Poland is located in the very center of Europe. With the total area of 312,679 km² (120,728 sq. mi) it’s the seventh biggest country on the continent. Polish population is nearly 38 million people. The capital city is Warsaw (around 2 million inhabitants). Poland borders 7 countries: Germany on the west, Czech Republic and Slovakia on the south, Ukraine, Belarus and Lithuania on the east, and Russia on the north. Poland is a fascinating country that serves as the geographical and cultural crossroads of Eastern and Western Europe. Located at the center of the Northern European plain, Poland has been a nation of survivors since the foundation of the first Polish state more than 1000 years ago. Through its turbulent history its people have managed to maintain their identity, and today, the country enjoys a crucial position as the largest of the former Eastern European states and one of the most populous members of the European Union.
Poland’s education system dates back to the Middle Ages. Jagiellon University, for example, was founded in the 14th century, and today is one of the oldest universities in Europe. There are over 400 courses offered in English in Poland, many of them at an undergraduate level. Poland has several well-respected universities, including Jagiellonian University and Warsaw University. Warsaw University is ranked first in the Top Coder international IT ranking, outperforming such well-respected American universities as the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT). The number of higher education institutions in Poland has quadrupled over the past ten years, while the number of students increased fivefold. International students who choose to study in Poland will have the opportunity to receive a quality education in a quickly burgeoning academic environment.
Polish institutions of higher education participate in international student exchange programs and engage in bilateral agreements and individual exchange programs pursued by particular schools. All these initiatives enhance the development of relations between Polish and foreign institutions of higher education. The number of Polish institutions of higher education awarded an Erasmus University Charter approach 200 and the mobility of Polish students grows rapidly. Poland is recently becoming a favorite abroad study destination in Europe. Universities in Poland offer programs in English both in undergraduate and graduate studies in a very low tuition fee which Nepalese students find reasonable. All leading universities offer programs thought in English, these include medicine, engineering, humanities, business and finance. Also, the lesser cost of living in Poland has been an extra advantage for students with average financial background.
As with many other EU countries, Poland offers inexpensive and sometimes free tuition to EU students. All other foreigners have to pay tuition fees which could vary among different universities and programs. The average fee for undergraduate and Master programs is between 2000 and 4000 euro per year. Doctoral programs may cost around 3000-4000 euro per year. MBA and medical programs may be much more expensive (about 10000-12000 euro per year). For example, BA program in International Relations in Warsaw University costs 3000 euro per year + a one-off cost of 200 euro. The fee for MA degree is also 3000 euro per year, while PhD program fee is as high as 4000 euro. Master program in English Philology in the same university costs 2500 euro per month and is free of charges for EU students. The same programs in Polish are free for all students from the European Union. Prospective students should also remember about health insurance, accommodation and other living costs. Students’ form the UK, Sweden and Slovakia does not need to pay for medical care due to bilateral agreements between these countries and Poland.
There are many different options for arranging student accommodation in Poland. They vary depending on the city and higher education institution you choose. Many Polish HEIs have their own dormitories, which are usually the cheapest option available. However, most Polish students prefer to rent a room in a private apartment.
The pricing of the student houses depends on the particular HEI. Usually the cost of accommodation in a dormitory ranges is around EUR 60-80 monthly for a shared room and between EUR 100-150 for a single room. However, the standard of the dormitories may differ greatly even between various student houses of the same HEI, so it’s good to do some research before the final decision. What doesn’t differ is the friendly and helpful atmosphere in the student houses.
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. Don’t worry if you don’t have friends to live with. Sharing a flat with locals is an amazing opportunity: you can pay for the accommodation and get great friends for free! And if you really don’t like to share, you can find an independent apartment. The rent for the smallest, one-room apartment starts from about EUR 300 (in Warsaw).
You can help pay for your education by working part-time while you’re studying. International students have the right to work while studying in Poland as long as they are enrolled in an Institution. Students who are not nationals of EU member countries must also hold a valid residency permit. The right to work applies to all students, including those who are in Poland for the first time, those who are enrolled in the first year of a university program, and those who are enrolled full-time in a language school. 20hrs work permitted during studies as well as 3 months of full time work during holidays. Full time work is permitted for Residence Card holders.
Students from member countries of the European Union may work in Poland without restriction after they graduate. It may be really hard to leave such a beautiful country after you complete your education here. Don’t worry if you prefer to stay and work in Poland. As a graduate of a Polish higher education institution full-time program, you don’t need a permit to work here. Just make sure your stay permit is in order. You can stay back for further 2-3 years as long as you can prove that you can financially support yourself without seeking any government benefits. Students who obtain a job or accept employment can obtain a Work Permit.
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). As a general rule Non-EU citizens need a visa to enter Poland. As the country is part of the Schengen zone, you can apply for visa and travel all around Europe! There are several types of visas to choose from.
“C” type – a short-term Schengen visa allowing the holder to stay in the Schengen territory for up to 90 days in a six months period. The Schengen visa is good for business visits, tourism, short private visits, participation in conferences, cultural and sports events. It can be issued either as single, double or multiple entry visa depending on the purpose of the trip. Examples of the purpose of the trip: Education, business, tourism, visiting family and friends, political, scientific, cultural, sports or religious events, studies, employment, other.
“D” type – a long-term national visa issued for up to one year allowing travel around the Schengen area for three months in a half a year period.
The Polish national visa is usually good for those travelling to undertake studies and employment and also those who want to spend more than three months with their families and friends.