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Poland

Welcome to Poland, a modern and dynamic member of the European Union where education really counts.

About Poland

If you wish to learn more about our long and rich tradition of university education, which offers opportunities for young people aspiring to get a European degree recognised throughout the world, I invite you to study in Poland.

Poland’s university traditions are among the oldest in Europe. In 1364, King Casimir the Great established the Cracow Academy, known today as Jagiellonian University. Since the beginning of system transformation our higher education system has been developing rapidly and Poland is fourth in Europe (after the United Kingdom, Germany and France) in terms of the number of people studying at university. The total student population at over 400 university-level schools is almost 1,5 million. Polish universities offer more than 700 courses in foreign languages as an integral part of the European Higher Education Area, where the level of tuition fees compares favourably with other EU countries.

Poland plays an active part in the Bologna Process thanks to the introduction of a three-stage education and the European Credit Transfer System. Foreigners studying in Poland can easily continue their education elsewhere in the European Union. Foreign students coming to Poland can expect an attractive and diversified educational range which meets high European standards – they can study medicine, biotechnology and engineering, but also art and business. Their graduation diploma is recognized in Europe and elsewhere.

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Frequently Asked Questions

For students from outside the European Union who come to study in Poland, this may well be the beginning of a fascinating adventure of discovering Europe. Being invited to study in Poland means that you are invited to the European Union, of which Poland is an active member state. We encourage you to discover the European Union, which offers not only varied and interesting cultures and the opportunities associated with strong, innovative economies, but it also provides the very best conditions for successful higher education study in a challenging and friendly atmosphere. With top-quality, internationally recognised degrees, almost no other region in the world can set your career off to such a promising start.

1) Official name: Republic of Poland (short form: Poland), Rzeczpospolita Polska (short form in Polish: Polska)

2) Official Language: Polish

3) Location: Central Europe. Poland borders Germany, the Czech Republic, Slovakia, Ukraine, Belarus, Lithuania and Russia (the Kaliningrad exclave). Its northern border (440 km long) runs along the Baltic Sea coast.

4) Capital city: Warszawa (Warsaw: population 1.7 million / Warsaw agglomeration: 2.5 million)

5) Population: 38 million. Poland has the seventh largest population in Europe (omitting Russia), and the sixth largest in the European Union.

6) Time zone: Poland belongs to the Central European time zone (GMT + 1 hour / UTC + 1 hour), except for between the last Sunday in March and the last Sunday in October when it switches to daylight saving time.

7) Climate: The Polish climate is moderate continental, with relatively cold winters (from December to March) and hot summers which extend from June to August. January temperatures average -1°C (30°F) to -5°C (23°F). July and August average temperatures range from 16.5°C (62°F) to 19°C (65°F), though some days the temperature can reach even 35°C (95°F).

8) Currency: 1 zloty (PLN) = 100 groszy (current exchange rates: www.nbp.pl)

9) Calling code: + 48; Internet domain: .pl

10) International organisations: Poland is a member of the European Union (EU), the Schengen Area, North Atlantic Treaty Organisation (NATO), United Nations (UN), International Monetary Fund (IMF), United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation (UNESCO), United Nations International Children’s Emergency Fund (UNICEF), World Health Organisation (WHO), World Trade Organisation (WTO), Organisation for Cooperation and Development (OECD) and many Others.

1. 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.

2. 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.

3. 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.

4. 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.

5. 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.

Higher education institutions run full-time, extramural, evening and external courses. Full-time courses are defined as the basic type of studies. Poland conforms to the guidelines from the Bologna Process in European higher education. The degree system based on the three-cycle structure has been successfully implemented together with the European Credit Transfer and Accumulation System (ECTS). The European standard in higher education makes it easier for students to obtain recognition of their qualifications in other countries.

1st CYCLE

First-cycle studies (3 to 4 years) leading to the professional title of a licencjat or inżynier (Engineer, in the field of engineering, agriculture or economics). This is the Polish equivalent of the Bachelor’s degree. It is focused on preparing students for future employment or for continued education within a Master’s degree programme. To obtain this degree, students must earn 180-240 ECTS credits.

2nd CYCLE

Second-cycle studies – Master’s degree programme (1.5 to 2 years) following the first cycle studies and leading to the professional title of Master (magister, or an equivalent degree depending on the course profile). It is focused on theoretical knowledge as well as the application and development of creative skills. In arts disciplines, the focus is on the development of creativity and talents. Master’s degree holders may enter a doctoral programme (third-cycle studies). To obtain the degree, students must earn 90-120 ECTS credits.

3rd CYCLE

Third-cycle studies – Doctoral degree programmes (normally 3 to 4 years) accessible for graduates of a Master’s degree programme, leading to a PhD degree, offered by universities as well as some research institutions (departments of the Polish Academy of Sciences as well as research and development institutions). A PhD degree is awarded to candidates who submit and successfully defend a doctoral dissertation before a thesis committee and pass a doctoral examination.

The academic year in Poland is divided into two semesters of 15 weeks each – the winter and the summer semester. The winter semester starts in October and ends in mid-February, with a break of about ten days for the Christmas holidays. The examination session usually takes two or three weeks, beginning in January. The summer semester starts in mid-February and ends in June, with a one-week break for Easter. Summer holidays last for three months from the beginning of July to the end of September, but only for those students who passed all exams within the summer examination session (two-three weeks in June). Those who failed take the exams again in September.

n 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)

80-150 EUR
100-150 EUR
15-20 EUR
20-30 EUR
30-50 EUR
70-100 EUR0.80 EUR
0.70 EUR
3.00 EUR
2.50 EUR
5.00 EUR

Rent in a shared flat (or dormitory)

Food

Transportation (in big cities)

Telephone/mobile, internet, TV

Study materials

Other expenses (leisure/entertainment)

Examples of other selected prices

bread (1 loaf )milk (1 litre)lunch at a canteencoffee in a cafécinema ticket

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