One of the first foreign midshipman in the PNA was Jerzy Tumaniszwili, a Georgian who in 1935 was enrolled in the Navy Midshipmen School through the recommendation of a Georgian General in the Polish service - Alexander Zakariadze. In 1938 Tumaniszwili received the first rank of officer and during World War II, he served as an artillery officer on the Polish naval ships and participated in various combat missions, including the Norwegian Campaign, the Battle at Calais, the Atlantic Convoys and D-Day operations (The Normandy landings in 1944). He was wounded in combat in 1942 during battle. After war he was awarded the highest military decoration in Poland for heroism and courage in the face of enemy at war - the War Order of Virtuti Militari.
In the years 1979/1986 Naval Academy was host to students from Libya, 133 of which graduated the academy. Students from Vietnam studied till 1991, 44 of which graduated the academy. Studies for these students were preceded by a Polish language course which lasted from 15 September 1978 to June 1979. Additionally Mathematical and Physics courses were organised. North Korean students spent only one semester at the Academy. Among military students of the Academy there were three students from Latvia, who studied in Polish in the first decade of the XXI century in groups with Polish officer cadets. Since they came from Polish families and graduated Polish secondary schools they adapted finely to the Academy. All in all, 180 foreign students graduated from the Naval Academy. Amongst these groups the most numerous and the most widely culturally distinct were the citizens of Libya, providing cultural diversity to our grey reality of the 1980's. There is a probability that they might have even left a trace in Polish rock music. In the 1982 hit "Tańcz głupia tańcz" by Lady Pank group in the first verses the Maxim clubhouse and our students are mentioned.
After returning to their homelands foreign graduates served in their national battle fleets. Many of them gained highest official ranks, others pursued academic careers in politics and business. According to the opinion of the graduate of the Mechanical and Electrical Engineering Faculty, currently second in command technical officer of the Libyan navy, officers who have graduated our Polish Naval Academy are best in service (stated in 2017). Libya also educated their naval officers in other academies (Greek, Turkish and Soviet in Baku, now Azerbaijan). Some of the officers participated in war. Not all foreigners returned to their homeland. There are those who remained and settled in Poland. This is particularly the case of the Vietnamese and Latvians. There are cases in which the children of former foreign students choose to study at our Academy.
After Poland joined NATO in 1999 foreign students have been noted to participate in various forms of training courses. In 2015, 30 crew members of the S.T.S Le Quy Don, built by the Polish shipyard Marine Projects Ltd in Gdańsk for the Vietnamese Naval Academy Nha Trang, participated in sailing training. 12 Ukrainians and 14 Georgians participated in language courses run by our Department of Foreign Languages in the years 2016 and 2017.
The year 2015 has brought increasing internationalisation of the Naval Academy. Student and teacher exchange has substantially increased. Military degree courses host groups of students from Qatar and Kuwait and since 2016 from Saudi Arabia. Students study in English at the Faculty of Navigation and Naval Weapons two specialisations: coast guard and operation of ship deck systems. They have been divided into nine training groups. Students' military training is carried out according to Polish protocol and Polish commands are used. Apart from English, which is the language used in lectures, students also learn Polish language, culture and history. A group of Kuwaiti officer cadet students studies in the Polish language at the Mechanical and Electrical Engineering Faculty.
Generally, the number of foreign civilian and military students (the largest number of civilian students comes from Belarus and Ukraine, most of whom are Poles, individual students come from Albania and Libya) comprises 5% of all Naval University students in the academic year of 2017/2018 and is higher than the average among other universities in the Pomeranian viovoideship (3,2%) and in Poland (4,8%). The internationality of academic teachers in the Naval University is 1,5% (full-time employees come from Germany and Ukraine), moreover, there are visiting teachers (from Germany and Sweden). In the field of academic disciplines the Naval Academy regularly conducts open lectures lead by the most distinguished scientists and European and American analysts. The Naval Academy also conducts a systematic student and teacher exchange programme (ERASMUS+), currently with 19 universities from 14 countries (Croatia, the Czech Republic, Bulgaria, Estonia, Greece, Spain, Lithuania, Malta, Germany, Portugal, Romania, Slovakia, Sweden and Turkey).
Foreign students have already become an integral part of the academic community. They participate in the scientific and cultural life (culture days are organised for our students). They also join festivals and celebrations organised by the local community and the military. They represent our Academy in sports. Their latest success was officer cadet's Abdul Hadi Atallach's 2nd place in the Polish cup of military services in barbell bench press by men and women and 3rd place in team barbell bench press by our team.
After so many years foreign graduates of the Naval Academy, who graduated the Academy in the 80's and 90's of the past century are proud of the it. Some observe the progress, others stay in touch (there are facebook profiles hosted by the Libyans dedicated to our Alma Mater). Many treat Poland as a second native land, being Polish ambassadors by combining the Polish culture with the one of their homeland.
The Naval Academy is proud of our foreign graduates and open to maintaining contacts with them.