Why study in Poland?
We wrote about scholarships in Poland, paperwork needed to study in Poland, places to study in and visit, Polish student organizations, culture and language… but you might still ask yourself, why study in Poland?
While Poland isn’t as popular study destination as some western European countries or the United States, it has a lot to offer! In this article you will find a few reasons that might make you consider choosing Poland, if you are thinking about studying abroad.
Choice of many high-quality universities
Poland is home to over 450 higher education institutions, including over a hundred public, government-funded universities. Among them, the best ranked are:
- the Jagiellonian University in Kraków – one of the oldest university in Europe, established in 1364;
- the University of Warsaw, whose notable alumni include Frédéric Chopin, Nobel prize winner Olga Tokarczuk and the former president of Mali Alpha Oumar Konaré;
- the Poznań University of Life Sciences – a leading university of life sciences in Poland, which offers 23 fields of study.
Many od the private universities also offer high-quality education and innovative research. For example, SWPS University is the leading higher education institution offering social sciences program in Poland. Moreover, many institutions offer academic programmes in English, as well as other opportunities. You can participate in student exchanges, conduct your own research, and get involved in other extracurricular activities.
Affordable education and life
Compared to the rest of Europe, living and studying in Poland is still quite affordable. First of all, many study programmes at public universities are free of charge. This applies not only for Polish students, but also for foreigners – both from EU and non-EU countries. Those universities who do charge a tuition fee set them at much lower levels than many universities in Western Europe or the UK. Moreover, as a student you usually have access to affordable housing in the student dorms. While in many of them you might need to share a room, they are also usually a great place to meet new people and make lifelong friends.
Of course, the overall cost of living will depend on the city you’ll live in. Major cities such as Warsaw, Kraków or Wrocław have the highest cost of living, so it’s worth taking into account when choosing a university. However, students in Poland receive discounts on things such as public transport, entrance to museums and art galleries, cinema tickets and many more. This might help you balance your budget while still participating in cultural life.
Scholarships for foreign students
Foreign students in Poland can receive scholarships that help in covering the cost of tuition fees and/or everyday living expenses. We have collected information on the major scholarship programmes in Poland for foreign students in our article. There, you will find brief descriptions of the programmes. We have also included links to websites where you can find more information and apply. For many of them, you can apply before you start your studies. This means you might receive financial support even before coming to Poland.
Moreover, as a foreign student in Poland, you can also apply to other scholarships, not only the ones aimed specifically at foreigners. For example, every year top students at public universities receive Rector’s scholarship. What’s important is that it’s not only good grades that are taken into account when choosing the recipients, but also scientific, artistic and sports achievements. If you are already studying in Poland, we recommend to ask at the Student’s Office what scholarships or grants you can apply for.
Vibrant cultural and student life
The student culture has a rich tradition in Poland. Historically, student movements were active participants in political, social and cultural life. Some of the student organizations, for example The University Sports Association, date back to early 20th century. You can read more about the student organizations on our website. Moreover, every year in May there is an annual higher education students’ holiday called Juwenalia. Its history dates back to 15th century. Traditionally, it consists of three days that are free of classes and filled with concerts, parties, sports and cultural events.
Apart from student culture, Poland offers a variety of cultural events and places to visit. You can check out some of our recommendation in the Places to visit in Poland article. Worth mentioning is that many venues, especially in big cities, offer more and more events in English (as well as other languages) every year. That way, you can participate even if you don’t speak Polish.
Being at the centre of Europe
Some claim that the geographical centre of Europe is the town of Suchowola in north-eastern Poland. While this may be disputed, it’s definitely true that Poland lies at the intersection of western and eastern Europe. You can see it in the culture, cuisine, history and many other aspects. Moreover, the geographical location of Poland means the possibility of travelling and discovering various cultures and new countries that are just one train/bus/plane ride away.
Poland being part of the EU also has its benefits, such as being part of the Erasmus+ Programme. This means you can spend part of your studies – up to two semesters – on a European university abroad. During your stay, you will also receive a scholarship to help you cover the living costs. So, studying in Poland can open up many opportunities – both here, and abroad!