Rotary Exchange - relacja Emmi i Tory z wymiany w Polsce w roku szkolnym 2018/2019

Opublikowano: 2019-05-24 08:15

W roku szkolnym 2018/2019 gościmy w murach IX Liceum Ogólnokształcącego troje uczniów, którzy przebywają w Bydgoszczy i uczą się w naszej szkole w ramach wymiany Rotary. Jest to Gun z Tajlandii oraz Emmi i Tory ze stanu Wisconsin w Stanach Zjednoczonych. Wkrótce nadejdzie czas pożegnań, lecz zanim to nastąpi zachęcamy Was do przeczytania relacji Emii i Tory z ich pobytu w Polsce.  

Tory od początku roku szkolnego zapisywała swoje przemyślenia na blogu - kliknij tutaj. Link przeniesie Was do pierwszej relacji, lecz jeśli macie ochotę przeczytać więcej - na końcu każdego posta wystarczy kliknąć "Next", by kontynuować czytanie i dowiedzieć się więcej na temat życia Tory podczas wymiany w Bydgoszczy.  

Relację Emmi z kilku ostatnich miesięcy możecie przeczytać poniżej. 


If I’m going to be honest, this is incredibly hard for me to write. I’ve been putting it off, because I know when I write it it’s going to really hit me that my year abroad is almost over.

I’ve been in Poland for almost nine months now, which means I have about a month and a half left. It’s going to be hard to sum up the last few months in one article, because so much is happened, but I’ll try to go chronologically.

August: August 17th, I arrived in my new city, Bydgoszcz, after over twenty hours of travel. My host family picked me up at the airport and took me to my new home. Five days later, I went to a language camp Rotary organized. It was eight days long, and this was the first time I met the rest of the exchange students, aside from the ones who were in my city. Even though it was like school, language camp was probably my favorite “official” Rotary meeting. It’s where I met most of my friends (we got new Australians in January, so I can’t say all of them) and where I first really started the rollercoaster that is the Polish language. Seriously, it’s impossible.

September: Immediately after language camp, which was in Bydgoszcz, all 55 exchange students were bussed to Warsaw, where we took a tour of the city and got our three-day orientation to Rotary Youth Exchange in Poland. The day after we got back from Warsaw, school started. This was the scariest part; fortunately, all my classes are in English, so all of my classmates were fluent and everyone is really friendly at school.

October: Not much happened in October, as far as I can remember. I took a trip to another city with my best friend and his host parents. We met up with a couple other exchnage students, that was a really fun time. The city we were in, Wrocław, is beautiful and one of my favorite cities in Poland.

November: In America, November 11th is Veterans day, honoring the Treaty of Versailles that ended World War One in 1918 (Thanks, APUSH!). The treaty of Versailles also created an independent Poland, which had been separated for over one hundred years. This means that I was in Poland for their centennial independence day, which was very cool. Thanksgiving without my real family was hard, but not as hard as I expected it to be, probably thanks to Skype.

December: Oh boy, Christmas time! Poland is a very, and I mean very, Catholic country, so they take Christmas incredibly seriously. Everyone gathers their whole family, and on Christmas Eve, “Wigilia,” in Polish, they put out a dinner with at least twelve dishes. You have to eat some of everything, and the only meat there is is fish, usually carp. It wasn’t the best Christmas dinner I’ve had, to say the least, but it was cool to experience Christmas in another culture. New Year’s Eve is also a big deal in Poland. Everyone has a party, called “Sylwester.” I went to my best friend’s host family’s house, along with the other exchange students in Bydgoszcz, and we just hung out until 2019 and had a sleepover. Also in December, I went to Germany twice, once with my Rotary Club and once on a school trip. I love Germany a lot, and it’s especially fun around Christmas time because there are a lot of Christmas markets that sell cute decorations and/or gingerbread cookies. There was also another Rotary meeting, in Wrocław, where we all brought cookies and had a dance party in the hotel conference room.

January: In January, I got to take a trip to go skiing in Austria through Rotary, which was unbelievable. We were right in the Austrian Alps, and it was so beautiful. We left on the eleventh, so on the tenth, I had to say goodbye to my best friend in the exchange students, since he was going back to Australia on the 12th (exchange in Australia lasts January-January rather than August-June.) That was probably one of the hardest parts of my exchange, even though he and I still talk pretty frequently.

February: The only thing I remember in particular about February was that I did absolutely nothing in February.

March: March is when things got really fun. The beginning of the month was normal. On the 17th, I changed host families, which was good because my first host family was nice but we never really clicked. Switching families is normal with Rotary, as some of you may know. On the 22nd, all of the exchange students went to Kraków for a meeting where we toured the city and went on a tour of a salt mine, which sounds boring but was actually pretty cool; they made sculptures and chandeliers out of huge chunks of salt, so it was really beautiful. We also got the opportunity to take a tour of Auschwitz-Birkenau, the Nazi death camp where over 1 million Jewish people and other minorities died in the Holocaust. Auschwitz was heartbreaking, but I also think it’s something everyone should try and see at least once in their life. When the meeting in Kraków ended, everyone got two days before we all hopped on a bus for our Europe Tour. Eurotour was 18 days of sitting on a bus, walking for eight hours, sleeping at a hotel, and doing the same thing the next day. I loved it. I won’t give you the play by play, as that could be an article of its own (that I am much too lazy to write), but we went to Amsterdam, Paris, Versailles, Chambord, Carcassonne, Barcelona, Cannes, Monaco, Pisa, Florence, Rome, Naples, Pompeii, Capri, Verona, and Venice. It was exhausting, but if given the opportunity, I would do it a million times over. My favorite places, in no particular order, were, Amsterdam, Versailles, Barcelona, Pompeii, and Rome.

April: Eurotour actually lasted until April 13th, so I kind of cheated out of almost half of the month. Right after I got back from Eurotour, my host parents picked me up in Kraków and took me to Zakopane, a touristic city in the Tatra mountains, which are on the border of Poland and Slovakia. We went hiking, which was painful but beautiful; there was still snow, but in the places there wasn’t, purple crocuses were blooming. When I got back to Bydgoszcz after Zakopane, the teachers in Poland were on strike so I had an extra free week off of school. At the end of April, my host parents took me and two other exchange students to Gdańsk, a beautiful city on the Baltic sea. We toured a huge World War Two museum and visited the spot where the Nazis first fired on Poland in September of 1939, starting the second world war.

May: So far in May, I’ve visited the city of Poznań with my host family, which is a beautiful old city about two hours west of Bydgoszcz. It was very rainy, but the city was lovely and I had a lot of fun.

We’re in the endgame now, folks. This year, without contest, has been, and probably will be, the best year of my life. I travelled the world, made new friends, and experienced things I never even considered. I get back to Wisconsin on June 27th, which is entirely too soon, but I am excited to be home and see my friends and family.