Poland has a rich cultural heritage and many United Nations Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) World Heritage spots to explore. The Carpathian Mountains, the coastline of the Baltic Sea, or the winding river Vistula make the beautiful Polish landscape. Don’t miss tasting the traditional pierogis and explore cobblestone streets of Polish towns.
Polish teens tend to have a very active social life, spending time outside riding bikes, hiking, canoeing and kayaking on Poland’s many beautiful rivers. During the summer, many people go for mushroom hunting. Downtime may spend relaxing with a card game like bridge.
Host Family & Community
You can be hosted anywhere in Poland, but you will likely be close to one of the major cities, like Krakow, Warsaw or Poznań. Families will usually gather on Sundays to have lunch with immediate and extended family members. The country is predominantly Catholic, and religious life is prominent. Polish teenagers have quite a bit of independence and responsibility. You may be tasked with preparing your own breakfast and getting to school on your own.
You’ll either attend lower secondary school (if you are up to 16 years old), which teaches a wide range of subjects, or upper secondary school (for students between the ages of 16 and 20), where students are prepared for university. Either way, you’ll learn foreign languages, history, science, and math.
The main language spoken in Poland is Polish, a Slavic language, but many people also speak English quite well. AFS Poland will provide you with Polish language lessons, books, and materials to help you master the language. Having a basic knowledge of English will be helpful.
Food in Poland is pretty hearty, and highlights include pierogi, a kind of stuffed dumpling, stew with mushrooms and sausage, meat, cabbage, and potatoes. Bread is served with just about every meal, and people often buy fresh bread daily from local bakeries. People in rural areas tend to grow their own fresh vegetables so you can make your own salad for dinner every night. There are plenty of tasty desserts like poppy seed cake and cheesecake.