Poland is a country situated in Central Europe on the coast of the Baltic Sea famous for its middle-aged architecture, developed infrastructure, vibrant culture, and breathtaking landscapes. It is the fifth-most populous state in Europe and one of the most popular countries among tourists and travelers. Most tourist attractions in Poland are connected with the natural environment, historic sites, and cultural events. Poland borders 7 countries: Germany on the west, Czech Republic and Slovakia on the south, Ukraine, Belarus, and Lithuania on the east, and Russia on the north. Most of the country is located in the lowlands. In the south, there are upland areas with two major mountain chains – the Carpathians (Karpaty) and the Sudetes (Sudety). The Baltic Sea coastline on the north measures 770 km.
Poland has a mixed economic system including a variety of private freedom, combined with centralized economic planning and government regulation. The economy of Poland is one of the largest and fastest-growing in Central Europe. Over the past few decades, Poland has undergone significant economic transformations, transitioning from a centrally planned economy to a market-oriented system. Today, it is classified as a high-income country by the World Bank and is a highly popular European travel destination for students. By the turn of the 21st century, Poland was a market-based democracy, abundant in products of all kinds, and a member of both NATO (North Atlantic Treaty Organization) and the European Union (EU), allied more strongly with Western Europe than with eastern Europe but, as always, squarely between them.
The history of Poland spans over a thousand years, from medieval tribes, Christianization, and monarchy; through Poland’s Golden Age, expansionism, and becoming one of the largest European powers; to its collapse and partitions, two world wars, communism, and the restoration of democracy. Poland, with its deep-rooted history, has endured a remarkable journey shaped by triumphs, challenges, and the unwavering spirit of its people. From its early beginnings, Poland emerged as a land inhabited by diverse tribes, laying the foundation for a rich cultural tapestry. The process of Christianization brought about a significant shift, aligning Poland with Western Europe and establishing its ties to the Catholic Church.
In the Middle Ages, Poland flourished under a monarchy, and the Polish state grew in both size and influence. The Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth, formed in 1569, became one of the largest and most populous countries in Europe, stretching from the Baltic Sea to the Black Sea. This period marked Poland’s Golden Age, characterized by flourishing arts, sciences, and trade. The 18th century witnessed a series of partitions that divided and weakened the country, with parts of its territory annexed by Russia, Prussia, and Austria. Poland was wiped off the map for over a century, enduring the pain of foreign occupation and a loss of independence.
The Polish people never relinquished their aspirations for freedom. Throughout the partitions and subsequent periods of foreign rule, Poland saw numerous uprisings and resistance movements as a testament to its indomitable spirit. Prominent figures like Tadeusz Kościuszko and Józef Piłsudski played pivotal roles in these struggles for independence, fueling the flames of national identity and inspiring future generations.
The 20th century brought profound challenges and defining moments for Poland. It endured the devastation of two world wars, with significant battles fought on its soil. During World War II, Poland suffered immensely under Nazi occupation, and its population endured widespread persecution and the horrors of the Holocaust. The Warsaw Uprising of 1944 stands as a symbol of Polish resistance and courage in the face of overwhelming odds. The post-war period brought a new era of challenges as Poland fell under communist rule, becoming a satellite state of the Soviet Union.
The restoration of democracy in Poland in 1989 opened up new horizons for the country. Embracing market-oriented reforms and joining the European Union in 2004, Poland experienced significant economic growth and modernization. It became an important player in the European arena, contributing to regional stability, and actively participating in international affairs. Today, Poland stands as a sovereign nation, proud of its cultural heritage and resilient spirit. Its history serves as a testament to the enduring strength and determination of its people. From the medieval monarchs to the modern era of democracy, Poland has left an indelible mark on European history and culture.
Polish cuisine offers a wide range of flavors, textures, and ingredients. Most recipes contain meat, potatoes, cabbage, and root vegetables, Polish dishes are prepared with love and attention to detail. One of the most iconic Polish dishes is pierogi — dumplings filled with various savory or sweet fillings (potatoes, cheese, mushrooms, or fruit). Another beloved dish is bigos — a flavorful stew made with sauerkraut, fresh cabbage, and an assortment of meats like sausage, bacon, and beef. Polish cuisine also features a wide range of meat dishes, including popular favorites like kielbasa (Polish sausage), golabki (cabbage rolls stuffed with meat and rice), and kotlet schabowy (breaded pork cutlet). Polish dishes are often accompanied by sides — mashed potatoes, sauerkraut, or pickles. Traditional Polish desserts include paczki (fried doughnuts), szarlotka (apple pie), makowiec (poppy seed cake), and sernik (Polish cheesecake). Polish sweet treats are perfect for satisfying any sweet tooth. Poland’s culinary scene is influenced by its neighboring countries, resulting in a blend of flavors and dishes. Polish cuisine embraces the flavors of German, Russian, Jewish, and Ukrainian culinary traditions, adding depth and variety to the country’s gastronomic offerings.
Climate of Poland
The climate in Poland is moderately influenced by its location in Central Europe, its proximity to the Baltic Sea, and the prevailing weather patterns from both the Atlantic Ocean and the Eurasian landmass. Humid Atlantic air masses collide with dry continental masses over its territory making the weather in Poland capricious and changeable, and consequently difficult to predict. Winters in Poland are generally cold, with temperatures often dropping below freezing. The coldest months are December, January, and February, with average temperatures ranging from -5°C to 0°C (23°F to 32°F). In some regions, particularly in the mountains, temperatures can reach even lower extremes, and snowfall is common. Summer in Poland is generally pleasant, with warm to hot temperatures. The months of June, July, and August experience average temperatures ranging from 20°C to 25°C (68°F to 77°F), although temperatures can occasionally rise above 30°C (86°F) during heatwaves. Summers in Poland are characterized by longer daylight hours, making it a popular time for outdoor activities and tourism.
Unlike most European countries, Euro is not used in Poland. The local currency in Poland is the Polish Zloty (PLN). A single zloty isn’t the smallest denomination of Polish currency. 1 zł is divided up into 100 groszy like there are 100 cents in 1 euro. Polish currency is easy to get in every country in the EU or the UK. International students can find it at almost every currency exchange counter. Further afield, like in the US or Australia, it’s less common to see the zloty at the currency exchange counter, but you can easily order Polish zloty online.
1 USD = 4.23 PLN
1 EURO = 4.54 PLN
Compared with other European countries, Poland is the cheaper and more comfortable country for living in due to its economic development and low taxes. Prices depend on the city, lifestyle and accommodation preferences, and spending decisions. The costs of accommodation are different, the apartments close to the city center are more expensive, no matter in which small or big city you live. The average cost of an apartment for two or three people reaches 2835 PLN (600$) per month. Groceries and food are much cheaper than in other European countries, prices are lower and reasonable. Low-cost grocery stores are extremely popular among international students. The average food check is 700-900 PLN (190 $) per month. Dinner in a low-cost restaurant costs just 15-30 PLN (4-6$), and a meal at a middle-range restaurant cost 30-50 PLN (8-12$). Shopping expenses in Poland don’t differ from other European countries. When it comes to public transportation, Poland has an extensive bus and tram system crossing across the country and a good metro system running from north to south and east to west. A standard public transport single ticket costs 4.40zł (0.98$).
The International European University in Poland is committed to ensuring that international students have a smooth transition and a comfortable living experience during their time in Poznan. Recognizing the challenges that come with studying in a new country, the university offers various support services to help students adapt to their new environment and feel secure in their living arrangements. The university provides safe and affordable accommodation options for new students in their first year of study. Living in university-affiliated hostels is mandatory for freshmen, providing them with an opportunity to connect and build relationships with fellow students from different countries. The hostels offer a vibrant and inclusive community where students can easily integrate into campus life.
After the first year, students have the flexibility to explore other accommodation options in Poznan. The city provides a diverse range of housing choices, and prices can vary depending on the location and type of housing. There are attractive offers from local landlords specifically tailored for students, ensuring that they have affordable and convenient living arrangements. Sharing accommodation with friends or fellow students is a popular practice among international students in Poznan. By sharing rent and utility expenses such as electricity, water, and internet, students can effectively manage their living costs. This not only fosters a sense of camaraderie and friendship but also allows students to create a supportive network within their living environment.
|Type of Accommodation
|2 Bedroom Apartment
|3 Bedroom Apartment
Poland has a wide range of leisure activities available for tourists and residents. It is the ideal country to spend a holiday in to try different ways of spending time from various sports activities to leisure and recreation ways of spending time. Polish landscapes provide active tourists with opportunities for cycling, hiking, horse-riding, canoeing, ballooning, or any other sports activity. Poland can easily give a huge dose of adrenaline and unforgettable emotions. For relaxation after hard work or studying, students of the International European University, Poland are walking, meditate, read, play games, and dance. Participating in leisure and recreational activities can help them better manage stress and reduce depression. Sightseeing fans should visit medieval churches, old castles, historical museums, and many other attractions. Poland hosts numerous festivals and cultural events throughout the year. The Krakow Film Festival, Warsaw Summer Jazz Days, and Open’er Festival in Gdynia are just a few examples of the diverse cultural experiences available. Students can enjoy music, theater, film, and art festivals that showcase both Polish and international talent.