Poland is among the most affordable places to live in the European Union, just like Hungary. This central European country is growing in popularity as an attractive study destination for international students with its high-quality European education at affordable fees. Besides tuition fees, the cost of living in Poland is perfect for students on a tight budget. The living expenses in Poland for an international student typically include housing, food, transportation, health insurance, utilities, and entertainment costs.
The housing rent and food take up the largest portion of the total living costs. Dormitories and rented flats and apartments can cost 960-2,400 EUR per year. Food and groceries add up to 1,800 to 2,160 EUR annually. Public transport costs 130-150 EUR per year, depending on the type. Private health insurance costs 100-180 EUR a year. Utilities like water, gas, electricity, phone, internet, etc. cost 180-300 EUR per year. Lastly, entertainment in Poland can cost 400-600 EUR annually. Thus, the average annual cost of living in Poland for international students is 3,500 to 6,000 EUR per year.
All the data has been taken from the official website of “Study in Poland.” Considering city-wise living costs, Warsaw is the most expensive city in Poland, whereas Poznan is the least expensive.
Cost of Living in Poland
Most Polish universities provide accommodation to international students in the form of dormitories. These dormitories are either located inside the campus or near the campus. Most dormitories offer shared rooms as double or triple occupancy rooms. They come with amenities such as beds (single or double occupancy), a kitchenette, a shared bathroom, etc. Utilities like water, heating, internet access, and electricity are primarily included in the rent. They also come furnished with a wardrobe, chairs, study table, etc. Some resident housing options come with a common gym, TV room, and laundry equipped with washing machines. They cost anywhere from 80 to 150 EUR per month.
Students who wish to save money on housing can opt for rented shared apartments. They cost 150-200 EUR per month. Students can share the room rent with their friends. The rooms come equipped with basic amenities like beds, kitchen, bathroom, laundry facilities, etc. Utilities may or may not be included in the rent.
The cost of housing in Poland for an individual can range between 80 to 200 EUR per month (960 to 2,400 EUR per year).
Food and Groceries
Students in Poland usually spend 150 to 180 EUR per month on food and groceries. If you prefer cooking meals for yourself then you can budget food expenses further by buying groceries from budget-friendly chains like Auchan, Biedronka, Lidl, Carrefour, etc. Universities also serve fresh and cheap meals in their canteens and students can buy monthly coupons to save money. A lunch or dinner at restaurants can cost anywhere from 2 to 5 EUR depending on the type of food and restaurant. Students can further save money on food by using their student IDs to avoid discounts at cafes and restaurants.
The food expenses in Poland for international students can cost between 150-180 EUR i.e., 1,800 to 2,160 EUR annually.
Another important contributor to the cost of living in Poland is transportation. Poland has an excellent network of public transport throughout, which students can avail of to travel within cities. They can use trains, buses, trams, or underground rails for transportation. A monthly pass for public transport is highly cheap and costs between 11 and 13 EUR. Students can get 50% discounts on tickets if they buy long-term tickets for 90 days or more using their student IDs.
The transportation costs come down to approximately 130-150 EUR per year in Poland for international students.
Health insurance is mandatory in Poland for international students in order to obtain a student visa. Thus, they must purchase a health insurance plan from a private provider before their arrival in the country. The plan must cover a minimum of 30,000 EUR covering various medical treatments. The average cost of private health insurance in Poland is 9 to 13 EUR per month. Additionally, students can voluntarily enroll in health insurance through the National Health Fund for a fee of 15 EUR each month. They are eligible to use university healthcare clinics and health centers and receive free medical care under this plan.
The annual cost of health insurance for international students in Poland falls in the range of 100-180 EUR.
Most rented apartments and a few dormitories do not cover utilities like water, electricity, heat, etc. in their rent. Students must pay separately for them. Other utilities like phone, internet, and TV subscriptions also must be paid by the students. They can budget 15-25 EUR for utilities per month, which amounts to 180-300 EUR per year.
This section of the living expenses depends entirely on the spending habits of the students. They need to set aside 35-50 EUR per month for entertainment and recreational activities. These can include going out to movies, a gym membership, eating out at cafes and restaurants, shopping, visiting museums, etc. A gym membership costs 22 EUR per month, whereas a cinema ticket can cost 3-4 EUR per show. Thus, entertainment can cost approximately 400-600 EUR annually in Poland.
The overall cost of living in Poland for international students thus sums up to 3,500 to 6,000 EUR per year.
City-Wise Cost of Living in Poland: Housing and Transportation
The city-wise cost of living in Poland differs mostly due to different housing costs. Let us compare living costs in popular Polish student cities like Warsaw, Gdansk, Poznan, Lodz, Krakow, and Katowice.
|City Name||Monthly Cost (EUR)||Annual Cost (EUR)|
The cost of living in cities like Warsaw, Lodz, and Krakow is higher as compared to cities like Gdansk, Katowice, and Poznan. Warsaw is the most expensive city in Poland, with living expenses of 6,180-7,560 EUR per year, whereas Poznan is the least expensive, with an average living cost of 2,400-3,600 EUR per year.
Tips on Budgeting the Cost of Living in Poland
Although Poland is a pretty inexpensive country in terms of living costs, international students still need to budget their expenses to avoid splurging. Here are some tips on how to budget your living expenses in Poland as an international student.
Prepare a budget: A well-planned budget can avoid unnecessary expenditures and help you stay on top of your finances. Students can use budgeting apps or keep a journal and enter their financial transactions. A weekly budget is more doable than a monthly budget.
Take up a part-time job: International students are allowed to work part-time in Poland to cover their tuition and living costs. Full-time students who possess a student visa or a temporary residence permit can work while studying in Poland. 20 hours per week of working is permitted during classes. Students can work full-time during big holidays.
Use public transport: Poland has a well-developed network of public transport that is highly affordable. Options like trains, buses, trams, etc. are available, and their tickets cost 20-50 EUR per month. You can buy long-term tickets to save more money on intercity travel. Most students buy tickets for three months rather than one month. Students can also show their student ID cards to avail themselves of 50% discounts on travel.
Eat out less frequently: Cooking your food is one of the best ways to reduce your food expenses. You can plan your meals according to your budget. A restaurant meal usually costs anywhere from 3-5 EUR, depending on the type of meal and restaurant. Thus, eating out frequently can increase your expenditure on food and mess up your budget easily. Also, university canteen meals serve affordable, healthy meals to students.
Use student IDs and other cards for discounts: Student ID cards are one of the best options to save money. They can be used to get discounts on shopping, restaurants, electronics, books, gym, etc.
Poland has a history of academic excellence and thus many international students go there for higher education. Besides this, the country is known for its affordable tuition and living expenses. The average cost of living in Poland is 3,500 to 6,000 EUR per year. This cost varies from city to city. Compared to cities like Gdansk, Katowice, and Poznan, the cost of living is higher in cities like Warsaw, Lodz, and Krakow. Poland’s capital Warsaw is the most expensive, while Poznan has the lowest cost of living. If you want to know more about the cost of living in Poland and other European countries, get in touch with Gyanberry. Our expert counselors are excited to solve your queries. You can either book a free video call or fill out this form to contact us.