About 2,000 foreign students are in Krakow, a number that has grown steadily in recent years.
About half the students — 1,009 — are at Jagiellonian University.
Many study in English. They can chose from six Master?s programs — British Literature, American Literature, Central European Studies, Eastern European Studies, Biotechnology and the most popular, Medicine.
Medicine is the most expensive program, about 9,000 euro a year. Other programs? costs average about 4,000 euro a year.
Non-English programs that many foreign students chose include Marketing, Economics, International Relations, Political Science, Law, Psychology and Language Studies ? with Polish being the language that most study.
Those studying in English come mostly from Norway, the U.S. and Canada. Those studying in Polish are mostly from Ukraine, Belarus, Russia, Kazakhstan and the Czech Republic.
The University of Economics has almost a third of Krakow?s foreign students — 597.
One of the key reasons is that it has an English Track, coordinated by the university?s International Programs Office. Two hundred fifty-three students are in that track.
?A student participating in the English Track studies in English for one semester, then gets a chance at a scholarship to go to one of our partner universities to study in the language of his choice,? said university spokeswoman Monika Marszycka.
The English-language International Business program attracts the most foreign students. They come from 32 countries, including Armenia, Mongolia, Sri Lanka and Vietnam.
About 186 foreign students are studying architecture at the Krakow Institute of Technology.
The countries they come from include Germany, Spain, Ukraine, Belarus, Kazakhstan, Nigeria and Congo.
?I?ve always wanted to study architecture, and Krakow is the best in Poland,? said Arlind, a 20-year-old Albanian.
Ninety seven foreign students are at the AGH University of Science and Technology, according to Paweł Swierk of the University?s International Office. An additional 40 to 50 will be here for summer courses, he said.
Most of the students are from Slovakia, Ukraine, Belarus, Vietnam and Angola.
The AGH has seven programs, some of which are in English.
More than 140 courses are offered in English, some as part of programs, others as stand-alone classes, Swierk said.
The Teachers University has 39 foreign students. Most are from Spain and Portugal and most are studying foreign languages.
Some, however, are in mainstream teaching-skills programs, such as teaching preschoolers, teaching elementary-school students or teaching arts said Anna Brońka of the University?s Department of Education and Foreign Cooperation.
The teaching programs are especially popular among Czech and Portuguese students, ?for whom we organize courses in English,? Bronka said.
The government and Polish universities help many foreign students with scholarships or fee waivers.
The most prestigious scholarships are the Socrates and Erasmus.
?Foreigners of Polish origin studying in Polish receive scholarships from the government, or they study for free through fee waivers,? said Jagiellonian University spokeswoman Katarzyna Pilitowska.
In addition to offering financial aid, universities try to accommodate foreign students in other ways. Some programs allow students in courses taught in Polish to take written exams in English, or oral exams in Polish rather than written exams.
?At the end of the first semester, I failed virtually every written exam, but most of the professors agreed to let me take them orally, and I passed,? said Natalia of Kazakhstan, a third-year psychology student in Krakow.
Many foreign students say the most important support they receive in Krakow has nothing to do with money or institutional favors. It is plain-old friendship from Poles.
?I have many friends,? said Carlos of Angola, a 24-year-old architecture student. ?Without them I wouldn?t be here.?
The growing number of foreign students has led to some small national enclaves popping up in Krakow.
?There are about 20 Angolans in Krakow, studying at different levels (bachelors, master?s and Ph.D.),? Carlos said. ?We meet and have fun together.?
Students from the same country often meet at the same haunt.
American students, for example, often are at Massolit Books on ul. Felicjanek. The Norwegians go — where else? ? to the Nordic Pub on ul Św. Anny.
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