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Ukrainian-Polish university exchanges: language specifics

Ukrainian consulting companies in the sphere of education abroad offer Ukrainian students an opportunity to continue their studies in Polish universities. Students enrolled for certain faculties can continue their studies at the same faculty (the specialization does not have to match) of the Polish university at any time during the academic year. The websites of these companies indicate that the only requirement is to get the academic transcripts (enlisting all the disciplines, grades, study hours and exams) and to pay for the “comparative analysis of study programmes”. Seems like nothing difficult; still these academic differences are the source of all problems the companies are silent about.

Aleksey Moskalenko, the President of Corporation “Ukrainian-Polish Centre of Academic Exchange”, says that the list of disciplines at Ukrainian universities differs significantly from the one of Polish universities. “There is a certain margin for this academic difference. Our Bachelor programmes last for 4 years with 30 cumulative hours of work per week; in Poland it takes 3 years with twice less cumulative hours. Thus the Polish students spend twice less time for the programme similar to ours. And what about disciplines like the History of Ukraine, Ukrainian language and so on? Where on earth you can find a European university with these disciplines?” says the expert.

Therefore all the experts agree that if there is little difference between study programmes, the transfer from Ukrainian to Polish university is entirely possible. The experts point to another requirement for successful exchange, - the good knowledge of Polish language. “How many students of Ukrainian universities have that language level? Basic level is not enough. You will have to write and defend your thesis in Polish. You have to work with archives, to read, write and make notes…A lot of time will be spent to cover the difference in study programme, as well as for to build up a specific vocabulary. One of the requirements is to pass a state language exam of B1 and B2 level (proficient written and oral)”, explains Aleksey Moskalenko.

Many agencies, sending Ukrainian students to Poland, do not require fluent Polish, saying that it’s easy to learn. And since the study year in Poland starts in October, in September there is time to improve the language to a necessary level. “Yes, Polish universities provide an opportunity to prepare in September. Polish professors are not there yet (the academic year starts in October). Commonly, Ukrainian students take language courses together with other Ukrainians enrolled to the same university. Besides, their parents bear extra expenses for accommodation (student houses are closed for renovations in September), food, tutors etc.,” says the expert.

According to Mr Moskalenko, to avoid any problems with application and transfer or to avoid expulsion from Polish university, it is better to start learning the language in 6-8 grade of school. “Many parents pay serious attention to their kids education and realize that it is better to start learning the language in 6-8 year of secondary school”, said Mr Moskalenko.


Ukrainian-Polish university exchanges: language specifics
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