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Studying in Poland without speaking Polish?

21 Oct 2012 #1
Hi! My boyfriend is from The Netherlands and he is considering studying in Poland. To be precise, he is looking at the Medical University of Warsaw, the English Division. The problem is he can barely speak Polish, he only knows words like yes and no... How difficult would it be for him to get around? Is it hard moving around Warsaw without knowledge of Polish? Is English commonly used in places like ticket shops (for the subway), stores, etc? I know it might be silly questions but hey, why not... Thanks in advance, looking forward to your responses
pip 10 | 1,659
21 Oct 2012 #2
he will be able to get around quite well. And living here for a short time will let him pick up useful words. There are loads of people from the Netherlands here.
21 Oct 2012 #3
I'd say that it's probably a not so bad idea to acquire some working knowledge of the fundamentals before embarking on a study trip to Poland! While your PF colleague is correct about younger Poles having basic conversational English skills, the Communist -era generation, i.e. fourty +, will typically have limited to zero knowledge of English, let alone any other languages, aside from perhaps some textbook German and/or Russian, once a compulsory foreign language:-)

As in all such instances, it all depends entirely on precisely the degree to which you want to get something lasting or meaningful out of your Polish experience! If you wish to be constantly reliant on (not always reliable!!) local translators, be my guest. Though I've never even thought of such, I could imagine it'd be rather onerous, both on your hosts as well as yourself after a whileLOL
Angelika100 - | 3
22 Oct 2012 #4

He doesn't have to really worry:) most of the students in Poland know english so communication wont be a problem, besides, best to learn Polish in practive:) Welcome to Poland!

matt777 2 | 12
22 Oct 2012 #5
Hi :)) My name is Matt. I just moved in in Warsaw with my girlfriend (polish) I was looking for long time staff about universities in Warsaw and I can easily tell you that here is absolutely possible to study in english without knowing any polish. Im here from one month now and I don't have any problem about the language. Everyone here speaks one or even 2 or 3 foreign languages.

If someone need to buy any ticket for transportation there are automatic machines with instruction in english, german and russian. In shops I neve have to ask for nothing and if I need there's always some nice person that speaks english and understand me.
sdennis 1 | 9
25 Aug 2015 #6
Merged: English-speaking schools in Poland (studying without first learning Polish?)

Would I be able to study in Poland without first learning Polish? Are there any English-speaking schools, and what are the qualifications?
Lyzko 42 | 9,091
25 Aug 2015 #7
Yes and no, Angeliko! it also depends entirely on the level of English to which you're referring. Many, many American college students learn Spanish all throughout highschool, yet most speak it abysmally:-)
JohnMc 1 | 2
14 Nov 2017 #8

Poland for non Polish speakers.

Hi. I was born and raised in the US and have lived in Ireland for the last 12 years. I am thinking of applying for a course in one of Poland's Universities through the Eunicas programme. I was wondering how accessible Poland is for someone who doesn't speak Polish. Will I be able to find my way around? I'll probably be attending in one of the big cities like Warsaw or Krakow. Any help will be appreciated.
Lyzko 42 | 9,091
14 Nov 2017 #9
Not impossible, of course, only umpteen times more rewarding if you know at least the bread-and-butter basics of the target language in the country where you're studying or working.
Alex885 1 | 7
8 May 2018 #10
I would certainly think that knowing at least some Polish would be of great help, especially if your are going to study there. When I visit Warsaw, I intend to know at least the basics in order to get around. :)
Lyzko 42 | 9,091
8 May 2018 #11
'Course, Alex, it's a no-brainer:-)
Mahi praised
25 Nov 2021 #12
Hi! My name is mahlet . I'm from Ethiopia. I am looking for a medical university of Warsaw to study medicine. I can't speak polish . Is it gonna be hard for me to attend my class? And how many medical courses are taught in English in medical university of Warsaw? I wander if any one could help me .
Lyzko 42 | 9,091
26 Nov 2021 #13
Learn at least basic Polish, if for no other reason, out of sheer respect! Heck, it can't be any tougher than Ge'ez aka Amharic.

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