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Jagiellonian University
31-007 Krakow, Poland
tel. (48 12) 422 68 75

@ Throughout, click this on this symbol to see the source of the quoted information.

The Summer School of Polish Language and Culture @

Culture and Society Courses
Language Instruction
Tourist Component


The school, founded in 1969 and located in one of the most beautiful European cities - ancient Cracow - offers a unique opportunity, not only to study Polish language and culture, but also to experience over 600 years of history, magnificent architecture, and art. The school has welcomed, over the years, thousands of students, teachers and professors from all over the world. It can lay claim to being the oldest, largest and most experienced Summer School in Poland.

The school is in session for six weeks. During this time it offers a six-, a four- and two three-week programs. The six- four- and one of the three- week programs all start during the first week of July; the second three-week program begins during the fourth week of July. Most of the non-language courses are offered in either the first or last three weeks of the session. The latter are offset to the right in the listing below.

Polish Culture and Society Courses

Lectures in the courses dealing with Polish culture and society, unless otherwise specified, are given in English and take place in the afternoons (either 3:00 to 4:30 p.m., or 5:00 to 6:30 p.m, but starting at 6:30 p.m. for the Film course). The
Polish Art course, which involves on site lectures in musea, constitutes an exception, being given in the late morning and early afternoon so as to coincide with museum opening hours. Students in one of the longer programs are able to take any of the shorter courses offered during their program's duration. Introduction to Poland. A general course which includes lectures on Polish history, art, literature, contemporary Polish society, economics and politics. A component of both the first three and last weeks of the session, the course carries 2 credits.

History of History of Poland: from Kingdom to People's Republic. A survey of Polish history from the Piast dynasty through the period of Jagiellonian rule, the time of the elected kings, 123 years of partitioned Poland, the 1920's and 1930's, World War II, the creation of the People's Republic, the collapse of the communist system. Offered in the first three weeks of the session, the course carries 2 credits

After Communism. Poland and Central Europe in Transition: Historical, political, economic and social dimensions of the major processes that have taken place in Poland and other European countries since the 1980s. A description of the communist state (a historical background), the economy in transition, and social changes in post-communist countries. Offered in the first three weeks of the session, the course carries 2 credits.

Between Culture, History and Politics: Reading Polish Literature. A presentation of some of the most interesting problems in the thousand-year history of Polish culture, with special emphasis on themes related to national existence. Literary masterpieces of the past and present, including poetry of the two living Nobel Prize winners - Czeslaw Milosz (1980) and Wislawa Szymborska (1996); Polish Romanticism; culture in a political context; the phenomenon of exiled culture; literature and totalitarianism, and other "great questions" of Polish culture will be discussed. Offered in the first three weeks of the session, the course carries 2 credits.

Polish Art: Past and Present. The development of Polish art since the 14th c. Special emphasis will be placed on 19th and 20th c. artistic movements, Polish church art, folk art, poster art and architecture. The in-depth art history lectures will be conducted both at the University and in museums. The course will be accompanied by a program of field trips. Offered in the first four week of the session, the course carries 3 credits.

Polish Film Analyzed. The series of nine video presentations of the most outstanding Polish films: from the classics of Andrzej Wajda to the most recent releases; plus nine 30-minute introductions. The films are analyzed using a variety of criteria that reveal individual styles of their directors. The classes aid students understand how various film genres "make meaning". They progress from the most specific aspects of cinematic production techniques to more abstract problems. Offered in the last three weeks of the session. A non-credit course.

The End of Economic Transition in Poland? The following topics will be discussed: Economic transformation in Central European countries; Poland, a Central European economic tiger?; Neglected areas of reform in Poland; Agriculture; Social services sphere: health care reforms; Banking. Offered in the last three weeks of the session, the course carries 1 credit.

Europe without Borders - Music without Borders. The course offers a unique combination of lectures and concerts in historical places of Old Krakow. The area to be covered by speakers and performers is so-called "Old Music" i.e. late 15th to 18 th cc. The Polish music of this period is almost not known to audience so the course gives an exceptional opportunity not only to learn something about this music and its Western-European context but also to listen to it. NOTE: Limited admission, on a first come, first served basis. Offered Offered in the first three weeks of the session, the course carries 1 credit.

Ethnicity, Religion and Nationalism in Poland and East-Central Europe This course will cover major issues and questions connected with multidimensional and complicated relations between national consciousness, ethnic revival and the changing role of religions and religiosity in post-communist societies in Eastern Europe. The main focus will be on Poland and its Eastern neighbors: Ukraine, Belorussia and Lithuania. Included are problems of religious/ethnic minorities in Poland and Polish national minorities in these countries. Offered Offered in the last three weeks of the session, the course carries 1 credit.

Polish Language Instruction

Polish language courses are taught in the mornings (in the 8:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. time window, specific times vary from depend on the course). The school offers language instruction at two levels of intensity (2-3 and 4-6 hours a day) and several levels of proficiency. On the first day of instruction, students are asked to take a placement test so that their level of Polish language proficiency can be gaged. Eight levels of proficiency, ranging from "Survival" to "Native Speaker" are recognized and the efforts are made to place the student in a class at an appropriate level. In the first two or three days of the program, students who feel that they need to change levels, are able to do so.

Polish Language: A non-intensive course (2-3 hours a day ) A course designed to introduce students to the Polish language or to improve the knowledge of Polish they already possess. It is offered in the four week program for 3 credits.

Intensive Polish Language: An intensive language course designed to build a firm linguistic foundation. Offered in all the programs, the course carries 5 credits except in the six week program where it carries 8 credits.

Tourist Component

The School incorporates a tourist component in all the programs. Depending on the duration of the program, it includes some or all of the following: @
  • Guided sightseeing walking tour of Cracow's Old Town
  • Guided tour of the Wawel Royal Castle
  • Guided tour of the Martyrdom Museum Auschwitz-Birkenau (the former Nazi concentration camp)
  • Trip to the Pieniny Mountains and a raft trip on the Dunajec River
  • Trip to the Tatra Mountains including a visit to the resort town of Zakopane
  • Trip to the Wieliczka Salt Mine or to the Pieskowa Skala Castle


Students live in Dom Piast, one of the university's residence halls. They are housed in double rooms with one bathroom per two rooms. The rooms are fully equipped with towels, sheets, etc. Three meals are served on white linen in residence hall's refectory. @


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