Not only students go abroad on exchange programmes, lecturers do as well. I had the pleasure to go to Cracow in Poland for four days. Tio offered me the opportunity to visit the University of Economics and give some lectures on ‘doing research for a final thesis’, as I am final thesis coach and lecturer research methods at Tio Utrecht.
I had never been to Poland and found it very interesting to go there. I was especially curious to find out if Polish students would react the same as Dutch students during my lectures. Furthermore, I wanted to check the knowledge of the students on the subject. How do they execute research? What do their research reports look like etcetera. So on April 13th I packed my suitcase with the power point presentation on an USB-stick, a present for my host and a tourist guide of Cracow.
Poland is very cheap if you’re used to the euro. They have the Zloty, which is worth 0,23 euro. The bus trip for instance was 4 Zloty (1 Euro) and it was a 45 minute drive… My hotel was nearby central station and next to ‘Galeria Krakowska’, a huge shopping mall, with a lot of famous European shops, like H&M, Zara and even C&A. Prices for clothes are at the same level as in The Netherlands, but food and drinks are very cheap everywhere. At the McDonald’s, a Big Mac together with a coke costs only 5 Zloty (€ 1,25). It is a good city to party. Not only because of the low prices for drinks, but also because Cracow is truly a students’ place with over 100,000 young people studying at different universities in the city.
But off course I did not go to Cracow to party. I first wanted to see the old town. For centuries Cracow was the capital of Poland and the seat of kings. It attracted great scholars and artists from all over the world. They left a rich legacy. When I arrived, I immediately visited the main market square Rynek Glowny, the largest medieval square in Europe. The square and streets around it are always filled with music and street acts. On this square there is much more to be seen. For instance, the gothic St. Mary Church and the historical trade pavilions in de Cloth Hall.
My lectures for the Polish students went very well. The lectures were attended by bachelor and master students from different study courses. They were interested in the way we do applied researches for companies and listened very carefully to the examples of my own graduate students in the Netherlands. The campus is really great. The beautiful main building shows the history of the university, which was established in 1925. Mr. Pawel Konkel, from the international relations office of the university, showed me around the campus. They have a library, sports hall, restaurants, a lot of lecture rooms in different buildings and they even have their own museum. I also had a meeting with professor Adam Sagan, head of the department of market analysis. He showed me a final thesis from 1961, in which the student had to draw all the graphs by hand.
Next to the great experiences at the University, everybody advised me to go the Salt Mine In Wielinczka, which is a world-renowned historical site. Underground galleries, chambers and corridors offer unforgettable aesthetic experiences. I took some great pictures there from the salt statues.
Cracow: student city
Cracow is really a great city to study. You can meet many students from different countries on the campus and in the old town. For me it really was a great experience and I have learned a lot on doing research in Poland. I can draw one conclusion: the students reacted exactly the same as Dutch students. Although Polish people seem to be a little more serious sometimes, they showed that they have exactly the same sense of humour as my Dutch students.
By: Mirjam Arnoldy, final thesis coach and lecturer Tio Utrecht