Summer Study Abroad Programmes in Polish Studies

The Department of International Polish Studies (IPS) offers groups from other universities and institutions the chance to spend several weeks in Kraków as partners of Jagiellonian University within the framework of the Summer Study Program. In this way, universities and their students have the opportunity to experience an old, rich culture in the heart of Europe at the most prestigious university in Poland. It is at IPS that students have the chance to study in depth contemporary culture’s most important issues and problems of contemporary culture that confront modern academic studies, which, we believe, should remain dedicated to stay in within its social, historical and economical context.

We are ready to accommodate our partners’ needs and suggestions, for it is the hosted institution that decides on the specifics of each program according to its own ideas and goals. IPS staff will be happy to advise and help in this process. These, for example, are a few issues that should be decided at the very beggining: the exact content of the curriculum (how many courses and to what they are devoted), the number of the faculty, the length of the program, the number of students, the number and destinations of study trips, etc. IPS will try it hardest to make all of your requests and wishes possible.

To make our offer more clear, we have prepared exemplary offers and descriptions of possible programs.


June – July


Each of programs may consist of:

  • 1) one daily class devoted to the main topic of the program or
  • 2) two classes, which combine different aspects of Polish / Jewish traditions, history and culture. For instance, Polish Language could be from 10 am to 12 pm, and from 1 pm to 3 pm could be one of the following (depending on the character and scope of interest, these may be mixed):

Polish Culture: Literature, Theatre, Film

The course may include elements of Polish history together with the close look into Polish literary traditions (Romanticism in Europe and Poland, the birth of European nationalisms, Modernism at the turn of the century, etc.) and their influences on modern social development and present-day Polish imagery. The course may consist of close readings of texts and discussions and meetings with contemporary Polish artists and writers. Classes may also look into traditions of Polish theatre from Stanisław Wyspiański and Stanisław Ignacy Witkiewicz (Witkacy) to Jerzy Grotowski, Tadeusz Kantor and others. The Polish Film School would be a great supplement to the program, as it provides the possibility to follow the unique values of Polish and European cinematoraphy in late 50s and early 60s.

Traditions of Polish Theatre

The Department of International Polish Studies is a wonderful place to study the rich traditions of the Polish Romantic and Modern theatres. The best specialists in Poland would present what has been the most interesting and influential movements on both institutional and non-institutional settings. The line of study may look to Wyspiański as a precursor of Modern theatre, followed by Stanisław Ignacy Witkiewicz, Witold Gombrowicz, Tadeusz Różewicz, and Sławomir Mrożek, as well as Tadeusz Kantor, Jerzy Grotowski, and Włodzimierz Staniewski. The course may be both practical (eg. workshops in Gardzienice, working with Kantor’s actors, advanced readings of plays) and theoretical (university lectures plus discussions).

Film in Central Europe

This course might include traditions of Polish Film School, Czech New Wave, Hungarian Film traitions of the 50s and 60s. Our classes would include academical introduction to the cultural and historical background of afterwar period, screening of the movie and discussion related to esthetical and contextual aspects of each of presented movies. IPS offers rich choice of the best movies of that time with English subtitles that may be presented by the best experts of european cinematography. The course may also include meetings with best directors (like Andrzej Wajda, Krzysztof Zanussi) as well as trips to the Film School in Łódź or to Barrandov Studios in Prague which are great places to see more practical side of filmindustry.

Jewish Studies: History, Culture, and Religion

Kraków is a valuable place for studying Jewish traditions, for it is a place that knew a large Jewish population for centuries. Galicia Region is one of the most important places in Jewish history: it is here where the Hasidic movement was born, where so many famous cadics used to live. IPS closely cooperates with the Department of Jewish Studies at Jagiellonian University and some of the most distinguished experts of Jewish History and Culture in Poland. Kazimierz, the former Jewish district in Krakow (with a number of synagogues) is a place where history is preserved: it is there where the International Jewish Festival takes place at the end of June and beginning of July every year. It is a time when Jews from all over the world come to pray and share traditions by participating in workshops, lectures and concerts. Our Department offers the trip to shtetl towns in Galicia to see places of Jewish origins. The course would also include the time of Holocaust with a visit to former Nazi concentration camp in Auschwitz-Birkenau, as well as post-war Jewish history.

Poland in the time of transition in 80s and 90s

This course includes elements of Polish modern history, social, and economics studies. Poland is one of the most succesful states to have evolved from a communistic system to a modern capitalistic, independent state. The historical problem of soviet dependence after World War II and Jalta’s pact to the Polish presence in the European Union and the NATO pact would be a point of discussion, as well as the polish progression from the ‘planned economy’ to the present well-established free marked economy. Our classes would also focus on all of the aspects that are connected with social changes that occurred during the decades after the war up till to the late 80s and early 90s: to present the phenomenon of “Solidarity” as a social and political movement, the role of a church in Polish resistance to comunism, the beginning of capitalism and a society of tolerance.


In addition the academic curriculum IPS offers a travel program as an integral aspect of the courses. Kraków is very well located in Central Europe; with excellent connections to many surrounding cities it is a great spot from which to travel. There are very comfortable direct night-train connections to Prague, Budapest, Vienna, Lviv and Kiev. Other include: Warsaw - the capital of Poland, Gdańsk and the Baltic sea, the shtetl tour to Galicia (Tarnów, Bobowa etc.), Wieliczka – a medieval salt mine and a UNESCO Heritage Site, Kazimierz – former Jewish district in Kraków, the Tatra Mountains and the highlands of Poland, the Auschwitz-Birkenau State Museum.


IPS offers places in one of Jagiellonian’s dorms for the time of the program. Hotels or hostels are also options. The dorm and hotel options consist of double rooms, and include breakfast with all service; there is a reception desk open 24hours a day in each place. The hostel option allows us to customize our offer to host our students in the center of the Old Town in Krakow in apartments with double or triple rooms with separate bathrooms, kitchens, for a reasonable price per person. Breakfast is possible to arrange. Accommodations for faculty from the hosted institution may be arranged on the same basis.


IPS offers the support of a well equipped office with three printers, scanners, fax machine, and computers available for faculty and students, a well-lit and comfortable reading room and library, wireless Internet acces in the building; projectors; DVD player connected to a wide screen display for film screenings; and most importantly the help and support of a dedicated coordinator to make sure that everything runs smoothly.


The coordinator will be responsible for all administrative, organizational, and practical issues related to the program. The coordinator will prepare the calculations, will organize the curriculum and all events, will take care of the group during trips. Will be the person of contact for communication between institutions.

For further information and an application form, please contact Mr. Michal Zajac, International Programmes Coordinator:


Former Summer Programmes: