Students of Polish Studies abroad, scholarship holders of the Polonista Programme, met in Warsaw to exchange their experiences from their Polish Studies at Polish institutions.
Nearly 50 scholarship holders in the first edition of the Polonista Programm are studying at Polish higher education institutions all across the country in this academic year. They have come from Bulgaria, China, Ukraine, Uzbekistan, Russia and Italy to study for one or two terms. They are enrolled in Polish language programmes in their home countries and associate their professional future with the language.
The Polish National Agency for Academic Exchange (NAWA) held a meeting for the participants of the Polonista Programme from 31 January to 2 February 2020. The students had the opportunity to meet one another and to exchange their experiences from their stay in Poland as well as from their studies in Poland and at home. NAWA Director Łukasz Wojdyga encouraged the students to learn about Poland as a country, too – to get to know its culture and history.
In the course of the two-day meeting, the students had the opportunity to attend a lecture about Polish language and literature held by Prof. Nguyen Chi Thuat from Adam Mickiewicz University in Poznań. Prof. Nguyen Chi is a translator of Polish literature into Vietnamese. He has translated among others Ryszard Kapuściński’s The Emperor: Downfall of an Autocrat and Bolesław Prus’s The Doll. The Presiding Committee of the Council for the Polish Language awarded him the title of ‘Ambassador of the Polish Language Outside of the Country.’ Another lecture was held by Chang Il You, a PhD student at the University of Silesia. He compared Polish with Korean and discussed the cultural differences which find their reflection in languages and which should be heeded in translation and in everyday contacts. In addition, the students visited the Museum of Warsaw and the Old Town.
The second edition of the Polonista Programme is announced this year. Its objectives are to popularise Polish in the world and to support foreigners enrolled in Polish studies and programmes at academic institutions around the world. The Programme is addressed to foreign students of Polish philology, Polish studies or Polish programmes among others as part of Slavic studies (covering Polish language, Polish culture and the knowledge of Poland) and researchers.
What do Polish philology students say about their adventure with Polish?
Yu Zhang, Polish philology student, Xi’an University, China (in the centre of the photo)
I want to become a translator. When you’re studying a language, it’s very important to speak it. When I’m in Poland, I can speak Polish more and thus learn a great deal. Apart from that, I’m interested in architecture. I very much appreciate the architecture of the Polish cities. I like especially the cities with old towns. It’s of great value to me that I can get to know Poland better, travel, find out about its culture and history and speak with others in the language I’m studying.
Mykhailo and Pavlo Khalashy, Polish philology students, Zaporizhzhia Polytechnic National University, Ukraine
The Polonista Programme is very useful for all who want to get an insider look at Poland: come in contact with the Polish culture, customs, everyday life. The stay is an opportunity to have direct contact with Polish teachers and Polish peers. The programme surely increases the level of knowledge and command of the language. In addition, the stay under the programme was a chance to meet many true enthusiasts of Polish, who encouraged us even more to study the language. After graduating, we’d like to work as translators or teachers.