Poland is a country with a thousand-year history and rich traditions. Despite being at the heart of much destruction during World War II, it has kept much of its cultural heritage remarkably intact. Home to wonderful, captivating landscapes, like the Carpathian Mountains, the coastline of the Baltic Sea, or the winding river Vistula, Poland offers many natural wonders. In fact, Poland is home to 14 United Nations Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) World Heritage sites!
- Airport Pick-up
- Host Family Placement
- School Placement
- Medical Insurance
- 24/7 Emergency Support
- Field Trips
- Cultural Tours
- Assistance with Application Process
- Visa Application Assistance
- Pre-Departure Orientation
- Orientations during your time abroad
- Access to Alumni Network
- Continuous Support
- Worldwide Presence
- 70 Years Experience
- Visa and Passport Fees
Language and Culture
Poland’s official language, Polish, belongs to the West Slavic branch of Slavic languages. It has several dialects that correspond to the old tribal divisions and it has also been influenced by contact with foreign tongues.
Poles are direct and frank communicators. They generally do not hesitate to state their opinions and can deliver criticism quite honestly. People of other cultures may get the impression that Polish people are blunt or self-confident. However, in Polish culture it is believed that the more direct a person is with someone, the greater their respect. In addition, humor and sarcasm play a large role in the Polish communication style.
Poles are generally friendly and active people, who like to keep themselves busy with extracurricular activities, trips, and family get-togethers. You’re likely to find a close-knit family with grandparents often living in the home. In Polish culture, parents usually give their children quite a bit of independence and responsibility. Polish families come in all shapes and sizes, some lead very quiet lives, others are quite busy and their household is noisy. Some take frequent trips or outings, while others spend most of their time at home. Both parents may work outside the home or only one. Families also come from a variety of socio-economic backgrounds. Families will usually gather on Sundays to have lunch with immediate and extended family members. Polish society is young and well-educated, with a strong sense of initiative and creativity.
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 mushroom hunting. Down time may be spent relaxing with a card game like bridge. It’s common for teenagers to hang out during the weekend, go to the movies, or to a friend’s house.
Let AFS guide your intercultural adventure
Kick-start your future with AFS and discover who you really are, make new lifetime friendships and immerse yourself in a fascinating intercultural experience.
This programme begins at your home country with a pre-departure orientation and continues with orientations, other supported learning activities and facilitated conversations which will help you maximize your experience, cope with the challenges of navigating a new culture and community as well as gain knowledge, skills, and a global understanding throughout your time abroad, and as you return to your home country. AFS volunteers will be there to support and guide you and your host family the whole way through.