Studying in another city – what are the monthly costs of living?

If a student chooses a reputable university, this will offer chances getting a better job. However, studying in another city is also associated with huge expenses. What is the monthly cost of living?

In accordance with the data of the Main Statistical Office of Poland, there were more than 1,220 thousand students in Poland during the academic year 2020/2021. Almost 80,000 people chose full-time studies, others were extramural students. Studying in the Mazovia Province was most popular (253.4 thousand people) whereas the Lubuskie Province had the lowest number of students (almost 11.9 thousand people). A broad offer of studies, high level of education, better opportunities of finding employment after graduation are what makes Warsaw so attractive. However, it is also one of the cities with the highest costs of living, with expenses going up mainly due to high costs of flat rental.

What expenses should you take into account when you choose to study in another city?

The list of the student’s monthly expenses is long. Firstly, flat and food will probably be the highest costs in the student’s budget. One should also remember about the costs associated with studying such as tuition fees, student’s basic equipment: books, laptop. Additional expenses include costs of using city or railway transport (bus, tram or train tickets). Even the hardest working student should not forget about students’ night life – events and meetings which also generate extra costs but offer opportunities to make new friends and spend one’s time in a nice way. Other minor pastimes can also be costly – for example, cinema tickets (PLN 15-25) or concert tickets (the price depends on the popularity of the band). It’s also good to have some savings for unexpected situations – compare loans online.

Highest costs for students – lease of a flat

The costs of flat rent depend on the city. The lease of a studio flat in Warsaw costs from PLN 1,500 to 2,200 – it all depends on the location, area and standard of finish. These are the costs not everyone will be able to afford, especially at the beginning of studies. A good solution may be to lease a flat together with other people as then the expenses related to the lease agreement may be limited to approx. PLN 500 per month. Also the utility charges (electricity, water, Internet, etc.) must be taken into account, which will be shared if there are more tenants.

Students can also choose halls of residence. The absence of additional costs of electricity or water are indisputable advantages of this solution. But of course there are also some cons. Students usually complain about co-tenants because it is not so easy to find people to get on well with. But the prices are important advantages of this type of accommodation. In Warsaw, a bed in a double or triple room costs between PLN 300 and 500. Individuals with a greater budget can afford a single room, which will cost approx. PLN 500-700.

What are the monthly costs of food?

It is hard to estimate the monthly costs of food because they depend on individual needs: quantity and kind of foods eaten. After all, fast foods are not so cheap and are definitely not healthy. Cooking on one’s own will definitely be cheaper in this case. You can also dine at greasy spoons which offer home-cooked foods at low prices. In this case, a low cost does not need to mean low quality. Greasy spoons often obtain subsidies, so they can offer a tasty meal of two courses for PLN 20-25. University canteens are also options to eat cheap foods. Students can also use the help of parents and bring ready meals from home. But this is a solution appropriate only for the beginning of studies. Later there may not be enough time for weekly home meetings with parents. If we assume daily nutrition costs of PLN 40, then the monthly cost will reach the level of approx. PLN 1,200. But obviously this can cost less.

If you choose paid studies, don’t forget to take tuition fees into account

Full-time studies at public universities are free-of-charge. Anyone who chooses to study at a private university should take additional costs into account. The level of these costs depends on the university and major. Reputable and popular universities cost much more. For example, the studies at the private Lazarski University in Warsaw cost from PLN 4,000 to 7,000 per semester. Studies in English at the same university cost from PLN 6,000 to 9,000 per semester. In other words, they are quite expensive. For this reason, before you make a decision which university to choose, you should not only consider the best major for you but also your budget


Moving to another city to study is a huge financial challenge. The amount a student will spend monthly will depend on their individual needs and on the city where the university is located. Certain costs can be reduced or avoided but still students need a lot of money. The minimum amount is PLN 2,000 a month. Studies at a private university will be even more expensive. The tuition fees may be so high that a student will definitely have to work or use the support of parents.

Source: financial comparison site finanse.rankomat

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