Studies mark one of the greatest periods in the lives of young people and studying is the time of acquiring knowledge and the time of mental and attitude development. However, those serious pursuits cannot go without the essence of life in the academic community which facilitates personal fulfilment in another way, in many areas of activity, e.g. as an activity in scientific groups and in numerous organizations and associations addressed to students.
Students’ Study Groups.
The activity in study groups is an opportunity to develop academic interests. The groups run their own research, organize conferences and seminars, both domestic and international, hold meetings with scientists and artists, publish journals, and participate in scientific sessions held by other academic centres in Poland. Taking up studies, why not join a study group to build up your knowledge and acquire skills sharing the same interests with others? Learning together less formally can complement your coursework.
Student Government is made up of all university students and it is the only representation of all the students of the University. The Student Government is elected by students every two years. Representatives of the Government participate in the work of collegiate bodies of the University: the Senate, Senate Committees and Faculty Councils. Interestingly, the Student Government represents UKW students in the Student Parliament of the Republic of Poland and thus the needs of our students are considered by decision-making bodies defining Poland’s higher education. Becoming active in the student government serves the student community, however it is also a good school for those who wish to be part of local government in the future as well as those who wish to be active in politics.
Academic Volunteer Centre.
Why not become a volunteer? The Academic Volunteer Centre is an organization which can help you help others. It is the Centre which organises famous ‘gatherings of vampires’ (wampiriada – blood donor sessions) and cooperates with international organizations, e.g. UNICEF. And this is how student’s helping hands can reach the needy not only at home but all around the world. Charity work is also organised by other student and employee groups of our University. Why not join one of them?
Student and Graduate Associations.
The University is home to many associations of students and graduates different in character and scope of activity. The development of our University depends greatly on the Uniwersytet Association of Graduates. The everyday life of the University is marked by the psychology association of the Polish Association of Psychology Students and Graduates (PSSiAP) (www.pssiap.prv.pl), to be found at 1 Staffa Street; the Przemysłowa 34 association of political studies graduates (e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org.) and the Od Nowa Guild, to be found at 34 Przemysłowa Street; as well as the Cogito Student Guild (www.cogito.ukw.edu.pl).
Student journalists are the core of the editorial staff of a bimonthly newsletter, GAZETA UNIWERSYTECKA Uniwersytetu Kazimierza Wielkiego, informing of the day-to-day life essential for the entire academic community as well as promoting the University. The students also publish their own newsletters, e.g. Atheneum, a literature newsletter (contact: email@example.com), Homo Politicus (www.homopoliticus.ukw.edu.pl), a political science newsletter and Forum Dydaktyczne, an education newsletter. If there is something you want to share or if you want to publish your poem or a short story or if you want to give your journalist spirit a try, contact the editorial staff of these newsletters.
As a student you can receive professional training not only following obligatory programmes coordinated by the Interfaculty College of Professional Training (16 Ogińskiego Street). The Careers Centre, (www.biurokarier.ukw.edu.pl), holding job agency, personal counselling and professional counselling certificates, can help. The centre has its own database, including seasonal job offers. You can also receive professional training with the European Leonardo da Vinci programme.
Entertainment and leisure.
New University students are presented with a range of meetings and leisure activities already before the beginning of the academic year. In September, when holidays are still in full swing, you can meet older friends representing the Student Government and the University authorities, and you can learn how a university operates. After the official inauguration of the academic year, the freshers’ party is a must! In April you can take part in the annual celebrations of University Day (April 25 commemorates the day Kazimierz Wielki was crowned), and in May why not join the student festival?
Three University choirs operate. Our students and staff play in classical and light music bands. The University big-band is there. At Christmas and around New Year’s Eve you can enjoy the Studenci Miastu annual concert and Koncert Kolęd (Carol Concert). In spring joining one of the events of the PESTKA Student Culture Festival, more and more popular across Poland, is a must! And what about joining those who reactivate the grand traditions of the BEANUS 70 student club?
Each year a number of sports events are held, e.g. football, volleyball or swimming championships. Another key event in the city’s sports life is the annual UKW eight rowing competition with teams from Oxford and Cambridge Universities, recently joined also by London University, as part of Wielkiej Wioślarskiej o Puchar Brdy and the famous ‘Thames Race’ in London. The result of the competitions is a draw – we win at home and the English on the Thames. Our University rowers are known at Universities in Boston (US), Milan (Italy) and Montreal (Canada) from where invitations to compete are received. If you are interested not only in supporting but also enjoy an active sport, you can choose one of a few dozen or so existing sports sections offered by the University Club of the Academic Sports Association (AZS).
AZS University Club.
Kazimierz Wielki University has excellent sports facilities partially taken over from the former Polonia sports club (indoor swimming pool, exhibition and sports hall, martial arts rooms and fitness studio, tennis courts, football pitch, physiotherapy facilities, a small hotel with restaurant) and a number of sports halls and body building gyms found in other University facilities. The Polonia sports facility at 2 Sportowa Street is home to the AZS University Club (www.azs.ukw.edu.pl), established in 1970 as KU AZS WSN. The AZS UKW Club includes a dozen or so sections – the number changes with the changing needs of students.
The history of KU AZS has recorded many successes. In the student Polish Championships, which included teacher training schools of higher education and which followed an open formula, the team has won a total of 18 gold medals in men’s handball, women’s basketball, men’s football and volleyball, men’s rowing ergometer, women’s rowing ergometer, men’s judo, women’s swimming, women’s and men’s rowing and 18 individual gold medals in athletics, women’s cross-country cycling, women’s shotokan karate, women’s swimming, women’s cross-country race, to mention just a few. In the Polish classification of the most sporting schools of higher education, for many years we have been in the lead. In 2005 we came second and won silver, which is the greatest achievement of the entire community of our student sportsmen and their coaches and trainers.
Interestingly, our University can be proud of its few dozen or so non-academic sports champions, outstanding and popular sportsmen, Sebestian Chmara (decathlon), Piotr Protasiewicz (speedway), Jacek Krzyżaniak (speedway), Agnieszka Tomczak (rowing) and Ewa Kowalkowska (volleyball) and many other contenders in Olympic, world, European and domestic championships, to mention just a few. Additionally the AZS UKW Club offers youth sport and the sections of: football (6 teams), judo, ground tennis, handball and fencing. Youth teams are coached most often by our physical education graduates. Old boys and girls of these sections have been very successful, e.g. gold and silver in Polish junior judo championships. Youth football teams are at the top in national leagues. Tennis players take high ranking positions. In the regional and domestic competition fencers are more and more successful.
Yet another important job of the KU AZS UKW is organising summer and winter camps, with sailing camps (Funka, Łeba, Pucko) and skiing camps (Zakopane, Cortina d’Ampezzo) most popular with students and staff.