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I got accepted into a university in Gliwice, Poland!

Nawzat 1 | 8
22 Jul 2015 #1
Hello everybody,

I'm a Syrian guy who lives in the United Arab Emirates, I would like to study abroad specially in Europe, and now, I got accepted into two universities, a university in Gliwice and one in Riga (Latvia), however I'm confused on where to choose, many people told me that if you graduate from Riga, you will have better chance to work since its a capital city. I checked the universities ranking, and the Polish university has a better ranking, however im very confused!

Also, I'm interested to gain the citizenship of either Latvia or Poland (wherever I go!) and I heard its easy to get the Polish citizenship if you know Polish (which im planning to learn, either polish or latvian) is that true?

One more thing, since I got the acceptence letter, will I find any difficulties in applying for a student visa?

Lyzko 42 | 9,131
22 Jul 2015 #2
Polish is probably more practical for you at present than Latvian. The latter is a minority language. Polish at least has some cache as well as EU status:-)
OP Nawzat 1 | 8
22 Jul 2015 #3
Yes that is true, 39 millions speak Polish (only in Poland), however only 2 millions speak Latvian, but, judging based on some people's comments in this forum, they all say how bad and worthless a degree in Poland is.
Lyzko 42 | 9,131
22 Jul 2015 #4
Nawzat, all they mean is that certain Polish universities have more ranking than others, that's all.
OP Nawzat 1 | 8
22 Jul 2015 #5
Thank you, do you have an idea if The Silesian University of Technology is a great place for me to purse my career?
Lyzko 42 | 9,131
22 Jul 2015 #6
Not a clue, sir! The only Polish university of which I have even the remotest knowledge is Jagiełłoń Uniwersytet in Cracow, and only because of its Polish language program for foreigners sponsored in part through our local Kościuszko Foundation here in New York:-)
Wulkan - | 3,243
22 Jul 2015 #7
All those universities in Poland are useless comparing to the ones further to the west like England or Germany. It's better for you if you go study there.
Polsyr 6 | 769
22 Jul 2015 #8
You being Syrian it is important that you go to a country where your chances of continuity are as high as possible due to the uncertainty associated with having only Syrian citizenship today, especially if you don't have a permanent right of residence in any other country.

May I ask, what do you intend to study?

I will start with a warning, and rather harshly honest advice. I can almost guarantee that you will have problems at the Polish embassy in Abu Dhabi with your visa application when you apply. The consul over there has a tendency to view applications in an exclusively negative mindset. In the case of a Syrian citizen applying for ANY kind of visa through them, he tends to only assume that because they are Syrian they have no intention to ever leave and therefore automatic rejection. Even if you have millions in your bank accounts in UAE, it won't change how he sees that. And this is irrespective of the fact that as a student you are expected to apply for a residence permit upon arrival and may one day become a contributing member of society.

You are likely to face a similar attitude from more or less all the embassies of the EU countries that used to be under communism (meaning Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Poland, Czech, Slovakia, Hungary, Romania, Slovenia, Croatia and Bulgaria).

Therefore, you are better off looking to the West, preferably to an English speaking country (UK, Ireland, Canada, USA etc.) and if not English speaking then go to Germany (although Germany also problematic recently with student visas for Syrian students), Holland or Sweden etc.

If you have absolutely no other choice, then I personally would pick Poland over Latvia.

Polish language is more useful as others have already said, because more people speak it.

Poland is a bigger country with more opportunities and more international companies operating.
Although you might want to try to get into one of the bigger cities (Warsaw, Wroclaw or Krakow for example) instead of Gliwice both for social reasons and for potential career opportunities after graduation.

Regardless of what city in Poland you study in, you need to be prepared financially (meaning income from elsewhere or savings) to pay 100% of your cost of living and studying until you graduate. Assume that you will NOT be able to find meaningful paid work before you graduate.

I cannot comment about comparing laws regarding residence and naturalization of foreigners in the two countries. You need to research this by yourself. I know that Polish laws today are somewhat clear on this and specify several clear paths towards permanent residence and naturalization of foreigners that have resided in Poland for a certain length of time, but I have no idea how it looks like in Latvia.
InPolska 11 | 1,821
22 Jul 2015 #9
Witam! What Polsyr says makes sense! :)

Since difficult to get a visa, the OP should look up what countries issue most visas to Syrians. I doubt that Poland is one of them. Most probably easier to apply to UK (probably no.1) and then Germany and France (but of course need to speak local languages).

As to study/live in Poland, if Gliwice, no thanks ;)

@Nawzat: check what countries issue most visas to students from Syria and from that on look for a school (in such countries).
OP Nawzat 1 | 8
22 Jul 2015 #10
Thanks guys,

West Europe is too expensive for me, even though Germany is for free but they don't recognize the secondary education in the UAE so I'll have to do another year, that's beside the language year.

I was treated rudely when I went to the Polish embassy to legalize my documents, however it was an Emirati (uae local) who was shouting so I didn't give a fuxk really.

@Polsyr, I got accepted into Chemestry Engineering.

@InPolska, Russia and Lebanon are on top, however I'm not really interested to study in such countries
Wulkan - | 3,243
22 Jul 2015 #11
I'm not really interested to study in such countries

Why not, what's wrong with Lebanon for instance?
OP Nawzat 1 | 8
22 Jul 2015 #12
Lebanon is far more expensive than Poland, because, living or studying in a city other than Beirut is like studying with talibans.
most of the Lebanese hate Syrians so it's likely I'll face racism every now and then.
InPolska 11 | 1,821
22 Jul 2015 #13
@Nazwat: what's wrong to study in Russia? Do you need to speak Russian? Since very difficult for you to have visa, you need to first find a country issuing visa more easily and then a school.

As to "free" university programs, check better since it's the way in most of Western Europe (out of UK and Switzerland) and when no "free", it can cost something like 100 euros a year. Do check.

Also choose a school in a country not too much plagued by racism and xenophobia ;) (Poland not friendly to foreigners who look "different" ;))
Polsyr 6 | 769
22 Jul 2015 #14
Nawzat is right about the situation in Lebanon. To study in a good university in Beirut would cost as much (if not more) than studying in a top university in the US, plus being Syrian may subject him to prejudice (including a curfew.)

Speaking of continuity, Russia is not a good choice for him because unless he marries a Russian citizen or invests a lot of money, the procedure towards naturalization is long, complicated and not entirely straight forward. Plus prejudice against people with a "caucasus" look can be a problem.

Even if you have to spend 2 extra years in Germany to learn German and sort out your high school diploma, you have a clearer bath to naturalization, and very good career prospects. Plus consider the two extra years a chance to learn and familiarize yourself with the German way of life. Although I have to tell you, a lot of student visa applications by Syrians are being rejected by Germany these days.
InPolska 11 | 1,821
22 Jul 2015 #15
@Polsyr: that's the reason why I advise to first of all choose a country issuing visas to Syrians easily. What sense do it make to be accepted by a school and then not to be issued a visa like the OP has done? ;).

In Russia, he may face racism and hostility but it'll be the same in Poland.

Except - maybe - a few countries in Europe (which are generous in terms of visas and the rest), like UK, Germany and France, the chances are very limited.

What about .... Turkey?
OP Nawzat 1 | 8
22 Jul 2015 #16
If Turkey was a good destination then Syrians would have stayed rather than going illegally to Greece.

Anyways, what do you think of Croatia? I found a couple of universities that teach in English. the prices are reasonable.
Polsyr 6 | 769
22 Jul 2015 #17
What about .... Turkey?

Not a bad idea if you ask me... But cost of life in places that have good schools is high too.
InPolska 11 | 1,821
22 Jul 2015 #18
@Nazwat: as I put a "?" re Turkey, I don't know about studying in Turkey. It is going to be hard everywhere but Poland is not a good choice. 1. according to Polsyr (who knows about topic), unlikely to have visa and imagine you have visa 2. Polish diplomas are useless elsewhere 3. Poland is not tolerant and open and 4. Gliwice is a one-horse sh####t hole town.

I don't know re studying in Croatia (only went there on vacation) but what about visas, what about their diplomas ? What's the use of having a diploma not recognized anywhere? Do you speak Croatian?

Like I sais, you need to first of all find out what countries issue visas easily and then you'll check about possibilities. Also what languages do you speak?

Maybe you could try in the US! I know it's very expensive but you may qualify for financial support. If Dominic reads post, he's answer you.
majkel - | 64
22 Jul 2015 #19

if you are looking for country that needs chemists you should look for countries with strong industrial production. Croatia is not one of them.

If you want to work elsewhere, then it doesn't matter :)
InPolska 11 | 1,821
22 Jul 2015 #20
@Majkel; first he needs to find a country issuing visa and not easy.
Lyzko 42 | 9,131
22 Jul 2015 #21
Can't believe most Polish universities are as poor as some here are saying! Frankly, I still think it's all a matter of perception; Poland's education is perceived by some as backward, therefore, it "is"LOL

I'm not yet convinced, people:-)
OP Nawzat 1 | 8
22 Jul 2015 #22
I guess I'll just stick with Russia.
majkel - | 64
22 Jul 2015 #23
Nawzat, I'd stick with a country with a little bit more of freedom.
Polsyr 6 | 769
22 Jul 2015 #24
I was asking around on your behalf and I heard something interesting for you. The success rate in obtaining visas to study is much higher for university transfer students, yet even higher for graduates going for higher studies. Meaning you can always study 1-2 years in one place then apply to transfer.

Regarding Germany, the success rate is much higher if you already speak German or if you have taken some German language courses. Meaning you can perhaps learn basic German in UAE and then apply to German universities. They assume that if you already speak some German, it shows that you have genuine interest in being a student and real potential to fit in Germany.
OP Nawzat 1 | 8
23 Jul 2015 #25
Thanks Polar, I'll take that in mind.

I'll apply for a visa anyway. I'll give it a shot.
smurf 39 | 1,979
24 Jul 2015 #26
Riga would be better for a student life, Gliwice is pretty small and not much happens there.

Poland has very good universities, I'd presume Riga does too.
I'd pick Riga for the simple reason that it's a capital city and you'll have far more fun there than in little Gliwice.

It's an ok city, but that's about it, it's OK, nothing special. Most Poles don't even know where it is.
InPolska 11 | 1,821
24 Jul 2015 #27
@Smurf: Riga (and also Tallinn) seem to have a ... hot reputation ;). Gliwice even as per Polish standards is a one-horse sleepy town and OP would be bored there as much as a dead rat...
smurf 39 | 1,979
24 Jul 2015 #28
Gliwice even as per Polish standards is a one-horse sleepy town and OP would be bored there as much as a dead rat...

yea, even though it's a 'university' city, it's as dead as disco during the week.
It's perfectly nice, has some nice bars, restaurants, nice parks, but it's just a bit meh. I'm a great believer of if you're moving to a country, start in the capital and get a proper feel for the place.
InPolska 11 | 1,821
24 Jul 2015 #29
@Smurf: in fact, it depends on where you are from and what you are used to.

I've lived in a several cities around the world each counting several million inhabitants and Warsaw is no more than a big village for me. If I had (under torture) to go to places such a Gliwice, Radom, Lublin, Kielce and the like, I would turn into an alcooholic. On top of that, people in such places are as closed as oysters so they don't accept newcomers. Province life is so narrow. I even know people from Warsaw who had moved to Krakow for work, they did not stay long.

Riga is a village too but at least it's a capital so probably more things and maybe also more open.

Gliwice sounds a punishment :)
smurf 39 | 1,979
24 Jul 2015 #30
in fact, it depends on where you are from and what you are used to.

That's true but y'know I'm just talking about it being a capital.
You know, like when bands come to Poland, they play in Warsaw and Krakow, they never play the smaller cities, Riga being a capital will also make the list on a band's tour dates. So things like that are what would sway it for me.

I know Gliwice pretty well, it's totally fine, but if you had the chance to live there or in a proper capital city, I think you'd be barking mad to live there.

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