Introduce yourself and say a few words about yourself.
My name is Janina and I am 18 years old. I came here from Russia, from Kaliningrad Oblast, more precisely from Baltiysk. Currently I am studying at the School of Polish for Foreign Students at the University of Łódź. In the future I plan to study pharmacy in Łódź or in Gdańsk. I visited Poland in the summer, spending time with my friends. I really like the country, the people are nice and warm. Łódź is a cheap city, which means that the students are very lucky.
Why did you decide to come to Poland?
I have Polish roots and I always wanted to go back to the country of my ancestors. I intend not only to study in Poland, but also to stay and to live here, as well as to start a family. I have chosen a difficult path but I hope I am going to make it. I have to make it, because I feel great to be here. The people are different, they are happier and more satisfied.
How did your first week in Poland look?
The first week in Poland was fascinating. Probably because I had taken the first step towards making my dream come true. Here in Poland I can decide for myself, because I am far away from my parents. From the beginning I was lucky, because I was achieving everything I had planned. Many people who come to Poland to study miss home. I do not feel homesick. Since my childhood I have been getting used to spending the summer in Poland, far from home.
What is the difference between Poland and Russia?
Education in Poland and in Russia varies considerably. It is not just about the fact that those are two different languages. In Poland, a student receives more practical knowledge, and different, better teaching methods are used. I make this comparison, because I hear from my friends, who study in Russia, and I think they tell the truth. The big difference lies in the fact that students in Kaliningrad go to classes because they have to, and in Poland because they want to. At the University of Łódź, young people obtain knowledge, have passion, and are engaged by their own free will. There is no compulsion, but there are exams, which check knowledge. Those who do not go to the classes have to study more by themselves at home. It is their choice.
Do you know any prominent Poles?
Yes, I do. I know very many Poles. I was revising for the exams to get to the university and thanks to this I know about famous people in Poland. My grandma always told me how important it is to have knowledge about such people as Maria Skłodowska-Curie, Jan Matejko, Mikołaj Kopernik, Karol Wojtyła, Wisława Szymborska, Henryk Sienkiewicz, Bolesław Prus, Julian Tuwim and Fryderyk Chopin. These people come to mind straight away. It is important to know the names of the people who have done a lot of good for Poland.
What do you do in your free time?
I do not have much of a free time, but when I do, I like going to a club, to the theatre, to the concert hall, or to watch a ballet performance. Very often I meet my friends. I live in the dormitory for medical students, so there is always a lot of fun (even if we are studying). Medical students have a very peculiar and odd sense of humour so I am never bored.
What country would you would like to go to?
I have not been travelling to many places, so I do not know where I would like to go in the first place. Thanks to the fact that I came to Poland, I have met many people from various countries at the School of Polish for Foreign Students at the University of Łódź. Having heard their stories, I would like to go to China, Lebanon, Brazil, the United States or Canada. In these countries there are different traditions, and wonderful people live there. They have other habits, culture or holidays. Sometimes you do not understand them, not because they do not speak Polish, but because they have something different in their minds than you do.
Do you have your favourite city in Poland?
Of course I do. It is a small town, which is called Zabrze. I cannot tell why I like it. It is simply that there are cities in which you feel that you are in your place; for some people it is Warsaw, for others Kraków or Gdańsk, and I have fallen in love with Zabrze.
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