Study-Abroad Courses at MSASS in 2013

Poland: SASS 375/575 – Invisible Groups in a New Poland

Place: Poznan, Poland – Check out our latest photo album!

Poland, once a major European power from the Baltic Sea to the Black Sea, was invaded in the eighteenth century by the Russian, Prussian and Austrian empires. The country disappeared from the map of Europe. Poznan, often called the first capital of Poland, became part of Prussia and later, Germany. A center of Polish culture and national identity, Poznan is a dynamic city with a rich multicultural past.
We will arrive in Berlin and travel to Poznan by train. Here are a few websites with details about the city we will be visiting:

Poznan – WordPress blog

Poznan – Virtual Tourist

Polish Online Forum


We will introduce students to Polish culture and social policies and practices that address disenfranchised, stigmatized and disempowered social groups. The course will encourage students to understand how Poland’s recent political and economic transformation has affected society in general and, especially, marginalized groups. The course will focus on how Polish society addresses problems of poverty, homelessness, aging, domestic violence and mental health disorders.

Travel Considerations

The weather will be similar to late winter/early spring in Cleveland. Poznan is a typical Polish city. The streets are filled with pedestrians making their way to work, shops, restaurants, cafes and clubs. Public transportation is excellent, but you will be able to walk to many destinations. Choose comfortable, warm, water-resistant shoes.


Students will be housed in double rooms in the “Jowita” student dormitory near the Adam Mickiewicz University.

What to Bring

If you plan on using any electrical equipment in Poland, you will need a power converter (from 220V to 110V).


Breakfast and lunch will be available in “Jowita.” Dinner will be based on our evening plans.


A dinner at a nice restaurant on your own will cost anywhere from $15 to $50, but you will find many cheaper casual cafes and restaurants with very good food. Every $1 = about 3 Polish zloty (read: zwoty).

Program Schedule

Our program was designed in cooperation with the Institute of Sociology at the University of Poznan. See the following websites for more information:

Adam Mickiewicz University

Wydzial Nauk Spolecznych

Itinerary (subject to change)

Saturday, March 10 – Arrive in Berlin and take train to Poznan in the evening

Sunday, March 11 – Poznan sightseeing and class orientation

Monday-Thursday, March 12-15 – Lectures and workshops / department of sociology

Friday-Saturday, March 16 and 17 – Sightseeing in Poznan and vicinity

Lectures and Workshops

  • Mobility: Social and spatial aspects of mobility
  • Family and socio-cultural conditions of mental disorders – analysis from a gender perspective
  • Research on homelessness as an example of social marginalization
  • Lecture and discussion on Poles and homosexuality – the evolution of attitudes
  • Cultural differences in communication
  • The main social problems in Poland
  • Social conditions of marginalization and exclusion in Poland
  • Note: There also will be special workshops concerning substance abuse and mental health problems prepared by MSASS faculty and students, especially for Polish students.

Meetings and Visits in Social Work Institutions

Other Meetings and Visits

  • Agnieszka Kozlowska-Rajewicz, member of the Sejm (Parliament) Commission on Social Affairs; member of the Commission on Youth Affairs; and member of the Commission on Health
  • Elzbieta Dybowska, coordinator of the city program for substance abuse prevention
  • Vice-President of the City of Poznan
  • Dean of the Division of Social Sciences at Adam Mickiewicz University
  • Director of the Institute of Sociology
  • Meeting with fellows of the Lane Kirkland Foundation scholarship

In addition to a rich academic program, students will be able to attend different cultural events and will be meeting with many international students from the Lane Kirkland Foundation. Translators will also assist us during our time in Poland.