Marysia’s Story

Summer Sessions at the University of Washington is open to everyone and offers something for all students. With more than 1,000 credit courses in more than 100 fields of study, Summer Sessions provides students like Marysia Koltonowska with the opportunity to make the most of their summer and explore a new interest or get a head start on credits for the following year. 

A rising senior double majoring in Spanish and Law, Societies and Justice, Marysia Koltonowska was trying to ensure she got all the credits she needed to graduate in the spring of 2023. When she realized she wouldn’t be able to take all the credits she wanted to on an upcoming Spanish study abroad trip, Marysia turned to Summer Sessions

“Rather than potentially taking four classes in one quarter when I return to the UW or a class for one of my degrees at the university in Spain, I thought it would be easier and more convenient to do Summer Sessions. That way, I could take this one Spanish class that fulfilled a degree requirement for me,” says Marysia. It was also a relief to know a professor she knew and liked taught the class and that the class would count toward Marysia’s major. 

Taking this class eased some stress for me in terms of getting all my credits in time. It was great to knock those credits out and not have to worry about them anymore. 

 — Marysia Koltonowska, Alum, UW Summer Sessions

She enrolled in Food and Community, Cultural Practices in the Hispanic World (SPAN 362) and was pleased to find the asynchronous online course wasn’t as demanding as she anticipated. “There wasn't a huge time commitment compared to some of the classes I've taken at the UW,” she says. “It was easy for me to choose a time during the week and get all the work done.”

Marysia notes she appreciated that her instructor, Ana Gomez-Bravo, created a diverse curriculum that challenged her to think critically, exposed her to readings from numerous countries in various formats and designed the class to increase accessibility. 

“Something I liked and hope that other teachers implement is the transcriptions Anna provided for the video lectures because not many teachers do that,” she says. “It made the course more accessible for people with hearing problems, which was nice for me.”

As Marysia’s life grew more complicated during the summer, the fact that Summer Sessions allowed her to balance school, work and downtime was another plus. “This class wasn’t an obstacle to accomplishing any of the things that I normally try and do during the summer that I don’t have time to do during the school year, such as applying to grad school,” says Marysia. 

That flexibility, paired with a supportive learning environment that helped Marysia ensure she’d finish her degree and graduate on time, ended up being a lifesaver. “I think taking this class eased some stress for me in terms of getting all my credits in time. It was great to knock those credits out and not have to worry about them anymore,” she says. “I've had a very stressful summer preparing for study abroad, so it was nice to have one less thing on my plate.”