From Pierogies to PB&J

Assist foreign exchange student experiences America firsthand

Amy Qiao, Staff Writer

Filip Jastrzębski, Trinity’s new exchange student from Warsaw, Poland, jumps headfirst into participating in the local Trinity culture. Whether it be trying his first Chick-fil-a Chicken Biscuit (a staple food item for a Tuesday breakfast at Trinity) or attending pep rallies in the RAC gym, Jastrzębski hopes to learn more about American culture.

  Although it is Filip’s first time visiting America, he says he is more excited than nervous. Throughout the long process of completing forms, personal essays, recommendation letters and interviews, Jastrzębski never thought he would be selected. However, with help of representatives from the ASSIST program and his family, Jastrzębski defied all odds with three other students out of the thousand that applied.

  “My motivation was to see new things, new cultures, new habits and America,” Jastrzębski said. “Back in Poland, this word [America] was my motivation.”

  Jastrzębski chose his curriculums with an open mind and now takes Spanish, his fourth language (along with Polish, English and German) and Honors US History, a class that thoroughly intrigues him and is not available in Poland.

  “I don’t know what field to study [in college] yet,” Jastrzębski said. “ I believe that this kind of exchange would give me some ideas or directions. Here the courses are totally different.”

  To improve on his English, Filip attended the Model of the United Nations Conference twice where he has won Best Speaker Award for representing France, which is one of his favorite places to visit.

  Not only does Filip enjoy the variety of classes, but also sports. Because his school in Poland does not offer swimming, Filip decided to take advantage of the unique opportunity by joining the JV Boys Swimming Team. In the upcoming year, he also will continue soccer and tennis. Before arriving in America, Filip wanted to try American Football, however he soon heard news about all the recent injuries and concussions and decided to stick with swimming.

  Filip loves wildlife and animals. So far he has had pet turtles, hamsters, and lizards.

Filip also enjoys traveling. Whether it be islands in Turkey or the city of London, he is always eager to explore on his excursions.

 Before Filip leaves America, he hopes to visit Universal, Disney World, the Everglades, Seaworld and Gatorland.

  Along with visiting Florida’s famous parks, Jastrzębski also enjoys America’s famous pizza and burgers in contrast to the traditional pierogies and pork chops in Poland.

  “Life is short,” Jastrzebski said. “I would like to see as many places as I can. Poland’s culture is one out of hundreds.”