Sunday, December 14, 2014

From Germany to Poland

Brenna Yellin, May 2014 AJC PSA

Alum School: University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill Study Abroad
Location: Berlin, Germany
Field of Study: History and German Studies

May 2014 participants with Righteous Among the Nations
recipient Miroslawa Gruszczynksa in Krakow

Before coming to study in Germany, I contemplated where in Europe I wanted to travel. Although I was fairly flexible about which cities I wanted to visit, I knew I wanted to see Auschwitz. However, I wasn’t sure how to accomplish this because I didn’t want to go alone, but I also didn’t want to go with my friends, who just planned on driving by and snapping a picture. The AJC Program for Students Abroad offered the perfect solution. Every student on the program was not only engaged with the topic and more than willing to contribute to the discussion, but also caring and interested in getting to know one another. The program also offered time for personal reflection, which was important for me. As a student of German history, I’ve learned and read about Auschwitz in multiple classes, but I had rarely heard about Krakow’s history and its Jewish community. Learning about these aspects of Polish history on the program provided me with a more rounded and fuller perspective. Throughout the weekend, and after it, I really felt as though the program coordinators cared about the experience I was having and the knowledge I would take away from it. I highly recommend the program for anyone interested in not only Auschwitz, but Poland’s history as well.