Discover Silesia: an interesting region in Poland
Silesia in Poland is a great place to live
Silesia is a very attractive and characteristic region of Poland, whose complicated history corresponds in a way to the history of the whole country. In the past it was located within the borders of various countries, becoming part of Poland in 1945, after the end of World War II. In principle, Silesia has played an important role since the beginnings of statehood in this area: German, Czech and Polish. Once a bone of contention, today within the European Union it remains an important region that, due to its geographical location, is in a way Poland’s window to the West.
It is no secret that Silesia is also a huge coal-rich region, although not as strongly as in the past. Although it still plays an important role in the Polish economy and energy sector, Silesia definitely goes beyond that. In recent times it has become a popular destination for tourists and students from both Poland and abroad. This is not surprising when you consider that there are many reputable universities located here that attract young people looking for quality education.
Upper and Lower Silesia
It should be emphasised that there is not really one Silesia. Taking a closer look at the administrative division of Poland, one can notice that there are the Śląskie and Dolnośląskie Voivodeships (units of local administration). The division of Silesia into Upper and Lower Silesia obviously has its roots in history. There is also the Opolskie Voivodeship, located between the two and constituting the western part of Upper Silesia. The search for the distinguishing features of these areas is a task for a separate study. In any case, one of the main differences between Upper and Lower Silesia is the language – in Upper Silesia, many people speak the characteristic Silesian dialect.
The two most important cities in Silesia are Wrocław and Katowice. The former is the capital of Lower Silesia and the latter of Upper Silesia. Wrocław is located on the Oder River and has almost 650,000 inhabitants. It is one of the largest cities in Poland and also a thriving university centre. It regularly ranks in the top 100 rankings of the best cities to live in in the world. Katowice, in turn, having almost 300,000 inhabitants, is one of the main centres of the Upper Silesian Industrial Area. It is also a very good location from the students’ point of view. On the one hand, many universities are located in Katowice and on the other hand, the city has great accommodation for students. The BaseCamp dormitory stands out in this regard, which is an interesting solution for those students who would like to effectively combine studying with entertainment and staying in an international environment. Moreover, let us emphasise that Silesia is not just tourist attractions and good universities but a rapidly developing region with many opportunities – so it is worth considering staying here for longer by finding a job and permanent accommodation.
Great experience from visiting Silesia
Both Lower and Upper Silesia are great alternatives for those who would like to visit Poland but not necessarily its largest and most crowded cities such as Warsaw, Kraków, Gdańsk or Poznań. Anyway, in many respects the main cities of Silesia are not inferior to them – there are many well-preserved monuments, with old castles and temples at the top.
Silesia is also a great place to relax. Located in the immediate vicinity of the relatively low Sudetes mountains, it is a good base for a tourist holiday. On the other hand, it should be remembered that the region lived from mining for decades, so many places recall and expose this role in the history and economy of the country.
It should also be taken into account that Silesia is well connected with the whole country: the availability of fast trains makes it possible to reach different regions of Poland in no time. Let us recall that Katowice, for example, is located on the main – both national and international – road and rail routes. Looking from a continental perspective, Silesia also has a great location – the centre of Europe is a jumping-off point to other countries, especially the closest ones, Germany and the Czech Republic.
Medical University of Silesia
Silesia is also a place of activities for many universities, which are characterised by a high level of education not only on a Polish scale but also on a regional scale. Some fields of study, such as medicine, are of an exceptionally high level at Silesian universities. In general, medical studies at Polish universities are very popular, both among domestic and foreign students. Moreover, in comparison with Western European universities, for example, German or British ones, the conditions for studying in Poland and the studies themselves are relatively cheap.
In the case of medicine, Silesia boasts the renowned Medical University of Silesia, located in Katowice and other cities in the region (the university also has faculties in Bytom, Sosnowiec and Zabrze). Courses are taught in English in the faculties. Also, the admission process does not cause any problems for international students as it is fully conducted in English. Forms on the university website are also available in English, as is contact with administrative staff. The recruitment process is completely the same as for Polish students.
Finally, studying medicine in Poland can be an opportunity to live here permanently. Medics of various specialisms are badly needed in the country. Considering the good salaries in relation to the relatively low cost of living, studying medicine in Poland opens the door to working here. Not necessarily in Silesia – a diploma from the Medical University of Silesia is a ticket to many renowned institutions across the entire country.