Volunteering in Poland

Linda Noonan says teaching English to children as a volunteer abroad was an opportunity to fulfill a long-time dream.  But, it wasn’t without a bit of anxiety as well!  As a retired teacher from Illinois, she knew her knowledge and education were top-notch qualifications.  Yet, teaching  students in a Mexican classroom was initially daunting on her first Global Volunteers service experience in 2014. Not for long! She’s since served with us in Vietnam, Portugal, and most recently – Poland – which was the inspiration for her journal reflections excerpted here:

On Working With a Team of Volunteers

Linda said she greatly appreciates the structured schedule and team-building activities that are standard on Global Volunteers’ programs.  On her service experience in Poland, her teammates bonded quickly.  “It’s hard to believe that we were mostly unacquainted strangers only a few days ago.  But, we’ve emerged as helpmates, and friends. Here we are volunteering in Zakopane, Poland for two weeks! Everyone is anxious to share thoughts, ideas, activities, and insights to fellow teachers.”

service experience in Poland

Linda’s team begin their service experience in Poland.

On Global Volunteers’ Poland Country Manager:

“Dorota Wierzbicka has been a steadfast and consistent leader; always ready to help in any way. Smiling so beautifully, she assures us that nothing is too much trouble for the success of the volunteers – and of course, for the students. She’s a treasure, and we know and appreciate all her wonderful qualities. We’re so fortunate to have her constantly sharing and translating for us with the students, counselors, and other warm and friendly people we encounter during the day – making our service experience in Poland unique. 

students at a service experience in Poland

English-language campers in Zakopane, Poland

On the Summer English Language Camp Students:

Linda pointed out her service experience in Poland was different from previous programs, which were conducted exclusively in classrooms.  In the Tatra Mountains where the Polish students converged for Global Volunteers’ summer English language camp, Linda found the informal setting inspired creativity. “The students emit such sincerity in their approach to their studies and to their firm commitment to learn English. They’re a delight to be with,on my first service experience in Poland. I’ve learned how much they love their families. (YES! They even love those sometimes-pesky younger siblings.)  They have great pride in their country and Polish heritage. Their openness and confidence points to strong family ties, the true desire to work hard, and desire to become a productive member of the global community – whether in Poland or elsewhere in this world. What most impressed me is that we need their youth, their insight, and passionate desire to make the world a better place for all.  My service experience in Poland will be a very hard experience to duplicate.  I value every moment, and am determined to memorize them all.”

volunteering in Poland

A bird’s eye view of the Zakopane summer English language camp students and volunteers.

Read more on how to volunteer in Poland, and teach conversational English abroad. The only requirement is to be a native English speaker, and a desire to help youth.

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