I arrived in Poland, after 19 hours of traveling time, on the 1st of August. I had left my home state of Wyoming, in the USA the day before. I was met at the airport by my new Mother and brother. The first week of my year long stay was really about just getting settled into my new life. My host brother had ten days to show me around Chorzów, because he was leaving for Wyoming, USA for his exchange. During those first ten days I became acquainted with the city, I was able to see my new school and feel comfortable here.
On the 21st of August I left for Bydgoszcz. It was for a 10 day language camp and it was also the first time all of us exchange students here in Poland got to meet. During the camp we had Polish lessons with three teachers several times throughout the day, as well as some recreation classes. These classes consisted of sports, music and history of Poland. Most nights we had some free time to really get to know each other. One day there we got to go on an outing to the Malbork Castle. The Castle was amazing! After Bydgoszcz I had become really good friends with the other exchange students.
The day after returning to Chorzów school started. The first day was a bit stressful, because I had never been new in school. My town back home is very small and I had known most of the other students since we were in kindergarten. The first day went better than I thought it would and everyday after got better and better. I was only in school for the first two days before I left on a week long boat trip to the Masurian Lake District with my class. This was a great trip because not only did I get to see this beautiful place I also made really good friends with the other students in my class. When I returned to school, I once again had that feeling of stress because I had been gone for the past week. Once again it went better than I thought it would. School since then has been going pretty good, I enjoy my classes and I really like my teachers.
On the 17th of September I left for a Rotary weekend in Toruń. I was very excited to see the other exchange students. We had become such good friends in Bydgoszcz and I was looking forward to see them all again. Toruń was a great weekend. We had the opportunity to sightsee the city, go to a Gingerbread Museum and take a boat ride on the Vistula River. The next big Rotary event I attended was in Wrocław. This was a great trip. Wrocław was a beautiful city and we had a lot of time to tour around the city. There was also an incredible orchestra from Germany that played. It was amazing.
On top of the Rotary trips I have taken some great trips with my family, the other Rotary exchange students in my area, and my school. With my family I went to Warsaw, Gdańsk, Gdynia and Sopot. The north was beautiful as was Warsaw. With both my school and with the other exchange students in my area I went to Szczyrk. The trip with the school was very fun because at that time it had snowed in the mountains, which reminded me of home.
So far these two and a half months in Poland have been a life changing experience. I have some amazing friends at school, I love my host family and I truly feel as though Poland is my home away from home.