2019 WI Study in Poland Reports







     From reports of the 2019 WSIP recipients
        Wisconsin Study in Poland Scholarship

My experience this summer as a student in Jagiellonian University’s School of Polish Language and Culture has been a completely unforgettable experience. In my six weeks of study I accomplished many personal goals, including academic, social, and cultural… Overall, I have achieved a new outlook on life because of this amazing program. (Aleksandra Grulkowski)

When I applied to the Wisconsin Study in Poland Scholarship, I had two goals: reconnect with my past and pave the way for my future. My grandfather’s pride in his Polish heritage, even though he himself is a third-generation immigrant, stimulated my interest in the language, country, and culture. My studies in sociology have left me interested in culture, religion, and in-group/outgroup interactions; Poland’s unique history means that it currently has a very interesting religious mix and is a perfect subject for my future studies. At the moment, I am considering doing a master’s program at the University of Wroclaw (with the ultimate goal of pursuing a PhD at the
University of Michigan), with Poland and religion as a main focus. Now that my time in Poland has ended, I would say that I have definitely achieved those two goals, as well as a few that I was not fully expecting. (Johanna Schmidt)

It was an uphill battle for those six weeks. I am proud to say that my goal was met. I may have been the worst in the class, but my teachers supported me throughout the program. By the end, my comprehension in speaking and reading had improved the most. While they still are weak, my vocabulary and speaking skills showed great improvement. (Aleksandra Grulkowski)

That first day was incredibly difficult for me… I was genuinely considering trying to switch to a lower level, but I sat myself down and decided that no. I had not come to Poland to have an easy time. If I didn’t want to challenge myself, I would not have come. I just needed to remind myself that when I feel like the others in the room are all smarter than me, this does not mean I should leave the room; this just means that I have an even greater opportunity to learn. (Johanna Schmidt)

This program raised the bar for me. After a year of learning with Duolingo or through video chat, I was suddenly in a place with highly advanced speakers. It was intimidating, challenging, and scary at first—but it also gave me the opportunity to push myself more than I ever would have before… My time in Krakow helped me grow as a person and as a student. It was so scary—my first day of class left me extremely outside of my comfort zone—but overcoming the challenges left me stronger and better prepared for my future.

The extracurriculars let me learn more about Polish history; as a sociologist, I love placing my own personal and family history in a broader context to understand the influence of societal forces. My history class let me do just that, and it helped me feel closer to my family once I better understood the reasons why we might have left. Furthermore, I was able to connect with a professor that is directly involved in my desired field of research. Talking with her left me even more excited about the possibility of studying in Poland and maintaining Poland as a key point of research. Without the Wisconsin Study in Poland Scholarship, all of these experiences would not have been possible. (Johanna Schmidt)

Friday, November 1st, 2019 Newsletter

Archived Posts

November 2019
« Oct   Dec »