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Great memories of the Polish trip

On the 9th of November I was in Poland, Chorzow with my school. Before the travel I had different feelings about the trip because it was my first time when I had to speak English a lot with strangers.

On 9th we started our trip in the morning but we stopped in Brno, in Czech Republic and took a walk there. On 10th we were in the Polish school. I was in 2 English lessons and after that we participated in the school ceremony, because the 11th of November is the National Day in Poland. The ceremony was beautiful and fascinating. On the 11th we listened to the mass in a wonderful church and later we went to Auschwitz which was shocking. In the evening we walked in Katowice with some Polish students. On 12th we were in a salt mine in Wieliczka and in the afternoon in Krakow with Polish students. The salt mine was nice, I was in other salt mines too but it was so different.

On 13th we had a „family day”. Polish students invited Hungarian students to lunch. Except 5 students everyone went to play bowling, eat pizza etc… I was so nervous before the “family day”. Some people had bad experience after that day but I have the opposite of it. I was with my classmate, Csilla with a friendly Polish boy, Rafał. First, we went to a viewpoint, there is an amazing view. After it, we went to at another town, Siemianowice by bus. Rafał’s family were extremely friendly with us, he has an 11 years old sister like me, because I also have one. We ate typical traditional Polish lunch and it was delicious. The soup was almost the same as Hungarian chicken soup. The main course was potato noodles with sauce, steamed cabbage with mushrooms, fried chicken leg and stuffed meat rolls. There was an apple cake and ice cream with whipped cream for the dessert. After eating we played with xbox 360 kinect which was fun and also listened to how nice the boy can play the electric piano. I felt great and I could talk in English a lot. On 14th we left for home in the morning. Some Polish students came to the hotel where we stayed and my new friend came to say goodbye, too. During the homeward journey we stopped in Bratislava.

I loved this trip so much because I could speak a lot and I could see a lot of fantastic places. With Rafał we still speak a lot so we practice English and I also have a great Polish friend.

Edina

Experiences in Poland

This trip was one of my favourite trips because I could spend a lot of time with my friends and we could see beautiful places and buildings together. Of course, we could make new friends, too and, that is why, my favourte day was Sunday.
Sunday was the last day which we could spend together. Although our Polish peers left us alone in the shopping center we had a lot of fun there. In my opinion, with them it would have been better and more interesting. When we went back to school we had a farewell party. This party is my best experience because on Thursday, when we’d met first, we were so shy but at the party we could work together. We played a lot of games with them. The students were friendly and their teachers were so kind to us from the beginning. I have to write about their school because I loved it so much. It wasn’t as small as they said and the colours of the walls were friendly. Their classrooms were very well equipped. I think, they can study in these classrooms easier and of course it is very useful.
All in all, it was an interesting journey and I think it was useful for us too. We heard a lot about history and we met new people. I hope they can come to us in March and we can make more experiences together.

Gigi

My experiences in Poland

Our way to Chorzow was a bit long but it wasn’t boring. After 4 hours of travelling we stopped in Brno where we spent two hours with visiting the beautiful tourist attractions. Then we travelled 3 hours which we spent with watching films. Finally, we arrived at the hotel. Next day we went to the school and we visited 2 English lessons. It was an interesting experience to watch the school life in another country. Their performance was amazing. We were fascinated by the beautiful songs which they sang during their celebration. On that day we met the Polish students who participate in the project first.

On Friday we attended a mass. We didn’t understand anything from it, so it wasn’t interesting for us. After that we went to Auschwitz where we were in small groups. It was a very sensitive and shocking experience, especially, the Hungarian house. Unfortunatelly, we dindn’t have enough time to see everything. We closed that day with a walk in Katowice.

Next day we were in Wieliczka where we visited the salt mine. After that we saw some attractions in Krakow.

On Sunday we spent the afternoon with some Polish students. Edina and me were with a very friendly boy and with his family. We ate traditional Polish dishes which were more delicious that those which we had eaten in the school the previous day. I really enjoyed the time which I spent with his family.

On Monday we had a long journey home. On our way we stopped in Bratislava for a few hours. I think, I can say that everybody enjoyed the trip and we will be happy if we can go there again.

Csilla

Our Polish trip After the autumn break I went to Poland with some of my school mates and my teachers. We travelled by bus. It took a long time to get to Chorzow. When we arrived at our hotel, everyone was tired. Next day we visited the school which took part in the “Let’s celebrate together” program. We attended some lessons there. After the lessons we watched their celebration of the Independence Day. On the third day, while others were watching the sermon in the church, we placed a wreath to the basement of the Independence Day’s monument and took a walk in Chorzow before we left for Auschwitz. The camp was depressing. In the evening we took stroll with the Polish students in Katowice. On the fourth day we visited the salt mine in Wieliczka. It was beautiful and much bigger than I had expected. In my opinion, the salt mine was one of the most interesting things during the trip. After Wieliczka we went sightseeing in Krakow. It was sleeting and there was very cold there so it was hard to enjoy the beautiful architecture of the city. On the fifth day’s morning we got some free time. We had programs with the Polish students then. I played bowling with Tomislaw, Adam and Bendegúz. After the game I had a lunch with Tomislaw’s family. His parents weren’t at home, so I met his grandparents. Fortunately, Tomislaw could translate for us, so our conversation was enjoyable. The family was nice and the meal was delicious, too. We finished the day with a party. On the last day we left for home in the morning. I really enjoyed the trip. I met new, great people and I had a great time.

Vince

What has Christmas become?

When someone says the word „Christmas” everyone thinks of happiness, Santa, presents and the tree, but, nowadays, it’s more of an obligation towards everyone and puts a great pressure on most people, especially parents. First let’s take a look at Christmas itself. In the past it was truly about the aforementioned things, whereas today it’s all about spending money. There would be nothing wrong with that as long as we keep the simple things like empathy and compassion in mind. These basic feelings could make all the difference most poor and homeless people need, since this is the only time in a year when we think about them and try to help them. Unless we change our mind-set, it will continue to become a more money-oriented celebration just like all the others. Secondly, Christmas has its roots in the Christian religion, although most people have forgotten about it altogether. In the past it was a humble celebration and most importantly it wasn’t about money. The crucial part is not the religion but the simple way of celebrating Christmas as it should be celebrated. All of these are consequences of the changing world. We live in a completely new type of society, nothing like the one our parents grew up in, so it’s natural that some things are different, however, some things should never change.

Balázs

Our school

The name of our school is Vajda János Grammar School and Secondary Vocational School. The building is situated in the centre of a small town Bicske, opposite the park. János (John) Vajda was a famous Hungarian poet, whose birthplace is not far from Bicske. Students can get secondary education and take part in some study circles and afternoon activities, for example drama lessons or sports.

It is a small school with a friendly inner atmosphere as only about 300 students study here. In the vocational classes our students have such economic subjects as logistics and marketing. One grammar school class gives additional education for those young people who want to undertake a police service. At the end of their studies young people have to take the final examinations at intermediate or advanced levels (like GCSE in Britain). After these exams they can continue their studies at higher educational establishments, for example, at a university or at a college.

School equipment

In the classrooms there are colour Interactive Whiteboards and TVs

ÞWe have got well equipped physics, biology and chemistry laboratories

ÞIn our school there is an entrance hall, 2 modern computer rooms and a studio

ÞWe have a library, where the students can borrow any books: from course books to fiction

ÞThere is a gymnasium and a playing field with a football pitch outside

ÞThere is an internet connection in almost all classrooms

Holidays and celebrations:

Autumn Holiday: the end of October to 3rd November

Spring Holiday: some days before and after Easter

Winter Holiday: from 22nd December to 3rd January

Easter: different dates

Christmas: from 25th December to 26th December

New Year: 1st January

National Celebrations: 23rd Oktober, 15th March

Societies, workshops, work-outs

Theatre: There is a theatrical workshop in our school and many students have drama lessons. We act out many famous plays. We have three or four performances a year. Sometimes we travel with the drama group to other cities.

Handball, basketball and football: our players have regular work-outs and matches. We regularly play friendly matches with basketball teams from other schools.

Athletics: A lot of students do sports and athletics at our school. We participate in some competitions successfully.

Judo: The students can learn self-defence. We have hard training sessions, and there are good keep-fit exercises.

Film studio: We have made short films, participating in some international film projects and just for fun.

National and international competitions: Our students regularly take part in many national and international competitions. Every year we are proud of those young people who can achieve excellent results with their extraordinary performance.

Our trips

School and class trips abroad have been regularly organised in our school. Our students have travelled to England (Drama project), Germany (Twin schools partnership project), Strasbourg (European Parliament international project), to Germany, Latvia and Turkey (Comenius project), to Romania and Poland (Class exchanges), etc.

Those young people who study English have had successful class exchanges and mutual projects (e.g.: drama festival, photo project, poetry and film project, film and acting, international e-magazine writing, etc.) with English, Italian, Luxemburgish, Polish, Austrian, Czech, Cypriot, French and Greek schools.

Here are some photos of a cultural exchange with a Greek school (they visited our school in 2015).

We would like our future partners to get an idea about the atmosphere of such exchanges while reading the participating students’ account of the Polish-Hungarian school exchange in 2006.

Our Experiences in Poland

(17th – 24th September 2007)

In an exchange programme in May a group of Polish children spent a week in Hungary as our guests. They participated in some lessons at our school and we showed them some places in our country while visiting many famous sights and some of our biggest cities, like Budapest, Győr or Szentendre. During these days we introduced them to some of our habits, traditions and the Hungarian hospitality. Similar events happened in the middle of September when the parts swapped and the hosts became guests.

On Monday, after a very tiring day at school, we left Bicske at 17:30. On the train, at last we had an opportunity to play card games and chat about interesting and funny topics. When we had felt tired, we made our beds and tried to sleep. Just tried!! Unfortunately, our beds weren’t comfortable and the train was loud, moreover, when we fell asleep, the frontier guards and customs officers on the Slovakian – Polish border gave us a very unpleasant wake-up. Finally, we slept only 3 hours, that’s why we weren’t too fresh next day.

We arrived in Warsaw at 8 o’clock a.m. The Polish teachers were waiting for us and took us to McDonald’s to have breakfast. After it we started our long walk in the city. First, we admired the fascinating view of Warsaw from the tower of the Cultural Centre. Then, we visited the Wyspianski and some other exhibitions in the National Museum. In a park opposite the different embassies, while we were having lunch, we could see lovely, fury squirrels playing tag. With our last reserves of energy, we entered the Technological University of Warsaw. By the modern underground we approached our Polish friends’ school and at last we could meet each other. They showed their school and we watched a funny film which was made by some students. Finally, everybody travelled to the hosts’ houses.

On Wednesday we started our day with an enjoyable and interesting History lesson with Chris. We realized many common facts in the Hungarian and Polish history. By the underground we reached a nice park where the remnants of a palace, which was destroyed in World War II, are situated. From there we were heading for the Old Town passing the National Theatre. The tour guide had already been waiting for us at the Royal Palace. To our big astonishment the former palace was completely destroyed during World War II and rebuilt from the Polish people’s money because the government didn’t give a zloty for reconstruction, as the tour guide said. She also told us that Polish people had rescued much furniture, many paintings, sculptures and other pieces of the decoration during the war, that’s why many parts of the rebuilt palace are original inside. Outside we met our Polish friends and that time they guided us in the heart of the Old Town where we saw the symbol of Warsaw, the pretty mermaid. A film about Warsaw at the beginning of the 20th century made us wiser. What’s more, we didn’t lose Flora at the underground station. J

Next day we couldn’t get a good rest because of the uncomfortable train seats and Barbi’s craziness. The long trip was forgotten because the view of the gorgeous sea compensated for it. As soon as the fresh salty air filled our lungs, we became refreshed in Sopot. Moreover, we could enjoy the sight of a real pirate ship. However, we hadn’t enough free time to look around in the town, to admire the see, to do shoping and to taste the Polish waffle. In Gdańsk a guide was waiting for us and she showed us the centre. The city centre is very special with its architecture style. It is also very colourful and lively. It’s a real cosmopolitan city. There it is possible to buy real amber jewellery and handmade sweets. The estuary of the Vistula is beautiful. It looks like a narrow channel, however, there’re many enormous ships. Gdańsk has many big churches: one of them is the gothic Saint Mary Church at the end of the Amber Street. There is an opportunity to climb the high tower, which provides the most amazing view of the city. Near it the Main Square is situated with the Neptune fountain. On our way home we got some delicious cakes from the Polish teachers.

We started next morning with a quiz. Then we could visit different lessons at school. The English lesson had the biggest success. It was a useful experience. We were strolling in Łazienki Park and had a guided visit to the Palace on the Water. We could also see Frederic Chopin’s bronze statue. We were walking through the most beautiful parks of Warsaw towards the underground station.

At the weekend we had 2 family days. Of course, we had different programmes, although most students went to Kazimierz. Another destination was Zelazowa Wola,

Chopin’s nice birthplace near Warsaw. Next day some people played bowling and others did some shopping.

Finally, we had sad farewells at the train station and the moment of saying goodbye to each other came soon. It was very sad to leave without knowing whether we could meet again. We were so absent-minded at this point that nobody could remember the numbers of our cabins, which we were told about by our teacher previously. That’s why Mrs Vilinovszki told us to go to school to practise some Maths on the day of our arrival. J

All in all, we were very exhausted and, of course, we didn’t study on Monday. We were lucky to arrive safe and sound with many useful and gorgeous experiences.