The Polish university education system has a history of 650 years of educating high profile professionals. Marie Skłodowska-Curie was one of the only four Nobel Laureates, who have received the prestigious prize, twice. The other notable Polish scientists include Nicolaus Copernicus, Johannes Hevelius, Henryk Arctowski, who have distinguished themselves in the fields of science, technology, astronomy etc. Excellence in the field of education is the trademark of Polish academia and this ingrained commitment has seen an increase in international students, who flock to Poland for their higher education.
With the academic traditions of Poland dating back to 14th century, the Jagiellonian University in Kraków was established in 1364 and is the second oldest university in Central Europe. Having maintained its high standards, today, it is ranked 14th in the QS EECA University rankings. A signatory to the Bologna Process, the European Credit Transfer System, which is applied in all academic disciplines and programs, allows both Polish students and foreigners studying in Poland to continue their education elsewhere in the European Union. Visit www.buwiwm.edu.pl for more information on the Bureau for Academic Recognition and International Exchange (BUWiWM) in Poland. Poland is an attractive destination for international students. The Erasmus Program (EuRopean Community Action Scheme for the Mobility of University Students) that was incorporated 28 years back is very popular among foreign students. The state-funded University of Warsaw is currently ranked sixth in the Emerging Europe and Central Asia (EECA) rankings, while Warsaw University of Technology is ranked the 19th .
The cost of pursuing a program in these universities is comparatively lower to that of programs in US universities. For international students, the tuition fees range from EUR 2000-6000 per year and depend on the institution and program. MBA programs cost about EUR 8000-12,000 per year. You can visit the university website for specific information on the fees structure. Further, students can avail various scholarships offered under programs such as the Fulbright program, Visegrad program, CEEPUS exchange among others, which help in funding studies in Poland. To qualify for admission to the programs, all international applicants must first meet the minimum requirements for entry into higher education in their own country, where they have cleared the preceding qualifying exam or equivalent and also have a good command of English (at least on an intermediate level). An IELTS band score of 7 or 8 should well satisfy the English proficiency requirements.
Once you have received an admit, students need to arrive in Poland with a student’s visa obtained at a Polish Embassy or Consulate, keeping in mind that these visas are granted for a maximum of three months. In order to extend the stay in Poland, it is necessary to apply for a residence permit for specified period of time in the Voivodeship office, 45 days before the visa expiration date. For further assistance, students are strongly urged to contact the International Relations Office of their university.
It is quite common in Poland to rent a room in a bigger apartment. Most of the out-of-town students share flats in this way. The cost varies between cities and it depends greatly on the location of the apartment as well as the size and quality of the room. The monthly rent is usually between EUR 150 and 200. Some landlords may require a deposit of a similar amount. The rent for the smallest, one-room apartment starts from about EUR 300 (in Warsaw). The cost of living in Poland is among the most reasonable than in any of the cities in Europe. However, it is recommended that students from non-EU/EEA countries purchase their own international medical insurance prior to their arrival 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 EUR 15 a month. For other queries on food, travel and other expenses, please click on the below link: http://www.studyinpoland.pl/en/index.php/education-in-poland/19-questionsanswers.
Most students enrolled at Polish universities seek off-campus jobs to supplement their living expenses, while also gaining enviable exposure. As an international student, you must apply for the work permits at the local voivode. It is issued for a fixed period of time, however no more than 3 years and may be extended. For more detailed information, contact the local Voivodship Office or visit the website http://www.paiz.gov.pl. Also, if you have intentions of acquiring a Polish citizenship, the minimum requirement is a C1 level proficiency in the Polish language. For more details, please visit the website at http://www.studyinpoland.pl/en/index.php/practical-information/63-polish-citizenship.
Poland’s primary industries include automotive manufacturing, food processing, banking and construction. However, expatriates working in Poland will most likely find opportunities in IT, finance, human resources, business services and management. As more than 95 percent of the population speaks Polish, there’s also a pronounced shortage of native English speakers. As a result, there are still plenty of jobs in Poland for teaching English, and in many cases, these positions pay more than a position in a large company with upward mobility. The country is also looking to privatise more infrastructure, like the energy sector, shipbuilding and even the postal market. So, university graduates stand a good chance to get hired in these sectors, where you could stay in the country after completing your education.
With its growth on the upswing, remarkable quality of education, comparatively reasonable costs, there is little wonder then that in the year 2017 alone, the number of international applicants to the Polish universities crossed the 30, 000 mark with Marie Curie-Skłodowska University being ranked first by the Perspektywy Education Foundation in their latest report, “International students in Poland 2017”. With such impeccable credentials, Poland is fast becoming the choice for young students seeking international degrees with excellent value.