A strong education is the best stepping stone to a promising future. A key component to that bright future is the opportunity to study in American colleges and high schools that have recently sprouted in Poland. Initially, these schools catered mainly to foreigners or those from mixed families. But things are changing.
As Polish society grew wealthier, more local students have started attending these American institutions, especially those who have their sights set on opportunities abroad.
If you’re a parent, uncertain about the road ahead for your child, I think you might want to consider these schools. Let me tell you, our knowledge compendium for parents is a great place to start.
Navigating American Schools in Poland
Did you know there are approximately 150 bilingual classes across Poland, with around 50 of those conducted in English? Warsaw boasts some of the best, but don’t overlook Krakow and Wroclaw as options for your American school adventure.
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You and your child will need to register for your chosen American high school together. This involves submitting necessary documents online via the school’s website or the email address provided. Here is what you’ll need to provide:
- A copy of the student’s passport or birth certificate
- A photograph (like one you would use for an ID)
- Copies of school certificates from the last 2 years – you will need to get these translated into English
- If applicable, additional certificates that provide information on the student’s special educational needs or medical conditions – these also need to be translated into English.
Remember, the deadline for submitting these documents typically falls in February.
The Language Question in American Schools
I am convinced that studying in an American school in Poland serves as an excellent foundation for future careers. More importantly, it is an ideal platform to master the English language. These American schools utilize varied methods to teach language.
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It is worth to say, the more prestigious institutions conduct all their classes exclusively in English. However, there are also those that apply a 'code-switching’ approach, weaving in Polish alongside English during lessons. This practice can be a great way for students to maintain their native language skills while also improving their English proficiency.
Teaching System Model in American School in Poland
I believe, one of the unique things about American schools in Poland is their teaching model. These schools use what’s known as the „core curriculum” system. This is a popular approach used in high schools across the US and Canada.
Let me explain how it works. The „core curriculum” system allows for individualization in teaching. It gives students the power to choose which subjects they wish to study. This flexibility helps students align their education with their natural abilities and future plans, whether they’re educational or professional.
And there’s more! Students can also pick the type of end-of-year exam they want to take for university. If you’re keen on knowing more about the US education system, our compendium of knowledge is an excellent resource to check out.
Types od Diplomas You May Obtain
One of the well-liked American schools in Poland lets students in grades 10-12 select their own curriculum. Here are the options:
American High School Diploma and SAT
The American High School Diploma and SAT program lasts for two years and is similar to an American High School education. During this time, students study seven subjects, with two chosen as specializations.
To bag an American diploma, they must write a paper of up to 1500 words on a chosen topic and pass final exams in all subjects. Moreover, they can take the SAT, opening up the chance to study abroad. Curious about the SAT exam? Click here to learn more.
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International Baccalaureate (IB)
The IB program is more advanced and academically rigorous than the American High School Diploma. IB students also get to choose their subjects from fields such as English A, English B, Polish, French, German, history, geography, physics, biology, and mathematics. However, one subject, the theory of knowledge, is mandatory.
IB wraps up with exams and a detailed essay of up to 4000 words.
Polish Baccalaureate (Matura)
The Polish Baccalaureate or Matura, as it’s locally known, gives students the chance to take the Matura exam at the end of their schooling. I can tell you that students choosing the Matura exam will receive full preparation in Polish from the American school.
To cap it off, education in an American school in Poland leads to an American certificate (High School Diploma), accredited by Western educational institutions. What this means is that after graduating from an American school in Poland, you can smoothly transition to a foreign university without any hurdles.
A List of American Schools in Poland
I think it’s worth mentioning that there are about 30 American-system high schools in Poland. Allow me to tell you about some of the most renowned among them.
College of Europe in Krakow
The College of Europe in Krakow was established in 2004. It’s a private school that covers both primary and high school education. Students can take both the International and Polish Baccalaureate here.
At this school, Polish students rub shoulders with peers from Canada, USA, New Zealand, Korea, Ukraine, and Switzerland. If you’re wondering about the costs, annual tuition fees are around PLN 17,000.
Nicolaus Copernicus High School
Located on Bema Street in Warsaw, this bilingual high school has been educating young minds since 1963. Known for its prestige, it’s highly sought-after due to its language-focused curriculum and diverse language options. Students can learn English, Spanish, French, and German here.
American School of Warsaw in Konstancin-Jeziorna
Arguably the most famous American school in Poland is the American School of Warsaw in Konstancin-Jeziorna. Situated on the southern outskirts of Warsaw, in the municipality of Konstancin-Jeziorna, it has been seen as the best international school in Warsaw for years.
Founded in 1953, it’s an elite school and the priciest American school in Poland. It even has a private high school in Warsaw. The Polish students here are children of parents who hold respected positions in international corporations.
Did you know? The American School of Warsaw is the only International Baccalaureate Continuum school in Warsaw that offers the Primary Years Programme (pre-K-5), Middle Years Programme (6-10 years), and Diploma Programme (11-12 years). It also has an American high school.
However, let me say that studying at this school comes with a hefty price tag. What’s more, tuition fees are paid in both USD and PLN. If you want to checjk out the rates, they’re available below.
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Costs in ASW
If you’re considering the American School of Warsaw, you need to know what it’s going to cost you. I believe it’s worth mentioning that the fees here cover more than just the basic tuition. They also include textbooks and everyday educational supplies, and even an iPad or MacBook. You’ll also need to plan for some extra costs, like application and entry fees.
Here’s a breakdown:
- Pre-kindergarten: $5,900 + PLN 34,430
- Kindergarten: $7,250 + PLN 45,030
- Grades 1 – 2: $9,090 + PLN 61,080
- Grades 3 – 5: $9,455 + PLN 63,530
- Grades 6 – 8: $10,875 + PLN 65,700
- Grades 9 – 10: $11,095 + PLN 69,586
- Grades 11 – 12: $11,095 + PLN 71,512
Additional fees are:
- Application fee: 150 USD or 600 PLN
- Entry fee: 1000 USD for kindergarten; 7,500 USD for other classes
If you’re ready to apply, you can do so online at aswarsaw.openapply.com.
Who enrolls here? Typically, the students at this school are children of parents who often travel for work and are likely to relocate due to promotions. Enrolling in this school prepares them for a possible move and helps them quickly acclimatize to new environments.
International European School in Wilanów
Now, allow me to explain about another school you might consider – the International European School in Wilanów. This school, located on Wiertnicza Street in Warsaw, offers three levels of education:
- Primary School
- High School
This school is a fantastic choice for students planning to study in the UK or the USA. Graduates complete their education with an International Baccalaureate, i.e., IB Diploma. In fact, nearly 80% of the school’s graduates apply for studies in the UK or the USA.
The fees you’ll pay at this school are as follows:
- Kindergarten / year zero: 4500 PLN
- Classes 1-3: 6,500 PLN
- Classes 4-6: 6,500 PLN
- Classes 7-8: 6,500 PLN
- Classes 9-12: 6,500 PLN
- Kindergarten (from 3 years): 42,000 PLN
- Year zero: 49,000 PLN
- Classes 1-3: 56,000 PLN
- Classes 4-6: 63,000 PLN
- Classes 7-8: 65,000 PLN
- Classes 9-12: 65,000 PLN
The fees here include extracurricular and sports activities, preventive examinations, a set of textbooks, three meals a day, and even transport to and from the student’s home within 20 km from the school. You should know that tuition is paid in advance for 10 months of study.
International High School in Wrocław
Over at the International High School in Wrocław, students can take both the International Baccalaureate and the Polish maturity exam. I think it’s worth saying this school has been under the scientific patronage of the University of Wrocław for several years. Plus, it’s an accredited IB World School.
Here are the programs they offer:
- Core curriculum of the Ministry of National Education
- IB Middle Years Programme
- IB Diploma Programme
I am convinced you’ll be impressed by their students’ performance. In 2022, 92% of students obtained their matriculation diploma, and the average score obtained was 5.41. Two students even scored 51 out of a possible 45 points, while another two scored 40.
What Are American Schools in Poland Like?
If you’re considering an American school in Poland, you need to understand what makes them stand out from the regular high schools.
For starters, American schools in Poland don’t divide students into classes. Instead, students choose and attend courses based on their interests. And the grading system is different. Rather than giving threes, fours, or fives, students earn points which are eventually converted into percentages.
Moreover, the didactic system is different. Education at these schools consists of a basic program, specialization, and additional courses. And while Polish schools divide their academic year into semesters, American schools use trimesters, each lasrting 12 weeks.
Finally, I believe it’s worth mentioning the cost. While Polish high schools are free, American schools cost between an average of 55,000 PLN to even 100,000 PLN per year.
Sample Costs of American Schools in Poland
Allow me to give you some examples:
- An American school in Konstancin Jeziorna charges between 50,000 to 60,000 zlotys per year, depending on the program.
- At the British School Warsaw, tuition fees range from 28,620 PLN for grades 0-3, to 34,344 PLN for grades 4-8.
- Tuition at the International School of Warsaw ranges from 31,000 to 60,000 zlotys per year.
- The College of Europe in Krakow charges between 15,000 to 18,000 zlotys per year.
Remember, these are just examples, so it’s crucial to check with the specific school for accurate tuition and fees.
Deciding on American Schools in Poland
The big question you might be asking is, „Is an American high school in Poland a good idea?” I think it is worth saying that it can be a wise choice for foreigners living in Poland who aim to maintain continuity in their education. But I can tell you, it’s not just about the school’s origin.
If you’re a Pole thinking about studying abroad, you shouldn’t limit yourself to studying in one language and one system just to make your applications easier. I am convinced there’s a better choice out there.
A Case for Bilingual State Schools
State bilingual schools can help you further develop your language skills and broaden your horizons. Education according to the Polish core curriculum promotes critical thinking, which I believe has universal application and is extremely useful in professional life.
Now, don’t get me wrong. The American educational program has its perks. It focuses mainly on the development of individuality. But while this is useful, it can be a double-edged sword, especially in the labor market.
Chance For Foreign Studies
Here’s something I think you’ll find interesting: Sudents from American schools in Poland have the same chances of getting into foreign studies as students from state general secondary schools.
The result of recruitment depends mainly on the student’s motivation and determination in pursuing the goal, not on the elitism of the school where they gained knowledge.
So, if you’re driven and passionate, that’s already half the battle won. Remember, our mentors are always here to support you, guiding you to make a professional decision about your education.