Global Prep — 2018
Application deadline: February 1, 2018
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 take language lessons, tour the capital city of Krakow, and then venture out into the countryside to appreciate nature. As you and your friends explore Poland’s undiscovered charms, you just might fall in love with the country’s unique cultural history.
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. Later you can wander through Krakow’s fairytale architecture and bustling market squares. As you settle in, you might have the chance to pop in and out of the pottery shops and sleek modern stores that line the city streets.
Your first couple of days will be spent getting to know the other members of your group as you explore Krakow together. You’re bound to find a city alive with history and full of warmth and hospitality. To gain insight into Krakow’s past, you’ll see the Jewish quarter and one-time ghetto. There you’ll engage with the community's distinctive culture and history as you taste some traditional food. You’ll also visit the Stanislaw Lem Garden of Experiences, where you can learn about physics and geology by participating in interactive exhibits and experiments. In between exploring the city’s above and below-ground wonders, you’ll also get to learn some Polish in conversational language classes.
After your first week in Krakow, you’ll take the train to Poznań, where you’ll experience a completely different facet of Polish culture in a calm university city. You and your group will explore Malta Lake and the surrounding area and then take a walk around the quaint Old City. You could have a picnic in front of the Opera House or visit the local Croissant Museum. From Poznań you’ll travel to the Masurian Lake District, which is a great place to chill out surrounded by nature, fresh air, and charming old homes. You and your group will spend your last four days in Poland relaxing in the picturesque landscape, taking bike rides and enjoying water sports on the lake.
"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 feel like you can do anything you set your mind to. That transformation isn’t visible only to you, though - others see it as well. AFSers gain critical skills for college and careers, ranging from language fluency to intercultural competence and critical reasoning. "Life-changing" means it’s only the beginning.
Please Note: Travel date ranges are meant to help with general scheduling and are subject to change; please don’t book any travel based on these dates until you’ve received confirmation from AFS. All programs, prices, and travel dates are subject to change without notice.