This month Equal Student Exchange (ESE) takes its readers Poland. As we aim to provide information to students from developing countries, this article will be one of the first of many to be written by students from developing countries.
The author of this specific article first learned about overseas study opportunities and scholarships through Equal Student Exchange (ESE) back in 2012. With this information, she was able to gain the opportunity to study at Uniwersytet Warszawski (the University of Warsaw) in Poland for 6 months in 2013 through an Erasmus Mundus sponsored program. Through this article she now contributes back to the ESE community by sharing her experience in Central Europe. As a result, we can now explore the many opportunities available for students from developing countries hoping to study in Poland.
STUDY IN POLAND
By Kinanti Octavian Alif
Kraków, Poland, Market square seen from tower of St. Mary church. Cloth Hall and Town Hall tower. Photo: Pko
WHY STUDY IN POLAND?
Since joining the EU in 2004, Poland has assumed an increasingly influential role in the region. This has been demonstrated by the appointment of the Polish Presidency of the European Union Council in the second half of 2011. The World Bank documented Poland as the country with the fastest growing economy in the European region for several years. Poland has since become the largest economy in the Central Europe. With a population of about more than 38 million and a per capita income of $12,660 in 2012, Poland presents a rapidly emerging economy with a wide range of opportunities.
As a country which has been shaped by the trials and conflict of history, through its resilience Poland has now emerged as one of the big players in Europe. This certainly raises great interest to explore and study in the country. A range of options for study can be found in the rapidly developing main Polish city centres. Many of these cities while assuming an increasingly Western European metropolitanism, still manage to maintain a distinctive Central European character.
Studying in Poland provides a unique opportunity and experience that differs with experiences likely to be gained in other European countries. Poland’s high quality tertiary education sector is based on more than 650 years of experience. Various Poles graduating from this educational system have gone on to establish their place in the history of science and art: some examples, among others include Nicholas Copernicus, Frederic Chopin, and Marie Currie. Today Polish universities continue the traditions of their predecessors while adapting to a modern and often technology oriented modern world. Warsaw University for example is ranked first in the Top Coder international IT ranking.
In terms of living costs for students, living in Poland is considerably affordable when compared with living costs in Western Europe even with the same quality of life. The cost of entertainment and tickets to cultural events are also much lower than the EU average. Poland’s growing popularity as study destination has attracted about 25,000 (and rapidly rising) international students from more than a hundred countries around the globe. In terms of security, Poland provides a relatively safe place for international students of all races, beliefs and origins.
For those who also seek adventures and cultural experiences, Poland should not be overlooked. With the serenity of natural landscapes throughout the country, many historical sites, and cultural events throughout the year, Poland provides a wide range of possibilities. As an increasingly popular destination for study, there will also be the chance to meet many new friends from around the world to share the experience with.
POLISH EDUCATION SYSTEM
Since the 2007/2008 academic year, the Polish higher education system has been divided into three stages: Bachelor (Licencjat, Inżynier), Master (Magister), and Doctor (Doktor). This system applies to all fields of education except Law, Pharmacy, Psychology, Veterinary Medicine, Medicine and Dentistry, which are still based on two-stage system (Master and Doctor).
Bachelor (BA, Licencjat). Obtained following the completion of 3-3,5 year-long vocational/technical college studies.
Bachelor (BSc, Inżynier) Obtained following the completion of 3,5-4 year-long college studies in technical sciences, agriculture and economy.
Master (MA, MSc, Magister) Equivalent degrees: Master of Art, Master Engineer, Master Engineer Architect, qualified physician, dental surgeon or veterinarian. Granted following the completion of 5-6 year long uniform university studies. The MSc may also be obtained following the completion of 2-2,5 years-long supplementary master's degree studies which may be taken by persons with a college diploma.
Doktor (PhD, Doktor) A degree awarded to those who pass doctoral exam and successfully defend dissertation. To qualify for the academic degree of doctor one must hold a master or equivalent degree.
The requirements depend on a specific university decision, and should be verified on a website of the university of your choice. Usually it's necessary to fill an application form, and enclose the transcript of secondary school (or college/university) results as well as the evidence of English proficiency (usually TOEFL results). Some universities require letters of recommendation, personal essays and other documents, listed on their websites. Art schools, as well as some physical education departments, and few other ones, organize additional aptitude tests.
In general, the requirements for international students applying for universities in Poland are as follows:
Admission Information for BA or BSC (Bachelors) Candidates:
- Notarized secondary school certificate or an official duplicate issued by the candidate's high school,
- Filled out application form,
- 4 passport-size photographs,
- Copy of candidate’s ID (passport),
- Certificate of the English language proficiency optionally (unless the high school courses were taught in English);
- Medical certificate with no contraindication for studying,
- Admission fee payment receipt.
Admission Information for MA (Master) candidates:
- Undergraduate program diploma or an official duplicate issued by the university,
- Candidate's CV with the details about the school and professional career optionally,
- One academic reference and one personal reference optionally,
- Filled out application form,
- 4 passport-size photographs,
- Copy of the candidate’s ID (passport),
- Proof of English language proficiency (unless the first degree was taught in English),
- Medical certificate with no contraindication for studying,
- Admission fee payment receipt.
However a candidate might be additionally asked to submit:
Notarized secondary school certificate or an official duplicate issued by the candidate's high school (when applying for master program),
A supplement to the undergraduate program diploma or a copy of the bachelor thesis,
and other documentation*
*since some universities have additional various admission requirements, it is advisable to contact selected University prior to submission of your application!
Important Note: In case a candidate requires a visa to stay and study on the territory of European Union, he or she should apply for selected program adequately earlier, so that decision concerning visa issuance is made before the fall/spring semester begins.
The academic year is divided into two parts: the fall semester (October-mid February), and the spring semester (mid February-June). Each of them ends with the examination period. Teaching is given in the form of lectures, classes, seminars, laboratory classes and discussion groups.
In Poland full-time education at state institutions of higher education is free for Polish citizens. It is also free for foreigners who commence studies in at state HEIs on terms applicable to Polish citizens. All other foreigners are required to pay tuition fees of no less than a PLN equivalent of:
EUR 2000 per year for professional higher study, master’s and postgraduate master’s courses;
EUR 3000 per year for doctoral, postgraduate and specialist courses and scientific, artistic, specialist and habilitation internships;
EUR 3000 per year for vocational courses and apprenticeships;
EUR 2000 per year for a language course, including a course preparing for study in Polish.
Poland has signed the Bologna Declaration along with 29 other countries, aiming to create the European Area of Higher Education. Institutions of higher education in Poland have implemented the ECTS (European Credit Transfer System). They are also engaged in the international exchange of students, based on individual schools activity and programs like SOCRATES/Erasmus. The Diploma Supplement facilitates international recognition of completed education and acquired qualifications.
Bernatek foot-bridge (night) Photo Attribution: Zygmunt Put
PROGRAMS AND SCHOLARSHIP FOR INTERNATIONAL STUDENTS
● The Polish Government offers numbers of scholarship and fellowship intended for university students, researchers, or lecturers for studying and doing research at Polish public universities and institutions under either bilateral international agreements or a decision of a Minister responsible for higher education. All international students may apply for scholarships within bilateral agreements on direct cooperation offered through Bureau for Academic Recognition and International Exchange (www.buwiwm.edu.pl).
Bureau for Academic Recognition and International Exchange
ul. Ogrodowa 28/30
00-896 Warsaw, Poland
Phone: + 48 22 826 7434
Fax: + 48 22 826 2823
● Scholarships provided by Polish Higher Education Institutions (HEIs) in cooperation with the European Union through the Foundation for the Development of the Education System is Erasmus+. This is a new program for 2014-2020 which replace and integrate all previous programs including Erasmus, Erasmus Mundus, Comenius, Leonardo Da Vinci, Youth in Action, Grundtvig etc. This program is to support education, training, youth and sport initiatives across Europe.
Students can go abroad for 3 to 12 months (including a complementary traineeship period, if planned). The same student may receive grants for studying or being trained abroad totalling up to 12 months maximum per each cycle of study.
Students must be registered in a higher education institution and enrolled in studies leading to a recognised degree or other recognised tertiary level qualification (up to and including the level of doctorate). The mobility is carried out in the framework of prior “inter-institutional agreements” between the sending and receiving institutions, both of which must be holders of the Erasmus Charter for Higher Education (if located in a Programme country).
Students may be awarded an Erasmus+ EU grant to help cover the travel and subsistence costs incurred in connection with their study period abroad. Erasmus+ students - whether or not they receive an Erasmus+ EU grant - are exempted from paying fees for tuition, registration, examinations and access to laboratory and library facilities at the host institution. The payment of any national grant or loan to outgoing students should be maintained during the study period abroad.
The interested student should apply to the international office and/or Erasmus+ office of his or her sending higher education institution. The office will inform him or her of the possibilities of studying abroad as well as the modalities to apply and to receive an Erasmus+ EU grant.
For Joint Master Degrees (JMD) are delivered by an international consortium of higher education institutions – and where relevant – other educational and / non-educational partners with specific expertise and interest in the study area(s) / professional domain(s) covered by the joint programme.
Between 13 and 20 student scholarship holders and 4 invited scholars/guest lecturers per intake can, indicatively, take part. In addition to the student scholarship holders, self-funded students can also be enrolled.
Students must be at Master's level, staff of the participating organisations, invited scholars (guest lecturers) from Programme and Participating countries. Students or scholars should contact the consortium offering the Master Course for more information on courses and application procedures .
For Doctoral Studies many opportunities are offered to doctoral candidates and researchers through the Marie Skłodowska Curie Actions . In addition, a limited number of fellowships will be offered to doctoral candidates to participate in Erasmus Mundus Joint Doctoral Degrees. Conditions to participate are the same as for Joint Master Degrees. Doctoral candidates or scholars should contact the consortium offering the Joint Doctoral Courses for more information on courses and application procedures .
● University scholarships as follow are also available for academic excellence:
John Paul II Foundation Scholarships
Scholarships are available to individuals enrolled in:
● 5-year straight-to-master’s programs
● 3-year undergraduate programs
● 2-year master’s programs
● doctoral programs
● research projects
The foundation covers accommodation in the John Paul II Foundation House (men) or a residence hall of the Catholic University of Lublin (women), administration fees, living expenses and minor personal expenses. Scholarships are awarded for nine months (October to June).
ul. Boczna Lubomelskiej 2
20-070 Lublin, Poland
Phone: + 48 81 532 2059
Phone: + 48 81 532 1510
Krzysztof Skubiszewski Scholarship
Funded by Krzysztof Skubiszewski, Poland’s first Minister of Foreign Affairs after 1989, the scholarship is open to candidates from Central and Eastern Europe, the Balkans, the Baltic states, Russia, Central Asia, and the Caucasus region. The recipient is awarded a one-year internship during the 2011/2012 academic year at the University of Warsaw (or another Polish university) in the fields of law, political science, or contemporary history. The aim of the scholarship is to promote democracy, human rights, and the rule of law. The scholarship is open to candidates who have successfully defended their doctoral thesis (or who have other significant academic achievements) or who can demonstrate significant achievements in the field of public welfare.
ul. Krakowskie Przedmieście 26/28
00-927 Warsaw, Poland
Phone: + 48 22 552 2555
Fax: + 48 22 552 2222
The Lane Kirkland Scholarship Program
The Lane Kirkland Scholarship Program is funded by the Polish-American Freedom Foundation and administered by the Polish-U.S. Fulbright Commission. Its main objective is to share Polish experiences in economic, social and political transformations within the framework of a two-semester extended study program (for holders of Master’s degree) in Polish institutions of higher education and two- to four-week professional internships in governmental and private institutions. In the 2010/2011 academic year scholarships included 1,750 PLN (for 9 months), education-related costs, accommodation in Poland, a return ticket, and academic materials. Computers leased to students become their property after the completion of the program.
The recruitment process is announced in January with the application deadline in March. Approximately 50 of the best candidates are selected by an independent committee. The recruitment process has three phases and includes formal and substantive evaluation of proposals and interviews with:
● academic teachers
● experts, politicians, government employees
● NGO leaders, animators of cultural and civic activity
Lane Kirkland Scholarship Program Coordinator.
The Stanisław Grabski Scholarship Program
A monthly scholarship of up to 1,500 PLN is available to students interested in economic trends in the countries of the former Soviet Union.
Terms and conditions:
● residence in a country of the former Soviet Union;
● Polish roots;
● status of graduate student of economics at a Polish university.
The program is funded by the Polish National Bank. Find out more
Castle Książ (Fürstenstein), Poland - Photo Attribution: Drozdp
LIST OF UNIVERSITIES IN POLAND
● Classical Universities:
University of Białystok • www.uwb.edu.pl
Kazimierz Wielki University in Bydgoszcz • www.ukw.edu.pl
University of Gdansk • www.univ.gda.pl
University of Silesia in Katowice • www.us.edu.pl
Jagiellonian University in Krakow • www.uj.edu.pl
Maria Curie-Skłodowska University • www.umcs.lublin.pl
John Paul II Catholic University of Lublin • www.kul.lublin.pl
University of Lodz • www.uni.lodz.pl
University of Warmia and Mazury in Olsztyn • www.uwm.edu.pl
University of Opole • www.uni.opole.pl
Adam Mickiewicz University in Poznan • www.amu.edu.pl
University of Rzeszów • www.univ.rzeszow.pl
University of Szczecin • www.us.szc.pl
Nicolaus Copernicus University in Torun • www.umk.pl
University of Warsaw • www.uw.edu.pl
Cardinal Stefan Wyszyński University • www.uksw.edu.pl
University of Wroclaw • www.uni.wroc.pl
University of Zielona Góra • www.uz.zgora.pl
● Universities of Technology
University of Technology and Life Sciences • www.utp.edu.pl
Gdynia Maritime University • www.am.gdynia.pl
AGH University of Science and Technology in Krakow • www.agh.edu.pl
Kazimierz Pułaski Technical University of Radom • www.pr.radom.pl
The Main School of Fire Service • www.sgsp.edu.pl
Warsaw University of Technology • www.pw.edu.pl
● Medical Universities
Jagiellonian University Medical College in Krakow • www.cm-uj.krakow.pl
Medical University of Warsaw • www.wum.edu.pl
● Universities of Economy
Cracow University of Economics • www.uek.krakow.pl
Warsaw School of Economics • www.sgh.waw.pl
● Universities of Arts
Ludwik Solski State Drama School in Cracow • www.pwst.krakow.pl
Polish National Film, Television And Theatre School in Łódź • www.fi lmschool.lodz.pl
Aleksander Zelwerowicz State Theatre Academy in Warsaw • www.at.edu.pl
Frederic Chopin University of Music • www.chopin.edu.pl
Eugeniusz Geppert Academy of Fine Arts in Wrocław • www.asp.wroc.pl
● Polish Language and Culture Course
The School of Polish Language and Culture, The Jagiellonian University in Krakow
The Centre of Polish Language and Culture for Foreigners ”Polonicum”, University of
Warsaw • www.polonicum.uw.edu.pl
● Official website from the Ministry of Science and Higher Education of Poland.
● Study Fun Poland. You can use the advanced search to find university in Poland. They can help you with your studies in Poland including free advice to study in Poland. Feel free to contact them, firstname.lastname@example.org
Most Grunwaldzki we Wrocławiu zaraz po zachodzie słońca Wacki4
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