Jarosław Bajaczyk

Student spotlight details

Jarosław applied for the Diplomatic Studies Programme as he wanted to devote time to research and study in a multicultural and multidisciplinary environment. As part of the DSP 50th anniversary we asked Jarosław to reflect back on his time here at Oxford (2018-19).

'I applied for the Diplomatic Studies Programme as I sensed that a step back at this point of my career would be of great benefit. I had been searching for an opportunity where time could be devoted fully to research and debates in a multicultural, multidisciplinary environment. As a practitioner I was eager to catch up with the latest academic account regarding international politics. Hence, when I saw the call for application on the intranet of my ministry I did not hesitate - despite the awareness of how competitive the procedure was. It was such a privilege to have been accepted to a programme well known in Poland for its high standards and numerous high-profile alumni.  

'I arrived in Oxford straight from Budapest after having completed my mission there as deputy director of the Polish Institute. Before this public diplomacy role, apart from two assignments in the Headquarters, I had served as political officer in the Embassy of Poland in Bern (Switzerland) and as seconded national expert in the European Union Monitoring Mission in Georgia.

'Throughout my time at Oxford I have developed my ability to think critically in a structured manner. This was a rigorous training in analytical writing, time management and multi-tasking while developing a whole package of crucial diplomatic skills. 

'The programme proved to be a priceless lesson in diversity and a unique compass across the polylateral landscape of contemporary world affairs. The unique chance to study with peers from all corners of the world, from the Philippines to Chile, from the Gambia to Mongolia, from Egypt to Bangladesh was highly rewarding. In addition, as one of only three European students on the programme the course helped me realise how interdependent the global North and South have become.        

'Beyond any doubt the three study visits are my favourite memories - to Northern Ireland, London and Europe (Brussels, the Hague, Geneva). Each of them was special, the detailed preparations in Oxford made them even more advantageous. A short video summary I made of the 2019 study trips can be watched online here.

'I would also like to mention the infrastructure of Oxford University, starting from superb libraries in beautiful historical buildings to a myriad of world-class lectures, seminars and research groups. It was truly amazing, having written essays on neorealism and liberal institutionalism, to actually listen live to John Mearsheimer and Joseph Nye. I also take away from here the amazing morning hours spent in Michaelmas and Hilary term on the Isis with my rowing team from St Antony’s college.     

'Are you longing for intellectual challenge whilst enriching your diplomatic toolkit? Then this is the place to be! The programme, the University, the heritage and the exploration of the future of world affairs may boost your career and develop your personality. You will leave Oxford with memories for life and valuable competences to share.' 

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