2_1.[1] Cześć! My name is Riccardo Chmielowiec and I am from Montreal, Quebec. I am of Polish and Italian origin (my father is Polish, my mother is Italian). I currently study Comparative Literature at the University of Montreal.


Growing up in my household, we quickly favored French over our mother tongues, Italian and Polish, so that my brother and me would properly learn the local language and make friends at school. In my teenage years, it always bugged me that I couldn’t speak Polish; I even feared the language in some way, when my dad would pass me my babcia on the phone. I was scared to make mistakes, so I never spoke. Until two years ago, when I got tired of not being able to create a meaningful connection with my Polish relatives, and realized how important it was for me to properly learn it. This summer, I knew I had to go off on my own and travel in Poland. The Polish Consul in Montreal recommended me this course, when we met, after listening to my story. I took him seriously and applied a few days later to the KUL Summer School. Boy, what a good idea that was.


My experience at KUL has been nothing short of wonderful. Meeting and making friends from around the world; living for three weeks in a beautiful town like Lublin; travelling to neighbouring landmarks and towns with the class. I followed the Semi-Intensive course, which allowed me to go off on my own and practice with classmates or meet people to actively learn the language. My advanced-level classes with Pani Ewa were dynamic, comprehensive and hilarious. The staff at KUL were all warmhearted, generous and outgoing. In 3 weeks, I made great progress in Polish, and even got credits at my home university!


So this goes out to people of Polish origin who want to learn their mother tongue, or anybody curious about studying in Poland: the KUL Summer School is a great way to do that. Seriously consider applying, because it’s a meaningful way to spend your summer in Poland.