Last year, at the end of September, the “Europa Master” adventure began for us in Opole. The trip to Poland was a journey into the unknown. With many questions in our luggage, we met Mrs Kulska, Mrs Curyło and Mr Czepil on our first day at the Collegium Civitas. It was a warm welcome that we had hardly expected: an invitation to lunch at “Maska”, a guided tour of the city, a visit to the museum… This introductory week gave us the opportunity to get to know each other and Opole and made our start into our studies much easier.
At the university, the semester in Poland was exciting: we learned so many new things about Poland. Much of what is currently happening in international politics is so much more understandable when you know the historical background. We are very grateful to our lecturers for the many moments when we could ask questions and when they shared their personal experiences with us. From an academic perspective, it was a profitable time for us.
Culturally, we probably all miss our beloved pierogi the most. Even though we ate these little dumplings weekly, we could never get enough of them ... What surprised us most about Opole was the distinct coffee culture – we spent every free minute in a café. Some of us could always be found at “Kofeina”, others preferred the café of the city library.
In any case, we were totally happy that our semester took place in presence and that bars and cafés were open. Some students of our generation travelled around Poland and its neighbouring countries. Krakow, Warsaw, Wroclaw but also Bratislava or Vienna were on the list. Many opportunities to get to know the region better.
The most stressful time came in January, when we tried to keep a cool head between exams and presentations. But we rewarded ourselves by almost all of us going to Gdansk together and spending a few days there. We all really enjoyed this city! It was simply the perfect end to the semester and a good start to the long-awaited semester break.
All in all, it was a great semester abroad and a good time in Poland. Of course, not everything was perfect all the time. But we are grateful for all the experiences and proud to have mastered the first semester.