
While Polish citizens don’t pay for tuition fees in public universities, international students are charged with fees established by the universities. These cost the least:
- 2,000 EUR for Bachelor, Master degree courses and professional studies
- 3,000 EUR for Ph.D., specialized and vocational courses
Private universities have average tuition fees of 50,000 EUR/year, depending on the level of education and specialization. Also, you have the right to apply for a public university and compete with Polish students. However, admissions have a higher difficulty than in other cases and you will be enrolled in a program taught in Polish.
Universities in Poland with affordable tuition fees
- Warsaw University of Technology;
- University of Information Technology and Management;
- Poznan University of Life Sciences;
- Poznan University of Technology;
- Medical University of Lodz.
Student’s Living Costs In Poland
Poland is an accessible European country with a pretty stable economy and living costs of 300 – 650 EUR/month. You can adjust your budget depending on the city or area you wish to study in. Larger cities such as Krakow or Warsaw require 450 – 550 EUR/month.
If you will find a degree course in a smaller town as Radom, Sochaczew or Stalowa Wola, you will need a total of 300 – 350 EUR/month. The most expensive city in Poland is Pulkowice, where you will spend around 600 – 650 EUR/month.
Accommodation costs in Poland
Housing is a major subject in Poland since it represents 37% of the total monthly budget, according to a European study. International students may find options in university residence halls or private rental apartments that can also be shared. Also, universities have services dedicated to students who seek to house off-campus.
The costs of accommodation in Poland are a bit above the European average of 200 – 300 EUR/month. However, private rental apartments have high standards. Below you will find the costs of housing in most of the Polish cities.
- For students who live alone: 368 EUR/month
- Students living with partner/child: 446 EUR/month
- Students living on university campuses: 269 EUR/month
On-campus housing is not too accessible to students. Only 12% of them live in residence halls and 57% of them are satisfied with the services and housing itself. A one-bedroom apartment in Krakow costs around 290 – 390 EUR/month, while Warsaw has prices of 380 – 501 EUR/month.
Supplementary Costs Related With Accommodation
When you live in Poland, besides rent you will also have some additional expenses which come from the utilities. The basic ones are electricity, heating, water and garbage and they have total prices of around 150 EUR/month for an 85 square meters apartment. Read more about prices in Poland.
An additional expense could also be considered the two months deposit that many of the landlords ask when you move into your rental apartment.
Food for an international student usually costs 100 – 150 EUR/month. You can save some money if you choose to buy groceries and you shop from low-price supermarkets. Some of the most widespread ones are Tesco, Auchan, Carrefour, Leclerc, Lidl, etc.
You can enjoy a dinner in an accessible restaurant for only 5 EUR or pay 24 EUR for a three-course meal in an average restaurant for two. A light drink will cost you only 2 EUR.
Cost of Transportation
Public transport is the main option of 60 of the students who pay 24 EUR for a monthly pass. Many of the Polish cities have nice panoramic views and routes, so you can also walk by foot.
If you enjoy transportation by car, as 18% of the students in Poland, you will pay around 1 EUR/litre of gasoline.
Additional study materials
During your study program, you will need to purchase books, research magazines, and other products. These are, in most cases, necessary and they can be purchased even from some universities. However, you are advised to buy them from bookstores with old or used products, in order to save some money.
Bursary & student support
In Poland, you can also support yourself financially through scholarships and funding programmes. Here are some of the options.
- Scholarships offered by the Polish Government or bilateral agreements with other countries
- Financial aid for citizens from developing countries and specialized scholarships
- Awards and EU programs
- Student loans or part-time jobs
Hey Dears, what are you waiting for? Don’t hesitate, make a decision!!
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