Poland’s high school prom prices are the highest in Warsaw – sometimes they beat even carnival balls or wedding prices. But it’s not only in the capital where parents have to pay a lot for a restaurant, a photobox or a photographer with a drone.

1500zł for a high school party

1500zł for a high school party

The prom (studniówka) in Poland is a pre-graduate ball for senior students, organised 100 hundred days before the matura exam (the final high school exam). Parents, after having heard about the prices, are devastated.

You could have thought that teenangers are so unruly these days. That’s not true! These are the parents who got completely crazy, not the students. The parents are the main organisers of the prom – says Aneta, a mother of a high school boy from Warsaw. When she found out that the prom costs 450 złoty and you have to pay extra 450 złoty for a partner, she thought it was a joke because she organises parties on a daily basis. Even a regular plate on a wedding (including alcohol) doesn’t cost that much. We don’t pay for security because the parents play the role of security guards. – I feel that the organiser of this prom can’t wait to earn some money but I couldn’t say anything.

Obviously, Warsaw is more expensive then other cities. Proms for 500 złoty per couple are not rare in other parts of Poland, though. Students from the 5th High School in Lublin, for example, will have a party in a manor house near town – 500 złoty per couple. Their friends from the 3rd High School will pay 350 złoty per couple.

In Szczecin, prom prices vary from 150 to 200 złoty per person. In Katowice – from 200 to 260 złoty. People who organise parties in hotels, restaurants, manor houses or even public stadiums (for example in Wrocław), have to pay the most. Usually, school headmasters explain that it is much easier outside school to preserve safety. Nethertheless, it was in Wrocław where an accident took place some time ago. One of the students fell through a barrier on the lowest floor of the stadium. He was taken to hospital.

The 2nd High School in Gorzów Wielkopolski has traditionally organised a party in their own gymnasium. Students pay 250 złoty, their partners from the outside – 150 złoty.

Proms at schools create an amazing atmosphere, it’s a long tradition – says Tomasz Pluta, the school headmaster – Every year, I feel tempted to say: “Let’s organise it somewhere else this time!” because from the organisational point of view, school is not the best place for a prom. It’s also hard to provide safety. However, when it comes to an actual decision, sentiment wins.

310 students from the 2nd High School had a lot of fun this year. The main prom motif was the Royal Castle, a 9-person band played, and a photobox was provided.

Photoboxes are a new invention at schools. Until now, this solution has been popular at weddings. Now, it will be possible to see photoboxes, cameramen and photoreporters with drones and students with selfie sticks at every prom.

Kamil, a student from Radom says: I’ve already spent 170 złoty, mostly on a new suit, 750 for the prom for me and my partner. But now I see that we could have saved some money by putting an announcement at school: “We are looking for photographers”. We surely would have found better offers.

Aneta from Warsaw has estimated her expenses at 1500 złoty. – At least, he will wear the same suit at his matura exam. – She wonders about the parents who can’t afford such crazy costs.

Dariusz Chętkowski, a popular Polish teacher from Łódź, on his “Belferblog” described a parent who declared to pay for the students who couldn’t afford the prom last year. This father could not imagine that his son’s mates would have to resign from the prom because of lack of money (250 złoty per person). Chętkowski was supposed to gather the number of students in need and confirm that they were not lying.

That’s what I did. However, such philanthropists don’t occur very often. Usually, you don’t inform the parents that they help the others by paying school fees. It will cause a huge argument. It’s better to say that the prom costs so much because you have to pay for the mean teachers. Then, there’s no argument, only gossiping in corners.

Proms with fund raisers also occur – students call them charity parties.

Adam from the Cogito High School in Zgorzelec says: We hired a cheap room, students from the other classes played the role of cooks and waiters. The ball is open to everyone and costs 100 złoty. All of the earnings are gathered for scientific scholarships. The ball lasts until midnight, the prom – longer.

On Monday, 18th of January, we have 109 days left to matura exam. It will start on the 4th of May with a Polish written exam, basic level. It will end with English and Polish oral exams. Proms will last until the end of February.

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