As an increasingly popular tourist destination, Poland has become especially open to foreign visitors. Many people, especially those in their teens and twenties, speak excellent English and enjoy interacting with Americans. On this Global Prep program, you’ll get a taste of the country’s enthusiastic hospitality as you learn about the diversity of Poland’s cultural customs, tastes, and perspectives. To experience the many sides of Polish life, you’ll tour the cities of Krakow and Warsaw and then venture out into the countryside to appreciate nature. You’ll also have the chance to engage with local culture by taking language lessons and making your own clay pottery. As you and your friends explore Poland’s undiscovered charms, you just might fall in love with the country’s fairy-tale architecture and welcoming atmosphere.
Most Global Prep programs accept participants between the ages of 13 and 18 years old. However, 13 and 14 year old’s aren’t eligible to enroll for certain Global Prep destinations. If you wish to participate and will be 13 or 14 years old at the date of departure for the program, please contact AFS for more information about specific program eligibility. Please also keep in mind that due to regulations mandated by the airlines, 13 and 14 year old participants will be considered Unaccompanied Minors and additional charges will apply.
On this program you are likely to learn about these Sustainable Development Goals:
- 70 Years Experience
Sample Program Itinerary to Poland
The below itinerary serves as an outline for the program, and each Global Prep experience will vary based on group size and opportunity.
Your journey to Poland
Your journey will begin in New York City, where you’ll meet the other members of your group. Then you’ll travel together with your Group Leader to Krakow. You’ll be welcomed by AFS Staff or Volunteers at the airport and then brought to your arrival orientation for some basic cultural tips. You’ll have time to settle in before wandering through Krakow’s picturesque streets, popping in and out of pottery shops and sleek modern stores along the way.
Discovering city life and culture
As you explore Krakow with your group, you’re bound to find a city alive with history and lots of delicious foods to taste. To gain insight into Krakow’s past, you’ll see the Jewish quarter and one-time ghetto. You and your group will learn about Poland’s role in World War II by taking a trip to Auschwitz-Birkenau, which will provide unparalleled insight into a troubled period in world history. You’ll also get to know Krakow’s unique history by touring the old communist section of the city and going for a drive in colorful vintage cars.
The next stop on your journey will be Warsaw, where you’ll see some of the city’s lush gardens, ornate palaces, and interactive museums like the Copernicus Science Center. You and your group will also get to visit the beautiful Old Town that was meticulously rebuilt brick by brick after World War II. In between exploring these historic gems and modern wonders, you’ll learn some Polish in conversational language classes.
During your first week in Poland, your home base will be a charming high school campus located just outside of Krakow. You’ll stay in a private dorm with your Global Prep group, taking part in campus activities with students from around the world. You can expect to share a bedroom with one to three students of the same gender. After taking the train to Warsaw, you and your group will settle into a hostel in the heart of the city, from which you can explore grandiose churches and modern shopping centers catering to every interest from vegan food to traditional costumes. Finally, during your time in Mazury, you’ll stay with your group in a spacious bed and breakfast, which is located next to a bustling lake-side town and scenic hiking trails.
Exploring the countryside
After your adventures in Krakow and Warsaw, you’ll take the train to the Mazury Lake District in the north of the country. There you’ll experience a completely different facet of Polish culture in a calm small town. You and your group will get to craft your own traditional pottery, go sailing, take bike rides, and explore the lakes and forests of Poland—complete with a visit to the territory of the European Bison! At the end of your trip, you can take a breath and chill out surrounded by nature, fresh air, and charming old homes.
What's included in your program fee?
- Round trip international airfare chaperoned by an American staff member
- Accommodations, meals, and transportation
- International secondary medical travel coverage
- Access to a 24/7 Emergency Duty Officer
- Visa Support
- Please review the Terms and Conditions for complete guidelines.
What’s not included in the Program Fee?
“Life-changing” is hard to describe, yet it’s nearly always the first thing that AFSers say when asked about their experience abroad. “Transformed” is another one.
When you return home, if you’re like most AFSers, you’ll bring with you a sense of accomplishment unlike any other. You’ll have gained maturity and independence, discovered new passions, and developed the confidence and resilience to accomplish anything you set out to do.
That transformation isn’t only visible to you, though – others see it as well. AFSers gain critical skills for college and careers. Second language fluency, intercultural competence, creativity, and critical reasoning will help you succeed, whatever path you take. “Life-changing” means it’s only the beginning.
It’s not just an adventure abroad; it’s a whole new reality. The perspectives and personal connections you gained will stay with you and likely draw you back to the second home you found in Poland.
In fact, our alumni reviews have made AFS one of the top-rated organizations in the study abroad industry.