COMMents Blog

Posted on October 27th, 2021 by Prabakaran Jayaraman

A STUDENT’S REFLECTIONS ON STUDY ABROAD IN POLANDWhat does one say about an experience/a trip/ a class that shifted perspectives and paths so radically that it changed the course of their life? Much more than can be offered in a few paragraphs, to be sure…

There’s museum night, where (most) of the MANY museums in the city of Wrocɫaw are open later than normal and many are free (something for everyone, as they say, quite definitely)…there’s the trip to Auschwitz concentration/killing camp that very much should shake you up and send you back in reflection on the nature of existence and the capacities of humankind and the power of communication…there’s an engaging class and content that will stretch you to think in ways you likely have not before…there’s the linguistic, cultural, and historic wonder of being surrounded by people, food, and buildings with histories reaching back much further than what we call the USA and pretty much any structure (and I don’t just mean buildings, here) contained therein…there’s an academic conference where you will hear more presentations about more things in more accents than you thought you could in just a few days (this is a good thing, trust me)…

I can tell you about these things, just like anyone else can, but why live vicariously? Why skip things like the forging of ongoing, international, lifelong friendships, or the opportunity to learn to think differently in ways that can not only change YOU but the world around you….why pass up the experience of global community in a city across the world based on something you read (or didn’t read) about it? This isn’t Tinder- stop swiping left on life because of a 13-second glance at a “profile” of something or someone you skimmed only cursorily. Put down your phone and go figure out how to hail a cab or order a drink in Polish (seriously, learn at least 10 words and use them, poorly if you must, but USE THEM), talk to a student from THE OTHER SIDE OF THE GLOBE about their presentation/research, have a drink in a bar that’s literally older than the idea of this entire country (and the word Vicariously itself, btw) and to keep with the horrible metaphor- SWIPE RIGHT on life, and experiences that matter.

Anyways, they have really good ice cream, particularly in the form of what are called “chimney cakes” (thank me later).

By Jake Watson, Communication Studies Student

If you are interested in participating in the Department of Communication Studies Poland Study Abroad trip, go to Study Abroad Opportunities. This trip is open to undergraduate and graduate students!