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Poland - general information

Poland is a country located in Central Europe, capital and largest metropolis is Warsaw. Other major cities include Kraków, Łódź, Wrocław, Poznań, Gdańsk, and Szczecin.

Poland is bordered by the Baltic Sea, Lithuania, and Russia’s Kaliningrad Oblast to the north, Belarus and Ukraine to the east, Slovakia and the Czech Republic to the south, and Germany to the west.
Оn 1st of May 2004 Poland became a full member of European Union, and joined the Schengen Area in 2007.

The climate is mostly temperate throughout the country. Summers are generally warm, with average temperatures between 18 and 30 °C (64.4 and 86.0 °F) depending on the region. Winters are rather cold, with average temperatures around 3 °C (37.4 °F) in the northwest and −6 °C (21 °F) in the northeast. Precipitation falls throughout the year, although, especially in the east, winter is drier than summer.

Getting acquainted with Poland, one cannot help but recall the world famous Poles, whose work still affects our lives!

Frederic Chopin is a composer and pianist of French-Polish origin of the 19th century. One of the leading representatives of Western European musical romanticism. He had a significant impact on world music. Warsaw is one of many cities in which there are many monuments and tourist places associated with the pianist – every Sunday (from May to September) in the Łazienki Królewskie in Warsaw you can listen to Chopin concerts – entry is completely free!

Maria Skłodowska-Curie was a Polish and naturalized-French physicist and chemist who conducted pioneering research on radioactivity. She was the first woman to win a Nobel Prize, the first person and the only woman to win the Nobel Prize twice, and the only person to win the Nobel Prize in two different scientific fields. She was also the first woman to become a professor at the University of Paris. Her achievements include the development of the theory of “radioactivity” (a term she coined), techniques for isolating radioactive isotopes, and the discovery of two elements, polonium and radium.

Accommodation and groceries

Accommodation and groceries

Accommodation and groceries


In Poland, there are many accommodation options, in addition to dormitories, students can settle in student hostels or rent housing. One way or another, the cost of renting a place to stay always depends on such factors as: location, number of people in the room, standard. We should take into account that the accommodation in a capital will be a little more expensive than in other cities! The cost of living in Warsaw starts from 200 euros per month! But in other cities you can find housing for 140 euros per month, which during the school year makes a difference!


All Polish universities have their own institutions for catering to teachers and students – a cafeteria, a canteen. In these establishments a traditional menu is presented – a large selection of first and second courses. For students, the prices are moderate: the cost of a two-course lunch is about 5 euros. In the cities you can find many shopping centers, Polish and foreign chains: the Tesco chain of English hypermarkets, the French Carrefour chain, the Lidl chain of Germany, where students can buy food and necessary goods. Fresh vegetables and fruits can be bought in farmer markets. Average prices of some products:

Name Price
Bread 1 Approx 3 PLN
Eggs 10  From 6.50 PLN
Rise 400 g From 3.50 PLN
Chicken  1 kg From 18 PLN
Pork 1 kg From 17  PLN



What do parents and children need to know if the student is a minor?


If a minor child falls ill, he will not be able to visit the doctor by himself! He must have notarized power of attorney from his parents with a sworn translation into Polish – in which the parents confirm that they fully agree that the minor would use the services of medical assistance and, if it will be necessary, could decide about the operations by himself! If there is no such permission, most hospitals will refuse to accept a student under 18, and only in cases of a real threat to the minor’s life, he will be admitted to the hospital.
In the situations indicated below, unfortunately, a minor cannot make decisions on his own.

1) NFZ insurance:

NFZ insurance (Narodowy Fundusz Zdrowia), that is, voluntary state insurance as a foreigner, can be obtained by concluding an agreement. BUT! A minor cannot do this without the participation of at least one of the parents!

2) Bank:

Minors cannot open a bank account on their own!
In addition, not all banks have the opportunity to open an account for a minor, but in places where this is allowed, one of the parents must be present!

3) Resident permit:

Due to the fact that this is a legal act, and a minor does not have full rights under the age of 18, he cannot apply for a residence card by himself! In this situation, there must be at least a parent who permanently lives in Poland.

4) Temporary registration in Poland:

A minor child cannot register by himself!
To do this, there must be one of the parents or a legal guardian with a notarized power of attorney from the parents!

Poland register

Poland register

Poland register

How to get registered in Poland and what “zameldowanie czasowe” means?

Do I need to get registered  in Poland?

As stated in official documents, if a foreigner intends to live in Poland for more than 3 months, then he/she must get registered . Everyone can get registered, regardless of whether you are the house sowner ,rent a house or live in a hostel.

However, at the moment there is no strict control, but for example, in order to get PESEL, you need to get registered, etc. Sometimes, when applying for a residence card, they ask for registration (meldunek), but sometimes it is enough just to have an apartment rental agreement.

What is temporary registration or “zameldowanie czasowe”?

As we have  written above, Zameldowanie is registration, although google translates it as residence permit. By the way, there are two types of registration:

  1. temporary registration (Zameldowanie czasowe) –is a kind of registration if you are staying  in the country for more than 3 months, but you are not a resident of the country. It is issued for a time limited by your documents for staying in the country (visa, residence card) or a rental agreement, depending on whichever ends earlier.
  2. permanent registration (Zameldowanie stale) – is drawn up by the residents (citizens) of Poland at a certain permanent address .

How to get a residence permit  in Poland?

If you have a visa for more than 3 months or a residence card, and also officially live in an apartment, hostel or other place, then you should visit District Office (Urzad Dzielnicy), namely” Administration and civil affairs office”(“Biuro Administracji i Spraw Obywatelskich ”) in your area. You can find out which department your area belongs to from the owners of the apartment, from someone who has been living in a hostel for a long time, or just find the information on the Internet.

Registration in Poland is provided subject to the following requirements:

  •  legal stay in this territory, which is confirmed by the availability of permanent residence and documents like a residence permit and a Pole’s Card;
  • availability of a place to stay (rented apartment and rental agreement);
  •  in the case of rental housing – the owner’s consent to a temporary residence permit at this address.

For registration, you need to come to your (district) registration department with a passport, a document confirming your legal stay in Poland (visa, residence card) and a document giving the right to registration in a specific place (rental  agreement, written permission from apartment owners, documents from the hostel) and  fill in the application form for registration Zgłoszenie pobytu czasowego trwającego ponad 3 miesiące.

All points in the form are very logical and simple, there is always a sample nearby, and if you are not sure about anything, you can always ask the person who works in this department. After submitting all the documents, along with the application, they register you and ask whether you need confirmation.Registration itself is free, but if you need a paper confirmation, you will have to pay. The amount is small, but usually you do not need paper confirmation, and in case you need it later, you can always do it later.

Necessary documents for registration  in Poland :

  • a document that confirms your legal stay in Poland (valid visa, residence card)
  • a passport
  • an apartment rental agreement, purchase / sale agreement or any other document confirming your residence at a specific address for a period of at least 3 months
  • the owner’s consent to a temporary residence permit at this address.

If you rent an apartment, you should discuss the possibility of getting registered at this address with the owner before signing the rental agreement , because not all the owners agree to reveal the information of them renting out an apartment

Please note: A minor child cannot register himself!

To do this, there must be one of the parents or a legal guardian with a notarized power of attorney from the parents!

PESEL number

PESEL number

PESEL number

How do I get a PESEL number?

If you are a foreigner who lives in Poland, you can get registered (zameldowanie) – then you will automatically receive a PESEL number. But if you are not going to get registered, and you still need a PESEL number, then check how you can get it 🙂

When can I get a PESEL number?

If you get  registered (zameldować się) in Poland for more than 30 days, you will receive a PESEL number automatically.

If you cannot get registered and you need a PESEL number, then you should apply to a government institution.

Where do I apply for a PESEL number?

  1. in municipal office (urząd gminy )for your place of residence (where you are located or want to get registered),
  2. in the  municipal office where your employer’s head office is located – if you cannot get registered (zameldować się),
  3. in the downtown district office of the capital of Warsaw (Novogrodskaya str. 43) – if you do not work or your employer is abroad.

How much does it cost?

The service is free.

What documents do I need? – If you cannot get registered (zameldować się):

  1. application for the  PESEL number issue (you can download it from the Internet and fill it out at home or take the form from the municipal office)
  2. a document confirming your identity and other data that you enter  in  the application (a copy of your foreign passport).

You can apply in person or a representative can do it on your behalf with the appropriate power of attorney!

Remember! In your application, enter the actual legal basis on which the PESEL number is required. If, for example, ZUS or tax service requires a PESEL number, it must also provide you with a legal basis i.e. Wnoszę o wydanie numeru PESEL w celu przedstawienia go przyszłemu pracodawcy – for the future employer!

If you haven’t filled in the application properly, you will receive a message to submit a list of required documents. Your application will not be considered – if the application does not meet the official requirements.

How long do I wait?

The application will be accepted immediately! The issue of the number takes about 2 weeks! You will receive a written notification!

PESEL number
PESEL number

In Poland, a student-foreigner may open a personal account in a bank of his choice, because all institutions of this type declare such a possibility. The required documents are: passport or ID card (in the case of European Union citizens, banks should be satisfied with an ID card), a residence card justifying the purpose and duration of stay in Poland, or sometimes a visa.

It may happen that the bank will ask for a PESEL number, so after indicating the place of residence in Poland (usually temporary), the foreigner must report to the administration authorities, which will assign such a number, however, if the student does not have a PESEL number, some banks ask for an identification number.

It is important that a personal bank account can only be opened by an adult, so if the student is under 18, his parent or representative must go to the bank with him.

Force Majeure

Loss of a card – you must immediately block it:
a) go to the bank
b) via Internet access
c) through a mobile application

Lost phone with mobile app:
a) go to the bank – delete the authorization numer
b) via Internet access

ALL banks are currently offering mobile applications with which you can control your account.


Cashless payments

In Poland, the share of cash payments in retail payments is systematically declining, while the share of non-cash payments is increasing, according to the latest NBP data. Whereas in 2005 cash payments accounted for 98% of all. In 2018, their share decreased to 57%, while non-cash payments amounted to 43%.



Continuing the topic of cashless payments, it is also worth telling about BLIK.

BLIK – is a six-digit code displayed by the application that can be used to accept a transaction or withdraw from an ATM, exactly as if we were paying with a card.

In short, with BLIK you can quickly:

  • withdraw money from an ATM (you do not need a card for this),
    • pay on the websites of online stores,
  • pay for purchases in stationary stores,
    • transfer money to a phone number (option available at selected banks),
    • deposit cash on the account (option available at selected banks).

BLIK codes are displayed by the standard banking application – the same in which you check your account balance or make transfers. This means that you only need a smartphone for in-store payments or ATM withdrawals – you don’t need to carry a wallet.

We can also pay with BLIK codes in online stores, self-service machines and payment machines. The network of points and institutions accepting codes is constantly growing.

A novelty in BLIK are transfers without providing the account number. For example, to quickly give money back to a friend, you don’t need to know their account number. All you need to do is log in to your bank’s mobile app and enter the recipient’s phone number.

Student discounts
bank account

Student discounts

bank account
Student discounts

In addition to the fact that studying is undoubtedly one of the best periods in life, the status of a student in Poland has many advantages. We have prepared for you information about the most important and interesting discounts for students:

  1. Travel

First of all, students have big discounts on travel. Their size is regulated by law, so students who decide to travel by high-speed or passenger train will have a discount of 51% on a single ticket and 49% on a monthly ticket. Moreover, students also pay only 49% of the single ticket in public transport, buying so-called discount tickets.

  1. Culture and recreation

By showing a student ticket, you can also get a discount at theaters, museums, galleries or concerts. In this case, the discount rarely reaches 50%, but even a small reduction in cost – a good opportunity for students to participate more often in cultural activities. Cinemas, various amusement parks and swimming pools often have two types of tickets: regular and discount.

  1. Restaurants and cafes

Student discounts are so popular that many popular networks reduce prices when presenting a student ticket. Usually such discounts range from 10 to 20% of the initial amount. There are also places where there are special coupons, so students can pay less.

  1. Sports

Student sports discounts can be linked to two areas. First of all, they relate to physical activity, ie, for example, buying a season ticket to the gym or fitness classes. There are many services and companies in this field, because students are one of the most conscious groups in our society. However, those who prefer to watch the wrestling of athletes, rather than take an active part in it, can count on discounted tickets, such as football, basketball or other similar events.

  1. Banks

All banks in Poland offer so-called “Accounts for 0” for people under 26 years. At this age, you can count on more favorable account conditions.

It is important that all these discounts are valid upon presentation of a valid student card! However, if you are in a place where there is no information about student discounts, just ASK about it! Good luck 😊