The cost of training and education structure in Poland
|Type of studies||Min.age||Duration||Min. cost||Avg. cost||Min. language proficiencydepending on the language of the program|
|Summer camps||7+||2 weeks.||539 USD||722 USD||Polish A1|
|Language courses||15+||1-36 weeks||194 USD/week||280 USD/week||Polish A1|
|Secondary education||7+||10-13 years||Free||10,780 USD/year||Polish B1/TOEFL iBT 45|
|Foundation||16+||1 year||1,078 USD/year||2,156 USD/year||Polish B1/TOEFL iBT 45|
|Bachelor's||18+||3-4 years||1,294 USD/year||2,372 USD/year||Polish B2/TOEFL iBT 60-69|
|Master's ||20+||2 years||1,294 USD/year||2,695 USD/year||Polish C1/TOEFL iBT 90-100|
|MBA||18+||1-2 years||8,624 USD/year||12,936 USD/year||Polish C1/TOEFL iBT 90-100|
|Doctoral||22+||4 years||1,401 USD/year||4,312 USD/year||Polish C1/TOEFL iBT 90-100|
|Single room||216 USD/month|
|Double room||162 USD/month|
|Basic meals||81 USD/month|
|Lunch at the cafe||22 USD/month|
|Visa fee||38 USD|
|Residence permit||92 USD|
Options for admission to Polish universities
The academic year in Polish universities consists of two semesters, each of which ends with an examination period. The first semester begins in October and ends in mid-February. The second semester lasts from mid-February to the end of June.
The admissions are carried out not only from October 1, but also from March 1.
The most popular specialties are taught in English. The proposed programs are more modern and competitive in terms of material and teaching staff. But programs in English have tuition fees, even for local students. Therefore, most of them choose educational programs in Polish.
For admission to programs conducted in English, you must confirm the level of English proficiency. Minimum requirements may vary from university and program, but the majority will require the score of at least IELTS 5.5–6.0 or TOEFL 500 (computer based).
To enter Polish-language programs, you must pass an exam conducted by the State Commission for the Certification of Proficiency in Polish as a Foreign Language (Państwową Komisję do spraw Poświadczania Znajomości Języka Polskiego jako Obcego). The minimum level for bachelor’s programs is B2, for master's/doctoral studies — C1.
Legalization of a certificate/diploma in Poland
For most universities, the legalization procedure is a prerequisite. Member countries of the Hague Convention of 1961 legalize documents by apostilization.
In addition, the education received in a foreign educational institution should be recognized as equivalent to Polish through nostrification (recognition)in case there are no international agreements with your country. However, you can start studying at a university in Poland without it. Most educational institutions allow you to undergo the procedure during the first semester in the city where the university is located.
The recognition of foreign certificates of maturity, documents that can give the right to study bachelor’s programs, is carried out by authorized local education authorities (kuratoria oświaty). This is a free service. The review period is 3-6 weeks. Detailed information on the recognition of foreign certificates is available on the website of the Ministry of National Education of Poland.
Nostrification of higher education diplomas is carried out in the Department of International Cooperation of the Ministry of Science and Higher Education of Poland (Departament Współpracy Międzynarodowej Ministerstwo Nauki i Szkolnictwa Wyższego). The price of the service is 2000-6000 PLN. The review period is 3 months.
Documents for nostrification in Poland
For nostrification of a diploma you will need:
Application for nostrification;
Diplomaoriginal or a copy;
Diploma transcript with grades and a list of disciplines;
Certificate of secondary educationoriginal or a copy;
Consular translation of the diploma with a transcript into PolishThe translation is done by the Ministry of Justice of Poland;
Biography in Polish.
For nostrification of the certificate of secondary education:
Certificateoriginal or copy;
Attachment to the certificatewith a list of grades, subjects and the curriculum ;
Consular translation of certificate with a transcript into PolishThe translation is done by the Ministry of Justice of Poland.
Foundation — Preparatory programs in Poland
Polish universities offer annual preparatory courses for international students who intend to enter bachelor’s / master’s / doctoral programs but do not have the necessary language competenciesEnglish or Polish, or want to brush up the subjects in the chosen specialty. Training is conducted in Polish or English, depending on the educational program. Admission is held in August and September.
Copy of passport valid for the entire period of study;
Copy of visa;
Copy of health insurance;
Copy of certificate of previous education;
In case of successful completion of the program, students are awarded a certificate of language proficiency of level B2 and or a certificate of completing training in selected subjects.
Colleges — Kolegium
The system of higher education in Poland includes 3 types of state colleges:
Pedagogical colleges (kolegium nauczycielskie);
Colleges of teaching foreign languages (nauczycielskie kolegium języków obcych);
Colleges of social work (kolegium pracowników służb społecznych).
Colleges offer three-year programs for students of ages 19 to 21, who have passed the Matura.
Students receive grades for coursework and tests. At the end of the three-year study period, they pass the final exam. To successfully complete the program, students must complete practical exercises and submit a thesis.
College graduates enter the labor market as fully qualified workers. In academic terms, each college is attached to a university. Under such agreements with universities, students can take the final exam at a supervisory institution and immediately receive a bachelor's degree.
Bachelor’s in Poland — Licencjat / Inzynier
Bachelor's degrees in Polish universities are of two types: Licencjat (BA, Bachelor of Arts, ) — 3-4 years of training, and Inzynier (BSc, Bachelor of Science) — 3.5-4 years of study, depending on the educational program. In fact, an Inzynier is a Licencjat in the field of technical sciences, economics, or agriculture.
Bachelor’s education allows you to acquire a profession. To build a career in Poland, it is enough to get a bachelor's degree, but still about 70% of students continue their studies.
For some specialties (for example, for doctors, veterinarians, dental technicians, architects, lawyers, artistic studies), there are actually no bachelor’s programs. Instead, they study under the integrated master's programs (jednolite studia magisterskie), which last an average of 5-6 years.
The process of studying bachelor’s programs consists of seminars and lectures, as well as compulsory internships. Students can choose some disciplines for themselves, others are obligatory. The examination process is done in writing.
Students begin writing their scientific works from the 1st year. The process is monitored by curators. At the end of their studies, Polish students defend their final qualification work.
In addition to the five-point grading scale, each student is required to collect from 180 to 240 ECTS credits for the entire time of study. This is used when transferring a student from one EU institution to another or to determine the "success" of a candidate’s diploma when hiring in any of the EU countries.
To apply for bachelor’s programs, foreign students may need the following documents:
Passport valid for the entire period of study;
Notarized or consulardepending on the university translation of certificate with an apostilleor other type of legalization depending on the country;
TOEFL iBT 60 or a Polish proficiency certificate of level B2depending on the language of the program;
A medical certificate confirming the ability of an applicant to study in a chosen specialtyfor the specialties that require it (for certificates received outside of Poland, you will need a translation through an approved translator).
Master’s in Poland — Magister
These types of students can enter the master’s programs in Poland:
Students who have a bachelor's degree (licencjat or inżynier);
Students with a master's degree;
International students with degrees similar to the above.
Master's studies take two years. Master's programs can be divided into practical and research. The former is suitable for students who wish to learn a new profession, while the latter is suitable for those who intend to continue their studies in doctoral studies. Students who intend to acquire a new specialty during their master's, will have to additionally take exams in some core subjects.
Each university has the right, at its discretion, to conduct additional entrance tests for master’s programs, as well as establish the number of state-funded and fee-paying places available for applicants, with the exception of the fields of medicine and dentistry. The maximum number of students in these specialties is established by the Ministry of Health with the assistance of the Ministry of Education of Poland.
To obtain a master's degree, you need to collect from 90 to 120 credits and get at least a "satisfactory" mark for defending a master's thesis. For the successful completion of integrated master's programs, you need to get from 270 to 360 credits.
Sample list of documents for admission to the master’s:
Passport valid for the entire period of study;
Notarized or consulardepending on the university translation of certificate of secondary education with an apostilleor other type of legalization depending on the country;
A diploma of higher education (not lower than a bachelor) with the application + its certified translation;
TOEFL iBT 60 or a Polish proficiency certificate of level B2depending on the language of the program;;
A medical certificate (for certificates received outside of Poland, you will need a translation through an approved translator).
Doctoral studies in Poland — Doktor
To enter a doctoral program, a student will need a master's degree. Training lasts from 3 to 4 years. The educational process does not differ from other European countries: the first two years are occupied by studies, then the student needs to write a dissertation, which is defended in front of the commission.
Each university has the right to establish the rules for the implementation of doctoral programs. Generally speaking, doctoral students should attend classes, take exams, conduct research, compile reports and work on a dissertation. In addition, doctorate students are required to teach at their university.
Examinations are conducted by a senior teacher or a researcher. The pedagogical activity of doctoral students, their progress in research and writing a doctoral dissertation is also evaluated by a senior professor.
Upon successful completion of a program a doctoral degree is awarded. Students who failed to pass the doctoral program will receive a certificate, which indicates the studied disciplines and achieved results. A doctorate can be awarded to students studying in doctoral studies, as well as to other applicants who have fulfilled the following requirements:
Master's degree or similar;
Successful completion of doctoral examsin key disciplines and foreign language exams;
Successful defenseopen public of doctoral dissertation.
The decision to award a degree is made by the dissertation council, consisting of scientists, curators of applicants, dissertation reviewers.
|Position||Name in Polish||Required qualifications|
|Full Professor||Profesor zwyczajny||Title of professor|
|Extraordinary Professor = Professor at the University||Nadzwyczajny Profesor = Profesor Uczelniany||Title of professor / PhD|
|Visiting Professor||Profesor wizytujący||Title of professor / PhD|
|Associate Professor||Adiunkt||Doctoral degree|
|Assistant||Asystent||Master's degree or equivalent|
While studying in Doctoral studies, a student can work at the university as an assistant professor, as well as in other positions requiring master's degree: senior lecturer (starszy wykładowca
), lecturer / teacher of foreign languages (lektor
), instructor (instruktor
To be promoted to full professor, the academic staff member must receive the title of professor (assigned by the government). This title is awarded to outstanding scientists who have done major research and have extensive teaching experience, including work on the training of scientific personnel.
Salaries of academic staff in Poland are low. Assistant teachers and lecturers receive an average of 2400 PLN
per month, associate professor — 4500 PLN
, and professor — 5940 PLN
Scholarships and grants
The Fulbright Program is a grant to finance the United States-Poland exchange programs that allows students, interns, scientists, teachers and professors to study in both countries. Funding is administered by the Polish-American Commission Fulbright.
The CEEPUS Exchange Program involves 16 countries of Central and Eastern Europe . Students participating In the program are exempted from tuition and receive grants covering living expenses from the host country.
Scholarships of the Eastern Partnership and post-Soviet countries — these scholarships are provided to students from countries of Eastern Europe, Russia, the Caucasus and Central Asia. Among them are:
The Constant Kalinowski's program — bachelor's / master's / doctoral studies for Belarusians, who, cannot continue higher education in their country due to their political activity;
Scholarships for Master’s of Oriental Sciences — for foreign students from Eastern Europe, Russia, the Caucasus and Central Asia;
The Stefan Banach's program — for bachelor’s of economic, technical, biological, legal sciences from Eastern Partnership countriesArmenia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Gorgia, Moldavia, Ukraine;
The program for doctoral students of Eastern partnership countriesArmenia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Gorgia, Moldavia, Ukraine in humanities and social sciences;
The scholarship program for young scientists from post-Soviet countries. Includes a 9-month internship for bachelor’s/master’s in humanities or social sciences with academic achievements.
Scholarships for researchers — organizes the studies in doctoral programs / support for post-doctoral studies and academic mobility of scientists from around the world. The program is funded by the Polish government.
The ERASMUS+ exchange program — allows students to study in another country without paying for studies or accommodation. The program involves all EU countries, as well as Northern Macedonia, Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway, Turkey, Serbia, and the United Kingdom.
The Leyna Kirkland program — for students from the CIS countries and Georgia who have at least 2 years of work experience in the specialty and who wish to contribute to the development of the economy, civil society and democracy in their homeland.
Student visa to Poland
To study at a Polish university, a student needs a temporary residence permit. In order to receive it, it is necessary to apply to the local voivode department, already being in the country.
EU students do not need any visas to enter Poland. For non-EU nationals there are 2 types of visas that students can use:
Type “C” — a short-term Schengen visa allowing the holder to stay in Schengen territory for up to 90 days for a 180-day period;
Type “D” — a long-term national visa issued for a period of up to one year. Not renewable, except in a few cases.
It should be noted that foreigners from a number of countries are exempted from visa requirements when entering the Schengen territories for periods not exceeding 90 days during a 180-day period.
An application for a temporary residence permit must be submitted before the visa expires. Documents required are as follows:
Photos and documents proving identity and citizenship;
Address of stay;
Purpose of stay — letter of admission;
Evidence of fundsfor the whole duration of study, that will cover living costs493-585 USD/month and return to your homeland216-2,695 USD.
Upon receipt of permission, you will be issued a temporary residence card — an identity card confirming the legitimacy of your stay in the country. Together with a travel document, it will allow you to cross the Polish border without restrictions. The first residence permit is issued for a period of 15 months. It can be extended for up to 3 years, but no longer than the planned training period.
Health insurance, which is necessary to obtain a residence permit, can be obtained in advance through insurance agencies or obtained upon arrival by signing a voluntary health insurance agreement with the National Health Fund (Narodowy Fundusz Zdrowia — NFZ). Insurance premiums will be around 16 USD per month. As for EU students, they are eligible for free or discounted health care provided they have a European Health Insurance Card (EHIC).
Ability to work while studying in Poland
Full-time students who have received a temporary residence permit have the right to work part-time20 hours/week while studying and full-time40 hours/week during summer vacation. Full time work for the whole period of study is permitted only for Residence Card holders.
Part-time students will need a work permit. It is issued for a period of three years and is canceled after leaving the position. Therefore, if a person changes jobs, he will have to get a new permit.
A large number of companies provide paid internships for students. This is a good opportunity to gain the necessary experience, and also, if a student managed to prove himself, to receive an offer for further cooperation. Some universities have career centers that help students find work and practice.
Opportunity to stay and immigration to Poland
To stay in the country after graduation, neither EU/EEA students nor nationals from other countries need a work permit. It is important just to extend the temporary residence permit. To do this, you need to apply to the voivode office at the place of residence. The request will be satisfied if:
The applicant is a foreigner who has recently graduated from a Polish university and is looking for work in Poland or plans to start an entrepreneurial activity on its territory;
The circumstances that are the basis for applying for a permit justify the stay of a foreigner in the territory of the Republic of Poland for a period of more than 3 months.
Usually a temporary residence permit can be extended for a period of 9 months. The cost of the procedure is 92 USD.
Then, a foreigner can apply for a permanent residence permit if he has lived in Poland for at least 5 years. During this period, only 50% of the time spent in the country while training is counted. The application is also submitted to the voivode office at the place of residence. The cost of the service is 162 USD.
Poland. The country has a fairly low unemployment rate of 3.5%, but many Poles decide to look for work outside the country. Foreigners who graduate from Polish universities have good chances to find a job in Poland, but for this it is important to know the local language at a good level.
Europe. A diploma of a Polish university is not very valuable in Europe. However, students who graduate from any Polish university have the opportunity to continue their studies at other European universities, including more prestigious ones.
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