Studies in Poland? Possibilities. Chances. Impact.

1. Tell us why you have chosen Poland as your study destination?

I’ve always had a soft spot for Poland, it’s my favourite country and a place I can call home. I have choses Poland as my study destination because some of the Polish universities are among 4% of the best universities in the world. Student’s satisfaction rate is higher than the European Union’s average score. Poland offers high quality education at relatively small prices.

Poland is a homeland of Mikołaj Kopernik, Maria Skłodowska-Curie, Zbigniew Religa, Andrzej Wajda, Jan Matejko and Frederic Chopin (as a student of the University of Warsaw I pass by the place where he used to live every day/his father was a professor and the whole family lived at the main campus of the University of Warsaw). I’m grateful to Poland for the amazing people I’ve met there. Poles are open, friendly and loving, they are true patriots and loyal friends, Polish people never surrender, I admire them for cultivating their language and culture, they managed to preserve their traditions even after disappearing from the world map for 123 years.

The fact, that Warsaw has gotten back to life after being ruined and burnt to ashes never ceases to amaze me. It was resurrected like a phoenix. Even though it was rebuilt, Warsaw Old Town is one of the most beautiful places in the whole world. Everything in this city has a great value, tells you a story, delivers a message.  

I’ve got a sentiment for Cracow – it’s the most poetic city in Poland, its every part is a piece of art. I also admire Gdańsk – the city of freedom and independence. Who doesn’t love Poznań? The most colorful and vibrant Polish city and Toruń, visiting it feels like time-travelling – the magic atmosphere and cozy narrow streets reflect unique medieval atmosphere.

I can’t wait to explore the all the other cities of Poland…

2. How is your experience in Poland going so far?

My Polish experience has begun in… Georgia. Polish Embassy in Tbilisi is a place where it all has started, that’s also a place where I’ve met people who convinced me to go to Poland and inspired me to choose my career path. I used to attend all the meetings hosted by our Embassy ever since I was a kid. As a member of Polish Diaspora in Georgia I’ve always tried to participate in different projects, as a guitarist I performed at several events organized by the Polish diaspora “Polonia”, I worked as a translator for a little while, I also cooperated with Polish film festival “Wisła”/”Vistula” and translated the movies so the Georgian audience could enjoy Polish movies. In conclusion, I’ve been attached to Poland ever since I was… born.

10 years ago, in 2010 I travelled to Poland for the first time, I visited Cracow and Zakopane (as I usually say, Warsaw might be the capital of Poland, but Cracow will always be the capital of my heart). Poland managed to capture my heart from the very beginning. My next trip to Poland took place in 2017  - I spent a perfect week in Warsaw and stated, that I need to return to Poland as soon as possible and spend much more time there, it encouraged me to make a choice - I’ve decided to become a student of the University of Warsaw, the best and the most prestigious higher education institution in Poland. Studying in Poland gave me the possibility to explore this amazing country. I’ve been to seven Polish cities but there’s so much more to see and explore…

In 2018 I won the photographic competition organized by the Polish Embassy in Tbilisi, it encouraged me to become a photographer. One of the photos taken by me is still hanging on the wall of our embassy. I often organize photo walks in Warsaw, I also travel to the different parts of Poland in order to capture their beauty. I am the winner of Miasto Stołeczne Warszawa’s three photographic competitions and I cooperate with an official page of Cracow – they publish my photos.

As a Digital Ambassador of Poland I’ve had a pleasure to take part in NAWA’s educational mission for International Education Fair in Tbilisi. I’ve paid a short visit to Georgia, met with the students of the French School of Caucasia, I prepared a presentation regarding Polish higher educational system at Gori State University. Our delegation also has paid a visit to the Polish Embassy in Tbilisi. It was a great honour to stand next to the Polish Ambassador to Georgia and deliver a speech and greet distinguished guests. It's definitely something I couldn't even dream of a year ago and I'm forever grateful to Polish National Agency for Academic Exchange for making it possible.

Palace of Culture and Science, Warsaw

3. What you like the most about studying in Poland?

Possibilities. Chances. Impact.

Studying at a Polish university isn’t only about reading books and attending classes, it’s about fulfilling your potential, meeting inspiring people and developing your passion. You are never linked to one specific field of studies because you are obliged to attend several interdisciplinary classes which allow you to persue comprehensive and systematic knowledge, discover different fields and learn something new every single day. You have a variety of choices, from basic economic concepts and international migrations to public speaking in English, imagination is your only limit.

Polish universities offer various language classes (from German to French and from Georgian to Polish sign language), they also emphasize the meaning of a good physical condition, everyone must complete three semesters of obligatory Physical Education classes. Some of the most ambitious students can join sports clubs and represent their universities during sports competitions. You can choose basically everything, including dancing, fencing, tennis and even horse-riding.

Several universities organize artistic weeks each year, all students get an opportunity to show their talents to the rest of the academic society, all they have to do is submit a special form and wait for the results.

If you want to do something useful, help people and make world a better place you might want to register as a volunteer at the Volunteering Centre. If you like being in charge and have amazing organization skills you could join student’s self-government, share your ideas and transform them into actions. You could also join several student’s clubs, which give you an opportunity to find people you share a common interest with. It will allow you to integrate, create your team and take specific actions towards your mutual goals. I joined Foreign Affairs Society of Warsaw School of Economics and University of Warsaw in October, it allowed me to expend my social circle, exceed some of my limits and fulfill my dreams. I’ve had an opportunity to take part in organizing a meeting with Aleksander Kwaśniewski, Poland’s ex-president. I’ve also helped with the project “Christmas Wishes from Ambassadors”, currently my team’s working on the 9th edition of Action Diplomacy, one of the most popular projects regarding foreign affairs and diplomacy. My main tasks include promoting our events, keeping an eye on recruitment process, contacting embassies, and arranging meetings with Ambassadors, it’s everything international relations student can dream of. What’s next? A meeting with Poland’s another ex-President, Bronisław Komarowski. We often joke, that soon we’ll have to dissolve our organization as there’ll be no ex-President’s left to invite.

If you are ambitious, bold and fearless and you have some entrepreneur skills you can ask your university’s business incubator for help – it will provide you with required knowledge and recourses, so you can realize your great ambitions.

Last but not the least – welcome point. You’ve just moved to a new city? University life seems taught and complicated? Don’t worry, it’s not a big deal, you can always pay a visit to the Welcome Point. That’s a place where you can find some help, support and all the answers to your numerous questions. It also organizes “adaptation days” for the freshmen and guided tours at the main campus, so keep calm, we’ve got your back!

4. What would you tell students in your home country to encourage them to come to Poland?

I would tell them, that Poland is a challenge they should accept. I know, that moving to another country might seem scary, and it’s not going to be easy, but I guarantee you, it’s totally worth it. This interesting experience can teach you a lot, it’ll help you develop useful skills and open up to the world. Going somewhere, where no one knows your name is a true adventure, that makes you feel, that everything’s possible, that the whole world’s at your feet.

Moving to Poland made me question basically everything, it made me a different person. I had to rearrange my priorities and ask myself some of the most important questions. It was a true breaking point of my life and I think that all of us have to go through the similar experience at least once in a lifetime.

I highly encourage you to visit Poland, it has a lot to offer – from mesmerizing Tatra mountains to indescribable Baltic sea, from bustling Warsaw to poetic Cracow, from modernity to ancient traditions. Moreover, I recommend studying in Poland. Student’s satisfaction rate in Poland is higher than the European Union’s average score and that’s why more and more foreign students choose Poland. The quality-price-ratio is optimal, that’s why you can persue high quality education at relatively low prices (tuition fees of Polish universities are a fracture of other European ones), therefore prices in Poland are affordable. Poland is also your gateway to the rest of the world, thanks to different projects and bilateral agreements between different universities Poland allows you to spend a semester or two at the most prestigious universities in the world.

Poland is one of the most vocal supporters of our sovereignty and territorial integrity. It keeps supporting us at the international arena and as the best model of a successful transformation process serves as the best example to Georgia. Poland often shares its experience in such fields as participation budget, local government, support for disadvantaged groups, early school education and crisis management system, it also provides development assistance to Georgia and funds various projects within the Polish Aid programme. Poland is also one of the two countries, that initiated Eastern Partnership in 2009, which was a fundament for further steps, such as the establishment of a visa-free regime and signing a free trade agreement.

Poland offers several scholarships to Georgian students, such as Stefan Banach Scholarship Programme (The Stefan Banach Scholarship Programme has been launched in 2013 in cooperation between the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the Ministry of Science and Higher Education of the Republic of Poland. The aim of the programme is to support the social and economic growth of the Eastern Partnership countries by increasing the level of education and professional skills of the citizens of these countries) and Gen. Anders Programme for the Polish diaspora (this programme implements the goals to improve the command of Polish and the level of qualifications in Polish communities by creating opportunities for young people to pursue their studies at Polish HEIs on a scholarship basis).

Poland, so far, yet so close. We share the same values and have a mutual cultural heritage, you would be surprised by the number of Polish traces in Georgia. What does the Supreme Court has in common with the Rustaveli theatre and who discovered the talent of one of our greatest painters, Pirosmani? Who was Henryk Hryniewski and how did he establish the Academy of Fain Arts in Georgia? Well, I guess you need to read the latest publications of Polish Institute in Tbilisi to find the answers to these questions.

5. Could you tell us your story?

I’m a Georgian of Polish descent and the member of Polish Diaspora in Georgia. I was born on the 28th of January in 2000. In 2018 I graduated with honors from high school and decided to move to Poland, I’ve spent a year at POLONICUM - Centre of Polish Language and Culture for Foreigners. It was the most fruitful academic year so far. It was filled with challenges, new experiences and difficulties. I'm really proud to be the part of this big, international family and I’m forever grateful to Polonicum for always having my back and believing in me, for making me question everything, for making me who I am! Polonicum gave me an opportunity to become a student of the best university in Poland and will always have a special place in my heart!

Currently I’m studying international relations at the Faculty of Political Science and International Studies of the University of Warsaw (Choosing a faculty was pretty tough, because I was interested in basically everything, but I finally found a faculty, which could provide me with comprehensive, interdisciplinary knowledge from different fields, such as law, economics, sociology, history and political science). I’m also a member of Foreign Affairs Society of Warsaw School of Economics and the University of Warsaw, organization uniting university students with an interest for international relations, the current political landscape and diplomacy, I have an opportunity to organize different events at the embassies and meeting with the Ambassadors. Recently I’ve been chosen as a Digital Ambassador of Poland, and I have an honour to represent Poland. I’ve had an opportunity to meet fellow Ambassadors several days ago and it’s been an amazing experience. We are a team and we are stronger together. NAWA organized several workshops for us. We met some of the most inspiring people in Poland. I’ve also gone to our trip to Georgia as a part of a Polish delegation. I’ve had a pleasure of representing Polish higher education institutions at the International University Fair in Georgia.

I’m keen on diplomacy, travelling, exploring different cultures and taking photos. I also enjoy drawing, dancing, listening to music and playing guitar. I love learning foreign languages, I speak Georgian, Polish, Russian and English fluently, currently I’m learning French.

Nina Lordkipanidze