Gdańsk Tech project with funding | Gdańsk University of Technology

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Date added: 2022-04-28

Gdańsk Tech project with funding

Over PLN 120,000 was obtained by the International Relations Office for the implementation of the project titled "Creating an emotional support system for international students at Gdańsk University of Technology". The first activities are planned for the beginning of the new academic year.

The project received funding from the National Agency for Academic Exchange "Welcome to Poland" program, which aims to strengthen the institutional capacity of universities in the area of ​​servicing international students and employees. In addition to Gdańsk University of Technology's application, 35 projects from all over Poland received a positive formal and substantive assessment.

Emotional support is needed even more now

The project was submitted in mid-November 2021, when no one had expected Russia's aggression against Ukraine and its consequences.

 - When planning activities under the project, we mainly thought about the prevention of the effects of the pandemic and online education on the emotional health of students, including international students, whose situation was exceptionally difficult. Now, bearing in mind the dramatic situation in Ukraine and its impact on Gdańsk Tech students from Ukraine, Russia and Belarus and simply all those who have been particularly hard hit by the recent events, the project seems to be even more justified - says Anna Modrzejewska, Head of the International Relations Office.

Gdańsk University of Technology is already actively supporting citizens from Ukraine – one of its dormitories was dedicated to the needs of refugees. A donation of items for its equipment and supplies was also organized. There are Polish language lessons held in the dormitory and  a day-room for children, where art classes are organized every Tuesday. Additionally, IRO conducts Polish language lessons on the university campus for young people from Ukraine who would like to start studies in Poland,. However, among the activities carried out so far, there has been no comprehensive emotional support program, which will now be possible under the Welcome to Poland project.

We have an intense year ahead of us

Gdańsk Tech project will run from June 2022 to April 30, 2023. This means 10 very intense months filled with both online and offline activities.

 - We will use time from June to the end of the summer holidays to prepare activities under the project - planning the schedule, selecting suppliers of individual services, signing contracts and other formal and legal issues. Closer to the beginning of the academic year, we will start recruiting for the first events - adds Anna Modrzejewska.

 The project includes:

  • psychological support for international students,
  • peer mediation workshops for students and mediation workshops for administration staff,
  • open seminars on coping with crisis situations,
  • workshops on cultural differences and culture shock for international students and academic staff,
  • mindfulness training for international students,
  • yoga classes for students and staff.

Additionally, IRO’s team will take part in two study visits - in Great Britain where they will visit Oxford University and King's College in London and Vrije Universiteit in Amsterdam. Both universities have professional emotional support centers for students and employees that employ specialists, including psychologists, coaches and the so-called cultural sensitive psychotherapists. The knowledge, experience and valuable know-how gained in Great Britain and Netherlands will be used in Gdańsk Tech project.

Anna Modrzejewska: - We hope that one of the project's effects will be creating a support network of previously trained employees and students, operating at all faculties. ,  Decentralization of activities will facilitate access to various forms of emotional health support and will allow the integration of employees and students, including international students.

Another project with funding

This is the second project under Welcome to Poland program that has been successfully acquired by the International Relations Office. As part of the previous application, the following activities were carried out: translation of several dozen internal Gdańsk Tech documents into English, training on intercultural competencies and an online English language course for administration staff, map of Gdańsk Tech campus dedicated to international students, training on conversation cards for the reception staff at faculties, units and student dormitories. The project will be completed in April 2022.