If you are one of those who are yet to choose the place to study, and consider Poland as one of them, here’s what you need to know about how to study in poland and start a new life in Poland…
Though – it might seem – little elitism of Polish universities, more and more non-Polish students come here to study.
Well, that’s very good. If you are one of those who are yet to choose the place to go, and consider Poland as one of them, here’s what you need to know.
Studies in Poland
There is a number of universities offering their courses in English. The biggest ones are Jagiellonian University (Krakow), University of Wroclaw (Wroclaw), the University of Adam Mickiewicz (Poznan), The University of Silesia (city of Katowice), the University of Gdansk (Gdansk) and The University of Warmia and Mazury (Olsztyn).
Probably this little map is going to sorta help you out:
Red dots of course stand for the cities we talk about.
Those are the biggest universities and generally considered to be the better ones.
What do they need from you is given on their websites. So is what do they offer.
Here are some short facts about studying in Poland:
Like everywhere, Studies in Poland are divided into 3 degrees:
- 1st. Bachelor’s
- 2nd. Master’s
- 3rd. Doctoral
The last one isn’t called a degree or Doctoral in a common language. It’s commonly known as a graduate degree instead.
At the end of every cycle they tell you to write a text. Very long text, that usually means a certain number of pages that you must later defend against a professor.
Another thing is a deanery, kind of secretariat for dean of the University. Legend says deanery ladies are on their periods for 365 days in a year, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.
How it differs from a legend is that it’s mostly true, at least in public universities. They are oftenly mean and lazy. English might be a wishful thinking option.
Freshman year is the hardest. They just want to filter those who are hard working from those who aren’t.
Hours of classes can be different. Once you start it at 8 am, have it until 10 am, have an hour break and another 2 hours of studying.
Or start at 10 am. Have a break at, say, 11 am. Another one at 1 or 2 pm.
And the classes doesn’t have to finish at a fixed time like in schools. You can spend time at university until an evening. You’ll just have some hour/s long breaks between some classes.
Also, the classes aren’t in just one building. Universities’ buildings are usually all around the city and different classes can be in different buildings.
Life in Poland
Before you come here to Polish soil, you gotta know few things about us and the way we are.
You’ve might heard many stories about how whateverphobic and racist we are.
I tell you what — it’s quite much a bullshit.
Partly, however because it applies to a bunch of people in our country. Though we don’t burn mosques or synagogues down (at all) nor regularly rape and kill people of other cultures, we ain’t always most welcoming to cultures other than the Western (even not everything western we’re agreeing with).
Some people keep thinking Muslims gonna turn Europe into a caliphate. Some people keep thinking gays gonna turn kids into another godless gays. Some people keep thinking religious people generally equal stupid people.
Some people keep thinking black people have IQ at a monkey’s level.
All these may be partly true. Just like partly true is that all Poles are intolerant. Mostly it’s on a simple way that we give you respect as long you give it to us.
Those who are okay with where are you from will bring you loads of fun. Brace yourself for uncountable number of parties (which include hectolitres of vodka — better warn you don’t like alcohol beforehand) and much time spent together in general. We like spending time together.
Just for clarification:
- Be modest. We generally like people who don’t behave like they were better than others. And don’t like those who do (gift from communism);
- Don’t complain about our culture and history. In spite the fact alone they’re beautiful, we have been raised to love those two;
- Don’t try to convince us that your culture is better than ours, unless asked about that. It’s ok when we talk about it, it’s ok you’re proud of it, but we don’t have to know we’re worse. If we are, go away.
There’s yet one another thing — our English sucks. Both in services, like shops and transportation, and privately.
Not always because we’re too lazy to learn it. Ok, companies (especially transportation services and other public services) are usually too scant to fund their employees courses.
We ain’t used to it. Over 95% of our Poland’s population is Polish native. Most of these 5% know some Polish too.
English at out schools sucks too. English classes are the only classes in English. And that doesn’t always happen too, because the teacher’s usually Polish and explains stuff in Polish.
We ain’t used to talk English, to think English. When you come to us and start speaking, even the young generation can be like
He speaks English. How de fak do I respond??
Or will stare at you like at an alien. Or start laughing (I’ve heard that happens, too).
So better take your time. Keep calm, talk slowly and use simple language. Please.
Costs of living in Poland
That can of course vary by how do you live, but it’s usually possible for a single person to live at approximately 1000 — 1500 PLN a month.
1 PLN = 0.32 USD
If you eat normally, you’ll approximately spend 400- 500 PLN a month for food. I repeat, normally. That neither means starvation portions nor huge feasts and loads of parties and luxurious alcohol. Rather means a normal food. Shop at Biedronka, Lidl and Netto and you’ll fit into that.
Flats can be expensive. But well, they can be cheap too. That depends mostly where they are. In the biggest cities, the price for a 20-30 square meters fully furnished flat can be 500 — 1500 PLN a month. Olsztyn and Katowice are the cheapest, whilst Warsaw is the most expensive (as country capitals usually are).
That doesn’t always include gas, water and electricity bills, but those are averagely the matter of 200 PLN a month. You need to ask the owner about that, if not specified in the ad.
You can also rent a single room. In Krakow, prices for fully furnished rooms fit in between 400 — 800 PLN a month, with usually all bills (water, gas etc.) included. In Warsaw it’s in huge part 500 — 900 PLN. In Katowice 400 — 700 PLN and Olsztyn 350 — 600 PLN. Prices in other big cities are similar.
Transportation. Important thing. Fuel is expensive. Like, 5-6 PLN a liter.
Oh my god
I know right?
But though we’re poor, we have public communication as well. Or because we’re poor. I don’t know. Anyways, every bigger city (in the smaller ones it can vary) has a system of sorta integrated tickets, say you pay a certain amount of bucks and can use it for a certain amount of days or hours.
Warsaw has something like this. So does Krakow, Wroclaw, Gdansk, Katowiceand Olsztyn, whose website doesn’t talk English. For Olsztyn, it’s 14o PLN for a normal monthly ticket all around the Olsztyn aglomeration with unlimited rides and 70 PLN for the reduced one.
Buses in Poland look like this:
Public transportation really improved in recent years. Though you can still take a ride with a machine older than you, more and more buses look like these above. They have AC, some happen to have electricity plug-ins (as far as I know). Not to mention that some cities plan to install WiFi in their buses (that will take some time though).
How to get a visa?
Yeah, well — that varies by country. To save your time and mine, I just leave that link here. It beautifully describes everything. If You’ve got our embassy in your country, be happy. We don’t have them everywhere.
If you don’t know, find out here.
Is it worth?
You don’t know? Of course yes. Level of Polish best universities is high, life might be slightly cheaper than in the West and people are people, but are in big part very nice.
But it will be very helpful if you start taking some Polish language courses.
I’ll update that post yet, along with the feedback I get and some more ideas I get recalled myself. I myself come back to Poland for university after three years of emmigration, so I actually learn with you.