Cordel Murphy talks about his year long trip overseas
Instead of going to Hungary, I ended up going to Poland (Polska) for my year-long student exchange.
Poland itself is a highlight because of its history and being able to live in Warsaw (Poland’s capital) made it even more interesting.
Since I arrived in January it was their winter but surprisingly there wasn’t much snow (and only about -5ish degrees).
Even though I had finished school in Australia I still had school in Poland and it was fantastic.
I went to 2 different schools, a traditional one and a bilingual one.
Polish students are sorted into “profiles” (like math/physics, humanities, bio/chem etc.).
I was put into humanities, so I had PE, general science, English (our ESL), 2nd language, Polish, Maths and History.
All in all school is much the same as here just in a different language.
Some of my favourite things of my exchange were the meetings organised by Rotary at Bydgoszcz/Toruń, Oświęcim (Auschwitz), Mielno and Wrocław plus Euro Tour.
Favourite Rotary trip was Oświęcim for historical reasons.
In Warsaw itself there is a lot of interesting things like Old Town (Stare Miasto), Muzeum Powstania Warszawskiego (Museum about the Warsaw Uprising in 1944 that resulted in over 70% of Warsaw being destroyed), Muzeum Historii Żydów Polskich (A museum about Jews in Poland (including the founding right through to the holocaust and beyond)), lots of parks and shopping centres and many, many more.
Polish food is fantastic too, they use a lot of things that can be made and grown around them like potatoes, tomatoes, eggs, nuts and more.
Favourites include Żurek, Gołąbki and Pierogi.
Christmas: presents are given out on Christmas Eve and there is a large meal, 12 dishes, one for each disciple of Jesus.