It has always surprised me how few people in the UK are aware of the opportunities to study in Poland at one of the oldest universities in Europe, the Jagiellonian University in Krakow. While many second generation Poles would jump at a chance to strengthen their Polish ties, improve their Polish language skills and explore their heritage, they are unaware they can also receive a great education and obtain a solid Bachelor’s degree in a programme taught entirely in English.
For other foreigners, the adventure of studying abroad in one of Europe’s oldest mediaeval towns and exploring international relations in a cosmopolitan atmosphere, could be a unique once in a lifetime experience. In brief, why have so few Brits, of Polish and non-Polish backgrounds, come to Polish universities? My guess is that they know little about studying in Poland and even less about Polish Universities.
A few years ago, most Universities in Poland only offered courses in Polish. For those non-Polish speakers, this would have been a serious struggle. In addition, Polish Universities were not a part of many international exchange programmes. Nowadays, thankfully, things are different. The Jagiellonian University offers a unique Bachelor of Arts Degree in International Relations and Area Studies (IRAS) as an undergraduate interdisciplinary programme taught entirely in English. The costs of studying for three years, compared to the UK are much more reasonable, both for tuition, as well as to live in Krakow.
The programme is accessible to all Poles and Non-Poles and offers a rigorous international and comparative perspective on the contemporary global system and different regions of the world. Students from around the world explore how the international system has evolved, and engage with scholars in debates about dilemmas dominating contemporary international politics. The aim is to foster creative thinking about complex problems and to equip students with analytical tools, language expertise, and cross-cultural understanding.
The cosmopolitan nature of the programme attracts students and scholars from virtually around the world, which allows them to experience diversity and to build
lifelong connections and friendship. The degree is recognised globally, creating an atmosphere at IRAS comparable to many international academic centres such as London. However, while classes in the UK can be overfilled, the size and openness of the IRAS lectures makes them so much more accessible to eager students wanting a personal touch in their education.
Why the Jagiellonian University?
IRAS is a unique degree programme that combines the knowledge of different disciplines within social science and humanities (international relations, economics, political science, cultural and area studies, history, ethics, law and anthropology) to give students an understanding of the complexity of today’s changing world. The staff at the IRAS Jagiellonian University department is committed to excellence in teaching and research that guarantees the quality of the degree.
What is surprising for most is how inexpensive, it can be to study at the Jagiellonian, one of Europe’s oldest and finest university. The costs of tuition are 4,000 Euro per annum, for a total of three years or six semesters. In addition, Krakow itself makes life here financially reasonable and pleasant, giving students many opportunities to take advantage of what the city offers. Krakow is full of historical monuments, world famous pubs and restaurants, beautiful outdoor attractions and many cultural, sports and other leisure activities. Krakow’s central location in Europe gives IRAS students a unique chance to explore different regions and experience diverse cultures through study trips the University provides.
As part of IRAS, students study in a small, yet growing international community, which facilitates familiarity and productive interaction between lecturers and students. The aim of our programme is to combine intellectual rigour with an applied focus, providing students with significant analytical and practical skills, valuable for their future careers. The Jagiellonian University research and teaching spans the full spectrum of topics in International Relations and Area Studies. The second and third years of the programme focus on one of the three specializations: International Security, Area Studies or Politics and Culture.
Students in IRAS can participate in the Erasmus+ exchange programme and apply for the Dean’s Scholarship for outstanding students. Much more interesting information about the opportunities at the JU can be found on the IRAS website:
We would welcome the chance to see more British students at our IRAS department.
In order to ensure that you are able to master the complex challenges of the post-9/11 world, this specialization module views security from a broad theoretical and historical perspective, placing traditional security concerns in the context of such fields as development, economics and human rights. We will introduce you to the main concepts and approaches to the study of international relations and security and encourage you to analyse, interpret and evaluate world political events and issues. You will focus on a diverse range of topics, including strategy, global politics, foreign policy analysis, political economy, intelligence, homeland security, military analysis, regional security and conflict resolution.
This specialization will give you a solid grounding in understanding politics, economic cooperation, interstate relations, cultures and societies of various regions of the world. You will focus on two chosen regions: Europe, Russia and the Commonwealth of Independent States, the Americas, the Middle East and North Africa, or East and South Asia. This specialization is ideal for those who wish to explore and understand other cultures and their traditions. It is interdisciplinary and interactive, linking language study with other academic disciplines such as politics, history, economics, sociology, anthropology, literature and philosophy.
Culture and International Relations
In order to deepen your understanding of the modern, rapidly changing world and the processes that characterize it, you need to focus on culture, identity, cultural conditions and competences. This specialization focuses on the nature of the political world as seen from the perspective of cultural identities and social mentalities. It explores topics such as: global migration, human rights and democracy building, cultural diversity and the role of culture in international relations. As a graduate of International Relations with the Politics and Culture specialization you will acquire critical and analytical skills in political science and international relations, intellectual versatility, multicultural competence and an ability to understand the complexity of contemporary international relations, which will shape the future global order.
Who is it for?
The programme is designed for Polish and international students, wishing to develop their skills and career track within multiple fields of political analysis, strategy, security, economics or culture. We aim to provide knowledge and hand-on experience useful in future employment in either governmental or non-governmental organizations, international institutions, development agencies, the media and other international business and industry. Some students might wish to acquire further qualifications or to pursue post-graduate university studies in related academic disciplines. The degree is aimed at students with a general interest in foreign policy and international relations, providing them with sound grasp of international affairs. Finally, the programme is also suitable for students wishing to pursue the ‘Study Abroad’ option, for the duration of one year or semester.