Poland is a land covered by the Carpathian Mountains, the Tatra Mountains, and the Masurian Lake District, with more than 400 universities. Known as one of the best places to pursue English-taught degrees in Europe, Poland welcomes over 1.5 million international students annually. With thousands of its universities ranking amongst the top ones in the world, Poland is a hot destination for international students. In this blog, we will talk about how as a student, you can plan and manage your finances in Poland.
Manage your Tuition Fee with Scholarships and Loans
Poland offers few scholarship programs for the Master’s degree, making this place a haven for academically good international students. In addition to this, there are options where the universities have tie-ups with the governments of the native countries of the international students too. This further helps in providing the students with subsidized tuition fee.
The scholastic costs can be further cut down by taking up exams in Polish. Multiple such exams keep happening around the year, and one should be aware of them. There are a set of criteria to fulfil for sure, but nothing is too tough to achieve.
The course fee in Poland depends on the type of program you wish to study. For bachelor’s and Master’s degrees, the tuition fee is 2000-4000 Euro/Year; PhD is 3000 Euro/Year; Medicine and MBA are 8000-12000 Euro/Year. There are vocational and language courses that Poland offers, which generally costs around 2000 – 3000 Euro/Year respectively.
Getting a loan is a great way to manage your finances and bear the living cost in Poland. You can get help from your own country or even grants from Poland itself.
Some relevant scholarship options which you should take note of are:
Opt for Shared Accommodation
Accommodation forms roughly 35% of the total expenses that one considers while calculating the cost of living. You can find yourself university residence halls or even a private rental apartment (which can be shared) according to your budget.
A residence hall costs around 100-200 EUR/month, and the rental apartments require 300-400 EUR/month. The prices generally depend on the cities that you are currently living in. If you live in places like Warsaw or Krakow, then you have to pay a much higher rate than rural areas.
While living in Poland in a rented apartment, consider these extras like electricity, water, heater, garbage bills, which will round up to 200 EUR/month. Not only these, but there are also deposits asked by the landlords. So, it would help if you kept those in mind, while planning your finances.
Living in a shared apartment will divide your expenses and help you manage your finances in Poland.
Cut Down on Food Cost and Groceries
For an international student, the average food costs around 100-150 EUR/ month. Other options are buying groceries from cheap supermarkets like Lidl, Auchan, Carrefour, Leclerc, and Tesco that help you save money and manage your finances. Restaurants offer a reasonable and affordable price per meal for 5 EUR, or you can consider a three-course meal for two around 23 EUR. Light drinks cost 2 EUR, which is also affordable.
Use Public Transport
Cars are definitely not the option if you want to manage your finances well. The gasoline rate keeps changing; however, the average price is 1 EURO a litre and that doesn’t take you really far. Public transport is a much better option as you can avail unlimited transport services by paying a little less than 50 euros for the entire semester. The pass thus obtained is valid for six months. Furthermore, Poland is a pedestrian-friendly country so you can choose to walk to places that are not really far.
International students can get a 50% discount on public transportations by showing their Student ID. National railways even allow a discount of 37% for students up to age 27 in Poland.
Look for a Part-Time Job
International students in Poland can continue their studies as well as work part-time for their daily expenditures. Generally, students get jobs like foreign language teachers, waiters/waitresses, childminders, shop assistants/ bartenders, or cleaners. Though few of the jobs need one to have a command over the Polish language, some posts do not need it. Moreover, English is always in demand at most places so if you are well-versed with that, it would be great.
Also, we advise that if you are choosing Poland for your degree programme, make sure that you learn Polish. It is always a good idea after all to know the main language of the nation you are going to.
Get a Local Bank Account to Manage your Finances
As an international student, you would need to pay your tuition fees, rent, and other essentials on time, so it’s better to have a local bank account there. Otherwise, you would incur higher interest rates to transact money every time, and we are sure you would not want to add that additional expense to your kitty. Even when you join a part-time or full-time job in Poland, it would be easier for your employer to pay you in your bank. Also, there are specialized discount offerings for students that you can avail.
Go for the Old Books
While studying, you will need a lot of books, research magazines, and other study materials, so buying a new copy of all of them may not be a good idea. This is mostly because books pertaining to higher education are usually very expensive. With all the currency conversion in place, they will fall even heavier on the pocket. However, buying a book is necessary, and so our advice will be that you purchase second hand ones or refer to your college’s library. In addition to this, a lot of free e-books are available too. You may refer to them as well.
Keep a Tab on Recreational Expenses
Any city offers lots of new things for everyone, especially if you are an international student in Poland and have an eye for the shows and events going on. By just paying half the ticket price for exhibitions, museums, theatres, and cinemas, you can enjoy by not even emptying your wallet, all thanks to your student ID card.
The ISIC international student ID card gives you the benefit of enjoying discounts for all the listed places in Poland.
Get your Health Insurance
If you are an EHIC holder, you do not have to buy any health insurance in Poland. For most EU countries, the UK, Sweden, and Slovakia as well, the governments have a pact where any health insurance availed in one nation will be applicable in other countries too. However, for any other nation, it is mandatory to have health insurance. You can purchase it on your own, or you can buy it from the university designated vendor. Some universities have the medical insurance costs covered in their fee structure as well, making it a fixed cost.
Managing your finances while being an international student is a bit hard. Small cities in Poland are a bit less costly than the bigger ones. Though Poland is an affordable European country and is pretty good with its economy, the amount of money an international student needs to spend on optimal living is roughly 400-550 EUR/month. The bigger cities need 500-900 EUR/ month as living costs. With the right information and planning, you can surely manage your finances.
To know the best cities to study in Poland for international students, read: