A third of students give notice on flats

Uncertainty about courses and growing costs have led a third of students surveyed for “Student’s Wallet 2020” to suspend or give notice on their accommodation

Poland had around 1.2 mln students, according to Statistics Poland data from earlier this year. Six out of ten are in rental accommodation and according to the annual survey on student finances prepared by the Polish Banking Association and the Warsaw Banking Institute, nearly a third or the equivalent of 240,000 gave notice to their landlords and moved back home.

Poland also had some 63,000 foreign students at its universities and colleges, and numbers are likely to be down this year, as many colleges followed Lublin Medical University in March earlier this year in simply cancelling applications from abroad for the next academic year, giving further headaches for landlords.

The average student faces monthly costs of around PLN 2,500 (EUR 562) per month, according to the study, that is a rise of over a quarter on last year's estimate. The amount includes fees, which are paid by around 30 percent not studying in the state sector.

Over 60 percent of students work, but fewer than 25 percent of them take home more than PLN 2,000 (EUR 450), suggesting that parents are still subsidising their studies at least to a certain extent. Meanwhile, over 54 percent of them reported that their material circumstances have deteriorated over the past 12 months.

Student jobs, particularly in the catering and retail industries were under the most pressure during the lockdown, as part-timers were the first out of the door when business slowed down. In addition to that, the ban on Sunday trading for larger shops has meant a drop in the number of weekend jobs available.

With the next academic year starting in October, September is traditionally the time when students are chasing down available accommodation. Rents are apparently down some 10-15 percent this year, as Airbnb flats left empty due to the fall in tourist numbers are being let out for longer terms. So there may be some bargains available. As many as 50 percent of students manage to put away PLN 250 per month as savings. If staying at home is an option, they may save more than that.