As Singapore is still a young nation, we do not have a rich history or traditional costumes, but we have a admirable way of living in harmony despite our different races and religion. We are able to understand each other despite our different beliefs which amazed other part of the world. I believe I was there to raise awareness of our small but clean nation and was definitely surprised by the enthusiasm of the people of Poland being interested in what I have to share. Every day I would be asked questions about Singapore and will prepare more slides or information on the question they ask for the following day. I also help them improve their English as English is their second language and it was seldom used and spoken.
The most impactful moment happened on the Friday of the week, it was my last day in that particular school. The students prepared a surprise for me and another EP buddy, they brought home cooked meals and home-made polish snacks for us. I didn’t expect that we would meant so much to them after just knowing each other for a mere 4 days. They even prepare slides about their culture and dance to their polish song in class. I felt appreciated in a foreign land that the distance, time and money used is not for nothing. Friendship were formed as a lasting memory forged.
The word “challenge” comes into play when I think about how I developed myself through my exchange, as I’m in a total new environment and experience something that I have never tried before. I have learned to be more independent as a person and more selfless as everything I do is solely about me anymore. I have to listen and care about what others think. At the end of the day is about how to make the project a successful one.
If there is any one thing I want you to take away from this post, that would be: “don’t be afraid to try new things, be FEARLESS”. I went to Poland alone, knowing little to nothing about polish culture. But came back to Singapore with a mind filled with polish culture and wider understanding of people around the world. Be always prepared as murphy law always applies. Be committed and never give up, even if things don’t go your way. As throughout the project you might want to give up due to unforeseen circumstances. Some people might not appreciate your presence there, focus only to those who are. Make new friends as there are no strangers only friends you haven’t met. You are bound to make many new friends along this AIESEC journey.