Medical studies in Poland: International Success


Poland’s education market has developed rapidly over the last 25 years. The number of students has increased from over 6,000 in 2000 to the almost 36,000 international students who came to Poland last year. An increase can also be observed in the number of higher education institutions, which has risen five-fold over the last 12 years. Due to high-quality studies and attractive subjects on offer, Polish universities can compete on the European and world educational arena. However, it is medical studies that have achieved the greatest success and achieved the highest levels of internationalization in Poland.

There are 12 public medical universities in Poland, and all of them offer studies in English for international students. Among the top five medical universities that attract the largest number of international students, you will find the Medical University in Lublin (1,067 international students); Poznań University of Medical Sciences (910); the Medical University of Gdańsk (735); Jagiellonian University Medical College (710); and the Pomeranian Medical University in Szczecin (605). The average factor of internationalization of the student body for medical universities is 8.58%, while, for example, economics universities, this factor stands at 2.08%. This is obviously also visible in the number of students that medical universities receive, with 6,236 international students in the 2013/2014 academic year. This success results from a number of factors.

Medical universities in Poland have all they need to be leading players in the education market. They provide their students with high-standard education with attractive curricula. Many, like Poznań University of Medical Sciences or the Medical University of Gdańsk, have all the necessary accreditations to give their students diplomas that are fully accepted in their home countries once they graduate.

Additionally, new programs are being developed every year to meet the expectations of the world market. Polish medical universities are opening courses not only in medicine, but also dentistry, pharmacy, nursing, obstetrics, and physiotherapy, all conducted in English.

Finally, due to over 20 years of a strong tradition of medical studies in English, Polish medical universities can boast an excellent impression among their students and graduates all over the world.

Medical studies in Poland and the growing number of international students and candidates have triggered a new trend in the education market in Poland. Numerous pre-medical courses have flourished over the past couple of years, offering international students valuable preparation for the entrance exams to medical studies, as well as revision of key material before starting their medical studies. Universities such as Adam Mickiewicz University in Poznań (in cooperation with Poznań University of Medical Sciences), the Medical University of Gdańsk, or Medical University of Łódź, offer premedical non-degree programs, where students can brush up their biology, chemistry, and physics skills, as well as learn Polish. Usually, these courses last one year and end in a certificate confirming the candidate’s readiness to begin medical studies.

Interest in medical studies in Poland comes from different parts of the world. Last year showed that the largest number of international students at Polish medical universities came from Norway. 1,580 Norwegians study in Poland, of whom 1,494 study at medical universities. Sweden is the runner-up (1,043 students); the third place is claimed by the United States (670); the fourth by Saudi Arabia (538); and the fifth by Canada (413).

The over 20-year old tradition of medical studies in Poland is a real success story and has been a hitherto unheard-of story in the Polish international education market. Medical universities provide not only high-quality education, an appealing curriculum, and international standards, but they are also a great inspiration to others to follow in their footsteps and thrive in the world education market.

Check out the breakdown of where your Canadian peers are studying medicine in Poland for the most recent academic year:

Canadian students at Polish medical universities – 2013/2014

Total Canadian medical students: 413
1. Poznań University of Medical Sciences 137
2. Jagiellonian University Medical College 75
3. Medical University of Wrocław 49
4. Medical University of Lublin 41
5. Medical University of Warsaw 35
6. Medical University of Gdańsk 32
7. Medical University of Silesia 19
8. Medical University of Łódź 14
9. Pomeranin Medical University of Szczecin 10
10. Medical University of Bialystok 1

For more information on studying in Poland, visit

Contributed by:

Joanna Zadarko, M.A., International Office of Adam Mickiewicz University in Poznań

References: Study in Poland: International Students in Poland 2014. Statistical information report prepared within the frames of program Study in Poland conducted by the Conference of Rectors of Academic Polish Schools and Educational Foundation “Perspektywy” October 2014. Edited by dr Bianka Siwińska. Warszawa: Education Foundation “Perspektywy” ISBN 978-83-61239-64-2

Discussion3 Comments

  1. Brilliant overview of the trends in Poland. I can add that also British and Irish studnets increasingly choose Poland and use MedicalPoland to apply to the schools,espedcially Collegium Medicum in Bydgoszcz and get “an aftercare” i.e. help during first few weeks in Poland to settle in.

  2. It’s definitely worth to study in Poland not only medicine. Polish universities have a very wide range of interesting fields of study. However, where someone chooses to study in this country should know where, if necessary, obtain medical assistance. For sure the great place for it is the American Clinic in Warsaw in Medicover Hospital. The staff working there is multilingual, and what’s more, each patient receives a personal tudor.

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