Six pledges to keep our Natolin community safe in times of pandemic

As the first reports on COVID-19 appeared in Europe in early 2020, we started to make plans and react. Our main goal throughout the whole pandemic has been to keep our community safe while making sure that students can carry out their studies and enjoy all the opportunities the Natolin campus has to offer.

We successfully concluded the 2020/2021 academic year in June 2021.  Throughout that year we wanted to make sure that all students, staff, and visiting professors feel safe and confident on campus. As such, we instituted a series of policies and pledges, outlined below, that help to structure our work. We implemented regular community-wide testing on campus and continued to work closely with the community, regularly meeting with individuals, groups, and our student representatives. There was no disruption in the teaching, research, or admissions processes.

While classes switched to the hybrid model, still over 30% of the entire academic programme was delivered in person throughout the previous academic year. We successfully staged the off-campus study trips, as well as all extracurricular activities, academic debates, and other events, including VIP visits. They were conducted either entirely on-site or in the hybrid format with online elements. Language classes, the professional skills building programme and career orientation were also undisrupted and delivered on-site whenever possible.

Having gained a lot of practical experience in ensuring a safe environment on campus for our entire community, we remain committed to upkeeping the highest safety standards and to fulfilling the following pledges also in the 2021/2022 academic year. 

Natolin Pledge 1 // Vaccination and regular testing

In the academic year 2021/2022 we pledge to assist our students with vaccination against COVID-19 in Warsaw. 

In the previous academic year, we were testing all students and employees regularly, at least once a month. We pledge to continue doing that with regularity both on-site and off-campus, as long as need be. Moreover, we can arrange individual tests for any student who displays symptoms consistent with a COVID-19 infection or has been in contact with an infected person.  We cover all the costs of such tests.

Natolin Pledge 2 // Innovative learning

We are prepared to continue hybrid teaching. A number of our classes take the form of in-person instructions, some are conducted remotely.  All in-person classes also include a remote connection for students who cannot be physically present in the classroom.

This shift did require some changes in the way we teach. We have formed a dedicated on-campus team that looks at blended learning pedagogies and strategies, briefing professors therein. We have also made significant new investments in ICT equipment to support more effective remote learning.

Natolin Pledge 3 // Community outreach

We recognise that on-campus safety requires community effort. It is only by working together and looking out for each other that we can stay safe. We are therefore in constant dialogue with our student community, discussing our pandemic response with the student representatives.

Natolin Pledge 4 // Support for every student

We provide counselling support to any student who might require such.  Every student in (self-)isolation receives full support from the Natolin community, including food, book, and medicine deliveries. Finally, we will host any student who cannot travel home, either for the winter break or in the weeks after the conclusion of the academic year, on our campus.

Natolin Pledge 5 // A safer campus

We have redesigned parts of our campus with student and staff safety in mind. This includes ventilation upgrades in common rooms, plexiglass screens in the campus restaurant, and readily available hand sanitizer in every classroom, common room, and at the entrances to all buildings. All rooms are regularly cleaned and professionally disinfected.

Natolin Pledge 6 // A team of experts

We have built up a dedicated pandemic response team that includes an experienced epidemiologist and legal advisors. This team helps us navigate both the ongoing epidemiological situation and better understand government responses in Poland and beyond. We regularly share the team’s findings with our community, informing it of any changes in Polish or international regulations.

Below you can find a selection of events that happened on our campus in the previous academic year. The complete list of events is available here.

Natolin Graduation Ceremony of the Mário Soares Promotion 2020/2021

On Tuesday, 22 June 2021, the College of Europe in Natolin organized the Graduation Ceremony of the Academic Year of the Mário Soares Promotion 2020/2021. 

Learn more here.


Soirée Natalia

On Monday, 21 June 2021, the College of Europe in Natolin organized for students and staff the Soirée Natalia in the Natolin Palace's Gardens. 

Learn more here

Online Conference – "A Green Deal for the Globe: European Union External Action and the International Just Transition" 

The Energy & Climate Governance Nest at the College of Europe in Natolin organized the international conference "A Green Deal for the Globe: European Union External Action and the International Just Transition". 

Learn more here.

Natolin Second Semester Field Trips – Mazury, the Tricity and Lublin

After our successful first semester study trips to four European "Borderlands", our engaging second semester online study trips encompassing several themes in four different regions ranging from the Baltics to the Middle East, this particular academic year our Natolin students had an unprecedented third opportunity to travel both academically and culturally!

Learn more here.

Last meditation session of the year behind the Natolin Palace

On 7 June 2021, the Natolin students attended the last meditation session with Ms Daria TUROWSKA-MAKOS, a professional stress coach and founder of Creative Soul Space.

Learn more here.

Ambassadorial Debate: "Together for the Planet: the UK – Italy partnership in COP26"

On Monday, 14 June 2021, the College of Europe in Natolin hosted an Ambassadorial Debate between H.E. Mr Aldo AMATI, Ambassador of Italy to Poland, and H.E. Ms Anna CLUNES, Ambassador of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland to Poland.

Learn more here.

Natolin students participate in a guided visit to the Auschwitz-Birkenau Memorial and Museum

On Friday, 14 May 2021, around 60 students of the College of Europe in Natolin visited the former German Nazi concentration and extermination camp of Auschwitz-Birkenau on a guided tour organised by the Auschwitz-Birkenau Memorial and Museum along with our staff members.

Read more here.

Natolin Second Semester Online Study Trips

From 27 to 30 April 2021, our Natolin students took part in the online programmes of the second semester study trips, focusing on four overarching themes.

Learn more here.

Benelux Day at Natolin

On Friday, 12 March 2021, the students from the Benelux countries organized the Benelux Day at the College of Europe in Natolin. This event began with an official opening around noon. The Natolin Choir performed the Dutch song "Aan de Amsterdamse Grachten" written by Peter SHOTT (pseudonym for Pieter GOEMANS). 

Read more here.

Special Online Lecture by Dr Nathalie TOCCI: "The EU Global Strategy Five Years on: How Has It Stood the Test of Time?"

On Wednesday, 10 March 2021, the College of Europe in Natolin had the pleasure of hosting an online special lecture with Dr Nathalie TOCCI, Director of the Istituto Affari Internazionali in Rome and Special Advisor to the EU's High Representative and Vice-President of the European Commission Mr Josep BORRELL.

Learn more here.

LGBTQ+ Week at Natolin

The College of Europe in Natolin had the pleasure to host, between 15-21 March 2021, the student-led LGBTQ+ Week, which featured many activities aimed at raising awareness on LGBTQ+ issues, identities, and culture in a learning and joyful atmosphere.

Learn more here.

High-Level Debate "Europe beyond COVID-19" with Mr Clément BEAUNE, French State Secretary for European Affairs

On Monday, 8 March 2021, the College of Europe in Natolin had the pleasure of hosting an online high-level debate with Mr Clément BEAUNE, French State Secretary for European Affairs. Mr BEAUNE engaged in an open discussion with the students about the challenges of the post-COVID recovery and what future lies ahead for the European Union.

Learn more here.

Climate Transition Lecture by Mr Michał KURTYKA, Minister of Climate and Environment of Poland and President of COP24

On 15 February 2021, the College of Europe in Natolin had the pleasure of hosting Mr Michał KURTYKA, Minister of Climate and Environment of Poland and President of COP24, for our third high-level lecture in the framework of our Climate Transition Lecture Series titled: "Current challenges and their overcoming on a state and EU level".

Learn more here.

Capacity Building Workshops on the United Nations SDGs at Natolin

The Careers and Professional Development Office of the College of Europe in Natolin in cooperation with the United Nations Association in Poland organized a capacity-building program on the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development (SDGs). Our students had the unique opportunity to discuss with many prominent speakers, participate in several tailor-made interactive workshops as well as in a UN General Assembly simulation exercise.

Learn more here.

Christmas Gathering at the College of Europe in Natolin

On 17 December 2020, the Natolin campus of the College of Europe celebrated the end of the first semester of the academic year 2020-2021 and the beginning of the holiday festivities.

Learn more here.

Online International Conference "The Protection of Children in Armed Conflict: Two Decades of Institutional and Humanitarian Action"

An event organised on the occasion of the 20th anniversary of the Optional Protocol to the Convention on the Rights of the Child on the involvement of children on armed conflict, as well as in light of the International Children’s Day, by the Embassy of Belgium in Warsaw and the College of Europe in Natolin.

Learn more here.

Panel discussion: "Challenges for today’s news journalists" with Ms Joanna PLUCIŃSKA, Reuters, and Ms Annabelle CHAPMAN, The Economist and Monocle

On 15 November 2020, students at the College of Europe in Natolin had the unique opportunity to listen to and participate in a panel discussion featuring two journalists from leading news media organizations; Ms Joanna PLUCIŃSKA, Polish correspondent for Reuters, and Ms Annabelle CHAPMAN, a journalist based in Warsaw writing for The Economist and Monocle

Learn more here.

Seminar "Nouveau regard sur l’épopée de Solidarność" by Professor Anna SZCZEPAŃSKA and screening of her film

On 15 November 2020, the European Civilization Chair had the pleasure to hold a seminar entitled "Nouveau regard sur l’épopée de Solidarność" with special guest Professor Anna SZCZEPAŃSKA.

Learn more here

Natolin Neighbourhood Days 2020: "The EU’s Southern Neighbourhood in Transition: Whither Maghreb?"

This autumn’s Natolin Neighbourhood Days, organised by the European Neighbourhood Policy Chair, turned southwards and critically addressed several challenges with a view to provide students with a more thorough understanding of current political, politic-economic and security dynamics in an important EU neighbourhood sub-region.

Learn more about this event series here.

Halloween in Natolin

On 31 October 2020, the Charity and Fundraising Society at the College of Europe in Natolin held their first event — a Charity Pumpkin Carving Competition.

Learn more here

Climate Transition Lecture by Mrs Laurence TUBIANA, CEO of the European Climate Foundation and Special Representative for COP21

On 28 October 2020, as part of the "Climate Transition Lecture Series", the College of Europe in Natolin was honoured to host Mrs Laurence TUBIANACEO of the European Climate Foundation and Special Representative for COP21. The special online lecture was titled "Between (climate) ambition and (social) justice: evolution of the global climate policy framework".

Learn more, watch the video and the picture gallery of the event here.

Opening Ceremony at the Natolin Campus with keynote speaker Mrs Sviatlana TSIKHANOUSKAYA

On 20 October 2020, the College of Europe in Natolin held its official Opening Ceremony of the Academic Year 2020/2021. On this special occasion, we had the privilege to host Mrs Sviatlana TSIKHANOUSKAYA, Leader of the Democratic Belarus, who delivered an inspiring keynote address

Learn more, watch the videos and the picture gallery of the Ceremony here.

Natolin First Semester Study Trips – Four Destinations in "Borderlands"

From 20 to 26 September 2020, Natolin students of the Mário Soares Promotion embarked upon their first semester study trips under the overarching theme "Borderlands: Peripheries have much to teach the center". This year, students had the possibility to choose between four study trips!

More information as well as the photo galleries are available here.