Advantages of GFPS mobility program in Poland

By Khrystyna Halytska

GFPS (Organisation for Student and Cultural Exchange in Central and Eastern Europe) can be described as the program giving the opportunity to learn about yourself and the world around you.

Developing one’s own research idea and presenting scientific results at a joint meeting of GFPS participants, scholarship holders and organizers were the essential condition for participation. This youth organization of Eastern and Central Europe enabled me to study at the University of Warsaw. In addition to my studies, I carried out research on the influence of English on the Polish language, borrowings and differences in grammatical structures. Scholars from Ukraine, Germany and Belarus presented the results of their research projects as recently as this July. All topics were novel, with thorough research conducted.

In addition to the scientific paper, the project involved traveling around Poland as well as participating in various excursions and competitions. For instance, I was impressed by the old and atmospheric architecture of Poznań, where you can listen to live music (often popular Ukrainian songs), wandering cozy streets with dozens of coffee shops.

The last meeting of participants and the presentation of projects took place in Wroclaw, one of my favorite cities in Poland. Enjoying an attractive cultural and leisure program there for a few days, we had an opportunity to choose an excursion, visit several museums, try both traditional Polish cuisine and a menu of modern food.

Looking back on that period of my life, I can say with confidence that GFPS not only broadens one’s worldview, turns strangers into friends and gives unforgettable memories, but can also be life-changing. During the entire period of the project, GFPS participants constantly helped the scholarship holders and held informative meetings in Warsaw, where everyone had an opportunity to meet talented and sociable youth. Of late I have been thinking more and more about becoming one of its regular members and presenting a local group in Warsaw. It is worth noting too that studying abroad helps to improve foreign language skills. After a semester at the University of Warsaw and Polish language classes at the Igor Sikorsky Kyiv Polytechnic Institute (KPI), conducted by very talented teacher Wojciech S. Zwolinski, I decided to help Ukrainian refugees to learn a new language. After such an experience, I have realized what a talented, persistent and warm-hearted people live in Ukraine.

Currently, the capital of Ukraine’s sister country, Warsaw, is preparing to celebrate the New Year holidays. Dressed with festive garlands and Christmas holiday lights, the main streets of the city center and the so-called Staruvka (old town) attract a huge number of visitors. On cozy streets enfolding you like comfortable sweaters, you can smell the aromas of mulled wine as well as fragrant and hearty Polish cuisine. During the holidays the old town hosts a festive market, where you can not only buy various goodies and New Year’s toys, but also go ice skating under the open sky.

Hopefully, this New Year will bring peace and tranquility to Ukraine. Let’s keep hope, faith in our brave hearts and the strong desire for victory

The author is a linguistics student pursuing a master’s degree at KPI