Letter to foreign students
Dear foreign students,
You left your countries, parted with your family and friends to study abroad. You chose to study in our country, at Polish universities – some under the Erasmus + program, others thanks to scholarships from the National Academic Exchange Agency or intergovernmental bilateral agreements, and most of you thanks to parental or own funds.
Probably few of you realized a month ago that there will be more difficult tasks than taking exams, getting grades, living in a different culture or learning Polish. The situation changed unexpectedly due to the rapidly spreading SARS-CoV-2 coronavirus pandemic.
Poland is fighting the coronavirus pandemic by implementing the stringent restrictions recommended by the World Health Organization to help reduce the number of infections as much as possible. The restrictions also apply to members of the Polish academic community. Didactic classes were suspended at universities: lectures, exercises, laboratories and other – with the exception of online classes.
Students who could return to their homes left the dorms. However, foreign students who could not or for some reason did not want to return to their home countries, colleges provided accommodation. I also ensure that student government scholarships of the National Agency for Academic Exchange will be paid on time, as long as students follow the rules of education, including online education.
The situation is changing very quickly – so please check the Ready Study Go website ! Poland ( go-poland.pl ) – official website for foreign students and of course the websites of their universities. We will not leave you in need – thanks to these pages you can count on our help.
It is especially important that you follow the quarantine and isolation rules recommended by the university, sanitation and local authorities. If you receive such instructions, take them seriously. Take care of yourself, pay attention to your health and – if you notice something worrying – notify the sanitary service.
Remember that # stay home #stayhome means: keep a safe distance – our social distance – our scientifically proven method of combating the virus.
Don’t be afraid to ask for help – from experience I know that in 99% of cases there will be people who will help you, show you the way or give good advice if you just ask. The staff of university international service offices are ready to help you. The National Agency for Academic Exchange has launched a special hotline, and the Student Parliament of Poland has established an information point for foreign students – information is provided in 10 languages.
The conditions are unique, different than we expected a few weeks ago, but please: remember that we are all passing the most important exam – the solidarity and social responsibility exam. I am sure that the experience of living abroad in such times will provide you with knowledge that you will not find in textbooks or lecture halls.
Please, take care of yourself, take care of each other in these hard times.
Professor dr hab. n. med. Wojciech Maksymowicz,
secretary of state at the Ministry of Science and Higher Education