FAQ on coronavirus (for students)

Currently many students are bothered by the feeling of uncertainty. We have gathered some frequently asked questions to help you to navigate through uncharted waters of coronavirus pandemic.

In case you have any other questions you may want to share them with us at gopoland@nawa.gov.pl

Question: I feel anxious about coronavirus. What can I do?

Answer: We encourage everyone to take steps to protect themselves from COVID-19 and other illnesses by being mindful of the following:

  • Practice good hand hygiene, including washing your hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth.
  • Stay home, rest and avoid close contact with others when you are sick or have a fever.
  • Clean frequently touched objects and surfaces using a regular household cleaning spray or wipe.

Q: Is it possible that universities may use dormitories as the quarantine facilities?

A: There are no such plans for now. However, bills and ordnances already implemented by the parliament allow this, if decided by the government. One can expect that in such a case university will inform its students in advance

Q: How do you see technical side of returning to the campuses? In China where situation got significantly better students still are staying home.

A: Special team within the Ministry of Higher Education and Science headed by the deputy minister is investigating this issue. They are analysing possibilities of gradual return to the previous situation and conducting classes and even organizing exams up until September 30.

Question: When we can expect returning to the campuses? Do you think suspending classes till April 10 will be enough?

Answer: It is little too early to judge right now. Ministry of Higher Education and Science considers gradual returning to normal activities after April 10. However, please keep in mind, that according to the news reports, Poland is yet to reach peak of the epidemic, which means that risk of getting infection may be still too high around above-mentioned date. Thus period of quarantine may be prolonged.

Q: Will March examination session be cancelled / postponed?

A: This should be checked with the Deans of the respective faculties.

Q: Can I extend the validity of my student card? The current one expires at the end of March.

A: The Minister of Science and Higher Education has signed a resolution which automatically prolongs the validity of student cards and PhD cards until May 31 without the necessity of doing it personally at the dean’s office.

Q: What about the dates of the diploma thesis defences? 

A: They are postponed. There might be a possibility of defending the thesis remotely, however in some cases where students and professors are expected to be in the same place exams will have to be organized possible only after returning to campuses.

Q: Are the libraries open? 

A: All libraries are closed, including those in student dormitories and faculties.

Q: Will the academic year be extended?

A: There are no plans to extend the academic year. However, please keep in mind that formally academic year continues till September 30, so there is a possibility that dates of summer examination sessions would be changed.

Q: How will the classes be conducted, e.g. via the Internet? 

A: Selected classes will be conducted remotely. Suspension of classes does not mean a break in studying, but only a change in its form. Universities are using different platforms for that purposes with Teams, Skype and Zoom being among the most popular.

Q: Can we expect changes in the schedule of the recruitment process?

A: This depends on when we are going to return to normal mode. If this will be around April 10, than it won’t be necessary.

Q: Is it possible to introduce mandatory online lectures?

A: Of course one cannot have online all types of classes, especially those in laboratories. As of now it was decided that universities will be conducting online lectures wherever possible. As regards to seminars which require physical presence of the students and professors in one place, e. g., at laboratory, they will have to be organised after returning to the normal mode.

Q: Will  the dormitory fees be refunded?

A: This depends largely on the authorities of the given university and individual case. The answers range from “no” to “under some circumstances” to “partially”

Q: Will scholarships still be paid?

A: Scholarships should be paid without any change.

Q: Will foreign students have to pay for their studies for the period when there are no classes? 

A: By 20 March 2020, heads of organizational units carrying out teaching activities will announce a list of lectures and classes which will be conducted remotely starting from 23 March 2020. Suspension of classes does not mean a break in studying, but only a change in its form.

Q What about payments for extramural studies? 

A: The universities will endeavour to conduct classes by the end of the academic year. No refunds are expected in most cases.

Q: Will NAWA scholarships will be paid? I am not currently in Poland, will I still receive the scholarship?

A: Yes. The Polish National Agency for Academic Exchange opens the student scholarship regulations widely and the scholarship will be paid as long as scholarship holders will continue their education on the principles set out by the university, including using e-learning.

Q: May I suspend my study or resign from studying and give myself a new beginning when the situation is normalized?

A: Definitely not. Your student’s status is still valid, your university is operating continuously (although the way and form is different), your study programme is conducting in online mode. Additionally, the scholarship programme is not suspended and the scholarship is offered as usual. The regulation of programme do not give you any possibility to postpone the study period or to start your study period many times. You are a student right now – if you lose your student status in a case your university strike your name off the student list, you will lose your scholarship holder status too.  

Q: Do you still plan to organize summer courses of Polish language and culture?

A: Summer courses of Polish language and culture will be not organized this year.

Q: How can I extend my visa?

A: Office for Foreigners (Urząd ds. Cudzoziemców) on April 1, 2020 published information on introducing special solutions to foreigners as regards to the extention of their stay in Poland in connection to the coronavirus pandemic. The regulations will allow people who want to pursue their current purpose of stay or cannot leave Poland due to the spread of SARS-CoV-2 virus to stay legally in the country. The solutions came into force on March 31, 2020.

Details are available on the website of the Office for Foreigners https://udsc.gov.pl/en/coronavirus-outbreak-special-solutions-for-foreigners/