I finally made it back! After the short 3 months back home
in the US, I have returned to Poland. It’s amazing the scents and scenery that
seem so familiar and missed. I have noticed certain smells bring flashbacks to
my stay at the beginning of the year. Small, trivial things such as the face
wash I use in Poland or the rustic aroma of coal furnaces make the time spent
away seem not so distant.
There are differences between my stay this time versus my
initial visit at the beginning of the year. The main difference is the length
of my stay. I will be staying for 8 months until the beginning of May 2014. It
was for this reason that I brought my cat, Oscar. You learn a lot about
traveling when you bring a feline passenger with you!
For Oscar’s entry into the European Union and Poland
specifically, he did not have to go through quarantine (as many countries
require). He simply had to go to the vet and receive his rabies and distemper
shots along with have a microchip inserted allowing airports to scan him. He is
my little grocery item now. J
To fly with me in the cabin, Oscar had to lose some weight
to make the 8kg limit. Luckily, he made it…barely. His carrier went through the
x-ray machine while I carried him through the scanner with me. The whole time,
he didn’t squirm or fret. Through the 7.5 hour flight, he sat in his carrier at
my feet and slept mostly. He did the same through our 7 hour layover and 1.5
hour connecting flight. He did spend some time on his leash in the airport but
he kept tripping people with the leash so we switched back to the carrier.
Along with the prolonged stay and having Oscar here with me,
my courses will be slightly difference. The first semester will be completely
at Jagiellonian University in Krakow. I will be taking courses which will
transfer in directly to my International Business degree at SVSU – Finances in
the European Union, International Trade and Investment Law, Knowledge-Based
Economy and Society from a local and regional perspective, Information Systems
and Policies, and level 2 Polish language.
A full schedule that will prove to be exciting. During the second
semester, I will mainly be taking online courses through SVSU – International
Marketing and International Management. I am still trying to find an advanced
statistics course online to transfer back to SVSU so university suggestions are
To complete an outstanding international experience, a
position within Nexteer Poland has been offered during my stay. I have the
opportunity to work with the same brilliant mentor and supervisor as my last
duration in Poland. Malgorzata, Gosia for short, has allowed me to grow
professionally in the exploration of my International Business degree. The
transition into the Polish workforce has ended my employment with Nexteer
Saginaw. This proved to be sad but communication will continue as I will be
working with many of my old team members through my new assignment. After 4
years of employment through the headquarters in Saginaw, I can still give the
most credit to my previous boss for his encouragement and support.
For students studying abroad, I encourage the work aspect.
You are able to work on a student visa… documentation from the university
allowing you to practice in Poland is all that is needed in most cases.
I am looking forward to the next 8 months. While it will be
emotional during the holidays when I will miss family and friends the most, I
am excited to become engrossed in the culture.
I have found from my previous experience that holidays are when the most
preserved and cherished traditions appear. Marcin’s family has welcomed me to
join in their celebrations. What better way can an individual begin to learn
and understand a new culture?