Information about the education of foreigners in the Polish educational system.

Foreigners benefit from education and care in all types of public kindergartens and schools up to the age of 18 years or upper secondary education under conditions applicable to Polish citizens.

On the other hand, public schools for adults, public post-secondary schools, public art schools, public institutions and public colleges of social workers and lifelong learning in the form of vocational training courses benefit from the conditions of Polish citizens:

1) citizens of the remaining 27 Member States of the European Union, Member States of the European Free Trade Association (EFTA) - parties to the Agreement on the European Economic Area (Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway) and the Swiss Confederation, and their family members holding a right of residence or a right of permanent residence;
2) persons of Polish origin within the meaning of the regulations on repatriation;
3) persons who, in the territory of the Republic of Poland, were granted the following:
- permanent residence permit;
- subsidiary protection and members of their families;
- consent for tolerated stay;
- consent to stay for humanitarian reasons and members of their families;
- temporary protection;
- residence permit for a long-term resident of the European Union;
- temporary residence permit in connection with the circumstance referred to in art.127, art.159 sec.1, art.176 or art.186 sec.1 point 3 or 4 of the Act on Foreigners of 12 December 2013 (Journal Set of Laws, No. 1650);
4) persons who have been granted refugee status and members of their families;
5) family members of applicants for refugee status;
6) persons holding a valid Pole Charter;
7) persons for whom such entitlement results from international agreements;
8) persons holding a residence card with a reference to "access to the labor market"
9) persons holding a Schengen visa or a national visa issued for the purpose of performing work in the territory of the Republic of Poland;
10) scholars receiving scholarships from
- the Minister of National Education or
- the school management council or
- the school authority.

According to art. 165 sec. 5 Act of Education Law, others - not mentioned in paragraph 2 - foreigners, may study in public schools for adults, public post-secondary schools, public art schools, public institutions and public colleges of social workers, and benefit of continuing education in the form of qualifying vocational courses - all under conditions of payment.

The amount of the fee and the method of payment, including the anticipated training costs and the possibility of total or partial exemption from this fee, are set by the school authority.

Foreigners are admitted to schools on the basis of documents without necessity of having them validated. Post-secondary schools, where admission is required (to obtain secondary education) are exceptions here. Foreign attestation of secondary education may be recognized in Poland by law or the decision of the curator of education. Detailed information is available here.

The head of a public school may qualify a student from abroad to the appropriate class or semester, taking into account the student's age, the opinion of the parent or the opinion of student  if he or she is of age.

Foreigners subjected to compulsory schooling or study requirements who do not speak Polish or who are not familiar with the Polish language are entitled to additional free of charge lessons of Polish language. Additional language course is organized by a municipality or district proper for the place of residence of a foreigner. The use of foreigners for extra classes in Polish is not limited in time. Foreigners may also benefit from additional levies for a given subject for 12 months. The total size of additional Polish lessons and compensatory classes may not exceed 5 hours per week.

Public and non-public schools may create preparatory divisions for students coming from abroad. The introduction of this form of organization aims to help the education of people who have been educated in schools operating in foreign education systems.

The funds needed to implement the solutions described above are covered by the educational subsidy (the Regulation of the Minister of National Education concerning the division of the educational part of the general subsidy for territorial self-government entities).

Foreign students who are under compulsory education or learning requirements who do not speak Polish or who are not familiar with the Polish language, for no longer than period of 12 months, are entitled to assistance provided by a native speaker of the country of origin who is employed as a teacher by the school headmaster.

For foreigners subjected to compulsory schooling, a diplomatic or consular office of their country of origin or a cultural and educational association of a given nationality may organize in school, in consultation with the headmaster and with the consent of the lead body, classes of the language and culture of the origin country.

There are facilities for non-Polish citizens who take an external exam.

A student or graduate whose limited knowledge of the Polish language hinders reading the text may proceed to:
- the first or second part of the lower secondary school exam - in conditions and forms adapted to his or her educational needs and psychophysical abilities, on the basis of a positive opinion of the pedagogical council;
- a matriculation exam - with the exception of a matriculation examination in Polish and a modern foreign language - in conditions adapted to his needs and psychophysical abilities, based on the positive opinion of the pedagogical council.

The adaptation of the form of the junior high school exam consists of preparing separate examination sheets adapted to the needs of the student, whose limited knowledge of the Polish language makes it difficult to understand the reading of the text.

Adjustment of the conditions for the performance of the lower secondary school exam and the maturity exam is based on the use of appropriate teaching resources (e.g. bilingual dictionary), appropriate extension of the time allowed for these examinations.

Since the 2018/19 school year, these facilities will also be available for the 8th grade exam.

By 10 September of the school year, when the external examinations are to be held, the Head of the Central Examination Commission shall indicate the detailed modalities for adapting the conditions and forms of conducting the lower secondary school exam and the matriculation examination for those who need this adjustment.

Useful materials for supporting students from abroad are available on the Education Development Center website and the Center for Development of Polish Education Abroad.

Teaching Polish as a foreign language in preparatory courses.