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Relations between Ukraine and the European Union (EU) are currently defined through European Neighbourhood Policy (ENP), a foreign policy instrument of the EU designed for the countries it borders. The EU is making an increasingly close relationship with Ukraine, going beyond cooperation, to gradual economic integration and deepening of political cooperation.

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Practical Information


Students can live in dormitories or they can hire private apartments. Many of them rent rooms in bigger apartments.


Many Polish universities have their own dormitories, which are usually the cheapest accomodation for students. Standard of the dormitories are various, so it is better to check them before the final decision. It’s appropriate to check costs of a particular student house. The cost of accomodation in a dormitory ranges around EUR 60-80 monthly for a shared room and between EUR 100-150 for a single room.

Private apartments/rooms in apartments

Many foreign students hire apartments/share them with colleagues or rent a room in a bigger apartment. Costs of the room depends on a city. Average monthly rent of the room ranges EUR 150 and 200. Cost of the apartment rent depends on a city, its location and size. Average monthly rent of the small one-room flat is around EUR 300/350 in Warsaw.

Please, take a note: Some landlords may require a deposit of a similar amount.

Travel and leisure

Travelling -: Travelling in Poland is very easy. International flights are operated by airports among others in Warsaw, Gdansk, Katowice, Lodz, Poznan, Szczecin, Bydgoszcz, Wroclaw, Krakow, Rzeszow and Lublin. The main airport in Poland is Warsaw’s Fryderyk Chopin Airport. You can take a bus to cities and to most smaller towns that have no rail connections. There is also minibus service offered by scores of carriers. PKP Intercity and Przewozy Regionalne operate railway long-haul connections, while regional carriers take passengers for shorter distances. The fastest train is Pendolino (designated for longer distance).

Renting a car -: There are some restrictions when renting a car as a foreigner. Each rental company has different rules. Therefore you will have to search and compare the companies to define what you need. Most companies will not rent a car to anyone under 25 years old. If a company does rent to such a person, he/she is most likely to be charged a higher rate and required to purchase extra insurance. If you are over 70 years old you might be also very difficult to rent a car in Poland.

To rent a car in Poland you must present an internationally valid license or a license from the EU. People from the United States and Canada can use an International Driver’s Permit (IDP).

Accomodation -: In Poland there is a wide choice of hotels. Their quality depends on their standard but usually you will meet a very good or good quality, with TV, bathroom and other facilities in the room. Usually breakfast is included. There also hostels available. Accomodation in hotels or hostels is still generally lower than in Western Europe. Hotels in the centre of big cities are the most expensive.

Food -: In big cities you will find lots of restaurants. There are also many small cafes offering coffee, tea, juices, sandwiches etc. You can meet them very often especially in big cities. Milk bars are the chapest choice. You can order there traditional and ordinary Polish food.

Cost of living

Poland is a country where cost of living is lower than in other countries. Students should remember that average costs are different in each city.


Shopping centres are available in every bigger town in Poland. Mostly, they are open 6 days a week, often from 8.00 to 21.00.

Local shops where you can buy food and fresh products are mostly open from Monday to Friday usually from 7.00 or 8.00 to 18.00 and on Saturday to 14.00 in other cities than Warsaw. They are usually closed on Sundays.

Bazaars are very popular in Poland. You can buy fresh fruits and vegetables there, as well as many other items. Bazaars are most frequently open from Monday to Saturday, and are often located at large housing estates.

Some examples of average prices per month:

  • Rent in a shared flat (or dormitory) - EUR 80-150
  • Transportation (in big cities) - EUR 15-20
  • Telephone/mobile, Internet, TV – EUR 12- 75

Selected prices

  • Bread: EUR 0.50 – 1.50
  • Water 1.5l: EUR 1
  • Milk: EUR 1
  • Coffee: EUR 2 -3 EUR

In the cheapest places you can eat a one-course meal for EUR 2–4, in restaurants of a higher standard you will pay EUR 12 or more for a three-course meal. Cinema tickets will set you back by EUR 3–7. Theatre, opera or concert tickets are more expensive: about EUR 7–23. Night life is the most expensive in the capital and in large cities. the entry into a club costs 2.50– 30; you will pay PLN 7–13 for 0.5l of beer and PLN 15–30 for a cocktail. Restrictions In Poland, persons aged 18 or above can buy and drink alcohol regardless of its percentage content and cigarettes. It is not allowed to consume alcohol outside designated premises (bars, restaurants and beer gardens). Smoking in public places such as bus stops – is forbidden. It is permitted to smoke only in designated smoking areas in restaurants. Entrance to night clubs is allowed to people over 18 years of age although there are also clubs where you have to be over 21.

Tax return

In some shops in Poland, citizens of non-EU countries can get a refund on VAT (Tax Free procedure). These shops are usually labelled. To get a refund, you must fill out the necessary forms and send them to appropriate institutions. When you return to your country you will receive a refund.

Visa and Application


To enter Poland EU citizen need to have a valid travel document or a document confirming identity and citizenship. If you decide to travel abroad to non EU countries during your stay in Poland you should have a passport with you.


If you are a non-EU citizen you must have a valid passport and visa (if required).

How to get a visa

Find a Polish consulate that can process you application. You can use the MFA’s search engine and fill the form.

Set a visa appointment with the consulate. In most cases you will have to register through the website:

Prepare the necessary documents:

  • application form,
  • travel document (passport),
  • biometric photo, health insurance,
  • sufficient means to support yourself,
  • documents confirming the purpose of your stay. Please note that some consulates can require specific dociumentation, so get the needed information.

Submit all the documents including a printed and signed application form and the visa fee. The process usually takes up to 15 days for it to be reviewed.

More information is available on the website

Health care

In the case of an emergency, injury, sudden disease or health deterioration, patients should either call an ambulance or go directly to a hospital. In this case medical transport is free of charge. But remember about presenting in hospital your valid European Health Insurance Card or a replacement certificate.

Basic medical care

During a stay in Poland, free medical services are offered to citizens of the EU and four EFTA (European Free Trade Association) states: Iceland, Norway, Liechtenstein and Switzerland. Tourists from the above-mentioned states should acquire the European Health Insurance Card (EHIC) before travelling. EHIC card is valid for 2 months. This period is prolonged to 5 years for, e.g. students, retired people and pensioners.

Private health care

Apart from healthcare paid for by the National Health Fund, Poland has well-developed private health services. A visit ranges 80 and 150 zloty, depending on the kind of advice you seek, and the region you live in.

Students from the EU/EEA countries

Healthcare in Poland is available for students from EU/EEA countries but they should hold valid medical insurance in the national insurance system of their country. They should have:

  • a valid passport,  
  • doctoral student identity card or student identity card
  • valid European Health Insurance Card (Europejska Karta Ubezpieczenia Zdrowotnego)

It entitles to medical care free of charge in Poland. More info is available on the website of the National Health Fund.

Students from outside the EU/EEA

Students from non-EU/EEA countries should buy their own international medical insurance prior to their arrival in Poland. Otherwise they are required to sign a voluntary health insurance agreement with the National Health Fund (Narodowy Fundusz Zdrowia – NFZ) and pay their own insurance fees (the cost is about EUR 15/month). Then students are entitled to free medical care.

Please note: When applying for a Polish visa, citizens of non-EU countries should take out health insurance that will be valid in all Member States (or in countries to which the visa applies) for the duration of the planned stay or transit. The minimum insurance amount is EUR 30,000. The insurance policy may be issued by any foreign or domestic insurance company, and the original document and its photocopy should be produced when applying for the visa.

Emergency service phone numer is: mobile phones: 112

Public transport

The public transportation system in Poland is easy. Depending on the size of the city you can find buses, trams and trolleybuses. Metro is only in Warsaw. Poland is quite advanced when it comes to handicapped transportation.

There are many different bus lines in big cities, connecting every point throughout. In smaller cities, there will be less lines available. Trams are available throughout the day. The subway is only available in Warsaw. This service runs from 5am to 1am Sunday through Thursday, and from 5am to 3am at the weekend. It is allowed to carry luggage, bicycles and animals on the metro. Urban rapid rail service SKM is a rapid rail service and runs over two zones. This is also only available in Warsaw.

Tickets are available at newspapers stands, from machines marked with the word "Bilety". It is often complicated to purchase a ticket onboard, therefore you should buy tickets beforehand. It is possible for students to get discounted tickets.

All public transportation services are readily equipped to handle wheelchairs. Metro validation machines are available by the disabled lifts in the metro stations.

Work permit

Foreigners from EU, Norway, Lichtenstein, Iceland and Switzerland can work in Poland without work permit or establish own business. Foreigners who don’t come from EEA countries need to apply for a work permit. It is important to know that you can’t yourself apply for a work permit. Only your future employer can do it.

Stay in Poland for less than 3 months doesn't require any additional permits.Work permits are issued by a local voivode. It is issued for a fixed period of time, however no more than 3 years and may be extended.

There are few cases when the permit is not required e.g:

  • If you are a student of full-time tertiary studies in Poland studying on the basis of a visa,
  • If you are a student of full-time studies in Poland studying on the basis of a residence permit issued for the purpose of continuing tertiary education in Poland for the full year,
  • If you are a graduate of Polish secondary schools, or has completed full time studies or full-time doctoral studies at Polish universities and scientific and research institutions;
  • If you are a foreign language teacher,
  • If you have a permit to settle in Poland,
  • If you have a permit for a long-term resident of EU,
  • If you have a permit for tolerated stay in Poland,
  • If have a permit for temporary residence in Polish territory on the basis of an agreement with the Polish scientific institution,
  • If you are the spouse or a former spouse of a Polish citizen, provided that they have a residence permit for Polish territory,
  • If you have a refugee status granted in Poland,
  • If you have been granted subsidiary protection in Poland,
  • If you has a valid Pole's Card.

Note: For more detailed information, contact the local Voivodship Office or visit the website

Safety and Security

Most visitors to Poland experience no difficulties. Poland has a low rate of violent crime and a moderate level of street crime.  Major cities have higher rates of crime. There is no high risk of terrorism.

Anyway you should be careful about petty theft. Therefore you should keep cash out of sight, especially in crowded areas and tourist spots. This situation is particularly dangerous at main rail stations, in trains, especially overnight sleeper trains, while boarding and leaving trains. The same refers to public transport.

Do not leave valuables in plain sight inside vehicles.

You should choose taxi operators very carefully. You have to avoid unregulated taxi drivers, especially at airports and in other places. They overcharge. Only use official taxi – they have the name and telephone number of the taxi company on the side of the door and on the top of the taxi, a rate card on the window of the vehicle.

Don’t leave drinks or food unattended and beware of accepting drinks from casual acquaintances.

Only change money at banks or legitimate exchange kiosks (kantor).  ATMs at commercial banks, large hotels, shopping malls, and airports are safest.

If someone indicates you should pull over or signals that something is wrong with your car, continue driving until you reach a safe spot (a crowded gas station, supermarket, or a police station) to inspect your vehicle.

You can be fined by the police or by the municipal police. You can be fined for:

  • Crossing the road in dangerous places
  • Drinking alcohol in public
  • Going over the speed limit
  • Driving under the influence (cars, bicycles)

When driving, remember:

  • Have your seatbelt on
  • Headlights must be on throughout the year in Poland
  • Children must be transported in safety seats
  • Holding your phone while driving is illegal

Note: Report crimes to the local police by calling 997 or 112.

Polish citizenship

Polish citizenship

  • A child acquires Polish citizenship if at least one parent is a Polish citizen.
  • If a child is born on Polish soil and both parents are unknown or their citizenship is unknown, or they have no citizenship a child acquires by law Polish citizenship.
  • A minor foreigner adopted by a Polish citizen acquires Polish citizenship if the full adoption had been completed before the child turned 16 years.
  • Polish citizenship can be granted by the President of the Republic of Poland.
  • Polish citizenship can be restored by the Minister of Interior.
  • A foreigner living in Poland can receive Polish citizenship by naturalization. The decision is issued by a proper Provincial Governor (wojewoda).
  • Application for the Polish citizenship to the President of the Republic of Poland is being submitted through a Provincial Governor (wojewoda) or a Consul (for applicants residing abroad), or by post with an officially certified signature. A foreigner with a parental custody over children under 18, additionally includes personal data of the latter in the application.

Citizenship may be also granted to:

  • Foreigners who have lived without interruptions for at least 2 years in Poland on the basis of a permanent residence permit or a long-term EU-resident permit, have been married to a Polish citizen or hold no citizenship.
  • Foreigners who have lived without interruptions for at least 2 years in Poland on the basis of a permanent residence permit granted to a refugee.
  • Foreigners who have lived without interruptions for at least 3 years in Poland on the basis of a permanent residence permit or a long-term EU-resident permit. They should have a stable source of income and are entitled to the occupied dwelling.
  • Foreigners who have lived without interruptions and legally for at least 10 years in Poland on the basis of a permanent residence permit or a long-term EU-resident permit. They must have a stable source of income and are entitled to the occupied dwelling.
  • Foreigners who are minors residing in Poland on the basis of a permanent residence permit or a long-term EU-resident permit, whose one parent is a Polish citizen and the other parent has consented to the recognition.
  • Foreigners who are minors residing in Poland on the basis of a permanent residence permit or a long-term EU-resident permit, whose parent’s citizenship has been restored and the other parent has consented to the recognition.
  • Foreigners who have resided without interruptions for at least 2 years in Poland on the basis of a permanent residence permit issued on the grounds of Polish ancestry.

Foreigners need to pass a C1 certificate of proficiency in the Polish language except for minors mentioned above.

How to apply for Polish citizenship?

Application should be submitted in Polish and original documents should be presented at the Consulate. Foreign documents should be translated into Polish and the translation should be certified by a Consul.

The foreigner should submit the following documents:

  • application to the President of Poland for granting Polish citizenship
  • documents proving identity and citizenship;
  • photographs (no more than 6-months old, passport size) of the person concerned in the application.
  • documents confirming the data provided in the application form, e.g.: documents confirming identity and citizenship of minor children included in the application, applicant's marriage certificate or other document proving civil status, documents confirming identity and citizenship of the spouse, documents confirming Polish citizenship of ancestors or descendants.

More information you will find on the website

Driving licence

In Poland, driving licences are valid for 15 years. If you’re a citizen of EU member you only have to make sure you took it with you when you left home as it is valid in Poland.

If you hold a driving licence issued outside the EU, you must exchange it within six months of the date on which your permanent or temporary residence in Poland began.

Conditions concerning the exchange of driving licences:

  • You must go to the district council or municipal office.
  • If you hold a valid driving licence issued abroad, you can ask to obtain a Polish driving licence for the equivalent category, but you will have to pay for it (and produce proof of payment) and return your foreign licence to the body that issued it.
  • If a driving licence issued abroad is not covered by the road traffic conventions, you will also have to pass the theory part of the national exam and present a certified translation of the foreign licence.


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