By Julia Uryga
I remember attending Congress’ 2019 edition in Oxford and 2020 edition in Cambridge and being astonished by the wonderful components; the beautiful location, engaging panels, high-profile speakers and many social elements, including the spectacular ball. However, this all was only the background to what really matters. Most importantly, Congress gave me long-life friendships and the strength to take up new challenges gained through inspiration drawn from many other ambitious students I met during the event. It was Congress, where I started to consider applying for a placement position at the company of my dreams, and now, two years later I have successfully completed my internship there while being promoted to another position. I am somewhat convinced this happened thanks to the Congress.
The urge to become a part of the team presented me with no other option but to fill out an application form. Helping organise this year's Congress has given me an insight into new experiences, opportunities and unpredictable challenges at a grander scale. Simply said, the organisation of an event from which everyone always expects so much is a huge challenge, but it carries great value and great fun too. With all this, Congress also gives a feeling of incredible unity and satisfaction with the possibility of realizing our mission and achieving greater goals, which would be utterly unattainable if you try to reach for them yourself. And our mission is clear - to create a place where our Polish student community can meet, make long-life friendships, and where new projects and ideas that can potentially change the world are born.
The Congress, being the oldest annual student conference in the UK with 15 years of unbroken tradition of gathering together all the Polish students and graduates of the most prestigious British universities, is special in its essence. A unique opportunity like this will, however, be severely limited in the post-Brexit world. Now that studying in the UK is no longer in the realm of dreams for most Poles, this year’s Congress might be our last opportunity to meet our community as we currently know it.
By organising this year's edition, we as a team believe that the motto "Always connect" of Professor Pełczyński, who was the initiator of the idea of the Congress, should remain the leading thought of the event. The purpose of this concluding event is to allow students to network with people who have studied abroad and with distinguished representatives from Polish business, politics, culture, and science. In recognition of the importance of acquiring and exchanging experiences, with the goal of giving students the tools to share and collaborate on world-changing ideas, we are hoping that one day they will be proud to represent Poland in the world of tomorrow.
Let’s use this opportunity to recognise what we, the Polish community in the UK, have accomplished in the past 15 years and make this the best student conference the UK has ever seen!