Ryan Rowe, USA (Summer School 2018)
My name is Ryan Rowe, I am from Durham, North Carolina but I live in Minnesota now. I studied Russian and Polish in undergrad and I am also pursuing a degree in opera performance currently. I am learning Polish because I am exploring the option of working in Poland in an opera house, maybe in Warsaw or a smaller city. I am learning Polish so that I could work and function in a Polish environment.
My professor at the university recommended the program in Lublin, I applied through Kosciuszko Foundation in New York and she suggested that I went to Lublin because it is more grammar focused. She said that if I want to be really good at Polish I should go somewhere where I won’t have a lot of English speakers surrounding me and I could purely focus on speaking Polish. And then also your highly-intensive course was more towards what I was looking for, because I need something that can get me over the threshold to about the B2 level before I go back to the US. And I think it will, I speak Polish a lot better than I did before I came here. I like individual lessons because if I have a certain question or if there is one thing that I didn’t understand I can get an explanation during my individual lesson instead of bringing the issue before the whole group. The classes with “Pani Małgorzata” are so much fun. I have her for conversations and individual lessons and she’s like “ok, do your work but then we stop and talk about things” and so she makes little corrections and comments like “these are the patterns that I notice in your speech that you keep making errors so let’s do more grammar exercises to fix those problems” and that’s what I really like because it’s applicable and catered to my needs.
The staff have been really fun as well, If I ever have problems or questions about their recommendations, everyone seems very open and ready to help, which hasn’t always been my experience in Slavic countries. I would definitely recommend the course, I think it is structured in a way where it provides people with tools to take home for independent study, as well as just applicable in everyday situations. It is flexible enough so you can choose how intense you want to speak or study Polish here.