This post is also available in: French
The education. The parties. The food. Poland’s vibrant, cosmopolitan and fast-paced capital is not only a magnet for tourists and a fun city break, but also the perfect student destination. Not convinced? Keep on reading to find out why you should be studying in Warsaw!
There are over 100 universities in Poland. One of the four major universities in the Polish capital, the University of Warsaw, is a leading academic institution in Europe. The degree you get in Poland is a respected and prestigious European diploma that enables you to work in an international environment all over the world. What if you don’t speak Polish? No problem. Many Warsaw universities offer classes and even whole graduate and postgraduate programmes in English, French, or German. Several Warsaw universities also cooperate with Erasmus and Socrates exchange programmes all over Europe.
You are not only at the very heart of Europe, but also at the heart of science and culture at a European level. The Copernicus Science Centre will awake the inner scientist in the least geeky of students, the Zacheta National Gallery might inspire your arty side, and open-air piano concerts with music by Frederic Chopin in the Royal Łazienki Park prove that anyone can enjoy classical music.
There is a reason most non-Polish people know one of these two phrases in Polish – ‘na zdrowie!’ (cheers) or piwo (beer). Poland is famous for its production of great-quality spirits and Warsaw spoils you for choice of drinking and partying venues. Mazowiecka street is one of the more popular destinations for party animals in the capital – you will find an abundance of bars and clubs to explore your drinks. One of the classic favourites is bison-grass vodka Zubrowka. Mixed with apple juice and a sprinkle of cinnamon, it makes the perfect cocktail, ‘apple pie’. Na zdrowie!
Warsaw is sometimes referred to as the Phoenix City because it was almost completely destroyed during World War II and then rebuilt from scratch. That’s why the beautiful Old Town is actually fairly young – only 50. If you want a glimpse into how the past has had to become modernised, St John’s Cathedral is a good example of restoration after the war. With those architectural assets, the Polish capital is a charming city full of interesting places to explore. For a quiet, relaxing spot to study try the stunning gardens of the Warsaw University’s Library.
Warsaw is conveniently connected with the whole country and the rest of Europe, so you can easily organise day and weekend trips. Fancy a break by the sea? Poland’s Baltic Coast, although lacking the Mediterranean weather, offers white sandy beaches and a number of quaint seaside towns. Would you rather hike in the mountains? Head south for Zakopane, a popular ski resort and gorgeous little village. A couple of hours train journey will get you to Krakow, and Mazury, the Polish lake district, is only a stone’s throw away.
The cost of living in Warsaw is much lower than in other European cities. Good exchange rate of the euro to the national currency – zloty, makes it worth it to live here. You will save a lot of money on rent, food and public transport, which means there will be more to spend on fun activities: beer and travelling.
Polish food is perfect for students. Filling, starchy dishes like pierogi (dumplings) perfectly lean your stomach in preparation for a night out in Warsaw and barszcz (beetroot soup) is the ultimate hangover cure. Feeling more adventurous? Flaczki (beef tripe) is a wholesome delicacy and pig’s knuckle will make any meat-lover fall in love with the Polish cuisine. In the summer, try beer with raspberry syrup (drunk using a straw) and on cold winter nights, get toasty with hot beer with cloves, cinnamon and honey. And don’t forget to try Polish desserts – Wuzetka (chocolate cream cake) is Warsaw’s signature bake.
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This post is also available in: French