Poland can be an incredibly affordable place to study, especially in comparison to the UK, US, and Australia. There are also a number of scholarships and support packages for international students who are interested in studying in the country. In this guide, we look at how much you’ll need to study and live in Poland.
The official currency of Poland is the Polish zloty (PLN).
Polish nationals get their university education for free at government-funded, public universities. Private institutions have fees even for local students, although these generally tend to be lower than in many other parts of Europe. For international students, the cost of education in Poland is still much lower than in many other countries in Europe.
If you are a student from the EU/EEA, you qualify for free tuition at public universities in Poland, which are taught in Polish. However, you will have to compete with other Polish nationals for spots at the universities. You will be required to pay tuition for any university degrees taught in English.
Non EU/EEA students
For students who don’t qualify to study on equal terms as Polish citizens, the fees will vary depending on the type of institution, the university itself, and the programme you choose. On average, you can expect to pay anywhere between 500 - 6000 EUR per academic year for an undergraduate Bachelor’s degree, and between 1000 - 8000 EUR per academic year for Master’s degrees. Some more vocational degrees, like Dentistry or Business, can cost over 15000 EUR - this cost can be higher if you study at a private university.
Actual fees are decided between the university and the student, so check tuition policies with individual universities. Use Unifrog’s European shortlisting tool to get started.
There are some opportunities for students to get funding for their studies in Poland. Here are some of the main options you may want to consider:
- The Polish National Agency for Academic Exchange: The Polish National Agency for Academic Exchange (NAWA) is the main government-based provider of scholarships. However, universities often have their own programmes that you may be eligible for. Check with the universities you’re applying to as to whether you’re entitled to any funding and how you can apply for it.
- Turing Scheme: For UK students, the Turing Scheme run by the UK government provides funding for global educational experiences and work opportunities abroad.
- ERASMUS+: ERASMUS+ is the EU programme supporting projects, partnerships, and mobility in education, youth, and sport across Europe. ERASMUS+ offers international students financial support with their tuition fees for courses taught in English in Poland.
- Studyportals Scholarship: If you are a non EU/EEA student, you can apply for the Studyportals Scholarship International Distinction Awards, which offers winners the opportunity to study abroad with a 10,000 EUR scholarship.
Some Polish universities offer their own scholarships and bursaries for students. Make sure to check the finance page on your European shortlist to find out more about individual universities’ financial support packages.
Overall, Poland offers some of the most affordable accommodation options in Europe. Rent prices are, on average, 45% lower in Poland than the UK and 80% lower than the US. Costs here will depend on factors like location and type of accommodation. Most universities in Poland offer dormitories that you can rent and can start from around 60 - 150 EUR per month depending on the institution.
Private accommodation is usually more expensive and can range significantly depending on the type of housing and the number of people you live with. For example, the average cost of a one-bedroom apartment in a city centre can range between 250 - 750 EUR per month, while a three-bedroom can be anything from 600 - 900 EUR per month. You can always compare potential accommodation prices by checking out the StudentRoomFlat - a booking platform that offers rented flatshares and apartments for international students.
Be aware that if you are renting outside the university campus, you’ll need to pay for utilities like electricity, water, heating, and garbage disposal. The average cost for utilities is 155 EUR per month.
Alongside Romania and Bulgaria, Poland is one of the cheapest places to live in Europe. Although prices vary across the country, and are significantly different between cities and rural areas, it’s still an affordable place to live and study.
As for food, a meal in an inexpensive restaurant will cost around 4 EUR, with higher-end restaurants charging 10 - 15 EUR for a meal. If you’re wondering what to do about your groceries, you’ll also be pleased to find some familiar home comforts if you’re from the UK, as Poland has Tesco and Lidl chains across the country. Grocery stores are also very cheap - the average cost for a litre of milk is 0.50 EUR.
In terms of entertainment, the average club entry costs 2.50 EUR, and a cinema ticket costs 4.50 EUR. A haircut can cost roughly 4.50 EUR, whilst membership at a local fitness centre costs 22 EUR on average per month.
Working while you study
If you’re an international student in Poland, it’s possible to undertake part-time work alongside your study. This applies to both EU students and non-EU nationals who hold a student visa. You can find out more about student visas in our guide ‘Study in Poland: making an application’.
You can work for up to twenty hours per week while your programme is running, and for up to three months full-time during holidays. However, the student job market can be competitive, and you’ll likely need to have some of the basics of the Polish language to access the full spectrum of jobs.
The average minimum wage for students is around 2.50 - 3.50 EUR per hour. Although this may seem low, don’t forget your study and living costs are also not as high as elsewhere.
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