Vocational Training in Poland
Today, there are many foreign students at the higher education institutions in Poland, especially in medicine and economics. A large part of the Danish students who apply to Poland apply for studies in art, music, drama and film.
On 1 May 2004, Poland joined the EU. After joining the EU, the Polish economy developed extremely positively. In 2009, Poland was the only EU country to experience positive growth rates, but over the past few years it has nevertheless experienced the international economic crisis in the form of lower growth and rising unemployment. Poland is one of countries starting with letter P listed on CountryAAH.
The Polish education system has undergone significant development within the last ten years with an increase in e.g. the number of higher education institutions, a greater number of young people receiving an education, and a greater degree of cooperation between Polish and foreign educational institutions. Many higher education institutions in Poland offer tuition in English.
Polish culture and science are still marked by several periods of glory throughout history, including the 15th and 16th centuries, from which the most famous figure, the astronomer Nicolaus Copernicus, originated.
Vocational training in Poland
- Technikum(technical vocational high schools). The education is standardized at 4 years and ends with the certificate Świadectwo Ukończenia Liceum Profilowanego / Technicznego / Zawodowego / Technikum (Certificate of Completion from a Vocational / Technical Secondary School), which qualifies for jobs in the business world at the skilled level in Poland. Students at the technical school are between 16 and 20 years old. The level of education is upper secondary vocational – ISCED 3. Students can take Matura *(Egzamin dojrzalosci) and thus gain access to higher education in Poland.
- Zasadnicze szkoly zawodowe(basic vocational schools). These institutions offer vocational education standardized for between 2-3 years for students between 16 to 18/19 years. The education ends with the certificate Świadectwo Ukończenia Szkoły Zasadniczej (Certificate of Completion from a Basic Vocational School). The education provides access to jobs in the business world at the skilled level as well as to the liceum uzupełniająceor technikum uzupełniające. The level of education is upper secondary vocational – ISCED 3.
Vocational training – supplement:
- Technikum uzupelniajace / Uzupełniające liceum ogólnokształcące (Technical upper secondary schools / supplementary general upper secondary schools – supplementary education). The school form was established in 2004/2005. The education is standardized at 2 to 3 years (full-time / part-time) for students in the age group 18 to 21 years, who have completed Zasadnicze szkoly zawodowe, and who want to take the Matura exam, which gives access to higher education in Poland. The level of education is upper secondary vocational – ISCED 3.
High school education:
- Liceum ogólnokształcące (general high school). The education is standardized at 3 years for students aged 16 to 19 years. The program concludes with the Matura Exam / Świadectwo Ukończenia Liceum Ogólnokształcącego / Świadectwo Dojrzałości (Certificate of Completion from a General Lyceum, Certificate of Maturity), which provides access to higher education in Poland. The level of education is upper secondary general – ISCED 3.
- Liceum profilowane (specialized high school). The education is standardized at 3 years. The school form was introduced in 2002/2003 for students in the age group 16 to 19 years. The education alternates between general subjects and specialization subjects. The education ends with the Maturaexam / Świadectwo Dojrzałości (Certificate of Maturity), which gives access to higher education in Poland. The level of education is upper secondary general – ISCED 3.
Post-secondary vocational education
- Szkoły policealne(post-secondary schools – non-higher education). At these institutions, it is possible to acquire professional qualifications in certain subjects at the level of the technical educations at the secondary level (technical vocational high schools) or at the level of basic vocational educations (basic vocational schools). The length of education is up to 2.5 years. Post-secondary education leads to the acquisition of a diploma designating a vocational qualification (after passing an external examination), Świadectwo Ukończenia Szkoły Policealnej (Certificate of Completion from a Post-secondary School). Students at post-secondary schools who have previously passed a Maturadegree, may apply for admission to higher education institutions in Poland in accordance with the general rules. Post-secondary education is designed for students in the age group 19 to 20/21, adults and students with special educational needs. The level of education is post-secondary non-tertiary – ISCED 4.
- College programsare education offered by e.g. public and private teacher training colleges and institutions for social work, which are standardized at 3 years. The training course ends with the diploma Dyplom Ukończenia Szkoły Pomaturalnej (Diploma of Completion from a Post-maturity School). The educations are not recognized as being at the higher level according to Polish law. The level of education is tertiary education – ISCED 5B.
* The Maturaexam form was introduced in 2005 in Poland and has gradually replaced individual entrance exams at universities. See more on topschoolsintheusa.
If you are thinking of taking all or part of your own internship abroad, read the section on internships abroad for vocational education under the section Primary school and upper secondary education.
Economics and education
Tuition fees must be paid at both the public and private institutions in Poland. The individual institutions set their own fees. On average, the tuition fees are approx. 8,000-20,000 Danish kroner per. semester at public institutions. The private ones are significantly more expensive.
Most higher education institutions also charge a start-up fee of approx. 1,500 Danish kroner.
Compared to Danish conditions, the cost of living is still low in Poland. If you are a student under the age of 26, you can get a discount on public transport in Poland.
Work in Poland
In general, unemployment in Poland has fallen sharply since Poland’s accession to the EU in 2004, but has risen at the same time as falling growth rates over the last few years. In some industries, there is a shortage of skilled English-speaking workers.
As an EU citizen, you are free to work in Poland. You can receive unemployment benefits for 3 months while you apply for a job in Poland. Read more about this in the article Job search abroad in the folder Paid work.
You can get information about working in Poland from the EURES Advisers at the country’s Job Centers.
In addition, you can search the following Polish job databases:
- http: //www.careerjet.pl
- http: //praca.wp.pl
- http: //praca.interia.pl
- http: //www.jobaid.pl
- http: //www.praca.gov.pl
Work-and residence permit
As a Dane, you can stay in Poland for 3 months without a visa. However, you must have a valid passport. If you want to stay in Poland for more than three months, or if you have to work in the country, you must apply for a visa.
Students must apply for a student visa at the Polish Embassy in Hellerup. You must bring a passport and proof that you are admitted to an educational institution.
Student visa does not give permission to work during the study period. However, there may be certain jobs, e.g. in student canteens and the like, which you are welcome to do as a foreign student.
Read more about this in the article Visas, work and residence permits.
You can read more about the labor market, working conditions and much more at the Ministry of Economy, Labor and Social Policy.
Other options for accommodation
A number of universities arrange language and culture courses both during the summer period and during the year, see e.g. School of Polish for Foreigners at the University of Lodz.
Most higher education institutions have an International Relations Office that can help you with housing issues.