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Is a language school in Krakow worth it?

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Fort Collins...
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Is a language school in Krakow worth it?

Hello fellow travelers,

I want to visit Poland this summer for a couple weeks, but I will be traveling alone. I don't want to just wander around and look at things by myself, so I thought I would try one of the language schools.

Do you think this is a good idea? Are there other good ways to meet fellow travelers? I am a 41 year-old male and I don't speak any Polish.

Wroclaw, Poland
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1. Re: Is a language school in Krakow worth it?

It's always good to learn something new, so I would say it's worth it if you find classes that will suit your schedules. But if you are visiting Krakow for a couple of weeks then maybe you would also want to see some other places - like Zakopane which is close or more distant cities like Warsaw and Wroclaw. So if you plan some overnight trips from Krakow then you probably will miss some classes...

dallas tx.
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2. Re: Is a language school in Krakow worth it?

but you will be tied down most of your time to one place and wont see much of the country

Nowy Sacz, Poland
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3. Re: Is a language school in Krakow worth it?

I'm with Casey - you're likely to find the classes restrict you too much.

Several years ago I did two weeks at a language school in France, staying with a local family and attending classes ten mornings and afternoons. The only time I spent with other students was lunchtime, when we'd wander over to the main street and have a buy-your-own picnic, and the weekend, when I volunteered me and my car to take a couple of trips. Otherwise, everyone went back to their famiies for tea, so dispersed after last class, except one evening when the school held a movie night. I enjoyed some of it, but I also saw one teacher reduce a 30 year old German girl to tears and phone her husband to come get her and a beginner's class go on strike because the teacher would only speak french and they could not understand - after negotitation, the class (containing Japanese and Norwegian students) operated in English - the only common language shared by the class!

As Rocking Pony says, you're tied by classes to Krakow, save your weekend. You might be able to get mornings only, so spend time out and about in the afternoons and evenings (enough for Ojcow, Auschwitz, Wieliczka, etc). Ask - because higher student numbers allow more variations. Smaller or fewer classes become more attached to shedules, so missing days here and there will cause issues with your teacher and perhaps also your classmates.

Edited: 13 February 2013, 17:42
Stenhousemuir...
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4. Re: Is a language school in Krakow worth it?

Hi,

There's always people offering to exchange languages on this forum. It might be more pleasant in a flexible, social situation.

www.cracow-life.com/jabber/messages.php

I'm just picking it up as I go along from friends I have met over the years, and a few CDs to listen to in the car!

O, and I like to watch the Polish news channels. You know the news stories so you can kind of translate it yourself.

Jane

Edited: 13 February 2013, 17:52
dallas tx.
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5. Re: Is a language school in Krakow worth it?

ya but they speak so fast on the news ....i prefer the soap operas that have english subtitles

Jacksonville...
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6. Re: Is a language school in Krakow worth it?

Going anywhere for 2 weeks doesn't warrant a language school in my opinion. My favorite thing to do is to hire a college kid who wants to practice their English on you. Great way to learn a little Polish while the college kid learns English. Don't waste your money on a school. You'll waste a lot of time when you should be traveling.

Fort Collins...
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7. Re: Is a language school in Krakow worth it?

These are some great thoughts. Thanks so much everyone!

I agree that two weeks is a very short time to do a language school, and I don't like the thought of being tied down.

So if you're a single traveler like me, what is the best way to meet people? Many of the guides (like Lonely Planet) say to hang around hostels, pubs, and things like that, but is it really true?

Wroclaw, Poland
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8. Re: Is a language school in Krakow worth it?

Well, like almost anywhere in the worlds hostels are places where usually backpackers and young people stay so atmosphere in this kind of facility is definitely more casual than in hotels. Some people like it, some don't.

But if you really want to meet Poles or expats living in Poland then I can recommend you Couchsurfing.org - website which allows you to find people willing to meet with travelers coming to their cities. You could even stay in somebody's apartment. It's a great way to meet new friends and it's perfect for single travelers.

Edited: 14 February 2013, 09:13
9. Re: Is a language school in Krakow worth it?

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