Five Irish guidance counsellors and journalists travelled to Poland last month to see dynamic cities of Bydgoszcz and Wroclaw and medical schools based there to see why 60 Irish students chose to study there just those two disciplines.
“It was an exhilarating experience. Adam was a great host and I appreciate his organisational competency as he maximised quality time for the duration. So much information! I know I will return to Poland but more importantly I will feel more confident in suggesting to potential applicants and their parents the Polish option” said Pauline, Guidance Counsellor from Cork, after the trip.
Poland may seem a distant country but it is closer than most people think – just over 2 hours away on a €39 Ryanair flight. It is also closer in terms of culture, history and people’s pragmatic approach to life. Over 120 thousand Poles living in Ireland today (according to the last census) are the best proof, and indeed thousands of Irish nationals working in Poland in the financial services and ICT sectors can prove that too.
The country’s performance in science and higher education is increasingly appreciated, not only by OECD but Irish teachers and students themselves. The group of Guidance Counsellors spent 3 days in Polish cities of Wroclaw (650 000 people) and Bydgoszcz (360 000). They visited the vibrant city centres, picturesque old squares, experienced traditional Polish hospitality and delicious food in both Wroclaw – one of the most dynamically developing cities in the country that is chasing European capitals having rebuilt much of its infrastructure in the last decade and in Bydgoszcz – called ‘the medical city’.
An important element of the trip were universities – Irish teachers saw new facilities at medical and veterinary schools (Colleguim Medicum in Bydgoszcz and University of Life and Environmental Sciences in Wroclaw). State of the art equipment purchased with help of EU funds in the recent years as well as brand new dormitory in Bydgoszcz impress: “It opened my eyes to possibilities for study and holidays that I had never thought of. Everything exceeded my expectations, the college facilities, the openness and welcome given by the staff, the Polish people in general and the cities we visited. I particularly loved the Polish food and beers! I have told my wife that I will definitely be bringing her to the Christmas markets in Wroclaw in December!”
Fortunately, Irish students can still join their 60 colleagues in Bydgoszcz, Wroclaw and indeed other Polish cities studying medicine, veterinary, dentistry, pharmacy, physiotherapy – this year. MedicalPoland.ie is organising interviews every month in Poland or via skype as well as hosting an Open Day on 31 August at 18:00, Polish House, 20 Fitzwilliam Place with the last round of interviews on 31 August – 1 September. Register with name, email, tel. no. at firstname.lastname@example.org.