Studying an LLM (Master of Laws) Program in Poland

Poland is an EU country that, despite being commonly referred to as being in Eastern Europe, is actually located in central Europe. It shares borders with Germany, the Czech Republic, Ukraine and several other countries. Warsaw, the capital of Poland, is the largest and most cosmopolitan city in Poland, while Krakow is the second largest Polish city.

Poland is historically known as one of the cultural and intellectual capitals of Europe, with its classic architecture and ancient monuments, as well as its vast legacy of art, literature and scholarly works. There are currently 14 UNESCO World Heritage sites in Poland, including medieval towns and breathtaking castles and churches built centuries ago. Poland is also the birthplace of one of the most recognisable people of the 19th century, the late catholic Pope John Paul II.

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Although it retains a charming link to its rich past, Poland is a country with a modern outlook and youthful vibe, attracting hundreds of thousands of tourists, business visitors and students each year. 

BEING A STUDENT IN POLAND

 The Polish higher educational system is based on a three-cycle structure, where the first cycle lasts 3 or 4 years and is the equivalent of a bachelors degree; the second cycle lasts up to 2 years and is the equivalent of a masters degree and the third cycle, lasting 3 to 4 years, is the equivalent of a doctorate or PhD degree. In addition to this there is what’s known as long cycle study, which lasts between 4 and 6 years and is a course of study that integrates the first and second cycles. This long cycle also results in a masters degree or Magister but it’s important to note that students with a first degree who want to do an LLM would not necessarily have to follow the long cycle route. Your university will be able to advise you.

The primary language spoken in Poland is Polish, although many other languages are spoken in the minority, including German and Russian. Many people, particularly the younger generation, speak English. As such, courses are available in English, French, German or Polish. Poland has long welcomed foreign students, with the result that several generations of professionals from around the world have been educated in the country. Today, international students from South America, Asia, the USA, Africa, the Middle East and the rest of Europe can be found in Poland.

The country’s central location in Europe and relatively lower cost of living, positions it as an ideal base to enjoy city breaks in other nearby European countries, while enjoying a quality education and lifestyle that is significantly less expensive than some other parts of Europe.

WHERE TO STUDY YOUR LLM IN POLAND 

Poland has a long history of education; the Jagiellonian University for instance, which is the oldest university in Poland, was founded in the 14th century, making it one of Europe’s oldest institutions. There are hundreds of publicly and privately funded universities, colleges and institutions of higher learning in the country. Universities that offer Masters in Law courses include the Jagiellonian University in Krakow and the Adam Mickiewicz University in Poznan, a vibrant city in western Poland.

LLM (Master of Laws) in Poland

The Jagiellonian University offers a Masters in American and International Business and Trade Law, in collaboration with the Columbus School of Law, based in Washington, USA. This program provides students, whose first degrees were not obtained in America, with exposure to American law and the opportunity to complete the degree through study in Europe (Krakow) and in the US (Washington). Jagiellonian also offers an LLM in Polish Business Law, as well as a general, non-specialist Masters in Law course.

Adam Mickiewicz University offers a wide range of courses including a Masters in German and Polish Law and a program in Human Rights and Democratisation.

NOTABLE ALUMNI FROM POLISH UNIVERSITIES

 As one of the ancient seats of learning in Europe, Poland as a whole has produced a very long list of eminent scientists, economists, historians, doctors, lawyers and scholars. The Jagiellonian University’s notable alumni include two Nobel laureates and Pope John Paul II.

ENTRY REQUIREMENTS FOR A MASTER OF LAWS IN POLAND

 The requirements may vary from institution to institution, but generally a good honours first degree in law from a university recognised by the Polish Ministry of Science and Higher Education will be required. In some cases you might need to have your results notarised. If you don’t have a first degree in law but have experience that’s relevant to your chosen LLM specialism, you might want to speak to the university’s admissions office for more advice.

TUITION FEES AND LIVING COSTS IN POLAND

Tuition fees in Poland are significantly lower than they are in Western Europe, and most degree courses are free for Polish students. Students from other countries can expect to pay around €2,000 to €2,500 for a full time LLM program. These fees vary, depending on the institution and the course being studied.

General living costs – food, accommodation and transport – should come to around €400 a month for a modest lifestyle that does not involve eating out every night. You may have to budget a little extra for utilities, entertainment and books. EU/EEA and Swiss students have access to free healthcare, but international students must pay for a health insurance plan.

VISA requirements and Immigration

 EU/EEA students are allowed to live, study and work in Poland without a visa, although they are required to register for a residence permit after 3 months. International students require student visas to study in Poland and are not allowed to work, although some non-EU students might be granted permission to work for a restricted period during the summer. These details can be clarified at the Polish embassy in your country.

General student visa requirements could include securing a confirmed place at a university, demonstrating that you can maintain yourself financially without a job and providing evidence of funds to cover your accommodation, living costs and healthcare.

LLM (Master of Laws) in Poland

WHAT TO DO IN POLAND WHEN YOU AREN’T STUDYING

 Poland enjoys hot summer days which can be spent outdoors visiting the national park or enjoying folk music in a quaint square while sampling authentic Polish food. The cooler, milder months of September and October could be spent exploring museums and taking in the stunning architecture of cathedrals. If you’re interested in history, a visit to the Auschwitz museum, a UNESCO World Heritage site, is sure to leave a marked impression on you.

Poland also has loads of pubs, bars, clubs and restaurants, and for those in search of an adrenalin fix there’s rock climbing, kayaking and motorbike racing. The freezing winters are perfect for skiing and snowboarding. When you’re done enjoying the sights and sounds of Poland you are well positioned to take a weekend break to another European city, traveling by train to take in the beautiful scenery along the way.

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