Nichols College Junior Studies Abroad in Poland

Editor’s Note: Please enjoy this first article in a two-part series on Nichols College junior Jenna McAssey’s study abroad experience in Krakow, Poland.

By Jenna McAssey ’19

Poland. In reflecting on my time there, I cherish the fact that I’ve not only brought home countless memories but also friendships that will last forever.

My four months abroad was irreplaceable and unforgettable. I could not have chosen a better place in Europe to study, and I hope to be able to return back one day. Throughout my time in Poland, I was able to travel to many different places, try different foods, and have the opportunity to meet people representing different cultures.

My home during the fall 2017 semester was in Krakow, Poland. Krakow is one of the oldest cities in Poland (in fact, Europe) and is absolutely beautiful. It was once the city of the great kings and queens of Poland, and their castle—the Wawel Royal Castle—still stands in homage to them and many historic leaders.

I lived in an apartment right on the edge of the city center with two other Americans. Our apartment was in a prime location, and we had no issues—aside from an older woman who lived in the building.

My roommates and I slowly learned that many of the older ladies were not too friendly to foreigners, especially people who did not speak English. The ladies in our apartment would knock on our door every other night with another problem they had with us and would then proceed to yell at us in Polish (knowing we did not speak the language.) They eventually gave up and decided to print a list of rules translated into English and put them on our door. Afterward, we had contacted our landlord. He said to ignore what they did and told us many of the older couples living in Krakow do not like students, so no matter whom it is, this is what they will do.

The food in Poland is traditional and delicious! I was able to try different types of foods and also had the opportunity to make a variety of pierogi fillings. Pierogi (basically a dumpling or ravioli) is an extremely popular food that is served at practically every restaurant in Poland. In Krakow, my favorite restaurant was nextdoor to my apartment and had 35 flavors of pierogi on its menu. My two favorites were one with fried tomato and mozzarella and one with blueberry cheesecake for dessert.

It was definitely an incredible educational  experience to meet people from all over the world and be able to learn about their traditions and beliefs. I made friends from various countries such as Turkey, Germany, Syria, Italy, Czech Republic, the Netherlands, Hungary, Belgium and Spain. Since there were only six Americans in our study-abroad program, we integrated with the Erasmus programs (European Universities Exchange Program). Through this program, students in any country throughout or near Europe can study in any other European country for the semester. We were able to participate in all of their events, parties, and programs. I took classes with the Erasmus students and other Americans studying abroad. It was interesting to see the different views, cultures, and daily lives of people from other parts of the world. It was also eye-opening to listen to people’s opinions about the United States, and how we are stereotyped as an American society.

I recommend studying abroad as a college student. It’s a once-in-a-lifetime experience. I am happy I chose Poland because it is not a common study abroad destination. This allowed me to open myself up to meeting new people and to be submerged into the culture.

Jenna McAssey is a junior at Nichols College with a double major in criminal justice and psychology. She is also an intern for the Office of Marketing and Communications. 

SGA Snowball


Nichols College’s Student Government Association (SGA) hosted a semi-formal Snowball Jan. 26, 2018, and transformed Daniels Auditorium into a Winter Wonderland. The event’s goal was to get students out of their rooms with an excuse to get dressed up in fancy clothes and to be around friends in a fun atmosphere.

We had a cocktail hour, to which students ages 21 and older were invited to socialize with their classmates. This hour was a lot of fun because the auditorium was not packed with people, the music wasn’t too loud, and we were able to hang out with friends outside of our rooms.

As soon as 8 p.m. rolled around, the music was turned up, and the lights were shut off, displaying the twinkly lights strung around the auditorium to give off a wintery vibe. The rest of the Nichols student body was then invited to attend and enjoy the evening.

Everyone had a great time, and students expressed how they want to continue to see more events like this on campus.

I personally enjoyed my time—other than the fact that I had heels on and my feet were in serious pain—and the night was different from any other dance held in Daniels. It was a sight to see all the students dressed up and not in the casual clothes they wear to class.

As SGA president, we had been planning this event since the beginning of the year. It was the best feeling to see our hard work finally show and come together. Our hope is for this to become an annual event for the student body to enjoy every year.

Catherine Hoey is a senior at Nichols College majoring in marketing and minoring in hospitality. She is also an intern for the Office of Marketing and Communications. 

Produced by the Bison for the Nichols College Community