Best students from Belarus took advantage of the UITM scholarship program  called “School of Leaders for Democracy”. 

The program was addressed to students of Belarusian nationality recruited in the last academic year, regardless of the semester or year of study.

Academic Tutor support under the “School of Leaders for Democracy”

Program participants obtained help and support from one selected academic employee of the University. This person become their personal academic tutor. How do students rate this solution?

I really enjoyed working with a tutor. I received many pieces od advice thanks to which I was able to improve my work and obtain higher results. It was also beneficial to get a feedback regarding my work” – informs Hanna Yanchyk, a student of Graphics Design.

For me, the Polish language used during my cooperation with the tutor was quite overwhelming at the beginning (taking into account the fact that at the time of starting my studies at UITM, I only knew English), but in the end it became an incentive to learning and getting to know the local culture. Thanks to this, it was quite easy for me to pass the Polish language exam in the first year of studies.”- adds Diana Levchenko, a student of Computer Networks.

What extracurricular activities did the School of Leaders for Democracy program offer?

Students took part in additional lectures and workshops conducted by employees and partners of the University. For example, Konrad Szocik Ph.D explained to students how societies can defend their freedoms and how to peacefully build an effective democratic society. What is more, Sylwia K. Mazur, MA, explained what liberal democracy is and whether it has any alternatives. The students also learned the answer to the question: “Is it possible for democracy to exist without freedom or freedom without democracy?”

During the workshop led by Ewa Podgórska, Manager of the UITM Careers Service, entitled “Preparation for the recruitment process – professional CV and interview” students learned how and where to look for a job, how to take care of their personal branding and what mistakes not to make during the recruitment. Another interesting event was the workshop prepared by Ms. Barbara Bilska, HR Business Partner for IT departments at Deloitte in Central Europe, entitled “Effective Communication”. As part of it, students took part in interesting practical tasks, they got to know communication styles, communication barriers and the principles of assertive acceptance of opinions.

Workshops were conducted online via the Cisco Webex platform, because of the pandemic. How did the students rate them?

Our webinars have become one of the most enjoyable parts of this programme. I think that getting new knowledge in a relaxed atmosphere is a kind of entertainment. The webinars conducted as part of the programme allowed me to understand the processes that were not fully known to me before. Now I am convinced that my view of the world as a whole has become more mature” – says Diana Levchenko. On the other hand, Hanna Yanchyk adds: “I learned a lot during online classes, I received a lot of information that I consider important and interesting.”

How do scholarship recipients rate the School of Leaders for Democracy program and studies in Rzeszów?

“This program strengthened my interest in studying at UITM. It gave Belarus students a chance for education. I am glad that the University has supported us with this scholarships. I am very grateful for this opportunity in such a difficult time for us” – says Dziyana Belikava, a student of General Aviation Management.

“I have always believed that learning is not the only purpose of studying. New experiences and getting out of your own comfort zone are also important. Therefore, before coming to UITM, I was looking for international universities that would allow me to test myself and broaden my horizons. After the first year of studies, I can say that UITM was a great choice. Moreover, Rzeszów seems to be quite a cozy city and it attracted me from the first minutes of my stay. I think it may be a good city to settle in in the future” – says Diana Levchenko.

“My brother studied in Rzeszów and he liked studying here very much. That is why, I decided to choose UITM. What is more, my friend also studied here. She told me a lot about academic life. She shared with me photos of the city. She really liked studying here. Now I am glad that I chose UITM. I really like the attitude of teachers to students. Additionally, the atmosphere during the classes is really good. Moreover, I like the structure of the schedule. I also like that the subjects change every semester, which is cool because I can try everything and decide for myself what I really like and what I can and want to develop.” – describes Hanna Yanchyk.

“School of Leaders for Democracy” (SoL-D) is a special module of the School of Leaders (SoL) scholarship programme offered by UITM. It was launched in 2020/2021 academic year due to the tense situation in Belarus after last year’s presidential elections. As an expression of solidarity with the Belarusian society, the UITM authorities decided to launch a program intended for students who, as a result of their involvement in peaceful protests, had a problem with starting or continuing studies in their country, and at the same time were interested in developing knowledge and competences regarding the creation and functioning of a democratic society.