Study and find schools in Poland
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Cities to study in Poland
Poland, officially known as the Republic of Poland, is a sovereign country in Central Europe, with a total geographic area of just over 120,000 square miles, making it the ninth-largest country in Europe by area and the 69th largest country in the world. The country is bordered to the west by Germany, to the south by the Czech Republic and Slovakia, to the east by Lithuania, Belarus and Ukraine and to the north by the Baltic Sea and Kaliningrad Oblast, a Russian exclave. Poland is a unitary state made up of sixteen voivodeships and is a member of the European Union, NATO, the United Nations, Council of Europe and the World Trade Organization, among others. The capital and largest city in Poland is Warsaw.
As of the last census in 2011, Poland had an estimated population of 38.1 million, making it the eighth largest country in Europe by population and the sixth-largest in the European Union. Poland historically was very ethnically diverse, but that changed during and after World War II. Their Jewish population, for example, because of the Holocaust, shrank from 3 million before the war to 300,000, and the post-war boundary changes, coupled with the expulsion of minorities have led to a very homogenous society. According to the last census, 96 percent of the population self-identifies as being ethnically Polish. The largest minority groups in the country include the Silesians, Germans, Belarusians, Ukrainians, Lithuanians, Russians, Roma, Jews, Lemkos, Slovaks, Czechs and Lipka Tatars, in order of prevalence.
Polish is the lone official language of Poland and is used in government, education, media, courts and commerce. It is also spoken as a first language by nearly all of the population. Up until the 1980s, Russian was the language taught most frequently as a second language in Polish schools, but it has now been replaced by English and/or German. Up until World War II, Poland was also very diverse religiously, a country in which substantial Jewish, Protestant and Christian Orthodox minorities coexisted with a Roman Catholic majority. However, after the Holocaust and the post-war expulsion and flight of Germans and Ukrainians, Poland has now become overwhelming Roman Catholic, with nearly 90 percent of the population practicing that faith.
Education in Poland
Education in Poland is overseen by the national government and largely administered at the local level. Public education is free and compulsory for students between the ages of 6 and 16, and the system is divided between five main levels: pre-primary, primary education, middle school upper secondary school and tertiary or higher education.
All students are required to have at least one year of schooling prior to entering primary school at age 6 or 7. This is called “0 Grade” or kindergarten and serves to prepare students for primary school by teaching them how to work and play cooperatively with other students among other skills.
Primary school in Poland begins at age 6 or 7 and spans six years (grades 1-6). At the conclusion of primary school, all students must take a written exam which determines the type of middle school they will attend for the next three years of their education.
Middle schools in Poland, also called gymnasium offer three years of education, typically beginning at age 13. Students are placed based on their performance in primary school and the score on the final compulsory exam. After completing the final year of middle school, students once again must take a compulsory examination, on which their score and their grades in gymnasium will determine the type of upper secondary institution they will attend.
Upper secondary education in Poland is provided mostly by liceums and technikums. At the liceum students will study a general academic curriculum that spans three years, ultimately preparing them to enroll in a university upon graduation. At the technikums, on the other hand, while students are still offered a basic academic education, the true focus of these institutions is on vocational training, with the goal of readying students to enter the workforce with a marketable skill or trade upon graduation. Unlike the liceums, the curriculum at the technikums spans four years rather than three.
Since 2007, the universities in Poland have been following the credit and degree structure recommended by the Bologna Process. This structure, which aims to standardize the degree system at universities throughout the European Union, features a three-year Bachelor Degree, followed by a two-year Master degree program and a three-year PhD degree.