FAQ – Information before the start of the Academic Year 2020/2021 at the Natolin campus

Dear Students of the Mário Soares Promotion 2020/2021: we have collected a list of frequently asked questions and answers for your kind consideration. We remain at your disposal concerning any updates over the coming weeks. In case of questions feel free to contact us at: contactnatolin [at] coleurope.eu.

The questions and answers have been updated on 9 September 2020 according to the latest developments.

Campus Operations and Contingency Planning

1. Is the Natolin campus of the College of Europe open?

Yes, the College of Europe in Natolin has been open throughout the whole duration of the pandemic and all student services have been maintained in an on-site or remote format. Ever since the first reports on the risks of the COVID-19 pandemic appeared, the College of Europe in Natolin quickly reacted so as to be able to continue delivering the European Interdisciplinary Studies programme for all Natolin students of the Hannah Arendt Promotion, to prepare for the academic year 2020/2021 and to ensure a successful continuation of all our activities. We are thus open and fully operational for the academic year 2020/2021.

2. Is the academic year 2020/2021 going to start in a traditional format or online?

The College of Europe in Natolin has been taking all necessary measures to be ready to welcome in September the students of the Mário Soares Promotion and to start the academic year on-site.

A permanent task force is in place monitoring the overall strategy and its implementation. Our paramount goal remains to deliver to our incoming students the unforgettable educational experience they signed up for, while at the same time taking meticulous steps to maintain the safety of our students and staff and complying with all sanitary and legal guidelines set by the public authorities. We want our student community to feel safe and well at Natolin so that they can focus on studying and taking advantage of the extraordinary campus life.

3. What measures has the College of Europe in Natolin put in place in response to the COVID-19 outbreak?

All measures taken by the College of Europe in Natolin to protect the community against the COVID-19 outbreak during the academic year 2019/2020 are described in dedicated sections on our website. Learn more here and further below about the adaptation of the academic activities, professional development and language courses, campus life, as well as other extracurricular activities and events at Natolin.

Arrival to the Natolin campus

1. Will I be able to move in to the Natolin campus before the beginning of the academic year 2020/2021?

You will indeed be able to, and you are also expected to be on the campus before the start of the year, during the weekend of Saturday 29 and Sunday 30 August 2020.

2. Will I have to be tested for COVID-19 before moving into the campus?

In light of the increase in coronavirus cases in Europe and beyond, the College of Europe in Natolin has decided to introduce a mandatory coronavirus testing policy in order to minimise all potential risks to the health, safety and well-being of our community and the public at large.

The measures implemented on 18 August 2020 include:

• Mandatory testing of all students before they arrive on campus. Before moving into the campus, each student is obliged to present the results of a negative coronavirus molecular test (showing that you don’t have an active coronavirus infection). The test should be conducted no earlier than 96h before arrival at the Natolin campus. Upon presentation of a document confirming the payment (e.g. invoice, receipt, …) the College of Europe in Natolin will provide a refund of up to 130 EUR for the test conducted. Should tests in such a budget range be inaccessible in your region, please contact us as soon as possible.

• Mandatory testing for all students 10-14 days after arrival on campus organised and paid for by the College of Europe in Natolin. More details will be provided upon your arrival.

3. Is any quarantine obligatory before moving in to the Natolin campus for students travelling from abroad?

The public authorities in Poland do not require foreigners who come to Poland to study to undergo a mandatory quarantine. The Natolin campus does not require from students to quarantine after moving into the campus either, especially because every student must present a negative coronavirus test before entering campus premises. Should the public authorities regulations or the College of Europe in Natolin requirements change, you will be informed promptly. 

When travelling, please print out the attestation that you have received from us that confirms your status as a student and present it upon request to the border authorities.

4. When should I arrive on campus?

Students are expected to arrive at Natolin on Saturday 29 August or Sunday 30 August 2020. Please see the calendar of the academic year 2020/2021 here.

5. Do I have to arrive on campus at the beginning of the academic year, or can I start my studies online?

All students are expected to arrive at Natolin during the weekend of Saturday 29 and Sunday 30 August 2020 to integrate our Natolin community and follow the academic programme. In cases where the travel would be impossible, please contact us at contactnatolin [at] coleurope.eu.

Academic Activities

1. Will the courses of the European Interdisciplinary Studies programme be delivered on-site or online?

At this stage we are planning to organize all courses on campus with all of our outstanding professors, practitioners, and experts physically present to deliver their courses. Parts of some courses will be delivered in an innovative way, blending different learning methods. A system based on multimedia desks and interactive white boards is to be installed in all classrooms on the campus.

Sitting places in all classrooms will be distanced according to applicable regulations. The same will apply to sitting places in the Natolin Library. Air circulating in the classrooms will be filtered.

Students on campus who cannot participate in courses in classrooms will be able to follow them on-line after a consultation with the Academic Administration or Academic Assistants.

2. If I cannot arrive on campus at the beginning of the academic year, will I be able to follow all courses online?

Yes, you will. All courses taking place on campus will be delivered using a multimedia desk system, which will allow for real-time two-way transmission to different classrooms on the campus as well as to individual student computers. All you would need is a stable internet connection.

3. Will visiting professors deliver courses in person or via videoconferencing?

All professors are expected to deliver their courses in person on campus, unless for health or sanitary or other pertinent reasons they would not be able to travel.

4. What is the College of Europe in Natolin doing to protect the community of students and staff during classes?

When attending a course, students will be sitting at a safe distance from each other and from the professor. We will increase our room capacity by using a multimedia desk system that will transmit the course to, and at the same time allow interaction with, other classrooms on the campus. An air filtration system will be put in place and classrooms will be naturally cleaned daily, as it has always been the case.

5. Will the first semester study trip be organised?

We are already in the process of organizing the first semester study trip for our incoming students. We take particular care to set it up in line with health and sanitary recommendations. Although the situation remains unpredictable and may evolve in a more restrictive direction, we are committed to do what our utmost to allow our students to benefit from this unique academic and social experience.

Professional Development and Language Courses

1. What is going to be the format of professional development activities during the upcoming academic year?

Students will be offered a three-track comprehensive professional development programme. The first track will provide them with basic knowledge about international trends and strategic topics that are interconnected and overlap with different areas of focus. The second track will equip them with the transversal technical skills that are needed by all professional staff and are not related to one specific profession. The third track will shed light on key values and ways of approaching professional work in a multicultural context.

The program aims to raise the employability of the graduates, as well as their efficiency in the first positions or internships they get after their graduation. The sessions will be delivered by experienced Natolin staff and our network of high-level professionals and practitioners. Additionally, students will be provided with one-on-one career coaching sessions when their career aspirations would be discussed and they will be assisted in their preparation of CVs, cover letters and practicing for job interviews.

2. Are there going to be any networking opportunities?

Through the participation in the professional development programme, students will have an opportunity to network with professionals from various specialities, sectors, and institutions. These meeting with take place either in an online or on-site format. At the same time various events (lectures by high-level guests, panels, conferences) have always offered ample opportunities for networking.

3. Will the Summer Language Academy take place this summer?

Yes, the Summer Language Academy courses will be delivered online with the use of videoconferencing tools. The courses will be led by Languages and Intercultural Dialogue Office (LIDO) teachers who will make sure they are interactive and fully moderated. The online Summer Language Academy is scheduled to take place online from 11 August to 1 September 2020.

4. Will I have regular language classes?

Yes, all courses provided by LIDO will be delivered in the coming academic year as well. The College of Europe in Natolin has been working on flexible strategies considering a number of contingencies that may arise as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. The LIDO team of teachers, drawing on their experience gained before and during the spring 2020 semester, will be ready to provide language instruction on-site as well as online.

Campus Life

1. How will student activities be supported during the academic year?

The student community is governed by four Student Representatives elected at the beginning of the academic year. These representatives cooperate closely with the respective members of the administration. The Student Affairs Office located on the ground floor of the Rectorate is the first point of contact for issues of the community.

2. Will common rooms remain open?

The common rooms, where students can socialise and spend their free time will remain open, however there might be certain limitations introduced regarding the number of persons as well as type of activities organised therein. More information to follow at the beginning of the academic year.

3. How are the rooms assigned?

The rooms are assigned before students’ arrival to the campus by a draw.

4. Can rooms be changed?

Students can switch rooms between each other. The Head of the Residences does not interfere in the process of switching but has to be informed by the students personally after the decision is made.

5. Can I host guests?

Until further notice students are not allowed to host guests on campus, in the student residences or in the villas. Once the restrictions are lifted, students will have the possibility to host guests for a certain fee. More information will be provided by the Residences.

6. Will the Natolin Restaurant provide meals to students and what sanitary measures has the Natolin Restaurant introduced due to the pandemic?

The Natolin Restaurant will provide three meals per day, seven days a week. The restaurant’s buffet has been modernized by adding a glass wall and tables and sitting places have been separated with folding screens. Gloves, masks, helmets, and disinfectants are a regular part of everyday care. The water supply to the campus will be filtered through an anti-contamination system.

The safety of students, as well as the safety of employees, is the most important aspect to us.

7. Will the Natolin Library be physically accessible?

The Natolin Library is open Monday-Friday 08:00 to 22:00 and on Saturdays 10:00 to 18:00 with a disinfection and airing break from 14:30 to 15:00. An additional reading room located on the 1st floor with independent entry (Common Study Room) is available for students 24/7. Sitting places are distanced according to the current guidelines. Students should wear a mask until they take a seat; they shall wear a mask when leaving their seat until exiting the building. Library users should disinfect their hands at the entry to the library premises. External readers are not allowed.

8. How will students off-campus be able to access printed materials from the Natolin Library’s collection?

Students currently off campus can request book chapters and electronic articles from our electronic collection by sending a request to library.pl [at] coleurope.eu. Please note that digitalisation of printed books can take a moment, but we will act without any delay. They will be provided with electronic documents via email or via cloud technology.

Health and Safety

1. Will I have to wear a mask on the Natolin campus?

As required by Polish public authorities, it is obligatory to cover your mouth and nose in public spaces whenever the distance of min. 1.5 m cannot be maintained. You will be provided with detailed instructions upon arrival. Students are kindly requested to bring their own set of masks or shields.

2. Will the College provide the necessary protection tools and products?

Yes, there are antibacterial soaps in every public restroom and hand sanitizers at the entrance of every building, however students are kindly requested to bring their own set of masks or shields. Common spaces are cleaned and sanitized regularly. 

3. Where would I have to spend the quarantine if I am diagnosed with COVID-19 during the course of my studies?

In such an unfortunate case, you would spend the quarantine in an individual room. We have all the necessary facilities and tools to make it as unproblematic as possible. Meals will be delivered to your door.

4. Will my insurance cover hospitalisation in case I have to be hospitalised due to COVID-19 or other disease?

All students are required to obtain on their own a health care insurance that covers hospitalisation. All students are provided with access to ambulatory medical services through a private health care network, however this does not cover hospitalisation. While purchasing the insurance, students need to make sure that it also covers hospitalisation in case of COVID-19.

Should the public authorities regulations or the College of Europe in Natolin requirements concerning the COVID-19 change, you will be informed promptly.