Poland is wild! There are few countries like it in Europe, with such a long history of resistance groups, fighters and real-life Phoenixes, who raise stronger from their own ashes.
Considering the culture and the solidarity the Poles have with everyone entering their country, as well as the low living costs and the multitude of universities, there’s no surprise that Poland has become one of the most popular destinations for international students worldwide.
For a smoother transition and application process, we developed a simple guide for you to follow.
1. Polish universities to consider for your studies
Polish universities are really cheap, compared to the rest of Europe. Some of the best are:
- University of Wroclaw
- Warsaw University of Technology
- Medical University of Lodz
- Cracow University of Economics
- Poznan University of Economics and Business
- University of Gdansk
2. Prepare to apply
Your first concern should be the VISA. Poland is a member of the European Union, so EU/EEA students don’t need a VISA. Meanwhile, non-EU/EEA students should read about it and start preparing the necessary documents and setting appointments as soon as possible.
Consulates and embassies will handle your paperwork, and the website for the Ministry of Foreign Affairs will help you with your Polish VISA, if there are questions or you don’t understand the instructions.
Also, check if you qualify for a scholarship in Poland. There are quite a few, so it’s worth a shot to see if you can receive one of them. You should also check out the Studyportals Scholarship to get some help on financing your studies abroad.
3. Where to apply for a Polish Master’s degree?
To apply for a Polish study programme, you need to access the university’s page and follow the steps there. Unlike other countries, Poland doesn’t have a centralised website where you can make a general application, which you can then send to multiple universities. You will have to work for it, so the rewards will feel even better in the end.
You can check the StudyInPoland website, where you can find frequently asked questions, information about life in Poland, and other things you should consider before moving there. Also, they have a list of featured universities on their homepage, so you could easily find phone numbers, programmes, e-mails and information about each of them.
4. Language requirements for a Polish university application
Seeing how the application documents for both VISA and your Master’s programme require proof of your English language proficiency, you should invest time and effort and ace one of the following tests:
5. Required application documents
General application documents
There is a list of minimum requirements that all students have to meet in order to get into a Master’s programme. This list includes:
- a matriculation certificate or equivalent document
- a Bachelor's diploma
- an English proficiency test
Also, the most common admission documents required by Polish universities are:
- undergraduate diploma or an official replacement (issued by the university)
- CV with the details about the school and professional career (optional)
- one academic reference and one personal reference
- filled-in application form
- 4 passport-size photographs
- copy of the ID
- proof of English language proficiency (unless your previous degree was taught in English)
- medical certificate with no contraindication for studying
- proof of paying the admission fee
Specific entry requirements
If you opt for a Master’s programme in the department of Arts, Physical Education, Teaching, Medical or Technical universities, you will have to take an additional aptitude test.
Also, depending on the programme, other documents might include:
- certified secondary school certificate or an official replacement issued by the candidate's high school
- a supplement to the undergraduate diploma or a copy of your Bachelor’s thesis
6. University application deadlines in Poland
In most cases, the academic year at Polish universities consists of 2 semesters of 15 weeks each.
- Beginning of October: Fall semester starts
- Mid-February: Fall semester ends
- Mid-February: Spring semester starts
- End of June: Spring semester ends
- Beginning of July – end of September: summer vacation
As far as application deadlines are concerned, they vary from university to university. Here are some common deadlines:
- Application deadlines for EU/EEA students: mid-September (the latest)
- Non-EU/EEA students: mid-July to mid-August (the latest)
7. Final steps after receiving the university acceptance letter
Firstly: Woo hoo! You got in!
Secondly: Let’s make a shortlist of things you should prepare and the errands you need to run once you get there.
- As an EU/EEA student, you won’t need a VISA, but no matter what country you come from, you will need to apply for a temporary residence permit, as your Master’s degree will surely be longer than three months.
- Don’t forget to call your university’s International Relations Office and get more information on the more practical aspects, like coming to Poland, medical care and insurances, your driving license, and more.
- If you’re a non-EU/EEA student, for the VISA you’ll need (or at least it's highly recommended) to get medical insurance in your home country or immediately after you arrive. If you don’t have this covered, you will have to pay every health service you will get and that will rack your bill to a substantial sum.
- For EU/EEA students: you’re not off the hook: get your European Health Insurance Card (EHIC), or else you won’t be eligible for free health insurance.