Culture Shock for Polish Students in the United States

By Miyuki Sese

Antioch College has partnerships with several international universities. In this first term, not only Japanese students but also some Polish students came all the way to Antioch: Joanna Grabski, Ewa Niezgoda, Zuzia Drozdzak, Joanna Strozik, Dorotia Tombinska, Alicja Piekarska.

Joanna Grabski has visited in the United Students before, but it is for the first visit to America for most of the Polish students. Needless to say, they have been surprised by the different American styles. According to them, the biggest surprising thing was the American friendly attitude. Even though people who go through are strangers, American always greets them on the street.“ America delivered nice atmosphere,”said Zuzia.

The approach to the education seems to be different between Poland and America. In Poland, education is conducted relatively traditionally, while Americans conducts a progressive education. Now, they are learning a lot of from the liberal education at Antioch. “As for Antioch, all facilities are crowded in one place, but Polish universities usually have their facilities in various area including the town,” Joanna Strozik said. Poland also doesn’t have any colleges, only universities.

Besides these culture shocks, they have been surprised by the parties held at Antioch. Poles usually have parties in their university, but they don’t dress up for the party. When they go to the club, bar and disco, they usually dress up. So, they saw a difference when they saw the students dressing up for the party in Antioch.

Food style seems to be the most important topic in culture shock. In Poland, the potato is the staple diet and necessary, but “American formula for potato seems different from Polish.”said Dorotia. Architecture everywhere in America also seems different from Polish. Most interestingly,“American air is different from Polish.”said Joanna Grabski. They finished by saying “We like Antioch. Antioch students are so active.”