The invited guests were welcomed by the Rector, Prof. Celina M. Olszak, Vice Rector for Education and International Relations , Prof. Sławomir Smyczek and Edyta Lachowicz-Santos, Director of the Internationalization Office. The ceremony itself was attended by Mr Jerzy Woźniak, Vice President of Katowice, Ms Katarzyna Sośniak, provincial inspector from the Department of Civil Affairs and Foreigners of the Silesian Voivodship Office in Katowice and numerous representatives of the media. The role of the guests of honor belonged to the students, who will be the hosts of this unique place.
Welcome Point operates under 4 principles:
It is a place where foreigners can seek INFORMATION and assistance in getting to know the region, the city and the University. They will also receive help with finding accommodation, legalization of stay or nostrification of diplomas.
However, the main role of the Welcome Point is to provide a space where students and staff from all over the world can INTEGRATE with Polish students and academic teachers. It is a place where they can meet, talk over coffee, and seek friendly company, especially when they feel nostalgic about their home country.
This year, more than 250 students from 45 countries from all over the world have been admitted to our University, including 96 exchange students. In total, there is almost 400 international students who are currently studying at the University.
Welcome Point is a place open to all who appreciate the values and benefits of working together in an international environment. As part of the implementation of one of the key priorities of the University’s Development Strategy - INTERNATIONALIZATION (PH1), the Welcome Point will host various events such as the Integration Week for newly admitted international students, projects such as UniBuddy, where students become "guardian angels” of new members of our academic community, or the Global Village (link).
Welcome Point will also hold a regular meetings called World Cafe, where participants will discuss important issues in the global context, such as tolerance, cultural differences, customs and traditions characteristic for a given country or religion. In addition, students will have a chance to watch online lectures or films together during the so-called "watch party".
Welcome Point is a place where everyone is always welcome, a place that inspires new ideas and is open to new initiatives. It is a place full of positive energy and SMILES - it's Your place.