Studying in Poland

People inexperienced in looking for information on the Internet may have problems to understand the system of higher education in Poland. When it comes to it, students usually find out about everything from their older friends or on the web, still such solutions are not always a reliable choice. That is why you will find here some basic information concerning studying in Poland. For more detailed information, contact a higher education institution.

As you may know, we distinguish three types of such institutions in Poland: the public ones, which are established by the state, the private ones, founded by a private person, and the vocational ones, which concentrate on narrow specialities.

The question is: how can one be accepted at any of these institutions? There are two types of recruitment: the competition of certificates in which people with the best grades are accepted or the entrance exam that checks knowledge acquired during earlier stages of education. Such methods are applied for example by the University of Warsaw or Maria Skłodowska-Curie University in Lublin. Still, some institutions choose alternative forms of exams, appropriate for the major and the latter form of studying. To become a student of acting on PWST National Academy  of Theatre Arts in Krakow, one has to go through a ‘casting’ which verifies acting skills. The Academy of Fine Arts in Warsaw requires a portfolio, regardless of the chosen major. The University of Physical Education in Warsaw organises fitness exams.

A future student can choose from two types of studying. Full-time studies require spending a lot of time at the university but they equal free weekends and no tuitions. When it comes to the extramural studies, they are the opposite – classes are held on weekends but students have to pay tuition fees. They are a good solution for those who want to combine studying with work.

In Poland, regardless of the type of studies, four degrees can be acquired: an engineer’s degree after seven semesters, a bachelor’s degree after the first three years and a master’s degree after the next two. Usually, students who are the most fascinated by their major or want to work at their university in the future purse the last one. It usually takes three years or more. This title, doctor, cannot be acquired at vocational institutions. Like in every other field, exceptions are present. On majors such as law, medicine, veterinary medicine, pharmacy or psychology studies are unified. It means that they last five years which end with acquiring the master’s degree.

So what is the best place for education? According to rankings from 2013, the best higher education institutions are: the University of Warsaw, the Jagiellonian University (Kraków), Adam Mickiewicz University (Poznań). Other popular and highly-rated institutions are: the Warsaw University of Technology, Maria Skłodowska-Curie University. Party animals will love the University of Wrocław which is located in the city famous for being the most student-oriented city in Poland.

And what about a place to live when studying? Most universities have their student dorms where students learn, party, and help each other. It is a great place for sociable people who like partying and do not need much privacy.

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