My name is Skylar and I am doing this semester at Jagiellonian University in Krakow, Poland. I am originally from Flinders University in Adelaide, Australia, where I study International Tourism and Festival and Event Design and Management.
My adventure to Krakow, Poland…
Feeling fairly calm I arrive at the airport to check in and start my journey, only to find that I had misread my itinerary and had missed my flight (Yes, I have studied tourism for the last 2 and half years… HOW DID THIS HAPPEN?!). I was extremely lucky that they were able to transfer me onto the exact same flight the next night but I would not make my connecting flight through to Krakow and it was non-refundable. I spent the next day reorganising my connecting flight through to Krakow. Lesson learnt, I will never miss another flight in my life!
As I was entering the boarding gate my ticket didn’t scan, here I am thinking “What now?! What else can go wrong?” The lovely lady looks at me and says “It’s your lucky day, you’re flying business class”. The amazing lady that originally helped me when I missed my flight, had organised for me to fly business class, her kindness brought tears to my eyes as I wandered onto the plane. I have so much fun in business class, it was AMAZING!! I was given a ridiculous amount of food and drink, PJ’s, slippers, gifts, blankets, and pillows and most importantly a spacious chair that reclined into a bed! Having a taste of the good life, it made my connecting flights extremely painful.
Eventually I arrived in Krakow.
I found the first few days really daunting; generally not being able to understand anything as it is all in Polish, the language barrier when trying to communicate with others, being so far from home and being by myself was all a little bit much. I don’t know how I would have got through all of this without my Polish mentor Julita, she is fantastic and has helped me with everything.
Krakow is one of the most amazing cities I have ever seen. The buildings are beautiful and old, there are cafes, bars and restaurants everywhere you look, there is so much culture and history and the city has this amazing atmosphere.
As part of the Border Crossing Project we need to complete an internship. I am lucky enough to be doing mine at the International Students Office (ISO), which I have found great as all of the tasks that I have been helping with and all of the information that I am learning about also relates to me as an international student.
For the first 11 days I stayed in temporary student accommodation, which was extremely basic. When first arriving at the accommodation, one of my Polish teachers’ comments was “It looks like a prison”. Apart from having no kitchen appliances (Including a fridge, microwave, utensils etc), I didn’t find it too bad. But, I was counting down the days until I could move into my accommodation which I will be spending the semester. It is also student accommodation but it is so lovely. I am now much closer to the Market Square (City Centre), I share my room with another person but the rooms are much bigger and we have our own bathroom. I instantly felt more at home and more settled when I moved in here, I finally unpack my bags and it was a great feeling knowing that I had a permanent base, my own space and somewhere to call home.
Orientation week and classes start on Monday. Every day and night there are tours, games, dinners and parties organised for us. I think I have a crazy week ahead of me. If I survive, you will hear from me again soon 🙂