Visegrad Summer School

Country: Poland;

Deadline: 31.03.2018


The Visegrad Summer School is a unique cultural and educational programme catering for students, graduates, young researchers and journalists from the Czech Republic, Poland, Slovakia and Hungary as well as other Central and East European countries. Given its international, macro-regional and regional dimension, the initiative is aimed at promoting a positive image of the region on an international scale alongside the promotion of the intellectual and cultural heritage of Czech, Polish, Slovak and Hungarian societies.

Every year 45 students and graduates in political sciences, economics, international relations, European studies, history, social studies, philology and cultural studies, as well as young researchers, teachers and journalists from Central and Eastern Europe are recruited in an open call for applications.

Classes are facilitated by international experts, including intellectuals, researchers, politicians, people of culture, journalists, artists as well as the representatives of administration, business and non-governmental organisations. The list of distinguished speakers to date includes Leszek Balcerowicz, Václav Burian, Martin Ehl, Csaba G. Kiss, Miroslav Kusy, András Lanczi, Adam Michnik, Milan Nič, Czesław Miłosz, Tamás Pál, Lászlό Rajk, Dariusz Rosati, Magdaléna Vašáryova, Michael Žantovský and many others.

The subjects addressed in the School’s curriculum are primarily concerned with on-going issues and problems in the regions, as well as key cultural and civilian challenges facing the societies of Central and Eastern Europe today.

With its interdisciplinary formula and attractive range of activities, the School offers an engaging setting for the promotion of dialogue between nations and cultures, discussion about stereotypes and the often complex nature of historical heritage and the mutual planning of future actions. The project performs a fundamental role in aiding one’s understanding of economic, social and political changes taking place in the countries of our region and deals with their sometimes negative consequences on both international and national levels. It also helps prevent the development of undesirable social phenomena and the rise of attitudes that may undermine the idea of cooperation and the benefits of European Union membership.

By discussing these most challenging topics with fellow students as well as with ambassadors, ministers, European Union representatives and outstanding intellectuals, the participants have an unrivalled opportunity to develop a broader perspective of the problems discussed and understand partners' points of view and motivations.

Another fascinating feature of the Visegrad Summer School is the weekend excursions around the Krakow and Malopolska Region. The opportunity to experience places normally unbeknownst to tourists is a wonderful facet of the School and for those fortunate enough to experience these unheralded attractions it is an experience they will always treasure.

Visegrad Summer School is organised with help and advice of longstanding and proven partners: International Visegrad Fund, Ambassador of the Czech Republic, Ambassador of Hungary, Ambassador of the Slovak Republic, Polish Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Vaclav Havel Library (Prague), Bratislava Policy Institute (Bratislava), Cracovia Expressz Foundation – Hungarian Centre in Kraków (Budapest), National Association of Regional Development Agencies (Kiev), Małopolska Region, City of Kraków.

The Visegrad Summer School is an educational programme which provides an interdisciplinary learning space for young Czech, Hungarian, Polish and Slovak students, and for their peers from other Central, Eastern and Southern European countries.

Programme of VSS widens perspectives and INSPIRE via lectures and debates dedicated to global and regional political, economic, cultural and societal issues. It also addresses current developments and burning problems within the EU and the neighboring countries. The important component of 17. VSS that is SHAPEing attitudes in the course of intensive laboratories held in the field of ACADEMIA, BUSINESS and CULTURAL DIPLOMACY under the common leitmotiv “Inspire, Shape, Connect” led by top professionals in the field.

Among VSS special events and extracurricular activities that are designed to enhance a long-term CONNECTions are: integration workshop, multicultural garden party, study visits, cultural events, and recreation. VSS is two week long, intense programme, consisting of approximately 90 hours of activities: ~60h of educational and ~30h extracurricular which are stimulating the  uderstanding of neighboring cultures and need of active social participation in decision making processes, mutual dialog, as well as integrate the group.

Previous editions of the School were attended by over 650 people from: Czech Republic, Hungary, Poland, Slovakia, Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Bulgaria, Brazil, France, Kyrgyzstan, Kosovo, Lithuania, Macedonia, Moldova, Germany, Russia, Romania, Serbia, Slovenia, Ukraine , United Kingdom, Indonesia, Algeria, Egypt, Bangladesh, Pakistan, Iran, Nigeria, India, Ghana, Montenegro, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Iraq, Ecuador, Ethiopia, Kazakhstan, Namibia, Albania and Italy.



17. edition is supported by the International Visegrad Fund, Malopolska Region and City of Krakow.



AIM of the VSS

The Visegrad Summer School has been carried out by the Villa Decius Association annually since 2002. Our idea is to create an alternative platform to university for advanced studies on the Visegrad Group as well as other Central, East and South European countries. The programme is an opportunity for the participants to discuss current social, security, economic, political and cultural issues. It is also an occasion to learn about each other and start an international cooperation between the people and the countries.



The programme of the 17. edition of the Visegrad Summer School includes lectures, debates and workshops on current political, cultural and social challenges in the regional, global and European perspective lead by outstanding experts from various fields of knowledge and public activities. In addition to experts and intellectuals, we host Ambassadors, Ministers, European Union representatives, academics, politicians, businessmen, journalists, artists, representatives of national and local governments, as well as NGOs.

This edition is enriched by intensive workshops in fields: Academia, Business and Cultural Diplomacy. The participants, in smaller groups, work on advanced skills by evolving projects that will be presented at the closing session on the last day of School.

Students are invited for study visit to Malopolska region and attend artistic events in Krakow. Multicultural session allows participants to search for common identity as well as insight the cultures of the Visegrad countries. Some of the debates, lectures and meetings are open to the public, additionally creating an occasion to integrate people.



At the end of the course, participants will be presented with a diploma of participation and recognition of learning, which will be signed by the President and the Director of the Villa Decius Association.


ELIGIBILTY to participate

Students, graduates, PhD researchers, young professionals and leaders from the Czech Republic, Hungary, Poland, Slovakia, Ukraine and other eligible countries.


We are looking for active, open-minded and creative people. The working language of the School is English, so good communication skills in English are essential.