When many students plan their trips to study abroad, Poland is often a forgotten destination. This should not be the case! With all the country has to offer, from an academic to a touristic standpoint, it really deserves a top spot in the minds of students everywhere. In case you are still not convinced, here is a list of the top 5 reasons to study in Poland!
1. World-Class Study Abroad Programs
Poland offers many remarkable study abroad programs. Among these are three very popular programs that are located in the two biggest cities in Poland: Warsaw and Krakow.
The Council on International Educational Exchange (CIEE) offers a Central European Studies program, which is hosted at the Warsaw School of Economics. This program gives students the opportunity to learn about business, economics, and political science alongside local students. These classes are conveniently taught in English, but there are options for fluent students to take classes taught in Polish.
Krakow's Jagiellonian University hosts two major programs through Academic Programs International (API):
- The Interdisciplinary Program in Humanities &; Social Sciences provides an environment for students to exchange ideas and experiences in the classroom.
- The Polish Language &; Culture Summer teaches students about the Polish language as well as Polish culture. The program is taught in English during each summer session.
2. Castles Galore
You've seen castles in movies growing up, but have you ever gotten to experience the beauty of a castle up close? If that has always been a dream of yours, then Poland is the place to go!
Home to a number of the most amazing castles in the world, Poland brings history to life with its preservation of these magnificent structures. Although any castle you stumble across in Poland will take your breath away, some stand out among the rest:
- Malbork Castle is not only a castle, but it is also the largest brick building in Europe! Now home to a unique weapons collection, this landmark was built in 1406 by the Teutonic Knights.
- Ogrodzieniec Castle's ruins are still preserved in Poland and are available for tourists to visit. The beauty of this castle draws a large crowd- especially for photography and filming purposes.
True Nomads' post, "10 Of The Most Incredible Castles in Poland," showcases the country's most magnificent castles, which stretch from the heart of Poland's cities to its beautiful fields and towns. Not only will these castles make you stop in your tracks, but they will also help you to further appreciate history and the work that was put into creating these stunning pieces of artwork.
Check out these Advantages of Studying Abroad!
3. Historical Value
One of the traits that sets Poland apart from other countries is its preservation of rich history. Castles contribute to this unique aspect of Poland, but there is much more to Poland's history. Krakow's historic Old Town and the Auschwitz-Birkenau Memorial and Museum are just two examples of the many remarkable destinations this country has to offer.
Krakow's Old Town is one of the most coveted destinations for tourists around the world, given its awe-inspiring architectural monuments, beautiful roads and pathways, and courtyards full of character. It also offers unique places to spend time with friends and family, such as cellar bars and literary cafes.
Must-sees in Krakow's Old Town include:
- Royal Route was the coronation path for Polish kings from the 14th to 16th centuries, when Krakow was the royal capital of Poland.
- National Museum holds a spectacular collection of artwork, with its top floor solely dedicated to the display of 20th-century Polish Art.
- Collegium Mauis is Jagiellonian University's oldest building and past studying home to the famous Nicolaus Copernicus.
Auschwitz-Birkenau's Memorial and Museum is a destination that is bound to leave you speechless. Formerly a German Nazi concentration and extermination camp, Auschwitz-Birkenau is recognized around the world as a reminder of the terror and genocide that occurred during the Holocaust. Given that Auschwitz-Birkenau was home to the deaths of over 1.1 million men, women, and children, it is needless to say that a visit to this memorial and museum requires tourists' utmost respect and solemnity.
Admission to the memorial is free of charge, but reservations must be made via visit.auschwitz.org. You will be charged a fee if you choose to have a guide and/or if you come with a group. However, many have found that the historic lessons provided by the guides are well worth the cost of the tour.
4. Polish Towns and Cities
Although Warsaw and Krakow have the highest populations in the country, there is far more to experience in the towns and cities of Poland than just what lies in these two major locations.
Below are some of the best areas to explore as you study abroad:
- Malbork is a small town famous for its Malbork Castle, a great destination for a day trip. It is also an ideal spot to explore with your classmates and enjoy a local restaurant or two.
- Zakopane is a resort town that is great for a weekend of outdoor activity after a week of studying. It offers many sporting activities for winter and summertime sports, as well as hiking trails.
- Czestochowa contains the Black Madonna, which is the icon that displays the Virgin Mary. It is located in the Jasna Gora Monastery.
- Gniezno, the first capital of Poland, is filled with Polish history, including its Gothic cathedral that dates back to the 14th century.
Learn more about Poland's historic destinations here!
5. Relieve Stress in Nature
Studying can get overwhelming if it is not accompanied by good friends and good fun. Taking some time off from your studies to enjoy the great outdoors can do more than just create lasting memories with your classmates. It can also serve as a stress reliever and can help clear your mind of all your obligations at school.
"13 of the Most Beautiful Natural Wonders in Poland" provides some of the top nature destinations to explore while studying in Poland!
Reminder: Don't Forget Your Student Visa.
When you decide to study in Poland, there is a good chance you will need to attain a student visa. It's important to remember that many student visas require proof of health insurance. Make sure that you are covered before enjoying the study abroad experience of a lifetime.