Germany’s direct neighbor Poland stretches from the Baltic Sea in the north to the Carpathian Mountains in the south. The country is framed by the Czech Republic, Slovakia, Ukraine, Russia, Belarus and Lithuania.
Interesting facts about Poland
According to localcollegeexplorer, the state area of around 312,600 square kilometers consists largely of forests, cattle and arable land. In addition, countless lakes and rivers as well as the Baltic Sea coast with its seaside resorts shape the landscape. Poland has a temperate transitional climate that varies between oceanic climates in the north and west and continental climates in the east.
The recent history of the Polish state has been very eventful. The former kingdom gained its independence in 1918. This was followed by times under German and Stalinist occupation and the displacement of Poland to the west. It was only with the completely new constitution in 1997 that Poland became a de facto democratic state. The parliamentary republic has been a member of the European Union since 2004.
The 38.2 million Poles live mainly in the country’s metropolitan areas. Their ethnic composition is largely homogeneous and the population is almost entirely Roman Catholic. The most populous city is the capital Warsaw with 1.7 million inhabitants.
Agriculture, which used to be the most important economic factor, has long since been replaced by the service sector and industry. As a result, the unemployment rate in rural areas is much higher than in cities. The German neighbor is an important partner for the import and export of machines and vehicle parts as well as chemical products. However, the historical events of the Second World War created a rupture between the two countries that is still noticeable today. The older population is particularly affected, while the younger ones are far more open-minded and see themselves as citizens of a new Europe.
The Polish university landscape
Polish higher education has a long tradition. For example, the renowned Jagiellonian University in Cracow, which was founded in 1364, is the second oldest university in Central Europe.
State and private universities
Since the 1990s, Poland’s higher education landscape has been in the process of profound reform. Since then, private universities have been admitted for the first time, the number of which with 325 institutions now far exceeds that of public universities. The offer of the state institutions is much more diverse than that of the private ones, which mainly teach economics subjects.
From the state side, there are 18 university systems with a wide range of subjects. There are also numerous state technical, medical and educational academies, business universities and colleges for art, theater and music. There are also theological colleges, some of which are sponsored by the Roman Catholic Church. The most important Polish higher education and research institutions can be found in the humanities and social sciences as well as in medicine and pharmacy.
International students in Poland
In 2010 there were almost two million students enrolled in Polish universities. However, the percentage of foreign students is quite low. They mainly come to the country as part of a semester stay, less for complete courses. In 2009 there were 630 Germans – that was more than tripling compared to the time before 2003.
Studying in Poland is not only possible in Polish, but increasingly also in English. These English-language offers are enjoying increasing popularity. The universities offer some double master’s degrees in cooperation with international universities. An expression of the growing together Europe are studies devoted to international and especially European politics.
Administration of universities in Poland
In contrast to most countries, Polish universities are not managed by a single Ministry of Education. For the most part, the Ministry of Science and Universities is responsible, but the Ministry of Health is responsible for the medical subjects and the Ministry of Culture for the arts, music, theater and film.
Visa and entry requirements of Poland
Citizens from EU member states can enter Poland at any time and only need to have their valid passport and identity card with them. If you are staying for more than three months, you should apply for a temporary residence permit at the local registration office no later than 45 days after entering the country. During this process, proof of sufficient financial means for the study visit to Poland must be provided. Before the stay, students should have an international health insurance Completing for Poland.
In the Polish-Russian border area, care must be taken that the border into Russia is not crossed, as in such a case there is a risk of rigorously administered prison sentences. Some marked military installations or offices are also not allowed to be photographed.