Destiny, Outbound to Poland

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Dzień Dobry! It’s hard to believe I have been in Poland for a little over a month now. I cannot explain how much love I have for this beautiful country. The first thing I would like to talk about would be my flight and my airport experience. The day before I left I was just so excited I couldn’t really think of anything else, other than the fact that the big day had finally come. However, the day of my actual flight made me very emotional. There is a surreal feeling you get when you are about to leave everything you have ever known and loved; anyone who is or was an exchange student will know what I am referring to. It is this nerve wracking yet exhilarating feeling you get and all you can think about is this brand-new adventure that lays ahead of you. I really want to thank my family for being so supportive of me and for giving me the strength to go on exchange because it is something I have always wanted to do. I love you guys with all my heart.

When I arrived in Warsaw, Poland I was greeted by my host dad and sister, and my exchange friend Weronika; I was so happy to see them. Some of my first impressions of Poland were: lots of open landscapes, lots of windmills, and lots of trams/ trains/ and buses. Also, we eat a lot of Potatoes here, baked, boiled, and fried.

I got to meet my grandparents before I went to language camp and they were so sweet and welcoming. My grandpa had said that whenever I am missing him or my family back home, I can come over and give him a hug and spend time with them. My grandparents come to my house every Saturday and I help my grandpa in the garden; I love spending time with him. He will point to objects and tell me the word in Polish and it helps me to learn new words. My host dad was very touched that I spend time with my grandparents, I really love my family here.

Language camp was the BEST experience. I met so many people from all over the world. I have friends from Mexico, Thailand, Brazil, South Korea, Canada, Japan, Taiwan, Chile, Venezuela, and all over the United States; and I am still meeting new people. During the course, we got take Polish grammar, vocabulary, music, sports and history. My understanding of Polish increased dramatically. I really liked my teachers, they were so helpful. We also got to visit some very interesting places like Malbork Castle and an Army Museum. My favorite part was when we got to visit the President of Bydgoszcz and introduce ourselves to him in Polish. It was so cool and I was so proud of myself for speaking Polish to him. The last day of language camp we took our exams and I got a 100% on my speaking portion, I was ecstatic.

I started school on September 4th. On the first day of Polish school, students wear a white shirt with black pants or a black skirt; this is uniform for the first day because you will meet your main teacher and classmates. I really love my school, it’s so beautiful and the people are so helpful. I have a mix of classes that I take: Spanish, Physics, Biology, Civics, Religion, Basics of Enterprise, Polish, Chemistry, Math, Education of Safety, Knowledge of Culture, History in Spanish, Geography in Spanish, and Polish history. Here we stay with the same group of people for all our classes, it makes it easier to make friends so I am happy about that.

September 8-10th I was in Warsaw at a Rotary conference called EEMA. The exchange students got to participate in the flag ceremony and it was very exciting. We all got to represent different countries. I really enjoyed seeing people get so happy when an exchange student was carrying their flag and representing their country. We also got to meet the former President, Lech Wałęsa, who freed Poland from Communism. We were in awe, it was so inspirational to hear him speak at the conference. After this we got to take a tour around Warsaw and spend time together, which we all really enjoyed because we missed each other.

I really am loving my life here in Poland, my family here is so supportive, helpful, loving and caring, I am so blessed. I would like to thank my family and friends back home for loving and supporting me. I would also like to thank Rotary for this amazing opportunity, I will forever be grateful.

To anyone thinking about going on exchange, PLEASE do it, you will have the best time of your life. Also, choose Poland, there is such beautiful culture, traditions, and language here. No matter where you will decide to go, exchange will change your life and it has made me so happy.

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