It is the best place I could choose for living to experience cultural diversity and cross cultural understanding.

We would like to share with you some memories from our international students who participated in the second edition Christmas Guest action within University Diversity project organized by the University of Lodz. This year we are happy to announce that over 80 students had Christmas Dinner with more than 50 Polish families - uni professors, administrative staff, students. It was a unique chance for everyone to experience Unity in Diversity, Polish hospitality and tradition.

Saba from Pakistan (Erasmus+ exchange student hosted by Natalia Zajączkowska a student at the Faculty of International and Political Studies)

The International Students Office of University of Lodz came up with this amazing idea of “Christmas with a Polish Family”. Not only to give a closer look into Polish traditions but make students far from their homes feel at home perhaps at least for a while. As soon as they sent an email asking us whether we would like to take this opportunity or not, I replied with a YES and all the details required without a moment of hesitation. I am a Muslim but I love celebrations, if it’s something which brings people closer, which promotes sharing, which spreads smile and happiness; I would always be ready to become a part of that regardless of religion, beliefs etc. This is going to be one of the best memories ever. My Christmas Eve with Polish Family.

And here is a link to my blog about it:

I feel so thankful to God for enlightening and blessing me with all these experiences. I have earned a new perspective about life. I feel free from all negativity and rumours. I feel I know the truth now.
We don't choose the families or tribes we are born in, we don't choose the countries we are raised in, we don't choose our nationalities, we don't choose our mother tongue ourselves, most of us don't even choose our religion ourselves. We somehow inherit all these but we don't choose it ourselves. 
We are all humans first, and what we choose ourselves, is to be Good or Bad. And that is the only Truth out there that matters!

Saba participated also in our photo session. This year’s photo session was a joyful time for all of us. We asked our students a simple question: “Why Lodz?” The feedback we got was surprising on many levels, the honesty they showed was really precious. It gives us ideas how to understand you – our great students – better! The variety of answers shows many ways in which respect, openness to other cultures and curiosity of the world can make us more human and understanding 

Why Lodz?
I chose the University of Łódź as a top preference for my Erasmus exchange. The main reason was the high academic reputation of the University of Łódź. It is not only one of the best known institutions but it also regularly appears in World Rankings. Furthermore, I was attracted by the international environment of Łódź. It is the best place I could choose for living to experience cultural diversity and cross cultural understanding. I hope that by the end of my semester I won’t introduce myself saying that I belong to this or that particular nation. I will say that I belong to the world. 

The "Christmas Guest" action belongs to the University Diversity project. As a result, students who come to study at the largest research university in central Poland can become, among others, the stars of photography exhibitions, chefs at cooking sessions, or participants of workshops about Polish culture and customs. They can also study the Polish language at the School of Polish for Foreign Students. The University of Lodz currently educates over 2,000 international students. One of the basic goals of the University's strategy is to increase the number of incoming foreign students and at the same time to care for their well-being during they stay in Łódź. This applies not only to the educational offer, but also to the  integration and daily support. All of this is done under one of the main guiding principles of the University of Lodz - unity in diversity.

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Saba Gul