01.05.2021 change 01.05.2021

They’re simply the best! Five students beat off competition from 140 entries to be named ‘best international students in Poland’

Credit: Fotolia Credit: Fotolia

The best international students in Poland have been announced in the 11th INTERSTUDENT competition.

Organized by the Education Foundation PERSPEKTYWY as part of the Study in Poland programme carried out jointly with the Conference of Rectors of Academic Schools in Poland, the winners were chosen from 140 foreigners studying at public and private universities in Poland whose activities enrich the local academic community and build bridges between cultures. 

The winner of the bachelor's degree category was Lara Maria Guedes Gonçalves Costa from Brazil, a student of the Jagiellonian University. She actively cooperates with student organizations, and in collaboration with a colleague from International Relations and Area Studies and the Brazilian Student Association (BRASA) has prepared a guide entitled 'How to study in Poland'. In recent months, she has also been involved in other projects promoting study in Poland, including the development of information materials for PhD students from the Federal University of Alagoas, which gives an opportunity to increase academic exchanges with the Jagiellonian University. She is also a volunteer of the Hanna Community in Kraków that helps the homeless and is responsible for distributing food to those in need.

Marlon Souza Luis from Canada, a student of the Medical University of Gdańsk, won in the master's degree category. He runs the student educational project 'Fun with English', teaching sick children and their parents the English language through games and fun. He organizes charity campaigns for patients of children's wards in Gdańsk hospitals in cooperation with Tri-City companies and foundations, as well as workshops for students. At the beginning of the pandemic, during the shortage of personal protective equipment in hospitals, he led a small group of students who 3D-printed face shields, masks and disposable thermometer covers that the hospitals needed. He is involved in the university's anti-discrimination campaign 'Kultura Szacunku/Culture of Respect'. Thanks to him, in 2019 the first student cancer conference exclusively in English was held at the the Medical University of Gdańsk. He also co-authored a paper accepted for publication in the prestigious Cardiology Journal and is a member or president of numerous science clubs. He thinks of cardiology as his future specialization.

Yash Chawla from India, a PhD student at the Wrocław University of Science and Technology, won in the PhD studies category. He was recently recognized as the Best Young Researcher in the field of management and quality science at the Wrocław University of Science and Technology for his publications in prestigious scientific titles. During his doctoral studies, Yash initiated two research projects. The first project, Consumer Awareness and Acceptance on Smart Meters, was originally intended to survey Polish and Indian consumers, but it was expanded to eight other countries (including Australia) thanks to Yash's collaboration with researchers from those countries. The second project, Predictors and Outcomes of Public Knowledge about COVID-19, created a consortium of 15 researchers from 14 countries who collected 15,553 responses from 121 countries. The project concluded with a series of publications, and the second phase of the study is currently underway. Yash devoted a lot of energy to coordinating the winter and summer schools of the Faculty of Computer Science and Management and teaching, at first in class, and in 2021 - online. He designed and shot videos about student exchange programs. He is a representative of the Dean of the Faculty and supports helps international students with formalities before and during their time in Poland. 

In addition, the competition jury decided to grant Special Awards to winners Deepjyoti Nath from India who studies at the University of Lodz for constructing and implementing a disinfection robot during the pandemic, and Aliaksandra Shmyk from Belarus, a student of the Warsaw University of Technology, for promoting science and technology among young people.

The INTERSTUDENT 2021 awards were presented during an online ceremony, a part of the conference 'International Students in Poland 2021' hosted by the Wrocław University of Environmental and Life Sciences.

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