Poland

Poland is one of the most beautiful countries in Europe and boasts of several educational facilities and institutions, drawing students from different parts of the world. There are several reasons why students choose Poland over other countries to complete their studies.

First and foremost, Poland offers low cost of living and even the educational expenses are far less compared to any other university in Europe. Poland is witnessing economic development at a rapid pace. However, this has not led to a dramatic escalation in the costs of living as well as studying there. Students who have studied or are studying in Poland are of the opinion that the cost of living and studying is considerably lower as compared to most other EU nations. Around 200 to 400 Euros is more than enough to cover basic accommodation expenses, transport as well as food. Also, the expenses incurred for entertainment as well as participating in cultural events is also quite low than the EU average.

Poland’s economy is growing at a rapid rate. The GDP rate for Poland in the past few years on an average has been nearly 5 percent. In the past few years, unemployment level has sharply declined. In the year, the unemployment rate was around 20 percent but it fell to 11 percent in the 2007. In the years 2006 and 2007, the wages of Polish professionals have grown at an annual rate of 15 percent. As far as civilization growth and progress is concerned, Poland has emerged as one of the leading nations attracting students from across the border.

BELOW IS A LIST OF LINKS, WHICH WILL GET YOUR DETAILED INFORMATION ON EDUCATION IN POLAND.

TRADITION

Poland’s traditions 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. About two centuries later, in 1579, King Stefan Batory transformed the existing Jesuit College in Vilnius into the Vilnius Academy and in 1661 Jan Casimir, King of Poland, transformed the Jesuit College into the Lvov Academy. Thus, by the end of the 17th century, the Poland and Lithuania Kingdoms had three flourishing universities providing academic education to both national and international students.

MODERNITY

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 1,5 million. Each year almost half a million young people begin their education at universities and colleges. Most schools offer courses in foreign languages.

BOLOGNA PROCESS

Poland plays an active part in the Bologna Process. Owing to the introduction of three-stage education modelled on Bachelor/Master/Doctoral studies as well as the European Credit Transfer System, both Polish students and foreigners studying in Poland stay fully mobile and can continue their education elsewhere in the European Union. 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. The diploma awarded to them upon graduation is recognised not only Europe-wide but also in key countries of the world.

HIGH QUALITY 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 for Science and Higher Education and the Conference of Rectors of the Academic Schools in Poland. There are over 5000 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

COMPETITIVE COSTS OF LIVING AND STUDYING

Compared to other EU countries, the tuition fees in Poland are highly competitive and the costs of living are a fraction of what a foreign student would have to spend in other European cities. More information is available here and here.

Below are given a few links which will give elaborate information on the Education System, Cost of Living, Course Fees, Visas and List of Universities.

A large part of the Polish higher education market is made up of private colleges and universities. There are about 310 privately owned universities and colleges and 138 state schools of higher learning. This has resulted in a high level of competition that has given Poland lower prices for studying than in many other European countries. The higher education system is one of high quality and all leading universities offer programmes thought in English, within study areas such as medicine, engineering, humanities, business and finance. More than 100 higher education institution in Poland currently offer study programmes in English. Poland has taken active part in the Bologna Process. The ECTS (European Credit Transfer System) allows students to be geographically mobile and continue their education in other countries
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There is no central administration for admission. Instead, each institute is responsible for their own admission process. However, each applicant must generally hold a “maturity certificate” to qualify for admission in Poland.

Universities in Poland

There are both publically and privately founded universities in Poland. Public higher education is free for Polish students, and for international students that apply on the same terms as polish students. Private institutions have the advantage of not being centrally governed, and can rapidly respond to any changing needs of educational demand and labour market needs.

Students at both types of Universities can obtain three different types of academic degrees; bachelor degrees, master degrees and doctor degrees. T his system applies to all fields of education except Law, Pharmacy, Psychology, Veterinary Medicine, Medicine and Dentistry, which are still based on two-stage system (Master and Doctor).

Types of higher education degrees:

  • Bachelor degree (BA): obtained following the completion of 3-3,5 year-long vocational/technical college studies;
  • Bachelor degree (BSc): obtained following the completion of 3,5-4 year-long college studies in technical sciences, agriculture or economy;
  • Master degree (MA, MSc) and equivalent degrees: Master of Art, MSc. Eng. (Master Engineer), Master Engineer Architect, qualified physician, dental surgeon or veterinarian – granted following the completion of 5-6 year-long uniform university studies. The MSc may also be obtained following the completion of 2-2,5 supplementary maters degree studies which may be taken by persons with a college diploma;
  • Doctor degree (PhD, doktor) – a degree awarded to those who pass doctoral exam and successfully defend dissertation. To qualify for the academic degree of doctor must hold a master or an equivalent degree.
Medical Studies in Poland

In a lot of countries you need high grades to enter an education of medical studies. If you don’t reach up to those criteria of high grades, or if you just want to have an experience of studying abroad, there is another option for you – medical studies in Poland.

The medicine programme is 7,5 years long. You study 6 years in Poland at the university and after that is the pre-registration period as house officer. You can choose to do your pre-registration period as house officer in your native
country.

You can choose to do your pre-registration period as house officer in Poland or in your native country. A lot of international students choose to do it in their native country. You are responsible to find your own place for your pre-registration period as house officer.

The Medical Universities in Poland are adapted to the common European programme, in keeping with the European admission standards for medical education. Inside Europe that education is going to be valid as if it was from your native country. If your are from a country outside Europe, contact a medical school in your native country and ask how it works.

Living Cost

In comparison to other European countries Poland is a relatively cheap place to live and study. Prices depend greatly on the city, but a student can get by with about EUR 300 at their monthly disposal. Average costs of student living range from EUR 350 up to EUR 550. Please remember, that to be able to study in Poland non-EU/EEA students have to possess sufficient means to cover the living costs.

Below are some examples to give an idea of the amounts students spend per month.

Monthly Expenses (Average Value)
  • Rent in a shared flat (or dormitory) – 80-150 EUR
  • Food – 100-150 EUR
  • Transportation (in big cities) – 15-20 EUR
  • Telephone/mobile, internet, TV – 20-30 EUR
  • Study materials – 30-50 EUR
  • Other expenses (leisure/entertainment) – 70-100 EUR
Tuition Fees

Full-time studies (in the Polish language) at the state Higher Education Institutions (HEIs) are free for Polish students and foreigners who commence studies in Poland on terms applicable to Polish citizens (see: define your status).. These include citizens of the EU/EEA and students who hold the Polish Charter (Karta Polaka).

All other foreigners 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).

Please take note that actual fees and specific study conditions are described in the framework agreement between individual institutions or between the student and the given university.

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).

Please take note that actual fees and specific study conditions are described in the framework agreement between individual institutions or between the student and the given university.

Scholarships

There are a number of scholarships available within the limits defined in bilateral agreements.

They are financed either by the Polish or the foreign partner’s government, often with the aim to enhance exchange within a specific field of study.

The amount of a scholarship depends on the type of study undertaken.

Is not possible to enumerate here all of bilateral agreements. The main partners are France, Italy, Germany. Likewise scholarships are offered within bilateral agreements with China, Japan and Mexico.
For more information please contact with Bureau for Academic Recognition and International Exchange (BUWiWM) www.buwiwm.edu.pl.

List of Universities

  • List of Universities
  • Adam Mickiewicz University
  • AGH University of Science and Technology
  • Cracow University of Economics
  • Gdańsk University of Technology
  • Jagiellonian University
  • Jagiellonian University Medical College
  • John Paul II Catholic University of Lublin
  • Maria Curie-Skłodowska University (UMCS) in Lublin
  • Poznań University of Economics
  • Poznań University of Life Sciences
  • Poznań University of Medical Sciences
  • Poznań University of Technology
  • Rzeszow University of Technology
  • University of Economics in Katowice
  • University of Gdansk
  • University of Lodz
  • University of Silesia
  • University of Warmia and Mazury in Olsztyn
  • University of Warsaw
  • University of Wroclaw
  • Warsaw School of Economics
  • Wroclaw University of Technology
ENTRY REQUIREMENTS FOR EU CITIZENS

If you are a citizen of an EU member state the only thing you need to have to enter Poland is a valid travel document or a document confirming identity and citizenship (i.e. your national ID). However, if you wish to travel abroad during your stay in Poland it is a good idea to have a passport with you, as it is necessary to visit some of Poland’s neighbours that don’t belong to the EU.

For a stay shorter than three months there are no formal requirements. Your studies will however take longer. For such a stay a registration of residence is necessary. You should register with Voivodship (Provincial) Office.

ENTRY REQUIREMENTS FOR NON-EU CITZENS

The two main documents you will to enter Poland if are not a EU citizen are a valid travel document (passport) and a visa (if required).

Visa

As a general rule you need a visa to enter Poland. There are, however, a number of countries that are free of this requirement. You can check if your country is on the list here: http://www.msz.gov.pl

Poland is a part of the Schengen zone, so you can apply for a Polish visa and travel all around Europe (excluding the United Kingdom, Ireland, Cyprus, Bulgaria, Romania, Croatia and states outside of the EU).

There are several types of visas to choose from:

  • “A” type – an airport transit Schengen visa, so it cannot be used by a student coming to Poland
  • “C” type – a short-term Schengen visa allowing the holder to stay in the Schengen territory for up to 90 days in 180 days period
  • “D” type – a long-term national visa issued for up to one year allowing travel around the Schengen area for up to 90 days in a 180 days period A visa can only be extended in exceptional situations. Should you need to stay in Poland longer than specified in your visa please do apply for the temporary residence permit (see below)
5 easy steps to get a visa
  1. Find a Polish consulate that can process you application. You can use the MFA’s search engine http://mfa.gov.pl
  2. Read carefully ALL the information concerning visa application on the consulate’s website and follow ALL the instructions.
  3. Set a visa appointment with the consulate. In most cases you will have to register through the website: http://www.e-konsulat.gov.pl
  4. Prepare the necessary documents, including: application form, travel document (passport), biometric photo, health insurance, sufficient means to support yourself, documents confirming the purpose of your stay. The specifics of the required documentation may vary among consulates, so confirm them with the consulate’s website.
  5. Submit all the documents including a printed and signed application form and the visa fee. Your visa application is complete. It will take up to 15 days for it to be reviewed.
Temporary Residence Permit

Who needs it?

Every Non-EU student needs it.

You should apply for a Temporary Residence Permit before your visa expires.
When you receive the permit you will be issued a Temporary Residence Card, an ID card that proves that you have a residence permit. Together with you travel document it allows you to cross the Polish border as many times as you wish. The first residence permit is issued for the period of 15 months. It can be renewed for periods of up to 3 years but for no longer than the remainder of your studies.

REMEMBER: You should apply for the Temporary Residence Card when you are legally staying in Poland, which means after you arrive, but before the expiry of your visa

Application

You have to apply for a Temporary Residence Permit with the local Voivodship Office. You can find a complete list of offices here: : http://www.migrant.info.pl/ The documents you will need to legalise your stay include an application form, photos and documents proving your identity and citizenship, address, purpose of stay (a certificate from your school) health insurance and possession of sufficient funds. For detailed information check out the Voivodship Office’s website. The procedure costs 390 PLN in total.

EU students

EU students do not need to apply for temporary residence permits. As UE citizens they should only apply for registration of their stay with local voivodship office within 90 days of their arrival. They will be issued a cost-free certificate of registration with non-limited period of validity proving their right to stay in Poland. For detailed information check out the Voivodship Office’s website.

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