Study in Poland!

Are you an American or a resident of another country who wishes to study in Poland? Though you may not be a Polish citizen, and you may not have a command of Polish, you have many opportunities to pursue advanced study in Poland. As the world becomes a smaller place, trends in international education mean that Polish institutions are quickly developing academic programs in which the language of instruction is English, in an effort to attract students from countries of the European Union and elsewhere. Polish universities and colleges, both public and private, already offer a range of degrees in such diverse fields as business, medicine, international relations, history, and agricultural sciences. These programs are located in some of Poland’s largest cities, such as Warsaw, Łódź, and Kraków, but also in smaller cities like Zielona Góra and Nowy Sącz. Whether family considerations or academic concerns determine your location, plenty of opportunities exist throughout Poland for foreigners who want to continue their education in Poland in English.The Conference of Rectors of Academic Schools in Poland (CRASP, http://db.krasp.org.pl) has published an online guide to courses and programs taught in English at Polish institutions of higher education. The guide, How to study in Poland?, leads the student to information on English-language courses or programs in over ninety-five separate academic fields. More English-language courses than English-language programs are listed, but one can still find several opportunities. The guide describes in detail the four- and six-year M.D. programs of the Medical University of Gdańsk. Also listed is the two-year MBA program of the University of Warmia and Mazury in Olsztyn. This program targets middle and top level executives and includes a partnership with Canada’s University of New Brunswick. Those interested in the humanities and social sciences will be able to find out more information about such programs as an interdisciplinary one-year M.A. degree in Central and East European Studies, offered by Kraków’s Jagiellonian University.

While the CRASP table is the most comprehensive source I discovered for English-language courses and programs in Poland, it is not exhaustive. I found it difficult to locate information for English-language programs with which I was Jagiellonian University’s Medical College (http://www.cm-uj.krakow.pl/index en.php) or the business school of National-Louis University in Nowy Sącz (http://www.wsb-nlu.edu.pl).

A site sponsored by the State University of New York at Buffalo, InfoPoland (http://info-poland.buffalo.edu), will provide a helpful listing of Polish universities. From there one can link directly to the university and search for more information.

Perhaps the most helpful information can be found on the English-language site of Poland’s Ministry of National Education and Sport (http://www.menis.gov.pl en). There the student can find Studies in Poland, an overview of the Polish higher education system with information on admission rules for foreigners, Polish language schools for foreigners, and the costs of study. Students interested in study in Poland will also find the Bureau for Academic Recognition and International Exchange (http:///www.buwiwm.edu.pl) to be an essential resource. The Bureau, which reports to the Ministry of National Education and Sport, provides information on the Polish regulations governing the recognition of foreign higher education credentials. Its Web site will lead to complete explanations of the Polish system of education, including descriptions of the types of higher education institutions and elementary and secondary schools. This is the site that explains the differences between Polish titles such as licencjat, inżynier, magister, doktor, and doktor habilitowany.

Another useful publication is the Academic Cooperation Association’s English-Language-Taught Degree Programmes in European Higher Education. This guide to programs in 1,500 institutions in more than 19 countries is an example of the internationalization of higher education. Increasingly, universities outside the United States are recognizing that they need to attract students from other countries, not just simply encourage students to spend a semester or year abroad. As these programs develop, they may point the way to increased cooperation between professionals on an international level. At the very least, they encourage all of us to think beyond our own nation’s boundaries.

Sean Martin

Forum, 6/2005

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