Poland is an attractive destination for international students to further their higher education because of the high-quality, yet inexpensive education one can get at a Polish university. Besides the availability of scholarships, well-developed infrastructure, and conducive learning environments, many international students choose to study in Poland because it opens doors to employment in Europe and countries around the world.
If you want to study in a country that is home to some of the most significant people and noble historical figures on Earth (think Nobel prize winners, mathematicians, astronomers, and musicians), Poland is the place to go. Now, let’s look at how international students can study in Poland.
How Can International Students Study in Poland?
To study in Poland as an international student, you should do the following to maximize your chances:
- You need to prepare to finance your studies in Poland. This is the most important step since without finances, you can’t study in Poland. There are multiple ways of doing this, which include getting scholarships, paying out of your own pocket, or working while studying.
- After you figure out the finances, you need to know what requirements the universities in Poland require. There are multiple requirements such as language requirements and application requirements. So, make sure to know them and prepare them.
- When you meet the requirements, you need to apply to universities in Poland. We will cover the application procedure later in this article.
- After you get accepted, you need to apply for a student visa!
1. Know How Much Studying in Poland Cost
The average university tuition fees for international students in Poland are about $3,000 a year (for an undergraduate program) and $6,000 a year (for a graduate program). While living in a big city like Warsaw or Krakow may entail a higher cost of living, living expenses in Poland are still relatively cheap when compared to other European countries. On average, international students require about $600 a month to cover their costs, such as accommodation, meals, transportation, and others.
2. Know the General Application Requirements for Poland
In general, universities in Poland deliver their undergraduate and graduate programs in Polish and/or English. If Polish or English is not your native language, you are required to provide proof of proficiency in the language that is the medium of instruction of the program of your choice.
To study in Poland as an international student, applicants without any prior knowledge in these languages or any official certificates acknowledged by the university can attend a one-year language preparatory program and achieve the minimum grade required.
General Polish and English Requirements (Undergraduate)
For programs delivered in English, most universities in Poland require at least a 72 in TOEFL iBT, 5.5 in IELTS, or B2 level in other documents that can certify the English proficiency of an applicant. For programs that use Polish as the language of instruction, international students need to achieve a minimum level of B2 in the Polish proficiency test.
Applicants who wish to enroll in programs delivered in English at the University of Warsaw can do so if they meet the minimum English proficiency requirement – 75 in TOEFL iBT, 5.5 in IELTS, or B2 level in the university’s Language Proficiency Certification test – set by the university.
To enroll in programs in Polish, applicants can either complete a one-year preparatory course at the university or obtain a B2 level certificate issued by the State Commission for the Certification of Proficiency in Polish as a Foreign Language.
To study at Jagiellonian University, students are required to have at least 72 points in TOEFL iBT, 5.5 in IELTS, grade C in Cambridge B2 First, or other equivalent certificates that are accepted by the university. For programs in Polish, students must pass a compulsory interview aiming to determine whether they have the required level of understanding in Polish.
General Polish and English Requirements (Graduate)
In general, the language requirements for graduate programs in a university are the same as the requirements for its undergraduate programs.
For example, Warsaw University of Technology asks its applicants for one of the following certificates as proof of proficiency in English. (These are the same requirements for the university’s undergraduate program applicants.)
- 6 or more in IELTS
- 87 or more in TOEFL iBT
- Other certifications that demonstrate a student’s English knowledge at level B2 or above
To be sure, please check with the university you are applying to on the mandatory language requirements.
Application Requirements (Undergraduate)
The documents that are needed for an undergraduate program application may vary across different universities in Poland, but these are the materials that most universities will ask for:
- Application form with photograph
- Certificate of high school graduation
- High school transcripts
- Proof of language proficiency in Polish and/or English
- Passport or ID card
- Proof of medical insurance
Application Requirements (Graduate)
The documents required for graduate program application are similar to the list above.
- A bachelor’s degree
- Transcript of records
- Certificate of language proficiency
- Passport or ID card
- Reference letter (if applicable)
- Proof of health insurance
The application fee for both undergraduate and graduate programs ranges from $22 to $220. You will need to submit your application to be able to study in Poland as an international student.
3. Apply to Universities in Poland
The number and period of application for universities in Poland are unique. Some universities may have a single intake in a year, whereas some universities, such as Jagiellonian University, hold their admission continuously as long as there are still places available. Please refer to the application guidelines of the university you are applying to for more information.
The application process, however, is similar in most universities. For example, to apply to the University of Warsaw, applicants should follow the guidelines below:
First, register online at the university’s website and check the qualification criteria for the program that you wish to apply for. Next, complete your application, attach the required documents online, and pay the application fee of 85 PLN (approximately $22). If you need to sit for a written exam, oral exam, or qualification interview, the application fee becomes 100 PLN (about $26).
You can later check the result of your application on your registered account. If you are offered a place at the university, you must send the required documents to the admissions committee by post before the deadline, as failure to do so will result in the retraction of your offer. You will receive a confirmation of admission from the university if you manage to submit all the necessary documents.
4. After you get accepted, you’ll need to get a student visa
The final step of studying in Poland for international students is getting a student visa. This step is actually the easiest since you have the requirements ready if you’ve completed the previous steps.
International students from the EU can enter Poland with a passport or ID card, but students who are not citizens of the EU state members should apply for a National Visa (type D) to study in Poland. You can do so by filling in your visa application form online and securing an appointment with the Polish embassy or consulate in your country for the submission of documents.
The documents you would need for your student visa application are:
- Completed application form
- Passport or any other valid travel document
- Health insurance with coverage of no less than EUR 30,000
- Letter of admission from the university
- Proof of financial means, such as bank statements, to show that you have adequate resources to cover the costs of your education and living expenses in Poland
You should check with the embassy or consulate if you have all the documents necessary for your visa application, as the requirements may differ in each country.
The processing time for visa applications can take up to 15 days and there is no express service available, so you should plan and start your application early.
The application fee for a National Visa is about $90. Please visit the website of the embassy or consulate in your country for more information. For example, if you are in New York, refer to this website from the Consulate General of the Republic of Poland in New York.
Well done! Congratulations on getting your student visa. You can now pack your bags and purchase your flight ticket to Poland.
Once you arrive in Poland, you should apply for a Temporary Residence Card at the Voivodship Office as international students whose stay in Poland exceeds three months are required to apply for a temporary residence permit. It is always best to start as soon as possible, even if your visa is still valid for some time.
Check with your university on the application procedure and the documents that you have to submit.
I hope that this article was helpful. If you are interested, visit the Europe Scholarships Page.