Studying abroad, crossing the Oder River
Each morning, with a student card in their hand, they cross the border between Germany and Poland on the Oder River and divide their lives and studies between the two countries. This is the reality that students of the Viadrina European University in Frankfurt-am-Oder have been living since the university's creation in 1991.
The students analyse the problems of the border regions or the impact of economic upheavals on the Central and Eastern European countries, study the different constitutional laws of these countries as well as international law and may also take language courses.
The Union with Poland grew even closer with the opening in 1993
of the Collegium Polonicum in Slubice where German students could
sign up for a post-graduate programme devoted to Polish law. The
idea arose as early as 1991 of creating, in collaboration with the
Adam Mickiewicz University in Poznan, an institute for studies and
research on the cultures, languages, economy and society of Eastern
The Collegium Polonicum has, in addition to classrooms and the AMICUS student hall, rooms for tutorial classes and a library boasting 6 000 books and 260 periodicals devoted to Eastern Europe: a genuine gold mine for the students and academic researchers. The courses taught there are intended to complement the programmes organised by the two founding universities.
This cross-border training programme opens up excellent prospects for employment in international organisations, in corporations, in the media or in the field of city and regional planning. The labour market problems on either side of the Oder are also being dealt with by the "Science and Labour World" cooperation centre of the Viadrina European University, nearby. The centre monitors the trends in cross-border relations and ensures collaboration between the German and Polish trade unions on the Interregional Trade Union Board.
The new school attracts students and teachers, not only from Germany and Poland but also from the Czech Republic, France, Italy and even Russia and many other countries. It is therefore an important academic and cultural meeting point and a centre of intellectual and human influence for Europe.
Total cost: 48 million euros
EU contribution 8.85 million euros
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