Macquarie University thanks The Polish Consulate

Macquarie University thanks the Consulate General of the Republic of Poland in Sydney for their 2017 donation.

The Department of International Studies: Languages and Cultures at Macquarie University wishes to acknowledge and thank the Polish Consulate General in Sydney for their kind donation towards the ongoing maintenance of the Polish Studies program in 2017.  This financial support is an important contribution to our efforts to sustain a Diploma of Languages in Polish Studies, the only program of this kind in Australia, as well as to the promotion of the Polish language and culture overseas.

The Consulate’s donations have enabled the program to move from strength to strength. During 2016 there were a number of program changes across the Department of International Studies resulting in the Polish Studies program transitioning to a fully online delivery mode. This new learning environment has brought the dual benefits of providing external students of the Polish language with the flexibility to fit their studies around their individual work commitments, and also of creating the opportunity of direct online engagement with teaching staff and networking with other students in different locations across Australia. External distance students can access course material at any time, participate in online tutorials and complete and lodge assignments online. 
The program is flexible and available to everybody. A Diploma of Languages (24 credit points) can be completed alongside a degree in another field, or by students who have previously completed a degree. Students do not have to study for a degree or a Diploma to learn Polish as they can, and frequently do, enrol as non-award students for specific language units only. All eligible students are entitled to apply for a Commonwealth Supported Place (CSP) for their course of study. 

Perhaps one of the most exciting things about Polish Studies is that it attracts and embraces a diversity of students with different linguistic backgrounds and ages. The age of students undertaking Polish Studies ranges from nineteen years of age through to late sixties, proving that it is really never too late to study. Likewise, students’ reasons for studying Polish vary quite dramatically, from Polish speakers wishing to improve their grammar, to keen enthusiasts looking for the challenge of a learning a new language for travel or other reasons.  
Another exciting aspect of studying Polish at Macquarie University is the opportunity to complete a summer residential language program offered by Jagiellonian University in Kraków. These short-term programs are primarily for those students who undertake language studies at Macquarie University as part of a Bachelor of International Studies, a Bachelor of Arts, or a Diploma of Languages. Students participating in these programs may receive a Macquarie scholarship towards the cost of their overseas studies, and the successful completion of the course in Kraków will earn students credit towards their Macquarie award program.
Students have embraced the new program enthusiastically. The following comments have been provided by current students who wish to share their individual learning experiences and motivations for studying Polish. 

“I commenced Polish language studies to reconnect with my Polish heritage, learn more about Polish culture, language and literature. I have found the course to be detailed and comprehensive, with the support from Macquarie staff and the learning tools used to be outstanding.” – Robert Kolano, NSW.

“I studied Polish because I wanted to engage in everyday situational conversations with my husband’s family. In addition to the lecturer being helpful in my studies, the course at Macquarie, Sydney is well structured, incorporating grammar, speaking and comprehension which isn’t offered anywhere in Adelaide.” – Thanh Gierlach, SA.

“My study of Polish at Macquarie University is the most intellectually satisfying and challenging of university studies I have undertaken. The intricacies of the language are fascinating, frustrating and fun. My Polish studies have opened the door to travel and to be able to meet and communicate with the beautiful people of Poland and opened many literary, artistic, musical, culinary, and hiking roads to walk. I originally only planned to study a couple of units but the journey has been so much fun that I have decided to complete a Diploma to sit alongside my other degrees.” – Anne Marie Lopez, WA.

“It is true that one language sets you off down a corridor for life. Two languages can open every door along the way. Studying Polish at Macquarie University has undoubtedly opened many more doors for me in the future and I will forever be grateful for the opportunity.” – Joanna Marciniak, NSW.

“I have had a lot of difficulty learning Polish conversationally, and really benefited from a formalised learning process. Studying Polish at Macquarie has been very valuable for me, as it provided the only practical way that I could study the language and communicate with my relatives living overseas.” – Sebastian Selsis, QLD.

“I began studying Polish at Macquarie because there are virtually no other opportunities in Australia to formally learn Polish, which is really disappointing. Having lived in Warsaw, Kraków and Podkarpackie, I wanted to find a way to further immerse myself in the nation, culture and language that I find so unique and enriching. Most importantly for me, the accessible online method of teaching means I can learn and practise wherever I find myself: Sydney, London or a picturesque hotel in the Bieszczady mountains.” – Kristopher Evans, ACT.

“Studying Polish has been an incredible experience after beginning to learn it while on exchange with Rotary to Poland in 2015. While the language itself is hard to understand as a native English speaker, it has been amazing and allows me to better understand our own language as well. Kamila has been a fantastic support and our Skype sessions sometimes result in me speaking about something random sometimes in Polish and other times just recounting a story from Poland. I often complain about the language and generally put it down to “just Polish being Polish” which makes Kamila laugh generally. I’m hoping to go back to Poland to work and/or study further in the future!” – Cordel Murphy, NSW.

If you would like to join these students or have an interest in learning more about the program please visit Polish Studies at www.mq.edu.au. If you still have any unanswered questions please do not hesitate to contact me directly via email kamila.walker@mq.edu.au, or alternatively by phone: (02) 9850-7014. 

Dr Kamila Walker
Convenor of the Polish Studies Program