Carolina Romero

American University, Washington, D.C.

When I decided I would intern in Poland last summer through Travelnstudy, I truly had no idea the impact the experience would have on my professional development. As an International Relations major, having professional experience abroad was incredibly important for me and my future career. I travelled to Gdansk, Poland where I was eager to begin working with the European Solidarity Centre. ESC is devoted to civil resistance in post-communist Europe and strengthening democracy, as well as honouring the Polish Solidarity Movement which was impactful throughout all of Europe and the world. Working with the department of culture, I didn’t feel like just an ordinary intern. I was part of a team that incorporated me and made me feel like an indispensable member of the ECS family.

During my time at ECS, I organized materials for “Europe with a View to the Future,” a multi-day conference with over 150 guests from Europe, Turkey, and the U.S. I transcribed speeches and worked with translated materials to ensure English materials were clear and concise. I was able to utilize my skills in cross-cultural communication, learn about how NGO’s and individuals can strengthen democratic institutions, and got a taste for working abroad. My internship with ECS, helped me to get a paid internship back home with NAFSA, which is an association of international educators. Not only did I adore my summer in culturally rich Poland, I feel better equipped to plunge into the Washington, D.C. workforce as an up-and-coming young professionalwith incredibly valuable experiences abroad.

Marycarmen Leiva

Miami Dade College, Florida.

I’ve never felt more thankful to a program than this one. I had the opportunity to help teach English in Wroclaw and Krynica, Poland. I started out in Wroclaw and fell in love with both the city and the countryside. Also, the people were very passionate about learning English and there was never a dull moment! Afterwards, I went to a summer camp in Krynica that focused mostly on music, theatre and art. I couldn’t believe how beautiful the landscape was. It was a bit nerve-racking on the way there because I felt kind of lonely, but after settling down I got to fully enjoy Krynica! The kids were a bit shy at first but after they warmed up to me, they started to speak English more each day! Even kids and teenagers that weren’t in the English program wanted to speak English with me. The camp counselors tried to help me any chance they got and even the ones that didn’t speak English tried to greet me. The language barrier was a struggle sometimes, but we all connected in other ways. I got to meet so many different people and make many friends. They’ve even offered to show me around their hometown when I go back! I say “when” because I definitely want to go back to Poland. I love this program because I got to fully immerse myself into a whole other culture and I wouldn’t have gotten the chance any other way. It has also helped me with being more courageous. Poland is such a hidden gem and I’m grateful that this program has shown me how aesthetically pleasing it is!

Chris Woods

Bentley University, Massachusetts

I traveled to Poland for 3 weeks to teach English at a summer camp. I went up a week early and met the camp director and the others teachers and counselors to prepare for camp. Afterwards, we took a bus from Kostrzyn nad Orda to Zakopane. The area was absolutely beautiful; it felt like a fairy tale village. My students were amazing! They were between 10 and 15 years old and they all spoke English very well. They were all so funny and nice, and they taught me some cool Polish phrases. Several of them said how much I helped them, that I was the best teacher they ever had, and that their English was improving just by talking to me. At the end of camp, several of them put their money together and bought me a pair of wool knit slippers 🙂 Things like that are so rare and hard to come by. It makes me feel like I’m doing something very worthwhile and makes me want to continue teaching.

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