Ahmed Omotosho from Nigeria, 1st-year student at the International Business program
Our student Ahmed Omotosho is discovering Polish culture and is pleasantly surprised by the hospitality of Poles. Below, Ahmed shares his discoveries and encourages international candidates to come to Poland.
If you go to a Pole on an empty stomach, you will certainly leave with a full stomach – says Ahmed 🙂
Ahmed: I have been in Poland as an international student for over three months, and each day has been full of new experiences for me. Every day, I learn something new about the country, and among all the experiences I have had so far, the one I will never forget is how my Polish friend welcomed me when I paid her a visit with a large meal on the table. As soon as I walked in, typical Polish foods such as Pierogi, Bigos, Zurek, and Schbowy were waiting for me at the table, and I was made to try at least a bit of everything
I tried everything and they were all delicious, but my favorite was the Pierogi. I was so taken by it that I had to beg my friend to show me how to make it, which she gladly did. Though she made it with potatoes while teaching, she made me know that I do not have to use potatoes and that I can play with other ingredients such as sweet cottage cheese. I attempted to make the first one with sweet cottage cheese, but I clearly preferred the potato version. I can now tell that I am a Pierogi addict because there hasn’t been a week since I first tried one that I haven’t had at least once.
Over the years, I’ve met a variety of people from various cultural groups, but treatment like the one I received from my friend when I visited is completely alien to me. Truth be told, I was spoilt. All that happened that day felt strange to me because I had never been treated that way in my entire life, and I couldn’t stop myself from asking my friend if she was doing this to me alone or if this is how she treats any friend who visits her. She replied that it is a part of Polish culture to always entertain visitors to their satisfaction. She also told me about a traditional Polish saying that a guest in the house is a God in the house.
After experiencing this degree of hospitality from a Pole and putting together what she had to say about how deeply hospitality is ingrained in Polish culture, I am confident in stating that if you go to a Pole on an empty stomach, you are certainly going to leave with a full stomach. People of all genders, races, cultures, and other social differences are usually welcomed. You should prepare to be overwhelmed by the exceptional hospitality of the Polish people if you visit a Polish home. Their vast social activities are unique in the world and date back thousands of years.
As lovely and welcoming as Poles can be, from personal experience, they are conservative in nature, and if caution is not exercised, you could misjudge them. You may assume they are uninterested in conversing with you or being your friend, but this is false. They are lovely people who are always happy to help. The only problem is that some of them are not used to seeing foreigners. The only contact some of them have had with foreigners so far has been through movies. So, when they first see a stranger, they may behave strangely, which, in my opinion, is a natural reaction when you see someone that is totally different from the people you are used to seeing. However, if you can demonstrate that you truly want to be their friend and are interested in learning about their culture, they will gladly assist you, particularly if your first words are in Polish, such as “Dzień dobry”, which translates to “Good day” in English.
One other thing that is worthy of note is the fact that the Polish school curriculum is of international quality, and I highly advise you to come and study in Poland. The University of Opole comes highly recommended by me. The lecturers are always approachable, and the International Student Office is always ready to assist you. Thanks to the International Student Office, I was able to settle in easily.
I hope to see you in Poland!
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