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Danielle Piatkiewicz, Class of 2013

Country of origin: USA
TAS graduation year: 2013
Current occupation: Research fellow at EUROPEUM and Program Manager/Independent Consultant at Alliance of Democracies Foundation

I first came across the TAS Program while attending a summer language and culture program at Jagiellonian University and I instantly fell in love with Krakow and the university and wanted to find a way to extend my stay. The TAS program not only fulfilled my desire to live in Krakow but it offered an array of interesting classes, and internationally diverse faculty and students. I found the classes to be both challenging and thought-provoking. Given the intimate and small scale of our classes, the professors encouraged us to engage in debate with our fellow classmates but also with them, this led to some very lively classes and discussions in and outside the classroom. In particular, I really enjoyed the supplementary classes, which were additional courses that complemented our core TAS curriculum. These classes incorporated a variety of topics using media, literature, and contemporary issues by connecting them to a transatlantic framework. I also really enjoyed the thesis writing process, the professors served as wonderful guides and encouraged us to really dive into the topic and material. My thesis process was both very personally and professionally rewarding as I later published it with an academic publishing company. Overall, the TAS Program gave me the tools and confidence to engage in transatlantic issues in a professional capacity, and I very much value the relationships I made during my time in the program.


Tshegofatso Setilo, Class of 2013

Country of origin: South Africa
TAS graduation year: 2013
Current occupation: Head of Division: Access Programmes at the University of Free State, South Africa

I had a great and memorable experience as a TAS student and my stay in Poland. The program has broadened my knowledge and has offered me great career opportunities. What I enjoyed the most was the interactive sessions with my fellow classmates and lecturers; the materials lecturers provided for us were also valuable because I have gained so much information about transatlantic issues. The ever-smiling administrator, Iwona, and the professors also contributed to making my experience a great one. Iwona would really go the extra mile to assist me with anything I needed.

My TAS qualification has really opened a lot of doors for me as I am currently the Head of Division: Access Programmes at the University of Free State, South Campus, South Africa. The program and living in Poland has changed my life greatly and I would highly recommend it to anyone who would like to study in Krakow (a very beautiful city)!


Olivia Hernandez, Class of 2019

Country of origin: USA
TAS graduation year: 2019
Current occupation: Marketing and Communications Manager for Undergraduate Admissions. 

Coming from a liberal arts undergraduate background, I was drawn to Transatlantic Studies because of the transatlantic crossing of politics, history, and literature right in the middle of Europe. Growing up, I dreamed of studying and living in Krakow. I loved my time in Krakow so much - the relationships you make with your classmates and professors are priceless – from seminars to hotdogs at Żabka. If I could, I would relive my TAS days in a heartbeat, it was a truly formative period in my life.


Chenglong Zhou, Class of 2019

Country of origin: China
TAS graduation year: 2019
Current occupation: PhD Student in East Asian Studies, Monash University, Australia

I’m very happy that my experience in Krakow can make a contribution to the TAS Testimonials. I’ve decided to pursue an academic career in the future, so what I’ve done in the past two years mainly focuses on how to make full use of the remarkable opportunities the program provides to construct my academic advantage. I recommend the TAS program to the prospective students who have an academic ambition on the following bases:

The program is well structured with two modules. The qualitative module serves to equip the students with necessary qualitative research methods via diverse case studies (religion, politics, sociology, sports, culture, literature, law, and critical theories), while the quantitative module is steered in ways that acquaint the students with basic quantitative research skills from a historical perspective. Both modules are well-organized and directed by experienced professors with international perspective. Going through the two modules assures you of all indispensable skills and knowledge that pave the way for further research on PhD level.

The program has wide international cooperative channels and provides students with numerous opportunities to build connections within Europe. I’ve taken advantage of the communication opportunities the program provides, enriching myself within the two years by attending summer schools, international conferences as well as Erasmus exchange. Having a registered studentship in Jagiellonian University always enables me to have a bonus or scholarship while participating in the activities. The international experiences extended my horizon, deepened my perception in doing research, and also improved my competence in my future application for the PhD program.

The program is run by a team of reliable, professional, competent, and easy-going members. You’ll have lessons lectured by senior professors who have cutting-edge knowledge in related fields, and who are always available to answer whatever questions that occur in your mind. You’ll see your questions regarding the lessons, the program, the administrative procedure be immediately dealt with and answered by the secretary office. And you’ll also get help and advice if you have any problem living or studying in the city. It’s a treat to study in a lovely city, so my final suggestion is to make everyday count in Krakow.

Krakow is a beautiful, beautiful city with a long, long history. For now, my study is almost finished so I want to say a few words to express my gratitude. My deepest gratitude goes to Prof. Vaughan, my supervisor and a knowledgeable scholar, who has pointed direction and provided valuable instructions to me in every stage of my MA program in the Institute of American Studies and Polish Diaspora. I want to thank Prof. Robson for the thought-provoking cultural study courses. For the first time, I opened my eyes to the vast field of sociology, and caught a clue of how to do interesting research. I want to thank all the other lecturers who have taught me whether in compulsory or elective courses. Were it not for the knowledge they have passed on to me, I would not be able to stand where I am today, and would not be able to achieve whatever I have achieved by far. I want to thank all my dear classmates who have made my life here colorful and brilliant. Last but not least, I also want to thank Iwona, the program secretary, who has provided all kinds of important information to me and helped me go through all stages of the two-year study. Once in my lifetime, I got the opportunity to work with all of you. I miss you already!