Polish people have been so incredibly kind and welcoming. Once you get to know them and their culture, it is all very complex, and very genuine. My interactions with people over here have been some of the most rewarding adult interactions of my life.
My expectations have changed since coming to Poland, particularly with some of the cultural interactions. Before, I had this understanding that Polish people were more reserved and to an extent that is sometimes true. But I’ve also sensed this incredible warmth and open hospitality that has really made me feel like Poland is home.
During my Fulbright grant, I’ve learned how to do public speaking a lot better. From teaching, I learned a lot about just getting up there and doing it. And now having done something that I didn’t study I think I’ve learned that if I just try it, I can make anything work.
Poland should be on your list. It’s a beautiful place with so much history and the people and the food are just wonderful. Everybody is willing to come out of their way to help you as long as you’re willing to go out there and ask. So, you really have to put yourself out there but it’s one of those opportunities to really learn how to do that.
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.