I’ve made so many great connections with people in my community, people at my university and those connections have really made my experience worthwhile.
I chose Poland because I recently studied business and I am aware of the new government initiative to introduce innovation into this country and I was very interested in discovering more about what that means.
There’s so many wonderful things about Poland. I’ve learned so much about the political, the healthcare system, the child care system, the educational system, things that I can bring back to the United States and teach others about how it is in Europe.
I had a different expectation of what education would look like. There are some differences between the United States and Poland. I came from a bigger school and now I’m in a very small school in Chełm so it’s just a very different kind of teaching and learning environment.
Be ready in the first month to be a little lonely. It’s completely normal and I think it makes you a stronger person. It’s that very beginning part when you’re like: “Okay, I can really do this,” and you can power through.
I really didn’t know what to expect of Poland, and its culture, or its people. But that soon changed when I was placed in Poznan and realized it’s this hugely exciting city of culinary experiments, and different festivals going on in different seasons, and people working on art and literature.
This year in Poland has taught me that I really enjoy teaching and communicating with populations, particularly one on one, so I want to take my international experience to the next level, and train to become a medical doctor in the United States, with the hope of one day being able to treat populations internationally.
I have learned a tremendous amount during my time here [Poland] not only about myself, but about the importance of communicating with others, even if your Polish is a little rough, like mine is, but the importance of learning and understanding about different cultures.
Getting to go to class every day, feeling like I’m making a real difference in someone’s life, in seeing their confidence in English grow, bit by bit every time they speak, has been truly phenomenal. I’ve learned about the culture, I’ve learned about myself, and I’ve learned my purpose in life – to help other people, and to make cross-cultural connections, and I’ll always be grateful to Fulbright for doing that.
Living in Poland for the academic year has been an amazing experience.