What I will miss the most about studying abroad is the friends I have met and exploring all that Prague has to offer. Over the past month, I have made it a mission to go to a new café every day as coffee shop culture in Prague is surprisingly one of the best in Europe.Continue Reading
Traveling from one major city to another had led me to forget my love for nature. That is until my friends and I travelled to Interlaken, Switzerland. Switzerland is filled with delicious chocolate and cheese, but best of all the Swiss Alps! Swiss cows aren’t the only animals that are extremely happy in Switzerland, according to the World Happiness Report Switzerland ranks number 2 in happiness. I couldn’t wait to see the secret to this country’s success in person. Continue Reading
Whenever travelling Europe came to my mind, Hungary was never really at the top of my list of countries to see. But this was a huge misconception! I spent this weekend in Budapest and it was one of my favorite cities I have been to yet. Continue Reading
November 1st marks one of the most important days in Poland. It is the annual national holiday All Saints Day, which is followed by on November 2nd with All Souls Day, also sometimes known as The Day of the Dead. This is an official public holiday so all schools, banks, businesses, and offices are closed. Special church services are held at the cemeteries to commemorate the saints and people lay flowers and candles on the graves of the deceased family members and friends. It is believed that these candles help the departed souls find their way through the darkness. The graves in Poland are very unique as families invest a lot of time and money to ensure that the grave for their loved ones are beautiful and grand.
This weekend was a very special one to me that created tremendous emotion within me and left me with a wonderful forever memory. I traveled to visit my grandmother in Lomza, Poland. Lomza is a small city a bit over an hour from Warsaw, the capital of Poland. I rarely have the occasion to see my babcia (polish word for grandmother) since we live across the Atlantic from each other, so when I asked her if I could visit her for the holiday weekend it sparked tremendous happiness within both of us. I have only had the chance to visit Poland in the summer months in the past, so I knew that this would be probably one of my only opportunities to celebrate of my passed family.
Preparation for November 1st sure is a process. My babcia was telling me about how the week leading up to it she spent her days cleaning all the graves and searching for the most beautiful flower bouquets and candles before all the shops were deserted of the items in order to complete her project of decorating the graves. When we arrived, there was a rush of crowds all scrambling to make it to the prayers hosted at the cemetery. It almost reminded me of a small carnival as there were flowers and candles being sold on every street corner, bread baskets for people to munch on, and even cotton candy for the kids. Not one grave went undecorated. As seen in my photo most graves have benches planted next to them so that family and friends could sit for a while and spend time with their beloved ones. As we traveled from one grave to another my babcia told me about the individuals and their history. It was incredible to be able to listen about my family’s past and to share a few tears with my grandma because these topics often go unspoken about.
In Poland, holiday meals are especially sacred and the family dinners were filled with specifically planned meals including bigos, pierogi, soups, and potatoes. Every day the table for breakfast, lunch and dinner was filled with freshly baked pastries, traditional polish cuisine, coffee and tea. It was incredible to see how much food I could consume in one weekend, as saying no to a grandmother’s food is especially hard! All the travelling I have done these past two months has been unreal, but this weekend was extra special.
Student, UConn School of Business
Kasia Kolc is a senior studying Accounting. She is writing this blog as part of her scholarship from the Global Business Programs Office. Kasia interned at PwC, a Big 4 public accounting firm, this past summer. She had also interned in Wealth Management at Merrill Lynch and Janney Montgomery Scott. A fun fact about Kasia is that she was a girl scout in the Polish Scouting Organization for 10 years.
Greece and Airbnb vs. Hostel
I was definitely not expecting to fall so hard for Greece. The 4 days I spent there was the best trip I have ever taken.Continue Reading
This past weekend was one of my first weekends staying in Prague and opting out of travelling elsewhere. But this was for good reason because Czechoslovakia was celebrating 100 year of independence on October 28th! Continue Reading
This past weekend I took a bus to Munich to experience the well-known Oktoberfest (known as Wiesn by locals). Oktoberfest is the largest celebration in Europe! I met some of my closest friends from UConn to go to the fair with. It was very comforting to see faces from home after being away for some time. When out exploring the world, sometimes I find that my life and friends back home creep to the back of my mind. It’s simply because I am so focused on enjoying every moment so deeply that my phone doesn’t make it out of my bag as much as it does back home.Continue Reading
Study abroad so far has been a never-ending vacation, and it keeps getting better and better.Continue Reading
Another 7 days have flown by and if I have learned anything, it is that putting my experience into words will never do it justice. From the highest towers in Prague to the comfiest corners in local cafes, this week my Czech Republic adventures have continued. Following orientation week, we had begun our Czech Intensive Language course that would be 6 hours of instruction for 2 weeks. But this intensive course did not stop any of us on the program from making the most of our study abroad experience. My friends and I had spent many of our nights watching the sunset at Letna Beer Garden, hiking up Petrin Tower, and peddle boating on the Charles River. Continue Reading
The days before beginning my study abroad experience in Prague were filled with anticipation and excitement as I was preparing to spend almost 4 months in a foreign country. I was ready to fully immerse myself in the Czech language and culture. Continue Reading