“I did not hesitate any moment when I learnt about those studies.” Why the Polish university in Vilnius?

Studenci I roku studiów magisterskich na UwB w Wilnie, fot. Ilona Lewandowska

Many students are interested in the long awaited second cycle studies in the Vilnius Branch of the University of Białystok. In the first year of study, there are 50 people. All are alumni of Polish schools, some of them have completed first cycle studies at the Faculty of Economics and Informatics in Vilnius and some at Lithuanian universities and colleges. What has convinced them to study here?

Definitely, the first and the most important argument that encouraged them to study here is the language.”I am a Pole and I prefer studying in my native language,” says Witalij Kaczanowski that comes back to studying after a-few-year break. He graduated from a Lithuanian university and he is happy that he works in his field. Thanks to the Vilnius Branch of the University in Białystok, he has the chance of further education and the continuation of work. “Classes begin at 5 PM so I can be there on time after work without problems.” Justyna Mackiewicz also wants to study in Polish. After she got her bachelor degree in the Faculty of Economics and Informatics of the University of Białystok, she works as an accountant in a transport company.Thanks to the good organisation of classes at the university and positive attitude of the employer, she can work professionally and continue education at the same time. Mother tongue is not the most important argument for Justyna Rodzewicz. She could study in Lithuanian but Lithuanian higher education is too expensive for her. Studying in Lithuanian was also too expensive for Anna Mieszkuniec. “I tried to study at a Lithuanian school but I could not because of financial reasons. I am happy that now I can continue education. I did not hesitate any moment when I learnt about those studies,” she said to Wilnoteka.

Students also emphasise those less countable, which does not mean that less important, aspects of studying in the Vilnius Branch. All emphasise family atmosphere and the kindness of lecturers. They can really count on their help not only during classes but also in the preparation for exams. “ We can get most materials in electronic form. If I need a book, I can order it in the Dean’s Office. There is no problem in getting literature from Poland,” said one of the students Julita Kropewicz.

In the conversation with the students of second second cycle studies, we learnt that they all work, mostly in the profession that they acquired at this University. Not all of them studied here to find a better job in the future. Some, like for example Wioleta Paszkiewicz, did it just for themselves. “I started my study when I have already had two children. I was not happy that I was the only person in my family that does not have higher education. I started study for myself and for children. I wanted to change something in my life. Some people change their hairstyle or something in the flat but I started to study. I regained my power, got to know new people and I started to believe in myself more. I did not want to finish after bachelor degree so I started second cycle studies.

The students of the Faculty of Economics and Informatics in Vilnius rightly appreciate financial conditions of the school. For one year of first cycle studies they pay 1500 lt and for one year of second cycle studies they pay 2500 lt. They can also count on support in the form of a scholarship. People who have a difficult material status will get Lithuanian scholarship for low-income students which is 400 lt per month. Moreover, people can get rector scholarship for good learning results and sports achievements which is 400 to 500 zł depending on the average grade. They can also apply for the scholarship of Stanisław Grabski Scholarship Program in the “Fundacja Wileńszczyzna” Foundation. It is for the students who study economical fields and come from the countries of USSR. There is also the Scholarship of the Minister of Science and Higher Education for the foreigners of Polish origin that study in their country of residence which is 1000 EUR per year.

After completing first cycle studies, maximum 25 students can go for second cycle studies to Poland. “Students have the possibility to get 1000 zł scholarship per month but often they do not want to go,” says Justina Skinder from the university Career and Promotion Office. “They have a good start of professional career. Career Office gives job offers that students. It is not a secret that we do not want to leave our friends and families here. When we study in Lithuania, we do not lose anything. The Branch enables students to educate themselves and not leave their loved ones.

Why a Polish university? The education in mother tongue, the diploma that guarantees a good job, good financing conditions and the atmosphere that you will not find in any other university – those arguments sounds convincing.

Source: http://www.wilnoteka.lt/pl/artykul/quotnie-wahalam-sie-ani-przez-chwile-kiedy-dowiedzialam-sie-o-tych-studiachquot-dlaczego-pol

Tłumaczenie by Marta Wojtowicz w ramach praktyk w Europejskiej Fundacji Praw Człowieka, www.efhr.eu. Translated by Marta Wojtowicz within the framework of a traineeship programme of the European Foundation of Human Rights, www.efhr.eu.

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