It’s still a bit of an oddity to say that I’m in Poland. Of course, I feel like I’ve adjusted to life here, but when the thought strikes me, it still gives me a weird (but good) feeling. Everything here perplexes me: the culture, the food, the people, and most of all…the language. The Polish language is extremely complicated, but with all the free time in class I have, I am usually always studying. I would like to say that I’m making good progress on the language, but I’m not quite sure how to gauge it. However, in my own personal, humble opinion, I would say that I’m making good progress.
When I first arrived in Poland (Aug. 14th), my host family wasted no time in showing me Gdynia, and the surrounding cities. I saw Gdynia first, but I also had the opportunity to see St. Dominic’s Fair in Gdańsk, and I have been to Gdańsk several times since for various events, or to meet Molly. Molly also often comes to Gdynia, because every other week, we take turns visiting each other in our cities. My host dad also took me to Sopót, and I was able to walk the pier and observe all of the old buildings! Besides these places, I have had the chance to see Malbork castle, Westerplatte, and many other various places in the tri-city with either my host family or my friends.
School is like a double-edged sword: it can be both my favorite place and sometimes my worst place. I love my friends who welcomed me with open arms into the school, and especially into my class. I have an amazingly proactive class, who is often doing activities, hanging out outside of school, or planning school events. Gratitude is an understatement to describe the feeling I have for being put in my specific class. At this point, I don’t think I could imagine myself anywhere else. Yet, school itself is really difficult. I’m the first year-long exchange student my school has ever had, and to be honest, they didn’t exactly know what to do with me. Many of the teachers did and still do treat me like a regular student, and expect me to complete all the homework, essays, projects, and tests up to par with the other students. I definitely try my best, but it proves to be very, very difficult at times. In addition, I would rather spend my limited time in Poland with my host family or friends making new experiences, rather than doing multiple hours of homework.
All together, though, I’m truly having an amazing experience. I’m truly astonished that it’s almost been three months here in Poland, and at how swimmingly it’s going. Yes, there are days that I struggle more on and I’m homesick for one reason or another, but I couldn’t imagine going home yet; there’s still so much to see and do! I can’t wait for the rest of the year!