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Study in Poland

Poland is a large country with a rich history, a vibrant culture, and welcoming people. Thanks to recent efforts in internationalization, Poland is attracting ever more students from abroad. The country offers world-class education at modest tuition fees and a remarkably affordable cost of living.

Located in Central Europe, Poland borders on Germany, the Czech Republic, Slovakia, Ukraine, Belarus, Lithuania and Russia (via its Kaliningrad exclave). Warsaw, Poland’s capital and largest city, is a modern, exciting hub with many universities offering a wide range of courses. Other major university cities include Cracow, Poznan, Lodz and Wroclaw.

Higher education in Poland has a history dating back nearly 800 years, and the country is home to over 400 institutions - many of which now also offer study programmes in English. Polish academic traditions reach back to 14th century. The Jagiellonian University in Kraków was established in 1364, as the second university in Central Europe. Today's Polish universities continue the glorious traditions of their predecessors. Warsaw University ifor example is ranked first in the Top Coder international IT ranking.

The Higher Education Institutions (HEIs) in Poland are divided into two main groups: state (public) and private (non-public) institutions. These institutions are further divided into two main categories: academic and vocational institutions. All types of HEIs are controlled by the Polish Accreditation Committee, which is an independent institution, acting to ensure and enhance the quality of education.

The academic institution conducts first-cycle (bachelor’s degree) and second-cycle (master’s degree) studies or long-cycle studies. It may also provide education for doctoral students (PhD) too. In general, it takes 3 academic years to complete bachelor studies (6 semesters), whereas master studies, depending on the field of studies, last from 1,5 to 2 academic years (3 or 4 semesters accordingly).


In most cases the academic year at Polish universities consists of 2 semesters of 15 weeks duration each. Fall semester starts in the beginning of October and lasts till mid-February, with two-week break for Christmas holidays and with a one-week vacation period in February. Spring semester starts in mid February and lasts till the end of June, with one-week break for Easter holidays. Summer vacation lasts from the beginning of July to the end of September.


To qualify all international applicants must first meet the minimum requirements for entry into higher education in their own country, have a matriculation certificate or equivalent document; command of English (at least on an intermediate level) is also required.

Some departments of the arts, physical education, departments preparing students for the teaching profession, medical and technical universities may organize additional aptitude tests.

Since Poland ratified the Lisbon Convention on Recognition of Degrees in 2004 recognition of Polish diplomas has become easier inter-nationally.

Scholarship Opportunities

All international students may apply for scholarships within bilateral agreements on direct cooperation offered through Bureau for Academic Recognition and International Exchange. There are many scholarships available within limits defined in bilateral agreements.
They are financed either by the Polish or the foreign partner's government, often with the aim to enhance exchange within a specific field of study. The amount of a scholarship depends on the type of research undertaken.

If you are a non-EU citizen you must have a valid passport and visa (if required). Find a Polish consulate that can process you application. Set a visa appointment with the consulate.
Prepare the necessary documents:

  • Visa Application form
  • Travel document (passport),
  • Biometric photos
  • Travel cum Health insurance
  • Sufficient means to support yourself
  • Documents confirming the purpose of your stay.

Please note that some consulates can require specific documentation, so get the needed information. Submit all the documents including a printed and signed application form and the visa fee. The process usually takes up to 15 days for it to be reviewed.

There are English courses available for international students, so you don't have to speak Polish. If you prefer to study in Polish you will have to complete a Polish language course before you start studying.