The beginning of a new academic year can be challenging for some students and employees. Those who came to the University of Warsaw to study and work, and do experience loneliness, some anxieties over how to study effectively and pass all the exams, have sleepless nights, etc., are not alone. In March, the University of Warsaw has opened its Psychological Counselling Centre where members of the UW community can find professional and friendly assistance at any time.
The UW Psychological Counselling Centre (CPP) is a unit which offers UW students and employees help and support. Its offer covers, among others, standard psychological support sessions, a walk-in-clinic – a very short consultation in an emergency situation that does not require prior registration, psychoeducation services, and short-term psychotherapy. The head of the CPP is Dr Szymon Chrząstowski, an experienced psychotherapist.
“The first time I came to Poland was in 2003 if I remember well. My main motivation to come to Poland was related to research and studies. When I arrived I got a place in a dormitory for international students, so that was very pleasant and very comfortable. There were many Italians, German, Spanish from all over the places. There was great. It was a good social life. Lots of things to do and explore. By doing an internship I was embodied in a research group that consisted of Polish people. So I had a lot of contact with the Polish people and many of the friends I still have now are from that time,” says Dr. Wouter de Raad, head of Warsaw International Studies in Psychology at the Faculty of Psychology, a 5-year psychology programme for international students.
Talking about his first experience in Warsaw, Dr. de Raad stresses that the Polish people were the reason why he liked this stay in Poland so much. “I was surprised by how friendly and open people were and by their afford they made to welcome me and make me comfortable.”
Ayunita Agustina, a student from Indonesia, came to Poland 8 years ago. After the high school, she decided to study at UW. This is how she describes her first day at UW. “I sat down with the people who were around me and I realised that these were the people and the environment that I will be in for the next 5 years. I remember it was fun and full of excitement. The university really provided programmes and facilities to help integrate new students.”
Her advice for international students studying at UW is to engage in some voluntary programmes run by the Volunteer Centre of UW and try to be open-minded and social. “Do not hesitate and go to talk to someone on the top of the rooftop of BUW or participate in the voluntary programmes because it will really help you build self-confidence and essentially you do well in your 5 or 3 years at the school.”
For Daniel Sadr, an Iranian student who studied at UW, everything was new at the beginning, e.g. the university itself, renting a flat, and doing shopping. However, he was trying to be open towards new things. He got engaged in cultural activities like poetry festivals, photography competitions, and theatre festivals.
His advice for new students: “Just enjoy this novelty because it will never happen again. You are once in the first year in Warsaw, later you will have different feelings, everything will become habitual for you.”
Those students and employees, who experience any difficulties with studies or work, have an opportunity to contact the Psychological Counselling Centre of UW. It is open from Monday to Friday. Interested people can make an appointment via the registration form, via e-mail cpp(at)psych.uw.edu.pl and via phone 694 711731. More information
Visitors from abroad who would like to get help and information during their stay at the University of Warsaw can receive it in the UW Welcome Point. Currently, WP is situated in its pavilion. More information