Polish Student Association Offers a Menu of Activities for Students Hungry for Polish Culture

Polish Student Association, University of Wisconsin-Madison

Polish Student Association Offers a Menu of Activities for Students Hungry for Polish Culture


Polish boards games, trivia night with prizes, and pumpkin carving – these are just some of the upcoming activities planned by the UW Polish Student Association (PSA) for the Fall 2021 semester. With a growing appetite among students for all things Polish, PSA is reading for another semester filled with socializing and fun activities in their effort to promote Polish culture to the broader University of Wisconsin­–Madison community.

Hunger for all things Polish

PSA kicked off their Fall 2021 programming on Monday, September 27, with a pizza and socializing night. Their start-of-the-semester meeting attracted a sizeable crowd of students hungry for connecting with fellow peers interested in all things Polish (and free pizza).

“We probably had our largest turnout since my freshman year so that’s promising,” Monika Juras, PSA’s new president who majors in Polish and Biochemistry, said excitedly. “Everyone ended up mostly socializing and getting to know other members, so that was great to see,” she explained.

The strong turnout at the initial meeting follows an even more extraordinary interest in the club’s activities at the Student Organization Fair last month. Each year, the event serves as a primary hub for students looking to get involved with the UW’s numerous student organizations. Staffed by its executive board members, the PSA stand at the Fair attracted no less than 100 visitors who expressed their desire to stay in touch for future events and activities.


Having fun with all things Polish

Growing a community of students interested in all things Polish remains one of the PSA priorities. “Our goal is to foster a Polish community in Madison by offering a space to meet others interested in Poland or of Polish ancestry,” stressed Monika. “We try to have our meetings be relaxed and primarily social, with some fun activities.”

This semester, the Polish Student Association has several social activities planned for those who want to immerse themselves in Polish culture while having fun. In October, PSA is preparing a Polish trivia night with prizes at the Memorial Union (10/11). Following will be a pumpkin carving session with a discussion on All Saints’ Day (Pol. Dzień Wszystkich Świętych), a national holiday in Poland. Shortly before the Study Day, students will meet for a Christmas-themed session.

“Our goal is to foster a Polish community in Madison by offering a space to meet others interested in Poland or of Polish ancestry”


Mondays are fun days

PSA events in Fall 2021 (tentative; confirmed activities in bold)

  • Monday (10/11): trivia night with prizes (Memorial Union)
  • Monday (10/25): pumpkin carving, All Saints’ Day in Poland
  • Monday (11/8): Polish Independence Day, Polish board game(s)
  • Sunday (11/14): Madison Polish Film Festival
  • Sunday (11/21): Madison Polish Film Festival
  • Monday (11/29): bowling (the Sett)
  • Monday (12/13): study day with Christmas-themed food

As previously, PSA will be working closely with our Polish faculty on co-organizing the Madison Polish Film Festival. The 2021 edition will take place on two consecutive Sundays (11/14 and 11/21) before Thanksgiving and feature a selection of brand-new Polish films. Launched by our long-time Polish lecturer Dr. Ewa Miernowska, the festival has quickly become one of the flagship initiatives of the UW–Madison Polish program.


New faces, same mission

Earlier this year, the Polish Student Association updated its personnel for the 2021/2022 academic year. New PSA president Monika Juras succeeded in this role Aleksandra Grulkowski, who graduated in 2021 with a degree in Polish and English. The organization also added a new Secretary (Sophia Halverson) and Treasurer (Kinga Toczylowski) to its executive board. The 2021/2022 board also consists of Marta Kowalik, who serves as Vice-President, and Kalina Larsen, Public Relations Chair. Despite the personnel changes, the mission of the Polish Student Organization remains the same: celebrating Polish culture at the University of Wisconsin–Madison.

As highlighted in its official description, PSA defines itself as an “international student organization at the University of Wisconsin–Madison dedicated to expanding cultural awareness of Poland. Members participate in biweekly general meetings to explore and discuss history, geography, traditions, pop culture, and current events relating to Poland and its people.”


Join PSA now!

All undergraduate and graduate students who want to participate in PSA activities can join the Polish Student Organization. As an international student organization, it remains open to students of all backgrounds and languages. To join now, send an email at psa.madison.wi@gmail.com. You can also follow PSA on Instagram and Facebook.

PSA on Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/psa_uwmadison

PSA on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/psa.uwmadison


Read also:

Announcing Madison Polish Film Festival 2021

Chopin and the Caribbean: Film & Music Event in Madison Explores Composer’s Unknown Connection to the Americas

Lapinski Scholarship Winners Highlight Importance of Polish Language in Connecting with Family and Building Communities

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UW–Madison Polish Studies Program

Educating the Wisconsin public about the Polish language, literature, and culture since 1936.

The University of Wisconsin–Madison Polish Studies Program is the oldest academic program in the United States focused on the study and teaching of the Polish language, literature, and culture. UW–Madison Polish studies offer a comprehensive package of Polish language, literature, and culture courses, a generous scholarship program designed exclusively for its students, and various extracurricular activities each academic year.

The program, dating back to 1935, offers beginning, intermediate, and advanced Polish language courses, in addition to intensive Polish courses for heritage speakers and (under)graduate students. In 2011, the program received the prestigious Polonicum Award Distinction from the University of Warsaw for its achievements in promoting the Polish language and knowledge about Polish culture and history. The UW–Madison Polish program also offers a broad range of Polish culture courses on Polish film, contemporary Polish culture, Polish migration to the Americas, a survey of Polish culture from the Middle Ages to modern times, Polish comedy culture, and post-communism.

Each year, the UW Polish program awards scholarships for tuition through the Lapinski fund to undergraduate and graduate students studying the Polish language, literature, and culture. The Polish Student Association (PSA) provides a space for all students interested in events, activities, and learning about Poland and Polish culture. In collaboration with the Polish program faculty, the PSA also co-organizes the Madison Polish Film Festival, an annual celebration of Polish cinematography in Madison, Wisconsin, now in its 31st edition.