Since Poland abolished Communism in 1989, the country has gone through a rapid transformation and is now the sixth largest economy in the European Union. Although the country is quickly changing, it is still a place of charm steeped in history and tradition.
Poland shares borders with many countries. To the west, it borders Germany, while the Czech Republic and Slovakia are to the south. In the east, it borders Ukraine and Belarus, and in the north, it borders the Baltic Sea and Lithuania in the northeast. With all these countries surrounding Poland, it is a great place to travel from.
The weather in Poland is characterized by warm, but wet summers and cold winters. Poland’s mountainous areas such as the Tatra Mountains receive a fair amount of snow making them an attraction for snow sports enthusiasts. Poland has been a member of the European Union since 2004, but it is not part of the Euro currency. Instead, the country has its own currency: the zloty.
The tuition fees in Poland are very competitive. Living in Poland is also very affordable, with a month’s rent costing around 250 euros.
As a long-term student, you will need to be insured during your total stay in Poland. EU citizens can take advantage of Polish health services free of charge.
If, however, you do not have such a card, you can buy health insurance from the National Health Fund (Narodowy Fundusz Zdrowia) for about 40 PLN (about $10) per month.
As part of the visa application, you'll be required to show your last 3 bank account statements with the name and address of owner(s), or proof of regular income, e.g. pay slips for the last 3 months, or student loan agreement.
A minimum of $35 per day is required to cover expenses, or about $1,050 per month for the duration of the visa period you applied for. If you apply for a 1-year visa, you'll have to pay $12,600.
Once you've been accepted to a program, you’ll need to think about a visa.
If you are a non-EU citizen, you will need to apply for a student visa at a Polish consulate in your home country before your arrival in Poland.
The following are the documents you'll need to get a visa: a completed visa application form, 2 passport photos on a black and white background (3.5 x 4.5 cm), and a valid passport (for at least 3 months after your visa expires). The admission letter from the university; the confirmation of the paid tuition fee; the medical insurance for your stay in Poland; the confirmation of funds for living in Poland; the long-term student visas are issued for 90–365 days.
I'm often asked how to evaluate the reputation of schools, outside of global rankings, which I think can be limited in their evaluation of the undergraduate experience. Perspecktywy does their own ranking of Polish universities. Private and public universities are ranked in separate categories. You may need to use a bit of Google Translate, but you can find information about these ratings here.