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Testimonials

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!

 

Shannon Tanski, Class of 2016

Country of origin: USA
TAS graduation year: 2016
Current occupation: Associate Manager, Client Consulting at NielsenIQ, Warsaw

I'm an alumna of the Transatlantic Studies program at Jagiellonian University, part of the 2016 graduating class. From an education perspective, the small classroom sizes and availability of the professors for one-on-one chats provided a really unique and immersive learning experience. Since the program is a part of Jagiellonian University, we were also able to participate in many supplemental activities such as extra research projects, academic conferences, and workshops. I look back on my time in the program fondly, not only because of the diverse group of fellow students that became my close friends, but also because of how well my time in Krakow set me up to succeed in an international professional environment.

 

Paul Vliegen, Class of 2013

Country of origin: The Netherlands
TAS graduation year: 2013
Current occupation: High School Teacher, USA

I thoroughly enjoyed my time as a TAS student in Cracow. I stumbled on the program when I was looking for opportunities to complete my Master's degree in Central Europe, a region I had always been interested in, and I was immediately drawn to its interdisciplinary nature. The small size of classes was one of the program's main assets to me. Whether we were discussing Transatlantic developments in film, Beck's risk society, or the history of military interventions, there was always plenty of room for discussion. The different backgrounds of my classmates, both academically and geographically, added an interesting spark to those discussions. I also truly enjoyed writing my Master's thesis (who would have thought). Since TAS is a two-year program, we had plenty of time to do thorough research. In addition, Professor Robson's rigorous and generous supervision of the process allowed me to write something I am proud of to this day. I am currently a high school teacher of history and politics, and I continue to draw on my experience as a TAS student at work.

Besides academics, TAS obviously comes with the great perk of being in Cracow - an exciting city with all the perks of a college town. I fondly remember study sessions in the city's many cafés, walks through the old town, trips exploring lesser visited neighborhoods, hikes in the beautiful surrounding area, and so many other things that made my stay in Cracow an amazing experience. It was also, and this really is something I haven't experienced in many other places I have lived, a place where it was easy to connect with locals and get a peek of life beyond the international bubble. While I am sure the city has changed in the past few years, I do miss it every day!

 

Leticia Lemos, Class of 2019

Country of origin: Brasil
TAS graduation year: 2019
Current occupation: Head of Marketing at Archdesk

The TAS was an amazing experience in my life and I will tell you why!
TAS program is a great combination of history and culture throughout the world, respecting reality. During this program we were a mix of students from different countries and continents sharing our reality while we studied it - we could ask what was the population perception of the facts and this was truly amazing! It took us from the student bench to a time machine. Moreover, it presented how the nuances of daily life impact bigger actions directly and indirectly, because before politicians and business people, we are humans with our individualities and this shapes our behavior before anything else. 

As far as professors and methodologies are concerned, they are all experts in their field and able to build their classes around the class participation, bring dynamism in an attractive way where professors care about you, what you learned and what you are aiming to learn - this is so rare. Many times we even had vivid and exciting debates. The materials were also in different formats - from research, to readings, articles, books, filmes, documentaries...

Additionally, we studied in a one thousand years old city, anywhere you go you can brieth it and this changes the experience of studying these topics. The city conserves its history and was able to add great infrastructure that is welcoming to foreigners (yes, you live here in English!). Finally, life quality here is high and accessible to people coming from non euro currencies (I came from Brazil!). TAS gave me an academic life of research, close professors that care and support you and friends for life, here in Krakow and around the world.

ps: After the course, I was able to move my career to Poland in a higher position, have already been promoted after it and the knowledge learned in the courses gave me great understanding to integrate well with my coworkers as well as to work in the IT market (#Sci-Fi matters!!!)."

Arno Yeramyan, Class of 2021

Country of origin: Turkey
TAS graduation year: 2021
Current occupation: PhD Studies

Before being admitted to the M.a programme of Transatlantic Studies in 2019 I had the chance to visit Krakow in 2017 while I was an Erasmus+ exchange student in Poland.

At first sight I was very impressed by the city and even more with the Jagiellonian University. During the process of finding information about TAS, both the website of the programme as well as the administrative and the secretarial staff have been extremely helpful. I would say that one of the biggest strengths of TAS is its student-centered educational and academic approach. The seminars provide true opportunities for students to do their own research on the given subject and to present the subject while listening to their peers expressing their opinions. I believe this is something that very few M.a programs can offer. Apart from its academic stance the programme is truly an international one where people from different countries get together and share opinions and learn about the culture of one another. I am glad that I met so many people from such diverse backgrounds with whom I am still in close contact.

Thanks to the welcome meetings that TAS held I had the chance to get used to both Krakow and to the programme in no time. I don't think I'd miss Krakow this much and the time that I spent there if it was not for the TAS family!