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Students YOUropean Excursion To Poland

On 26th March, after a very early start (with a flight at 6.45 am), 5 bleary eyed students (Katya Taylor, Iona McGinn, Yagmur Karaoglan, Zuzanna Antczak and Jodie Frost) together with 2 members of staff (Mrs Wisbey and Miss Sinnerton) arrived in Poland for the penultimate meeting of the 3 year Erasmus+ programme, ‘

On 26th March, after a very early start (with a flight at 6.45 am), 5 bleary eyed students (Katya Taylor, Iona McGinn, Yagmur Karaoglan, Zuzanna Antczak and Jodie Frost) together with 2 members of staff (Mrs Wisbey and Miss Sinnerton) arrived in Poland for the penultimate meeting of the 3 year Erasmus+ programme, ‘YOUropeans on the move – migrants between integration and tradition’.  The group were based in a small town called Iwonicz in a very rural area in the South East of Poland, close to the border with the Ukraine and Slovakia.  It was an area famous for its waters, glass making and oil.  Students and teachers from other European countries including Turkey, Germany and Greece also took part in this programme.  The topic of this meeting was ‘How is life with migrants in your country?’

They were warmly welcomed by the staff and students of ‘Zespol’ school with the traditional Polish welcome of salt and bread , music and costumes.  The girls spent the week living with Polish students and their families, experiencing Polish food and way of life.  They also visited some sights in the area including Lancut castle, a Krosno glass making factory, the Sanok open air heritage museum and the UNESCO listed Wieliczka salt mine.

In the weeks preceding the trip, students had interviewed 100 of their peers on their views and experiences of immigration.  When all the students met in Poland they created graphs based on the collective responses from all over Europe – they then analysed the responses with very interesting results.  Students also created a ‘mannequin’ challenge showing the experiences of immigration from their countries.  All of their work was presented in a closing ceremony on the final day.

All of our students took part in the programme with enthusiasm, mixing well with all the other participants and contributing well to all activities.

Jodie and Miss Sinnerton particularly enjoyed the trip to the salt mine.  The sheer size of it particularly impressed them and Jodie described it as “100% salty and definitely an unusual experience”. 

Yagmur said her visit to Poland was “a really unique experience which helped me explore a different culture and make strong friendships with people I don’t speak the same language as.  It also helped me see world history from someone else’s point of view e.g. my host family had family members who were involved in World War 2.”

Katya particularly liked getting “the opportunity to get involved in lots of different tasks around the school and the places we visited”. Also, her host family took her to many places after school finished “which meant I was able to experience even more of Polish life”.