Where can you learn Polish? The offer of language courses has been developing dynamically and you can attend classes proposed by different institutions. The most important ones are private language schools, universities and non-governmental organizations. What are the key differences?
A university language centre: the courses are dedicated mainly to students and their goal is to prepare foreigners to study in Polish. You will find more information about these courses further in the article. Another type of courses organised by universities are courses that prepare the students for certification exams that confirm your language proficiency.
Courses offered by universities are taught by people with a background in language teaching and their are prepared pursuant to certification requirements. It is a good solution for those who would like to become proficient both in speech and in writing and for those who plan to take a certification exam.
For migrants who think practical and for whom the essential thing is to master the rudiments of grammar and everyday language, the best solution will be to choose a private language school. Courses run by such establishments are convenient if you are employed, because their schedule is adapted to the needs of people working full time. In their offer, you can easily find courses that take place in the mornings, in the evenings or at weekends. Private schools can be found in all bigger towns, the biggest offer is availble in Warsaw. Unfortunately, there is no detailed ranking that would assess the methods and the efficiency of particular schools. A directory of teaching institutions that can help you find the best establishment is available here. As far as prices are concerned, they can vary a lot depending on the offer, the size of the group and the frequency of classes. A one semester group course in Warsaw will cost ca. 1300–1400 PLN (two classes per week) and one individual class would cost ca. 100 PLN. Many schools also have business language courses on offer, which are usually slightly more expensive than general courses.
Instead of a group course you can choose individual classes with a private tutor. Their prices can also be more attractive than in language schools. How to find a private tutor? You can use a dedicate web directory. Individual classes are a good choice for people who don’t like to learn in a group or have a tight schedule.
Non-governmental organizations also offer Polish courses on different levels. Very often these classes are free of charge or they more affordable than courses in language schools. However, if the classes are free, you should remember that very often they are taught by volunteers, so their quality cannot be compared to the quality of paid courses. Before you enrol, you should also check if the course is dedicated to all foreigners or maybe to migrants who have been granted refugee status in Poland and or are currently applying for international protection.
People who learn Polish in their home countries can also improve their skills during summer courses. Such courses are organized by many public and private universities in the summer time (in July and August). They take three or four weeks and involve practical classes, an introduction to the culture and the everyday reality, and sightseeing trips. Pursuant to bilateral agreements, students of some Polish language faculties abroad can obtain scholarships for summer courses financed by the Polish Ministry of Science and Higher Education. Others can participate, if they pay the fee. For instance, a four week summer school organized by the Jagiellonian University in Cracow, one of the most prestigious establishments in Poland, costs PLN 6129 (full board and accommodation) or PLN 2690 (cost of the course without board or accommodation). Summer schools offer courses at all levels of proficiency. The classes take place from Monday through Friday. The number of hours can differ depending on the curriculum, but the most common option comprises of 75 classes for an intensive course and 45 classes for a basic course. Summer schools may be organized by establishments selected by means of a competition organized annually by the Ministry of Science and Higher Education.
Those who would like to start learning Polish in their country before the planned arrival or out of interest can find a full list of language courses organized by foreign academic centres around the world here.
Those who would like to take up studies in Polish at one of the Polish public or private higher education institution can enrol to a yearly preparation course which is focused on practical aspects of language learning and is a guarantee of reaching such a level of proficiency that will enable the student to function in the academic reality (this will be usually B1 or B2 level). Courses are organized by academic institutions designated by the Ministry of Science and Higher Education. These are:
Study Centre of Polish Language and Culture, Akademia Polonijna in Częstochowa
School of Polish Language and Culture, University of Silesia in Katowice
Centre for Polish Culture and Language in the World, Jagiellonian University
School of Polish Language and Culture, Jagiellonian University in Cracow
Polish Language and Cultural Centre for the Polish Diaspora and Foreigners, M. Curie-Skłodowska University in Lublin
Summer School of Polish Culture and Language, Catholic University of Lublin
Study Centre of Polish Language for Foreigners, University of Łódź
Polish Cultural and Language Centre for Foreigners, University of Opole
Polish Language and Cultural Centre for Foreigners, Adam Mickiewicz University in Poznań
Polish Cultural and Language Centre for Poles living abroad and foreigners “Polonus”, University of Rzeszów
Polish Cultural and Language Centre for Foreigners, Nicolaus Copernicus University in Toruń
Polish Language and Cultural Centre for Foreigners “Polonicum”, Warsaw University
Polish Language and Cultural Centre for Foreigners, Cardinal Stefan Wyszyński University in Warsaw
Study Centre of Polish Language for Foreigners, Wrocław University of Technology
Study Centre of Polish Language for Foreigners, Wrocław University
The courses run by particular universities are organized especially for people who would like to study at the given university. Often they contain modules preparing the candidates for studies in the faculties present at the given university, which means that students learn the vocabulary connected to the given field, technical vocabulary and language typical for reference texts. For the purpose of illustration, we present below a description of a full preparation course offered by Cracow University of Economics with prices of particular modules. Offers vary depending on the university, but they are based on similar assumption, so one example should give you a general idea.
Polish Module Course – complete curriculum
480h Polish language classes, A1 level
120h English language classes, A1/A2 level
60h of maths in Polish (recommended especially to candidates for economic and technological faculties)
60h of business Polish (this module is dedicated mainly for candidates for economic studies and it has been prepared for the purposes of studies at Cracow University of Economics)
Extras: Polish and English textbooks, welcome lunch, trip – sightseeing
Polish course – basic curriculum (it is possible to take up extra courses listed below)
480h Polish language classes, A2/B1 level
Extras: Polish textbooks, welcome lunch, trip – sightseeing
Extra coursesto choose from (available only for students of the basic course):
English language course: 120h, from the A1/A2 level, price: €300
Maths course: 60h (in Polish), price: €300
Business Polish course: 60h, price: €200
Minimum number of attendants necessary to start the course: 9