School of Form

School of Form

Poland is located right in the heart of Europe. It is a well-developed country, and its economy is constantly growing. Cultural life thrives in Poland – exhibitions, concerts, and other events are organized here throughout the year. Living costs as well as tuition fees are still lower than in many other European countries. 

School of Form - Living in Poland

Poland, one of the largest countries in Europe, is a member state of the European Union and NATO, and it has around 40 million citizens. Warsaw, the capital of Poland, is a good starting point to travel around Europe – it takes only 1-2 hours by plane to get to other most beautiful cities in Europe! If you want to learn more about our country, go to the Official Promotional Website of the Republic of Poland.


EU/EEA citizens

An EU citizen can enter Poland with his/her ID document (a valid travel document e.g. passport, or another document certifying his/her identity and citizenship).
For stay up to 3 months no legalisation of stay will be necessary. For stays exceeding 3 months, an EU citizen will have to obtain a temporary residence permit (Karta pobytu obywatela UE). In case of students, the residence permit is issued for one year. The residence permit - once issued - will also entitle its bearer to take up work. The residence permit and the right to work also extends to the immediate family - i.e. spouse and children.
This document will be issued by the Department of Citizens Affairs of the Voivodeship Office (province administration, in Polish Urzad Wojewodzki). Charge for issuing of the residence permit is 30 Polish zloty (ca 7 Euro).
Temporary residence permits will be granted to Union citizens who have health insurance and sufficient resources to cover their expenses without needing social security support.
Documents that have to be submitted by the student to the Voivodeship Office in order to obtain the residence permit:

  • copy of the travel document (passport or other ID document)
  • health insurance document
  • official letter of acceptance from the Polish university (with information about the planned period of study)
  • declaration about sufficient resources to cover the subsistence costs in Poland
  • 2 photographs
  • Application form (Wniosek o zezwolenie na pobyt, in Polish)
  • Citizens of the EEA countries are subject to the same conditions as the EU citizens.

    The citizens of Switzerland can enter Poland only on the basis of a valid passport.

See also the web site of the Polish Ministry of Foreign Affairs, international version, "ADVISORY FOR CITIZENS OF THE EUROPEAN UNION TRAVELLING TO POLAND AFTER MAY1 2004" or the web site of the embassy/consulate of Poland in your country.

Non-EU/EEA citizens

A citizen of a non-EU/EEA country can enter the territory of Poland on the basis of a valid travel document (passport) and a visa (if required). A citizen of a non-EU country has to obtain the visa from the consulate of Poland in his/her country of residence. The short-term visa entitles to stay in Poland up to 3 months, the long-term visa - up to 1 year. The prolongation of visa in Poland is only possible in case of a force majeure or situation impossible to foresee while applying for the visa in the consulate. The visa can be prolonged only once.
It is therefore necessary to apply for a visa in a consulate for the whole planned period of stay in Poland.
For details please contact the Polish Consulate in your country.
Persons who have received a visa for the whole period of stay in Poland are not obliged to apply for a residence permit for their stay in Poland. All information about residence permit are prepared by the Polish National Agency of the Socrates - Erasmus Program.

EU/EEA citizens

Poland has the health care system based on general health insurance.
Persons covered by the general health insurance are entitled to free health services in the territory of Poland at the health care providers who have concluded contracts with the National Health Fund (NFZ - Narodowy Fundusz Zdrowia. The National Health Fund is the institution, which is responsible for assuring health services for insured persons and members of their families).
During a temporary stay in Poland, a person entitled to health care under EEA rules can receive health services in the following areas: primary health carespecialist out-patient carehospital treatmentdental treatmentrescue services and ambulance transport. In case of necessity of providing medical care, a student from a member country staying temporarily in the territory of Poland is entitled to free health care on the basis of European Health Insurance Card (EHIC) or in particular cases on the basis of a special certificate. The student is obliged to present one of these documents (it is advisable to have also a copy) together with an identity document directly to the health care provider.
The student will receive free health services at health care providers who have concluded a relevant contract with NFZ.
In case of lack of these documents patient will be obliged to cover costs of treatment by himself. The same obligation arises in case of treatment provided by a health care unit which has no contract with NFZ.
If there is a need of hospital treatment, a doctor's referral is required.
In case of sudden illness, accident, injury, intoxication, life threat, a patient receives necessary medical benefits without referral.
A patient who presented European Health Insurance Card or a certificate, receives free hospital treatment within the general health care system.
Apart from academic and public medical care system there is also a well-developed private sector. The costs of medical care may be reimbursed if a student has purchased a health insurance policy in his country before departure.

Non-EU/EEA citizens

The students from non-EU/EEA countries should purchase health insurance in their home country, before departure. In case of the ISIC or Euro<26, insurance is included in the card and the student does not need to buy another one unless he/she wants to increase its scope or value. Erasmus students (having so called legitymacja studencka - student's card - issued by the host university) are usually allowed to consult doctors at academic medical care centres. Anyway, according to state health regulations foreigners (except the EU/EEA citizens, see above) have to pay for a medical consultation. The cost is then reimbursed by the health insurance company.
Apart from academic and public medical care system there is also a well-developed private sector.
More information can be found on The National Health Fund website.
All information about health insurance are prepared by the Polish National Agency of the Socrates - Erasmus Program.

Costs of Living

The official Polish currency is called zloty (PLN), and it is issued in bills and coins as shown below:



Below are average costs of living in Poland. They vary depending on one's individual needs and lifestyle. We estimate that 2000 PLN per month is the minimum to cover housing costs, meals, city transportation and some personal expenses.

It is hard to predict how much a person will spend on food as everything depends on one's lifestyle. Thus, while some people are very economical when it comes to the selection of alimentary products, the others splash out on food and frequently go to restaurants. 

It is profitable to do shopping in huge chain stores as they usually have many special offers and prices are rather low. Some biggest chain stores in Poland are Tesco, Carrefour, Biedronka, Lidl. Corner shops are likely to be more expensive, but, on the other hand, the ambience is frequently cozier there. The choice is, of course, yours.

  • estimated food cost - from around 400PLN per month
  • lunch at a fast food restaurant - around 20-30PLN
  • the canteen at SWPS offers meals at moderate prices (around 15-25PLN for lunch)

1 kilo - 2.20 pounds
1 liter - 0.26 gallon
1 centimeter - 0.39 inch
1 meter - 3.28 feet
1 kilometer - 0.62 mile 

The amount of money you allot for entertainment is, once more, conditioned by the lifestyle that you lead. While some people feel comfortable with going out from time to time only, they will obviously spend much less money than those who need more adventures and thrill-seeking. Below are the examples of fees one has to pay for particular forms of entertainment:

  • cinema - 15-30PLN
  • theater - 20-100PLN
  • concerts - from around 100PLN
  • clubs (entrance fee) – 5 -30PLN

The easiest and probably the most comfortable form of transport is public transport. You do not have to worry about traffic, road hogs or a parking place. You just get on a right tram/ bus, take an empty seat and wait until it reaches your destination. Obviously, you have to buy a ticket. There are a few options here:

  • 30-day city card (all means of transport) - 50PLN (student discount)
  • 90-day city card (all means of transport) - 125PLN (student discount)
  • Single ticket valid for one ride (bus, tram or underground) - 1,70PLN (student discount)

If you want to be updated about any changes in public transport such as, e.g. timetable changes or ticket price changes, visit the official website of the Public Transport Authority of Warsaw (ZTM)

  • you can travel by train
  • you can travel by bus
  • hostel prices range from 30 to 60PLN per night depending on the season, location and standard

traveling all over europe

The city of Poznan is the great place to sightsee itself as well as the starting point for travelling through Europe, thanks to its location in the centre between Warsaw and Berlin and the convenient Ławica Airport, offering flights to many Eurpean destinations. You can easily reach most of the capital cities in Europe within 2-3 hours flight!


Traveling all over Poland

Poland is located in the heart of Europe. Living here for the period of your studies is a fantastic opportunity to travel all over the country and get the taste of pure Polishness. Go to Poland's most frequently visited cities: Wroclaw, Krakow, Torun, Poznan, Lublin or Sopot!

Also, do not forget to see other beautiful places in Poland - go to the mountains, go to the lakes. Slow down for a while and experience simple life in villages, try regional food, listen to the regional music, watch some regional dances. If you cannot decide where to go first, you can consult Poland's Official Travel Website. Certainly, you will find something for yourself. Discover Poland!