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Teaching Architecture in Poland

marchi 1 | 4
8 Jan 2011 #1
Dear members,

i am new to the forum, it seems an interesting place to know about Poland, and to inquire about various issues.

I am an architect, married to a Polish citizen, and i received my first one year residency last month. I moved to Poland last September. I have a MAster degree in architecture from Lebanon (where i come from) , and another Master and Phd from Japan, and run my own free lanc studio in architecture. I have taught previously in various institutions of architecture, and now i am looking for a ful time position at a Polish University/Architecture department.

Can anyone give me any advice? hint? guidelines?somethings like:

-are foreigners non polish welcome to teach in Poland?
-are foreigners non polish welcome to teach architecture in Poland?
-does the curriculum in POlish university facilitate access to non Polish spoeaker teacher/professor ? (i don t speak polish -yet)
-what about salaries?
-does the full time professorship gives additional packages (insurance, financial assistance,...)?
-which cities in Poland might be more favourable for such a vacancy?
-is it enough in Poland to survive by teaching full time?
-any side benefits to teach at a Polosh University, especially if someone is foreigner?

I wait for any feedbacks,

thank you.
Wroclaw 44 | 5,387
8 Jan 2011 #2
which cities in Poland might be more favourable for such a vacancy?

this may not be for you, but it shows what is going on.
OP marchi 1 | 4
8 Jan 2011 #3
Oh! thanks a lot for this info! actually it is very much for me, becasue my PhD research is about landscape integration within architecture, and in particular the Green Roof typology. And amaizingly enough, i found out that in this link, they mention that there is a Green Roof Studio under preparation ...

I guess it might be interesting for me to contact them; by the way, how you got to this link? i mean are you as well connected to the same field? and do you know amore about this institution? can you-if possible-expand more on this matter? it sounds very useful. I will investigate it more , with the help of my wife too.

Thanks, and i await for any additional feed from you or someone else,

Wroclaw 44 | 5,387
8 Jan 2011 #4
how you got to this link? i mean are you as well connected to the same field? and do you know amore about this institution?

i only know it because i live nearby.
OP marchi 1 | 4
8 Jan 2011 #5
Ah, i see.

Well, i will do my best to get more info ab it; meanwhile, i will wait for more feedbacks from other members as well, and if you have anything else in mind related, please dont hesitate to type it down. Thanks a lot.
delphiandomine 83 | 17,906
9 Jan 2011 #6
Marchi - I know a landscape designer that would be very interested in cooperating with you. Can you give me your e-mail address so I can pass it on? The Green Roof stuff is something that she's very interested in :)
OP marchi 1 | 4
17 Jan 2011 #7
Any other feeds from anybody regarding this matter? thanks.
delphiandomine 83 | 17,906
17 Jan 2011 #8
Damnit - I forgot, I'll pass your e-mail address on today!
jwojcie 2 | 763
17 Jan 2011 #9
Not related directly to your question but if you are interested in Polish architecture then sign up into forum and go to Polish section. Every project worth to notice is there and is discussed sometimes by people working with it.
MIPK - | 69
18 Jan 2011 #10
As someone in a similar situation, i'll try pass on what i've found out to date.
(i'm an Australian qualified architect, worked for 10 years in Western Australia specialising in high end residential work while also doing some part time tutoring at the local university)

to answer your questions first;
i) & ii) i would say that teaching of architecture in Poland would be more specific to your expertise & your ability to work legally than where you are from. The fact that you have a Phd should hold you in good stead for this. Though you might have to get your degrees and academic records translated and recognised as they are all non EU. researching this myself at the moment but have a look here

Also on the Krakow architecture department there was an advert for a position in June 2010 that might give you an idea of requirements

iii) as part of the requirement for students to study architecture i believe they have to have a knowledge of a foreign language, and from some people i know some of the classes they have attended have been in English. But advice i got was learn polish as quickly as possible! (my aim for this year and probably for many more years to come!!)

iv) salaries don't know, but dont expect it to be too high

v) there are numerous Universities offering architecture courses, best one would be the one that has a vacancy i guess. There is a list of the Universities with architecture courses on wikipedia with web addresses

vi) i'd imagine professorship as a full time employee would mean payments are made to ZUS so that health etc would be covered, but i guess it would depend on contract

vii) enough to survive depends on how you wish to live...

viii) side benefits, dont know, maybe that you get more contacts in the profession and might learn something as well as imparting your knowledge to others???

Board of Polish Architects
(I will be visiting them next week to confirm requirements for recognition of my qualifications and procedure for registration within Poland)

Association of Polish Architects

a couple of useful websites;
OP marchi 1 | 4
19 Jan 2011 #11
Dear MIPK,

thanks a lot for your structured answers, and definitely it help a lot.

I know some of these websites you sent, i check them from time to time with the help of either my Polish wife, or the babelfish (:- Surely learning Polish is essential for developping any career in Poland.

I am still researching the matter, not an easy thing; Poland's education system needs a reform especially at the university level, and in particular in schoolls of architecture where old professors stick to their positions, and where salaries and research funds are among the lowest-if not the lowest in case they exist anyway!- in Europe. I hope that somethign will be done for this.

Are you teaching? or working in Poland as architect?

I am definitely willing to share -once i get more knowledge ab the topic- my findings in this subject;just started looking and investigating actually.

Thanks again for the imput, and i hope i can read more from u; u r in warsaw? krakow? gdansk?
MIPK - | 69
10 Mar 2011 #12

sorry for the delay in replies. Currently i'm not working or teaching as an Architect in Poland. I'm kind of having a break from working life and i'm basically just doing some English teaching at the moment and doing the odd bit of documentation and detailing for colleagues back in Australia. Also i'm based in Rzeszow at the moment so the number of Architectural practices is a bit limited. I was going to try test the market around April/May, and let my Polish improve a little bit more.

With regards to recognition of qualifications, after sending my degrees and translations to the Ministry of Education they have responded with a letter in Polish stating what my degrees mean and what they would enable me to do if i wanted to continue further study in Australia. This letter apparently is sufficient to explain my qualifications if i want to continue study in Poland. But, to work towards registration as an architect here i would need to go through a nostrification process to get my degrees assessed for equivalency with the Polish degree. This i'm investigating now. Will keep you uptodate.

If you want to chat a bit more PM me and i'll let you know my email address.

elioug 1 | 22
14 Mar 2011 #13
Hello. Im also an architect living in Poland. I think it could be nice to make a group and talk about similar situations we need or have to do for adapting in working / living in Poland. Im from Peru.. Hope you could contact me to my mail here. Talk soon.
johnfisher 4 | 22
19 Mar 2011 #14
Merged: Teaching architecture in Polish University. Can i survive with my family?

Dear all, is it possible to survive in Poland (decent life) as a university teacher? i hear that teaching there is more of a hobby and must be complemented with something else. If so, then being an academic in Poland doesn t bring financial security for the academic's family? is there a way to pursue an academic career in Poland? (NB: teaching architecture and design)
Lodz_The_Boat 32 | 1,535
19 Mar 2011 #15
(NB: teaching architecture and design)

Which university?
johnfisher 4 | 22
19 Mar 2011 #16
Sure i do prefer somewhere in warsaw or krakow, but i did not hear that there are differences when it comes to teaching, as all give peanuts as salary...does it make difference which uni it is ??? are there better paying universities vs bad paying universities???
Lukasz K - | 103
19 Mar 2011 #17
The main salary is quite decent if you are a professor (I think around 6000 PLN). Otherwise it is quite low (around 3000 PLN before taxes for a fresh PhD graduate)... But of course you must get grants to do your research (if you work at the university you can not just teach - you have to do some research, publish etc. and the direct funding of research by the university is usually very low) and it is a custom that participants of the grant get some money from in form of additional salary (but of course getting a grant is no so simple...)...


johnfisher 4 | 22
19 Mar 2011 #18
Dear Lukasz,thanks for your feed. I have a PhD with 2 years experience, so i wonder where i stand for Polish standard. The salaries you mentionned as example are in public institutions or private ones?
hague1cmaeron 14 | 1,377
19 Mar 2011 #19
My guess is that you will be more than comfortable, not wealthy, but very comfortable. upper/middle.
Lukasz K - | 103
19 Mar 2011 #20
I am talking about a public university. Private ones are rather called "schools" (I think non of the private institutions can use the name "university" because to do it you need to have enough professors, PhD students etc. and private schools are much smaller and more oriented on bachelor and master studies than public ones ) which does not mean that you can not earn there more if your field attracts many students...


johnfisher 4 | 22
19 Mar 2011 #21
But what about the field of architecture in the academia? does what have been said by all of you apply to architectural teaching? or it is a general rule? and what about if i am a non-polish speaker? actually i don t speak polish yet, i married recently and i am planing to move for good to poland and learn the languagem and settle there, so knowing about the financial security that i can get through teaching is very important for me.Any idea?
delphiandomine 83 | 17,906
20 Mar 2011 #22
Forget about it if you want financial security. I cannot see a non-Polish speaker making enough money in the universities in order to provide financial security in Poland - I know several English speaking non-proessors, and none of them are earning enough to live without doing something else on the side.

I'm also not too convinced that there will be much demand for a non-Polish speaking architect in universities - the public universities will expect research from you, and the private ones are anything but stable.

You'd be best to try and get a job in an architecture company - Poland isn't like other countries, where a PhD automatically is seen as "over-qualfiied".
MIPK - | 69
20 Mar 2011 #23
i'd say with a Phd and only 2 years working experience you might struggle to find any University position here. Where's your Phd from and in what country have you previously worked? From my limited knowledge most of the professors here seem to be Polish. You might strike it lucky and a University might want to hire you as there are a number of the courses taught in English.

But i'd prob agree with Delph you might find it hard to get by, and would also suggest that you try get work with a Polish company first prior to even thinking about teaching.

I'm currently going through the nostrification process to get my degrees recognised as equivalent in Poland (my degrees were obtained in Australia) still waiting to hear back from Krakow University as to what exactly i need to submit.

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