I’ve been studying at Jagiellonian University in Krakow, Poland, since Feb. 19.
The initial transition into life in Poland, though exciting, was not easy.
You would be surprised how difficult it is to find essential things, such as a towel.
The first week was spent mostly trying to figure out how to navigate the city and get the supplies we needed before classes started.
Krakow is one of the most beautiful cities I have ever been to.
It was not bombed in World War II, so it still has all of the historic buildings and streets to explore.
The first weekend I arrived, our program took all of the students on a weekend integration trip to Warsaw, Poland.
I am studying with five other Keene State College students, so I already had a small safety net of friends, but I am extremely grateful for the other friends I made that weekend and have now.
I have begun to understand that I need to appreciate every moment I have because studying abroad does not last forever.
Most of the friends I have made are from the East Coast, but they range from New England to Wisconsin to California.
In the short time I have known the students in my program, I know that I’ve already created friendships that will last a lifetime, and to me that is a huge part of this experience of studying abroad.
The way our classes here work is basically a majority of the students from our group have every class together, in the same classroom, all afternoon.
We got to know each other quickly because of the set up and when we have free time, we are always looking for new places to eat.
I live only a 10-minute walk from Old Town, which is full of restaurants, museums and shops.
Each day, when I walk around to go to class or to grab food quickly, I walk through the largest medieval square in Europe in Old Town as if it was Appian Way.
Krakow has no shortage of beauty.
Every side street I turn down, I am impressed with something new.
Compared to other study abroad programs at KSC, my semester is not even half over.
I do not return to the states for another three months and I have so many other locations to travel to with the new friends I have made.
Overall, my experiences so far in Poland have been incredible; I have had the opportunity to travel to other countries in Europe up until now and plan to explore even more.
I miss KSC and my friends back home, but I know I made the right choice to spend my semester abroad in Krakow.
I cannot wait to continue to learn here and bring these experiences back home to the States with me this summer.
Laurel Farr can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org