Friday (19.05) – Monday (22.05). Five members of ESN UAM Poznań went to Wrocław to take part in National Platform – the biggest statutory congress, where members of Sections from all over the country participate. During 4 days long sittings, outgoing Board of ESN Poland and Board of Audit reported about their activity and Candidates for coming Board gave their presentations. There was also a time for presenting Candidates who wanted to organise next National Platform and Delegate’s Meeting. Our Section tried for organising the second one. Unfortunately, this honour eventually belongs to Cracow University of Technology.  The nearest National Platform will also take place in Cracow. Apart from official proceedings, there was also a time for integration and balls. During one of them, in Wrocław Zoo, our President – Kaja Janiszewska – was awarded as the Most Active Delegate. In those 4 days we selected new Board of Audit for the next year and the National Representative – Board Member responsible for International Relations.

Wednesday, May 24th. For the last time this semester we've visited students, as a part of Erasmus in Schools project. We were invited for the English lesson in Józef Wybicki's Junior High No. 56. Erasmus students from Tajikistan, Belgium and Romania showed presentations about their countries and told a bit about traditions of the places they are from. At the end of the classes young students and the teacher could ask questions to the Erasmus guests. For them it was not only  language lesson but also a great opportunity to get to know the new cultures.

Thursday, May 25th. On 26th of May the whole Poland celebrates the Mother's Day. On this occasion we visited the kindergarten "Mali Europejczycy" (Little Europeans) in Poznań. The main topic of our meeting was the Mother's Day. Together we talked about the celebration and prepared gifts for our mums. The children and students from Portugal, Kazakhstan and Greece made beautiful cards, wrote the wishes and drew pictures. Both the Erasmus students and children enjoyed the meeting and had lots of fun. Unfortunately it was our last visit to a kindergarten this semester. We can't wait for other holidays and opportunities for visiting children.

Studying to become an English teacher, Furkan Atan from Balıkesir in Turkey is a true polyglot – speaking Turkish and English, learning French, he has recently added Polish to the list and hopes to follow up with Russian. Languages are not his only strong point, though – a table tennis high school champion, Furkan thrives when surrounded by people and takes great pleasure from immersing himself in culture. He has proved all of that with his active participation in ESN UAM Poznań events, taking part in ExchangeAbility workshops, delivering presentations about his country for the Cool’ture project, as well as connecting with high schoolers and children being an exemplary SocialErasmus. Due to his major involvement in the activities, Furkan was our absolute favourite for the title of the Erasmus of the Month May.

Furkan was a pleasure to talk to – his jaw-dropping language skills could convince even the biggest sceptic that you can indeed learn a language in a few months. Furkan is a walking example of that and the interview below, conducted entirely in Polish, an indisputable proof.

ESN Weekly News: Tell me about your activities as part of your Erasmus+ in Poznań.

FURKAN: During the Turkish/Spanish Evening by the Cool’ture group I gave a presentation about Turkey in the 9stóp club. I also had a presentation at a school for Dzień Języka UAM (AMU Language Day). I wanted to show my culture to people who don’t understand it. SocialErasmus is also a great project.

EWN: Are you also able to develop your other interests in Poland?

FURKAN: Yes, I’m interested in Psychology and I’m taking a Psychology course here – it’s going to help me in my teaching profession in the future, I will be able to better connect with my students. Apart from that, I play ping-pong. I recently had a chance to play for the first time in a while. I’m very good at it, but if I trained four times a week, I would be even better. In high school I was in a ping-pong team, we won a competition and got medals.

EWN: Why did you choose studying as part of your Erasmus+ programme in Poland?

FURKAN: I initially didn’t know much about Poland. I was planning to go to the Netherlands, but my application wasn’t accepted. Then I chose Adam Mickiewicz University, because it’s the third best university in the country. The AMU Faculty of English is very prestigious, that was important.

EWN: You are now on your second year.

FURKAN: Yes, at my university in Balıkesir Bachelor’s studies last for four years, Master’s studies for two. In Poland it’s three and two years. In my country after four years of studying I can become a teacher at the primary and high school level.

EWN: Are there any other differences between studying in Poland and in Turkey?

FURKAN: Even when you’re studying English, our teachers speak Turkish – in my opinion it’s very bad. Here everything is in English. I only have my French classes in Polish – it’s very difficult!

EWN: Learning languages doesn’t come easy to you?

FURKAN: It depends on the ambition. In the previous semester I wasn’t actively learning Polish. I only went to classes, but I didn’t study at home – this is why I couldn’t speak Polish. But this semester I started to learn Polish with my friend Abdu from Tajikistan (Polish philology student) who speaks Polish well, and that’s how I can now communicate with people. When you’re a student of English you also have to learn another foreign language – I learn French. It’s very difficult though, I think French is even harder than Polish! But I’ve been learning Polish for a long time and if I learn French for just as long, I will be able to improve it.

EWN: It’s only been a few months, and you can already speak Polish so well!

FURKAN: When you live here for the language, you have a chance to learn more – through communication with people, when walking around the town you see words, you can memorise them through exposure. When I come back home I will be learning vocabulary through Duolingo (online language-learning platform – ed.) to improve my Polish. In the future I want to use it to learn another language, for example Russian. If I find a stipend, I might go to Russia to learn Russian. And if you know Polish it’s easier to learn Russian.

EWN: That’s an interesting idea. Why do you want to learn Russian?

FURKAN: In my country there are many Russian-speaking tourists. If I’m not able to work as a teacher, I will be able to become a translator, for example from Russian into Turkish, or Polish into Turkish. I only need to improve my language skills.

EWN: Have you got any favourite Polish words?

FURKAN: „W ogóle” and „masakra”!

Interview by Zosia Kałużna (ESN Weekly News)

In ESN UAM Poznan we believe, that sport and healthy competition go hand in hand. We proved it during the ESNOLYMPICS competition in Cracow, where we were one of the most expressive crews. Anyway, see for yourself!

Tuesday, 30.05, 18:40 – Get “OFF Situations” with ESN UAM Poznań

Wednesday, 31.05, 10:00 – Play Football at School with ESN UAM Poznań

Thursday, 1.06, 12:40 – Let’s read fairy tales to children together with ESN UAM Poznań

Remember that you can follow all the important news about what is happening in Poznań and in the ESN UAM Poznań section not only via ESN Weekly News. You can also stay up to date by giving a „like” to our facebook fanpage!

Contact: news.uam.poznan@esn.pl, 785673675

ESN UAM Poznań Office Hours: every Friday, 16:00-17:00