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Student Association of International Affairs and Development

Student Association of International Affairs and Development

SAIAD – international affairs, networking, development, community, diplomacy

On December the 6th, 17 students from different programmes at the Jagiellonian University, in company of 2 graduate advisors, founded the Student Association of International Affairs and Development. SAIAD is a self-formed, self-governed, autonomous -University Student Organization- that aims to promote international cooperation between the Polish and international communities at the Jagiellonian University in Kraków with the rest of the world, in regard to the fields of international affairs and development through the implementation of projects within its six operative sections such as: National, European and International Cooperation; Communications, Social Affairs, Gender Equality and Development. SAIAD operates on a University level and accepts members from all the faculties and programmes at the JU. If you believe that you can improve international skills through the practical use of networking and diplomacy while belonging to a pro-active and positive community, then SAIAD is for you.

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SAIAD Projects 23/24

SAIAD hosted a charity event in collaboration with Zupa na Plantach, transporting participants back to their childhood with nostalgic games like musical chairs, UNO, and various other board games. Laughter and joy filled the night as everyone graciously contributed to support the beautiful NGO.

Photo from Charity event - table with prospect of charity organization "7 lat zupa na plantach"

Photo of three students playing board game during event

Group photo of participants of the event

On December 15th of 2023 Social Affairs Team of SAIAD orchestrated the Secret Santa Event to celebrate the end of 2023 and the beginning of the New Year! 

SAIAD members, our faculty staff and professors gathered to celebrate the holiday together!

According to attendees and organisers of the event, it was a great success! It was absolutely amazing to spend time together with our friends and colleagues, to exchange gifts and play games before leaving for the Christmas break!


Group photo from Secret Santa event


Group photo of all participants from Santa SAIAD event

Over the summer, SAIAD organised and held its first annual essay competition, offering students within the IRPUB and ISAD courses the opportunity to win stipends toward academic experiences with the work they submitted. Students submitted essays under the previously outlined topics - “Great Power Relations in the 21st Century” and “Asymmetric Shocks in the International System” - and thanks to the help of CISAD professors, SAIAD was able to outline and announce first, second, and third place positions. 

  • In first place, Madison Christie with her work titled "Patronage Networks in Ukraine: A Case Study",
  • In second place, Owen Hardesty with his work titled "Great Power Resurgence: The Resurrection of Great Power Politics",
  • And in third place, Toghrul Iskandarov, with his work titled "Karabakh Conflict (from a Realism perspective)". 

All submissions were of excellent quality and the students were delighted the receive their SAIAD Essay competition certificates during the CISAD Inauguration at the beginning of the academic year, with congratulations from the Chair of SAIAD, the Director of CISAD, and the Dean of the Faculty.

(from the left) Picture of Toghrul Iskandarov, Madison Christie, Professor Marcin Grabowski, Owen Hardesty, Claris M. Diaz.

SAIAD successfully organised a two-day study trip to the beautiful city of Vienna. The students got an opportunity to visit the ICMPD, OPEC Fund for International Development, UN headquarters and OSCE. The pleasing academic trip was a much-needed break from the four walls of the university and see how the world of international relations works. The trip sparked many intellectually stimulating debates and motivated all of us to expand our horizons and dream big.

Check more details here (This link goes to a new tab).

Picture of all participants of the trip in front of Wombat's.

Picture of students on the trip.

Picture of students in ICMPD.

Picture of group of students on the trip.

Picture of students in the meeting room of OPEC Fund.

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Past SAIAD Projects

Picture of orange and red bird with text "Kazimierz series"The Kazimierz Series is a dynamic joint project between SAISAD and KSSM that aims to create consciousness about migration through the publication of the migration stories behind small entrepreneurs in Kraków.

The project has three stages of implementation that go from the selection, official logo’s design, initial round of interviews and generation of questions in the first stage; the second stage with the final round of interviews and publication of the stories; and the last and third stage with the organization of a networking event to connect the participants with the public and private sectors.

“Kazimierz” is a reference to the iconic Kazimierz III Wielki, who granted privileges and protections in favor of migrant Jewish communities, to settle in Poland.

Poster inviting to participate in the event "Valentine's letters"The project consists in a form in which people will be able to send kind anonymous (or signed) messages on Valentine’s day to people they admire.   

Poster promoting event "Operation diplomat" on 22nd and 23rd of February 2021This project aims at teaching SAIAD members public speaking skills and will be made in cooperation with Elsa Krakow. It will be divided into two parts: theoretical and practical. The first part will consist of lectures on artificial intelligence and war and defence in space. The second part will focus on workshops on public speaking, self-presentation and creation of logical and comprehensive argumentation and correct structure in speeches with focus on implementing the above skills through public speaking and debating exercises. 

Picture of old Kazimierz buildings with text "Legends of Kazimierz. #WESAIAD. With Maria Hershova"Historic guided tour about the life of Polish Jews in Kazimierz. The duration of the tour is 1 hour and 20 minutes. The main goal of the event is to give an overview of the Polish-Jewish culture in Poland and introduce the participants to the most popular Jewish legends of Krakow.

Poster promoting event "Human Trafficking Exists" on 13the April at 5PM and on 27th of AprilBeing an expert in human trafficking, with years of experience, working in its prevention at the grassroots level in Mexico and Latin America, Maria Creel, will provide us a 2-day workshop with theoretical and practical examples of project implementation in the field of security, specifically in the context of Mexico.

Poster inviting to #DevelopmentTalks with Lidia PowirskaThe project presents experts with experience on the field to provide testimonies on how to apply for International Organizations.

Poster inviting to event "Uterus and Choice: a reflexion about the abortion as a human right" on 10.06.21 7PM online google meet with dr Lourdes MottaWorkshop to explain abortion from a feminist and public health perspective. In this workshop, the intention is to explain this issue from a quantitative point, considering women’s bodies and choices. The speaker will show different angles to the debate. There will also be a Q&A moment, for participants to clarify their doubts considering the issue.

Poster promoting event "Your voice matters"This project is multifaced and intends to create awareness about domestic violence and abuse, and help people identify it, denounce in the necessary cases, and support victims. The intention is to bring this issue to light and create a net of safety and resources to build a safer society.  

Some people suffer from domestic violence and abuse without realizing the seriousness of it. This project aims to hold workshops, training, and publications to achieve effective results, being a long-term project.

 In this informal lecture the representative of North Atlantic Treaty Organization Youth Delegate of Poland will give us insight on many issues considering the Organization. We will get information about Poland’s position in NATO with a security point of view and basic insight about NATO in Europe. We will also be educated on how to get involved in the NATO organization as a young person and other useful information for people seeking to work with the international organization. 

Agnieszka Wojcik was an United Nations Youth Delegate of Poland durin 2019 to 2020. She will be able to tell us about her experiences being a youth delegate and how she manage dit being a young person. She will also provide us a clear view of United Nations role in the world. What kind of collaborations UN is involved in what kind of actions it takes.

In this project we will cooperate with Suzana Paz, the head of Human Resources of United Nations Office of Drugs and Crime Mexico. She has been part of many interviews with people looking to work for the United Nations and thus her experience and guidance will help us to acquire the practical knowledge of the recruitment process used in big international organizations. Suzana Paz is the perfect professional to help us fulfil our knowledge and readiness for future interviews with international organizations. 

In this project, two (or more) top graduates from the Jagiellonian University will participate in creating an output, which should help other students, current and potential, in managing their expectations for before, during and after Master’s programs. 

This project is a cooperative one with AGH, where the aim is to create and hold a co-hosted workshop focused on cybersecurity. AGH will bring in the practical technological knowledge, while SAIAD will add theoretical and politically oriented perspective to the matter- this should create a multi-dimensional and educational workshop for the participants. 

This project is aimed at facilitating cooperation between SAIAD and the University of Warsaw. A selected individual from there will share their experiences working with/in the UN, to help students that are potentially interested in working in such environment to breach the psychological gap between expectations and reality. 

As networking is one of the main objectives of SAIAD, building up relationships with the private sector is fundamental. The rounds consist on visits to the shops that help out to improving our networking skills and help out entrepreneurs in Krakow. 

Poster promoting event "Brainstorming happy hour" on 29th of AprilThe event is focused on people from inside SAIAD. The idea of the event is to unite everyone to make a big brainstorming. The goal is to leave some ideas for the future so the next generation of team leaders can have where to start or can use these ideas if they like them, or when they have a creative block and need somewhere to start. The event will also be good to integrate all the members of SAIAD so we can get to know each other a bit more.

Joint activities with the Student Self-Government that aim at creating consciousness around environmental topics based on the Sustainable Development Goals by the United Nations. 

Picture of Agata Krzysiek Former United Nations Youth DelegateThe project aims at obtaining the best experiences from a Former United Nations Youth Delegate to help the students into their professional paths. 

Poster promoting event "Operation diplomat. Climate action" on June 15th -16th 2021Operation Diplomat is an international project made by students for students.

Organized by SAIAD, organization of the Jagiellonian University and AEGEE-Kraków, its main goal is to provide young people with tools to take an active approach when it comes to worldwide changes that affect all of us.
This year's topic is Climate Action. Climate change, air pollution, overloading of the atmosphere and ocean waters with carbon are the global issues the world is facing now. We are going to discuss the environmental problems in Europe, diplomacy, active work and projects of world organizations.

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SAIAD Teams 23/24

The Communications Team

The Communications Team is the strategic hub within SAIAD responsible for disseminating clear and transparent information regarding projects our organisation has undertaken, both between our members and any bodies with which we collaborate, or students that wish to be involved and take part. We navigate and maintain our social media accounts, as well as work closely with SAIAD Board members to ensure our organisation is communicating effectively, all the while also helping to enhance our image and help interest and involvement grow! Recently, our team has helped with the organisation of our SAIAD Annual Essay Competition, as well as a the promotion of SAIAD social events, and we are currently working on and planning SAIAD’s Evening of Diplomacy - a night of exciting networking, cultural exchanges, and entertaining - as well as educational! - fun. We aim to be as creative as possible - and adaptable! - in order to continue maintaining and spreading the positive perception of our organisation, and to additionally, continue building lasting relationships with our diverse and wonderful audience and collaborators we work closely with.

The Finance Team

The Finance Team is responsible for treasury duties and funding for our organisation. We aim to research various grants and source funding opportunities that will allow our organisation to organise as many events as possible and projects throughout the year, as well as help it grow and be successful. Aside from this, we have also been working towards planning various charity fundraising events, such as Game Nights, and football tournaments throughout the year, to boost engagement with our organisation and provide some fun activities for our members and other students.

The International Cooperation Team

The International Cooperation Team holds the responsibility of fostering global perspectives through academic initiatives, in charge of managing academic trips logistics, and strengthening a network by establishing connections with foreign universities and organizations. Currently, as mentioned above, our team is responsible for organising the next CISAD department trip for students to Paris. This trip will provide students with the opportunity to not only visit the beautiful city, but also various international organisations, where they can learn about the day-to-day running, logistics, and any future plans and projects these organisations may have, while also hopefully inspiring students to pursue their future careers within some of the places that we visit.

The Public Relations Team


The Public Relations and Recruitment Team works directly with social media networks while utilising traditional media resources as well. We aim to stay in communication with students, professors, academic institutions, and university clubs as well as organisations from Jagiellonian University and abroad. Since the launch of our SAIAD Newsletter, we have kept all parties involved with news, projects, and international events from the student's perspective.This newsletter is very student-oriented to get to know Krakow better, stay involved in World Politics, and understand what our colleagues are involved in. The newsletter will act as a promotional feature for SAIAD as a student organisation of the Jagiellonian University, and create collaboration throughout UJ as an academic institution. This newsletter will create a dialogue to keep all readers involved in what is occurring in SAIAD and internationally in the world.

The Social Affairs Team

As Social Affairs Team Members, we assist in the planning and organising of meetings, events and trips. We are mostly engaged in the technical part of the working process. Our responsibilities also include liaising with individuals outside of SAIAD such as representatives of the university working staff. However, apart from the technical side, Social Affairs team members actively participate in the brainstorming of ideas and cooperate with other teams in leading projects. One of the projects that the Social Affairs team is organising recently is the Secret Santa Event which involves university staff and students of our faculty.  This project is aimed at bringing students and workers of the faculty together to celebrate the holiday and to extend our appreciation to professors and university staff!

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SAIAD Teams 20/21

The Communications Team

The Communications Team is responsible for activities related to the promotion and design of the image of the organization and projects through the social media.


The National Cooperation Team

The National Cooperation Team focuses on activities in Poland, with local counterparts such as the Jagiellonian University in Kraków and other universities, Polish official institutions, private partners, and NGOs.

The Social Affairs Team

The Social Affairs Team is in charge of bringing people together wih activities from a non-academic perspective. Reminding the students the joy of life and the sense of belonging to a student community.

The European Cooperation Team

The European Cooperation Team manages projects implemented on a continental level; additionally organize activities that involve the United Nations, the European Union and its development and the North Atlantic Treaty Organization and its security related mandate.

The International Cooperation Team

The International Cooperation Team is in charge of activities and projects to understand international affairs from the often unknown perspectives of the different regions of the world. 

The Gender Equality Team

The Gender Equality Team is focused on raising awareness about the importance of the gender perspective as a transversal pillar towards the evolution of international affairs and development.

The Development Team

The Development Team focuses on projects related to the 17 Sustainable Development Goals of the United Nations, helping out the students to understand the challenges of this century and how cooperation can improve the lives of human beings around the world.

Graduate Advisors

For our community, it is fundamental to maintain contact with the UJ graduates.
No one better than them, to support the students in their professional steps by providing practical experience and helping to expand their network.

The Graduate Advisors offer advice and support when required by the teams. Their experience in diverse topics provide a more approach towards the implementation of certain projects

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SAIAD Management Board 23/24

Claris Diaz

Claris Diaz - Co-chair of SAIAD

Greetings! My name is Claris Diaz, co-chair of SAIAD. Originally from California, I am a master’s student in International Security and Development. My academic background is in science and my current research interests involve national security, intelligence, and technology. I love to run, hike, and travel off the beaten path with nothing but my backpack.

Nicole Kulon

Nicole Kulon - Human Resources

My name is Nicole Kulon, Human Resources Coordinator of SAIAD. I am from Chicago, IL, USA, and pursuing my master's degree in International Relations and Public Diplomacy. My bachelor's degree was in Business Management and Marketing. I am interested in learning about international children's organizations and sustainability. I love to sing, hang out with friends, and cook! 

Sneha Chakrabarti

Sneha Chakrabarti - Secretary

Greeting everyone! I am Sneha Chakrabarti from India. I am super glad to be working as the secretary of SAIAD with such amazing people. I am a voracious reader and a big foodie. Academically my interests involve Geopolitics and Economics. I am in the first year of my master's and studying IRPUB. I wish the best regards to the future entrants of SAIAD.

Giorgi Rakviashvili

My name is Giorgi Rakviashvili, Treasurer of SAIAD. I am from Tbilisi, Georgia and I am part of the ISAD (International Security and Development) master’s program. I graduated from Tbilisi State Medical University, where I was studying medicine. My interests are strongly connected to human security from economic, humanitarian, and food security perspectives. In my free time, I work out, spend time with my international friends and read.

Altynay Zhanayeva

Altynay Zhanayeva - Social Affairs Team and International Cooperation Team

I am Altynay Zhanayeva from Kazakhstan. I am a master's student studying International security and development. I am interested in peacebuilding, international security and development of countries. Also, I am pretty into learning foreign languages, spending time with my friends and cooking! 

Gahraman Ismayilov

Gahraman Ismayilov - International Cooperation Team and Public Relations and Recruitment Team

Gahraman Ismayilov (Azerbaijan) is currently a member of the International Cooperation Team of SAIAD, where he contributes to the organization's efforts to promote international cooperation and development through various projects. He is currently pursuing a Master's degree in International Security and Development. Furthermore, he holds a Bachelor’s degree in the field of Law. During his time in Azerbaijan, Gahraman was an active member of the European Law Students' Association (ELSA), where he served as the Director of Law Review. In addition, he is a Global Peace Ambassador for the Global Peace Chain, which is a platform for promoting peace and social harmony around the world. 

Maja Sikora

Hello! My name is Maja Sikora, I am Polish/Scottish, and I am currently studying International Relations and Public Diplomacy. I previously studied languages for my integrated master's degree at the University of Glasgow. Academically, I am interested in cultural diplomacy and the use of soft power throughout the world. In my free time, I love to travel, learn more languages, do some beekeeping, and spend some time on the Scottish lochs!

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SAIAD Management Board 20/21

Marco Reyes-Bernal

Marco Reyes-Bernal is the Chairman of the SAIAD organization.

He leads the seven branches of the Board and oversees the functioning of the entire structure. Marco represents the organization in and outside of the University, visualizes new projects, identifies opportunities and closes deals with our counterparts.


Esther Staes

Esther Staes is the General Coordinator of SAIAD.

Esther is dealing with the communication between the Board and the rest of our structure; she is also managing the administration and deadlines related to the different projects.

François Paquot

François Paquot is the SAIAD Secretary.

He is responsible for taking notes and formalizing all decisions relating to the operation of SAIAD, as well as archiving them. In addition, he acts in support of the rest of the Board in order to provide them with an adequate administrative framework. Finally, he is in charge of intergenerational relations for future former members of the organization.

Kaja Jakubiec

Kaja Jakubiec, Human Resources of SAIAD.

Kaja looks after all the members of the organization. She is taking care of everyone's well-being, having introductory talks, formalizing new members, and also solving interpersonal conflicts.

Ekrem Gökçe

Ekrem Gökçe is the Treasurer of SAIAD.

The Treasurer monitors the budget and budget related issues, as well as distribution of the funds among the projects and also looks for funds in the faculty, university, at the national and international level that can be used for projects in the organization.


Dominika Targosz

Dominika Targosz is responsible for Public Relations in the SAIAD organization.

She is creating and looking for collaborations with new partners and institutions for the SAIAD projects. She also supports each one of the branches of the Board when Polish is the only language that could be used.

Caetano Dallora

Caetano Dallora is the SAIAD Attorney.

He is responsible for the legal advisory of the organization.