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Jagiellonian University student awarded in the INTERSTUDENT 2024 contest

Jagiellonian University student awarded in the INTERSTUDENT 2024 contest

Esteban Ortiz Escobar from Colombia, a student of the International Relations and Area Studies (IRAS) programme at the JU Faculty of International and Political Studies, has become one of the winners of this year's INTERSTUDENT contest. He received a special award for his extraordinary accomplishments in charity work during the conference International Students in Poland, hosted by the Poznan University of Technology.

The INTERSTUDENT contest is organised by the ‘Perspektywy’ Education Foundation and the Conference of Rectors of Academic Schools in Poland within the framework of the 'Study in Poland' programme. The award chapter, headed by Prof. Jerzy Lis from the AGH University of Science and Technology in Kraków selects laureates from among foreigners studying at both public and private Polish institutions of higher education, as undergraduate, graduate or doctoral students. The contestants have to be active members of their local student community taking part in cultural, social, environmental, or sports initiatives, have good grades, and/or participate in interesting research projects.

'Esteban is a treasure and scholarship hunter, and he has been successful from the start - in fact, right from the first interview. Twice he has received the scholarship for the best rfirst-cycle students of the International Relations and Area Studies programme. But it is not enough for him: he spends a lot of his time on charity working in a soup kitchen, helping in orphanages, and volunteering in the Red Cross and similar institutions. Moreover, he is universally well liked. His teachers appreciate that he is well-prepared for classes, and his friends that he is always ready to help', reads the description of the award on the contest's website.

'Studying abroad and, more specifically, in Europe, in the quest for improving my chances to succeed and experience the world to the fullest was a dream and aspiration that I've always had. This led me to start looking for places offering the highest possible quality of education to help me achieve my goal. And after deep research, it was in Poland that the best opportunity to make it happen presented itself. I searched for the best universities in the country, and in all the rankings, the Jagiellonian University was at the top of the list. Looking for more information, I found out about its extensive history, the great names associated with it, its academic recognition and its prestige, and I felt motivated. I wanted to be a part of that. Since then, about two years have passed and I can say with all confidence that it has been one of the best decisions I've ever made. Given the opportunity again, I wouldn't hesitate to do it all over again and because of that, I can recommend taking such an amazing chance', said Esteban Ortiz Escobar.

'I love the University, it has allowed me to meet wonderful people, to get a high-quality education in what would become my passion; it has given me the opportunity to travel, to expose myself to environments and scenarios that wouldn’t even cross my mind in other periods of my life, and for that I am very thankful. Additionally, the city of Kraków perfectly complements all of this experience. Life here is slow and calm, the nature and architecture are beautiful and it’s something I really appreciate. As for further plans, I’d like to continue my studies in the area of public policy or development studies, as my goal is to one day make a positive impact on my country, Colombia, and even on the whole American region. Whatever the future holds, I’ll always deeply cherish the time I’ve spent here and, as we say back home, ‘que me quiten lo bailao!’, he added.

Photos: Anita Kot

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