As you may have previously read, Mitch and I did some voluntary teaching in Hungary through the Angloville programme. We signed up for one more of these teaching programmes in Poland, but somehow ended up doing three, and a weekend style programme. It worked out well for us though because we were running very low on money and Angloville provides you with accommodation and food for the week, all we have to pay for is alcohol (and it’s not exactly expensive in Poland). You can read all about the programme here from my post about it when we did it in Hungary. In short, you spent your day talking to polish adults to help improve their english speaking skills. Every Angloville has it’s own style, atmosphere, participants and location, so here’s a run down of my polish teaching experience.
1. Dwor Zabuze Hotel, Zabuze
Similar to Hungary, right bang in the middle of the countryside with no city to escape to. However, the grounds and the hotel were fabulous: swimming pool, hot tub and the river right beside us. Mitch and I had the pleasure of staying in the riverside cabin along with another English couple, Rachel & Simon. As two English couples we immediately got on, and myself and Rachel’s love for theatre was shared throughout the week.
Along with them we made some great other English Speaking friends, some of whom we were reunited with on later programmes. The polish people we got to know, talk to, and teach were all brilliant. Some of them were quite the party animals and our cabin soon became the party cabin for the week (which was awesome apart from when I was craving an early night). The polish participants gave a presentation at the end of the week and I was always amazed at how well their English had improved. Presentations on this particular programme ranged from drunken stag night stories, a travelling trip to Russia and a secret ballroom dancing star. By the end of the week we were knackered. We were dropped back in Warsaw with little time to recover before heading off to the next programme a couple of days later.
2. Dwor Moscibrody, Wisniew
After playing host to the party cabin the week before, I intended to take it a bit easier in terms of partying this week. It worked well, but of course, if polish people offer you vodka shots, you’re not going to say no, are you? The grounds and hotel were once again, brilliant, and the sun even came out for some lovely time spent outside. This was another fantastic week and we met some great native and polish alike.
On this programme I was the mentor for Beatha, a head nurse of a large hospital in Poland. The week afterwards she was off to Sweden to give a presentation about the polish healthcare system. I learnt so much from her, proving we weren’t the only ones teaching during the week. Evening entertainment involved teaching everyone the cupid shuffle and harlem shake, because thats how our entertainment rolled.
3. Centrum Okopowa Conference Centre, Warsaw and Stara Stajnia Hotel, Zawdiwice
We signed up to an Angloville weekend programme followed by a week programme (after that Angloville would give us a voucher to do an online TEFL course). The weekend programme didn’t happened as intended so instead we did some recordings for the Angloville website and participated in an open-day. There were seven of us who took part in the weekend programme and we spent the spare time getting to know each other and had a really fun few days.
On Monday we set off for our final Angloville programme at the gorgeous Stara Stajnia Hotel. It was the first time they’d used that venue and I think it was one of my favourites; stunning horses, a campfire to sit around, cheap bar and the most delicious, warm, home-made bread rolls in the morning. It was the largest programme we’d been on with about 20 native speakers and 20 polish participants which means some people I didn’t get to speak to as much as I would like. However, there were fun filled activities such as singing around a campfire, a scavenger hunt and of course, a few beverages.
One of my favourite parts of the programme is meeting such a diverse group of people. You learn about completely different lifestyles, gain knowledge of other countries, and create a real bond with people in a small amount of time. It was four fantastic weeks. I would recommend it if you find yourself in Hungary or Poland and want to try something new, exciting, and meet a fabulous bunch of people.
My Montenegro post was the closest I’ve come to being soppy in my blog but it’s going to happen again now. There was something about all these programmes that somehow brought Mitch and I much needed time apart and together on our travelling adventure. Travelling with one person can be intense, especially in low season where there aren’t as many people around in hostels. Angloville programmes were the time on our travels we would be apart all day, chatting to new people and ‘working.’ It got to the point where in our little free time we really wanted to spend time together, catch up, and just, well, hang out. We would talk to people about each other and our adventures, our story; it was great. Somehow during these programmes, Mitch and I managed to get closer and appreciate each other more. During the last programme our days in Poland and trip overall were dwindling, so as well as teaching and socialising, we made sure we spent some time together too.