Summer 2024 in Poland & Italy
Join the John Paul II International Fellowship Program that Will Form You Spiritually, Intellectually, and In Your Humanity.
Welcome to The John Paul II Project‘s capstone program. Our International Fellowship semester represents the pinnacle of our formation experience, preparing students to respond generously to their vocations.
Launching in Summer 2024, this new version brings an enriched academic experience led by exceptional faculty who will delve into the truths about God and the human person, encompassing history, theology, ethics, psychology, and the arts.
The discovery extends beyond the classroom, as learning is woven into cultural activities and the spiritual life. St. John Paul II’s legacy guides our journey. From Poland to Italy, students engage with the arts in churches, museums, and castles, encounter the saints on pilgrimage, dialogue with locals and thought-leaders, and embark on adventures in the great outdoors.
The semester is grounded in a strong community life where students mature in life skills, friendship, and virtue through communal work, prayer, and fellowship. We invite students to courageously open their hearts to Christ, embracing the challenges required for profound transformation.
Immerse in intensive modules, where you can focus on one subject at a time. Engage with Krakow-based scholars and experts we’ve brought from the USA and Europe. Continue the learning in Rome, Italy, for a week-long course in the heart of the Church.
After each course, experience weekends that tie together classroom content, the particular richness of the location, and the adventure of the spiritual life. From retreats in nature to pilgrimages in historic cities, enrich your educational journey with hands-on experiences.
Experience the living culture of Poland by meeting local Polish families and encountering the performing arts. Dialogue with Europeans dedicated to building a culture of love and truth and bringing what you learn back home.
Dedicate weekends to an independent exploration of Kraków or other cities. Expand your horizons, enriching your experience and fostering a deeper understanding of the world. These discoveries are your self-discovery.
Begin your summer term with a week of human formation. Explore Polish faith and the culture that shaped Saint John Paul II. This foundation sets the tone for academic, spiritual, and personal growth throughout your journey.
Disconnect digitally for profound in-person connections during the introductory week, retreats, and communal meals. The "device-free mode" fosters more profound connections with your peers and helps you to be more present.
Benefit from regular one-on-one mentorship provided by on-site directors to support your personal growth and development. These personalized guidance sessions are your compass to discern God's call to your life.
In Part II, live out the Gospel's call to radical service. Participate as a volunteer in an English immersion summer camp for Ukrainian refugee children in Kraków, being their guiding light and making a lasting impact on these young lives.
Deepening your relationship with Jesus through an interior life. Every day starts with prayer, and every week is marked by communal Holy Hour and private Mass. Discovering the saints’ consecration to Our Lady is woven throughout the semester.
The objective of this course is to consider the foundations of a personalist psychology within the thought of Karol Wojtyła/Pope John Paul II. Wojtyła’s Catholic anthropology is pondered in conversation with the enduring questions within psychology. Wojtyła’s theological, philosophical, and dramatic writings are analyzed for themes regarding human nature, human motivation, human development, and human personality. Wojtyła’s contributions are considered a potential unifying paradigm within the fragmented field of contemporary psychology. Furthermore, students will have a better understanding of the relevance of Wojtyła’s teachings to our current social, educational, and cultural challenges. This course offers a unique opportunity to explore the rich fabric of human psychology through the lens of this profound thinker and most outstanding spiritual leader of our times.
The objective of this course is to explore John Paul II’s ethics, which established a distinctive system of Personalism, notable in philosophy for its emphasis on the human person and its critical engagement with social issues confronting humanity. Through his teachings, we will uncover a method for addressing many pressing social issues that modern men and women face, encompassing business ethics, society, and politics. Students will delve into topics like morality, responsibility, the contemporary family, business ethics, the concept of “the common good,” solidarity, freedom, moral dilemmas, Just War Theory, the issue of evil, forgiveness, and personhood. Furthermore, they will have the opportunity to study and discuss a selection of Wojtyła’s renowned texts alongside works by other prominent ethicists.
The objective of this course is to explore the enduring influence of Catholicism on public life in Central Europe, tracing the region’s 20th-century history from the collapse of the Habsburg Empire in 1918 to the fall of the Iron Curtain in 1989. Focusing on nations like Poland, [former] Czechoslovakia, Hungary, and Ukraine, we delve into the interplay between fascism, communism, and the Catholic Church against a backdrop of increasing secularization, culminating at the Second Vatican Council. Through key figures like Blessed Emperor Karl, Václav Havel, and Pope John Paul II, we examine the political and religious transformations of Central Europe. Students will analyze primary sources, visit historical sites like Auschwitz, and gain familiarity with modern Central European history, the role of Catholicism, and contemporary academic historiography.
The objective of this course is to provide an overview of the progression of Christianity in Rome, beginning in the first century AD into modern times. We will look at evangelization in different periods of Church history and focus on various types and periods of art and architecture, especially at some of the giants of art, architecture, and Church history, who played a significant role in spreading the faith to the ends of the earth and in creating awe-inspiring marvels of Rome. We emphasize individual art pieces, churches, and monuments and their symbolic and liturgical meaning. All lectures involve hands-on learning in the streets of Rome. This course welcomes university students with a desire to explore the rich history and wonders of the city at the heart of our Catholic faith, expanding their knowledge of the classical, historical, and archeological aspects of the Eternal City.
The objective of this course is to illuminate the spousal meaning of the body as Christ reveals it. In his texts, John Paul II elucidates the spousal meaning of the body through a reflection on three panels of a triptych: the first, an appeal to the “beginning” of the human person, consisting of three original experiences (unity, solitude, and nakedness) and the dimension of the gift, and an eschatological vision of the virginal state when man and woman “neither marry nor are given in marriage” (Mt. 22:30); the second, an appeal to the human heart through an analysis of desire, concupiscence, shame, and the purity of heart; and the third, an appeal to the “end” of the human person and the Resurrection of the Body and the Kingdom of Heaven. Lastly, the course will reflect on the sacrament of marriage, the great mystery of the union of Christ and the Church, and conjugal spirituality.
With the rise of AI, developing the capacity to think for yourself is more important now than ever. Oral exams, presentations, and in-class essays await you in tech-free classrooms. Experiencing the culture is part of international fellowship, but you’ll have to do real intellectual work, too.
We emphasize minimal digital connection for maximum personal engagement — with God and others. With some experiences, such as retreats, meal time, and orientation days being device-free, you might miss “capturing” some beautiful experiences because you’re simply too busy living them.
Signing up for this program means you’re signing up for an adventure. While you’re expected to be an adult and take responsibility for your own needs and your attitude, you will not always be in control of what’s going on. You must be willing to surrender control and step into the unknown.
You’re not a customer, you’re a saint in the making. And you won’t be able to solve your problems by messaging a chatbot. Whether it’s a misunderstanding with a roommate or a struggle with the program, you’re expected to deal with issues as they arise face-to-face with the people involved.
Community breakfast starts at 7:00 a.m. with a morning offering, and sometimes, you’ll be on breakfast duty to prepare it. With sharing living quarters with roommates and household chores, things are imperfect and go off-schedule. Expect the messiness of family life and the challenge to virtue.
A down payment of $597, followed by 12 monthly installments, each also in the amount of
A down payment of $897, followed by 12 monthly installments, each also in the amount of
Embark on a transformative journey with our comprehensive orientation sessions, illuminating Kraków’s rich fabric, including visits to the iconic Wawel Castle and the enchanting Salt Mines. A day of pilgrimage to John Paul II‘s hometown, Wodowice, and Sanctuary awaits, followed by an enriching 1-credit Media Analysis Workshop.
Delve into the profound insights of JPII’s vision of the human person, harmonizing the fragmented landscape of contemporary psychology.
Continue your exploration of human nature, motivation, and personality as envisioned by Wojtyła in theological, philosophical, and dramatic writings.
Engage with the great ethical thinkers, from Aquinas to Wojtyła, and apply their teachings to pressing contemporary moral questions.
Continue your exploration of moral dilemmas in contemporary public discourse.
Dive into the history of 20th-century Europe with a focus on Poland’s pivotal role. A visit to the Auschwitz Museum is a part of the experience.
Continue your academic exploration of critical events, ideologies, and the heroes and villains of World War II and the battle against communism that followed the war.
Continue your spirited exploration until either Thursday, July 4th, if you choose to join your international fellowship classmates for the optional (add-on) Alpine Outdoor Retreat in North Italy, or Sunday, July 7th, if you’re heading straight to Rome for our next course, bypassing the outdoor retreat.
Discover Rome‘s heart, where theology, metaphysics, scripture, liturgy, and history converge through the city’s expressive art and architecture. Classes entail morning and afternoon tours, occasionally delving into complex topics.
Delve deep into John Paul II’s theological anthropology, laying the foundation for his paramount teachings on marriage, family, and sexuality.
Continue your exploration of John Paul II’s theological anthropology, enhanced by unique site visits providing context to the Theology of the Body.
Intensive training and preparation on Monday and Tuesday set the stage for the launch of our 2024 JP2’s English Immersion Summer Camp on Wednesday. This eight-day camp runs from Wednesday, July 31st, to Wednesday, August 07th. You have the opportunity to make a difference by volunteering at the camp and offering the gift of faith to Ukrainian refugee children.
Our application window is open from Wednesday, November 15th, 2023, to Tuesday, December 12th, 2023. So, you have only 28 days to submit your application. Do not procrastinate! Apply today!
After you apply, staff will diligently review your application within 48 hours, informing you if you were accepted into our 2024 Summer Study Abroad Program in Kraków. Acceptance means you're all set for the crucial step of enrollment.
Community building is fundamental to our study abroad program, leading us to welcome a limited number of students each term. Therefore, once accepted, ensure your place by making your down payment during the designated enrollment period. (Learn more about the enrollment procedures below.)
1. Submit Your Application Online. Be prepared with:
3. We will email you with detailed next steps upon acceptance.
4. Mark your calendar! Enrollment begins on Wednesday, December 14th, 2023, at 1 p.m. EST and ends on Tuesday, December 20th, 2023, at 6 p.m. EST (only seven days!). Don’t miss our ‘10-first enrollment’ discount.
5. We’re here to provide information, advice, encouragement, and prayers throughout your preparation. Do not be afraid to ask!
All from the 7-week version, plus:
All from the 7-week version, plus:
A down payment of $897, followed by 12 monthly installments, each also in the amount of
Total cost: $11,661
Corinne MacDonald, an Ave Maria University alumna, sparked her passion for her academic journey by earning a BS in Biology in 2008. She then received a Licentiate in Institutional Communications at the Pontifical University of the Holy Cross in Rome, where she lived for five years. After marrying Joe in 2014, they spent two years in Florida, where Corinne was pivotal in Ave Maria University’s Mother Teresa Project. In 2017, the MacDonalds founded the John Paul II Project in Kraków, where Corinne currently serves as the Director of Programs and teaches a course on modern media perceptions.
Do you have any questions about our John Paul II International Fellowship? See the list below for our most frequently asked questions. If your questions are not listed here, please contact us.
Just about everything!
Yes, you can receive credits for the classes you take in Kraków. Most of our alumni successfully received credits from their home universities, ranging from state schools, non-religiously affiliated private schools, and diversely religiously affiliated private schools. This decision depends ultimately on your home university.
It is the responsibility of the student to secure the transfer of credits with the academic department of their home university. We encourage you to discuss how the courses abroad fit into your academic plan with your academic advisor in advance. The JP2 Project team will work with you, your academic dean, the registrar, and the financial aid department regarding the transfer of credits and potential application for federal and private aid for your semester abroad.
Upon completing your courses, you may receive an official transcript from the Pontifical University of John Paul II in Kraków.
The JP2 Project team is experienced in collaborating with students from diverse majors to see how their courses abroad may fit into their academic plans. Ask us how!
It is possible for individuals who do not need academic credit for the courses to participate in our summer John Paul II International Fellowship. These may be students in university, those who have yet to begin university, or who have already graduated from college. Acceptance of these individuals is examined on a case-by-case basis. These individuals participate as “enrichment students” and must commit to doing all of the required coursework, which facilitates learning. These students may be omitted from the final exams. Those wishing to receive a certificate of completion for the courses taken must complete the final exams.
The JP2 Projet accepts scholarships that students receive from various sources to be applied to their International Fellowship semester. While we currently do not have an internal scholarship base, we are actively building a scholarship fund to support future students in need.
The JP2 Project Team strongly encourages our students to pursue fundraising to pay for their International Fellowship. From writing letters to friends and family to selling their works of art, many of our alumni have successfully fundraised more than their complete International Fellowship costs to participate in our programs. Be not afraid! Ask us how!
Additionally, to further support students facing financial challenges, we’ve introduced a flexible payment plan. This plan allows students to divide the program’s cost into 13 manageable monthly installments.
Depending on the type of financial aid you receive at your home institution, your existing financial aid may also be used for studying abroad, or you may apply for additional financial aid.
First, existing grants or scholarships typically apply to your academic year (fall and spring) and not summer programs. In general, the application for private grants or institutional scholarships is determined by the grant or scholarship provider. In other words, if you receive a scholarship directly from your home university, then it is up to your home university to decide if they will let you use those funds to pay for a international fellowship program that you would do instead of taking courses at your home institution. These cases are rare, but it is worth asking, as some students in the past have successfully been able to use their institutional scholarships and private grants to join our International Fellowship..
To apply for federal aid to an international fellowship, your home university must accept the courses you will take abroad as for-credit courses to further your degree. This means the courses abroad should count for credit, at least as general electives. In this case of receiving credit, your university must apply your existing federal aid package towards your fall or an international fellowship.
During the summer, it is possible to apply for additional federal financial aid and use these funds to pay for a summer international fellowship. The policy mentioned above applies in that you must receive credit at your home institution for these courses to receive this additional federal aid during the summer.
The JP2 Project team is experienced in working with students and the financial aid offices of their home universities in this process.
More than 90 days before the start
Until February 13th, 2024
100% of everything paid so far
From 89 to 60 days before the start
Until March 14th, 2024
75% of everything paid so far
From 59 to 30 days before the start
Until April 13th, 2024
50% of everything paid so far
Less than 30 days before the start
After April 13th, 2024
Students reside at the John Paul II ‘Be Not Afraid’ Center and Sanctuary in Kraków. Just a 10-minute walk from St. Faustina’s Divine Mercy Shrine, The JP2 Center is a beautiful campus dedicated to our patron saint. The housing at the JP2 Center are large, shared suites that can fit up to 10 people (of the same sex). So, yes, you will have roommates! Each suite has one to two full bathrooms, a small kitchenette, and a small washing machine.
Lodging during excursions outside Kraków may vary from host families to rustic bunks to pilgrim hostels.
We would love to speak with you.
Feel free to reach out using the below details.
JP2 Project’s Exclusive Refer-a-Friend Program Terms:
Earn Substantial Discounts: For each friend who mentions you as their referral on their application form and officially enrolls in our program (be accepted and pay their down payment), you’ll receive a significant 10% discount off your program fee based on their payment amount. For instance, if your friend joins the 7-week 2024 International Fellowship in Kraków at $7,761, you get a $776.10 discount. If they opt for the 13-week program at $11,661, you then enjoy a $1,166.10 reduction in your program cost.
Simple Referral Process: Ensure your friend includes your name on their application form. Once they are accepted and paid their down payment, our finance team will automatically apply the discount to your account, reducing your total cost.
The More You Refer, The More You Save: Spread the word far and wide — there’s no cap on how many friends you can bring aboard (up to our cozy limit of 30 students per program)! Each successful referral chops 10% off their program cost from your bill. Envision this: 10 friends join your chosen program, and voilà, you’re studying abroad in Poland for free!
Key Points to Remember:
Referral Integrity: 1) Refund Rule: Your discount remains valid if your referred friends maintain their enrollment and don’t request a refund. While cancellation is rare, we adjust your balance if such situations arise. 2) Fair Play Rule: If two applicants refer each other, you must decide who is referring whom.
Extra Rewards for Overachievers: If your referrals exceed ten successful enrollments for the same program, your international fellowship will be free, and you’ll also receive any additional referral rewards as CASH! Yes, you’ve read it correctly! This extra cash is yours to enjoy during your stay in Poland.
*** The offer is subject to change or cancellation at any time. ***