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Study Abroad

The courses offered at the Centre for European studies are designed to give undergraduates a comprehensive and in-depth introduction into the complexities of European political, economic, and social realities and to provide a Central and Eastern European perspective on the contemporary as well as historical events and transformations occurring in Europe. Furthermore, intensive foreign language instruction is offered. Basic knowledge of the Polish language is essential for living in Poland and all students are strongly encouraged to learn Polish during their study abroad.  French, German and Russian are available at the beginner's level for students who are advanced in Polish.

Each course totals 40 hours of classroom time. Students complete the course with either a written exam or final term paper. Each student must take at least three lecture courses and a language class per semester. Some home institutions may require heavier courseloads. Regular courses are worth 6 ECTS points (roughly 3 US semester credits). Language courses are worth 7.5 ECTS points (roughly 4 US credits).

While our courses are diverse in subject matter, some students may feel that they would like to choose from more advanced classes. If a student wishes to take a graduate-level class, he/she may request permission to do so from the Director of CES. Similarly, it is often the case that study abroad students must or want to take a course or two outside of our department in order to satisfy graduation credits at their home institution. Although we encourage and support this choice, we would like to caution that students may experience scheduling conflicts, language barriers and credit transfer issues. CES will help in every way possible, but please be sure that upon your arrival at CES, you are on a good graduation track that won't be deterred by study abroad.

Getting Started

Prospective study abroad students should undertake a few steps before applying to the CES programme. Firstly, interested students should request that their Study Abroad Office contact our Study Abroad student manager, Svetlana Baranova directly. Secondly, students should review the eligibility requirements to determine whether the programme is a good fit for their personal and academic goals. Lastly, the application process is quick and easy. Below are some requirements to consider before getting started. The required application form may be found in the "See Also" column to the right.

Eligibility & Requirements

The Centre for European Studies is an interdisciplinary unit of the Institute of European Studies. Students may enjoy a selection of courses that focus on European and Central and Eastern European history, economics, politics, culture and society. While a liberal arts or social science background may be useful, all applicants who can demonstrate interest in European studies are encouraged to apply.

Although students may take courses outside of the Centre and in other departments, we would like to highlight that scheduling conflicts may occur and the appropriate level of credits may be more difficult to obtain. Please be sure that your study abroad trip will not interfere with fulfilling your home university's academic requirements.

All candidates must be in good academic standing at their university and possess a minimum cumulative GPA of 3.0 (or equivalent). Those who do not meet this requirement may be considered on a case by case basis, if his/her Study Abroad advisor is confident that the applicant will be able to succeed and enjoy the academic experience.


If your first language is not English you should provide evidence that your level of proficiency is adequate for the programme of study. CES accepts the following English language certificates and scores:



TOEFL (Paper - based)


TOEFL (Computer - based)


TOEFL (Internet - based)


Cambridge IELTS






Applicants who have had substantial education conducted in English are exempt from this requirement. Moreover, Polish language proficiency is not a requirement for the CES study abroad programme.

Credit transfer from Study Abroad

'Credit' is a method of measuring the student's courseload. 'Marks' (grades) are a diagnostic tool designed to indicate to the student's level of mastery of the course and its objective. All undergraduate transcripts will contain both the Polish system marks and the ECTS credits awarded for each class.

The Polish grading system

All instructors are obliged to explain their expectations and grading system at the start of the semester. The following grading system is used at Polish universities:

Grades are given from 2 to 5.

2.0 = unsatisfactory (fail) = "2" or "ndst"
3.0 = satisfactory = "3" or "dst"
3.5 = satisfactory = "+3" or "dst+"
4.0 = Good = "4" or "db"
4.5 = good plus = "+4" or "db+"
5.0 = very good = "5" or "bdb"

The ECTS credit system

The European Credit Transfer System is a Europe-wide system for counting and transferring the academic credit that a student has earned. The system was first launched in 1989 by the European Commission and is now the standard system for all higher education in Poland, as well as in 45 other countries that participate in the Bologna Process. ECTS makes credit earned at a Polish university more transparent and more easily transferable to other institutions.

The system assumes that the standard workload adds up to 60 ECTS per academic year (30 ECTS per semester). 'Courseload' takes into account homework and study time, as well as classroom time. A student may assume that each point of ECTS is earned by a total courseload of 25 to 30 hours of work.

Transfering grades and credits from Study Abroad

When transferring credit from the Jagiellonian University to another institution, grades will be issued on the Polish scale alone and credit points for each course will be given as ECTS points. Explanations of the Polish grading system and ECTS are included on transcripts.

Ultimately, it is the student's home institution that decides how the credits and grades earned at the Jagiellonian University will be entered into their home institution's records. Many US colleges, for example, consider 2 ECTS points to be 1 US 'credit hour'.

Some North American institutions use the following equivalences for grades:

2.0 = F
3.0 = C
3.5 = C+
4.0 = B
4.5 = B+
5.0 = A

Please consult your home institution before assuming that they will follow any specific system of interpretation or equivalence.