For some visitors from other countries, Poland seems to be a very cold country. They sometimes say it’s as cold in here as in Antarctica. Meanwhile, the temperature differences between the two places are huge! 😊 The average winter temperature in Antarctica is -44˚C, yet in Poland only -0.4˚C.
Warsaw is impressive during the winter season. Ice rinks, winter fairs, walks in the snow, mulled wine in a charming restaurant, or light shows, can enchant everyone. Winter in Warsaw cannot be boring! Check the details below.
1. Relax in a sauna on the Vistula River
The Floating Sauna on the Vistula River is a unique attraction! This unique facility began operating in November 2021 and is open from 6am until midnight. It’s the longest open sauna in Warsaw. What’s the best part? You can use the sauna for free, but only at certain times, and rent it exclusively! https://saunawisla.pl/
2. Fun at the ice rink
In winter, public ice rinks are open in various parts of Warsaw, where you can easily skate: alone, with your family, or with a larger group of friends. It is a great form of outdoor activity. Check which place is closest to you: an ice rink in the Bródnowski Park, an ice rink in Galeria Młociny, an ice rink in the area of Centrum Praskie Koneser, or the largest ice rink, the Stegny Skating Rink. You can really develop high speeds at Stegny!
3. Relaxation in the Elektra Reading Room
A “temple of analogue culture” was established in Śródmieście. An unusual reading room where you can read a book, listen to a vinyl record, and drink coffee. An ideal place for autumn and winter evenings. https://www.facebook.com/CzytelniaElektra/
4. Madness on Górka Szczęśliwicka
Górka Szczęśliwicka is the only place in Warsaw where you can try your hand at skiing. There is even a ski lift here! Next to the ski facility, on smaller hills, the residents of Warsaw, with the right amount of snow, can slide down sledges. Arrange to go with your friends and let loose! https://gorka-szczesliwicka-cennik.com/
5. Visit a luminous land: the Royal Garden of Light
The Royal Garden of Light in Wilanów is the favourite fall-winter exhibition of Warsaw residents, which will be open only until February 27, 2022. After dark, visitors to the palace are led by a 75-metre luminous tunnel in which classical music plays overhead. After the tunnel, you discover a beautiful, colourful and full of light – King’s Winter Garden… https://www.wilanow-palac.pl/royal_garden_of_light_1.html
The new year means new opportunities, but first we would like to tell you what happened in 2021!
Did you know that despite the ongoing pandemic in 2021, the Polish Language School for Foreigners KLUB DIALOGU opened 260 new Polish language courses, of which 137 were group courses, and 123 were individual courses?! Thanks to the commitment as well as the satisfaction of our students, 573 new people enrolled in 2021, and Polish learning was continued by 455 KD students! These are impressive numbers that we are very proud of! Of course, students also left our school for various reasons (122), mainly due to the unstable pandemic situation (41%), returning to their home country (36%), or for other reasons (23%).
A great achievement of the KLUB DIALOGU School in 2021 was its full involvement in the organisation of the State Certificate Examination in Polish as a Foreign Language at B1 level. A total of 150 candidates took part in the 4 scheduled examination sessions. 121 people participated in the preparation courses for this exam. 139 people obtained a positive result after the exam!
In addition, throughout 2021, we organised 14 events, the most of which being during the summer holidays (7). The Film Friday event (5), which is a cyclical screening of Polish films with English subtitles, was a huge success.
But our success would not be possible without you, our students! Thank you for being with us!
Your activity encourages us to continue to work and make sure that our Polish lessons meet your expectations, are interesting, and even more effective.
From the beginning of the year, we have prepared a new course schedule for each level. Just take our online test or come to our school and talk to a teacher to find the right Polish course for you. We offer Polish language courses in the form of group, individual, school, hybrid and online settings. If you are interested in obtaining a student visa – we have the ‘One Year Program’ for you, and if you would like to intensify your Polish learning – ask us about the ’30 days Around Polish’ program. In 2022, there will also be 4 more sessions of the State Examination for the B1 Certificate. The new year brings new opportunities. Don’t hesitate! Join us!
THE 3T’s – WE SUGGEST HOW TO LEARN POLISH EFFECTIVELY
Today is January 2022 – you’ve probably heard this question: ‘Do you have a New Year’s resolution?’ Although on the one hand, you say to yourself: ‘Enough of these resolutions, of which nothing comes from’, you subconsciously wonder, what will be your priority this year? Therefore, if learning Polish is an important goal for you that you would like to focus on in 2022, here are our suggestions on how to effectively achieve it!
THE 3 T’s: TARGET, TIME, THANKS
Research shows that a target should be defined, realistic and measurable, which means that when learning Polish, it is worth to first clarify your current knowledge of the language, and then determine the level that you would like to achieve in the given time. It is essential for the success of this target that the level you want to achieve is reasonable. There is nothing more frustrating about learning a foreign language than imagining yourself as a participant in a lively conversation once you have only just started your Beginner Polish course. Setting a high goal for yourself causes unnecessary stress and troubles.
So what to do? Verify your current level, which you can check by taking a test or come to the Polish Language School KLUB DIALOGU and talk to the teacher. At the beginning, take up small challenges. Depending on your needs, try to define your progress at the level of 2-3 modules, so that you always have the opportunity to adjust these achievements and set new goals. You will not pass the State B1 Certificate Exam immediately, but by taking small steps, you have a great chance to do so in the future!
Time is a very important element in achieving our targets, as it allows us to concentrate on the task at hand and prevents postponing it ‘for an eternal tomorrow’. As in the case of the target, time must be realistic, i.e. give us space to complete the full cycle of the process: learning, practice, and feedback. Properly defined time forces us to be specific and organised. Remember, however, that too short a time frame will not allow you to complete the process, and too long a time frame will blur its possibilities, and after some time you will not remember your priorities.
Don’t ignore the powerful influence of another person on your Polish language learning process. We instinctively hide our ‘resolutions’ from others because it protects us from embarrassment if something goes wrong. The involvement of other people, however, in our learning has a huge impact on its effectiveness. The support and feedback of people you can rely on can be very useful and can strengthen relationships, and thanks to this your learning will become more regular and consistent. It’s like losing weight, where positive support – from anguish – can turn into a healthy habit. Thanks to others, we can often achieve our goals!
Additionally, it is best to use qualified assistance. This is where the Polish Language School for Foreigners KLUB DIALOGU comes in handy, which offers a wide range of courses at various levels and intensity.
The pandemic posed many challenges for our Polish Language School for Foreigners KLUB DIALOGU, and although it has been with us for 2 years, it is still difficult to get used to. Let us remind you that the school was closed for 3 months in 2020 and all lessons were conducted online. However, soon after, in June 2020, we returned to Aleje Jerozolimskie, glad that we could be face-to-face again. Thanks to modern solutions introduced by KLUB DIALOGU, our students can now choose Polish language lessons online, or at school, or to learn Polish in a hybrid way, which is a perfect solution for people who prefer a full-time Polish language course, but in exceptional situations have the opportunity to connect to a lesson online.
At the same time, the employees of KLUB DIALOGU constantly take care of maintaining the appropriate hygienic standards at school. The classrooms are aired out after each lesson, and tables and other items are disinfected. Each student and each group has a choice whether masks are worn during Polish lessons or not.
All the actions we take are aimed at maintaining our common security in these difficult times. Therefore, we want to ensure that our Polish Language School for Foreigners will function (as before) online and offline, as long as state law allows us to do so. We feel strong in what we do!
KLUB DIALOGU school is 17 years old and this is not the first crisis we are dealing with, but it is definitely the hardest. However, looking at the last few months, we are sincerely convinced that with you we are able to adapt to any situation, and come out of each crisis even stronger. Why? Because we do what we love the most: we share our passion for the Polish language, tradition and culture.
At the end of 2021 we want to say to you: THANK YOU! Thank you for the support you give us.
… and our passion! These are cyclical meetings organised for students by the Polish Language School for Foreigners KLUB DIALOGU, during which we present Polish films with English subtitles. These films are important for social, political and/or cultural reasons, and thanks to them we try to show our students the history, tradition and mentality of Poles over the last 70 years.
In 2020 and 2021, we had the opportunity to present to our students such films as ‘Corpus Christi’ directed by Jan Komasa – a film nominated for an Oscar, dealing with the issues of morality; good and evil in relation to living conditions and situations. ‘Jasminum’ (directed by J.J. Kolski) tells a mysterious and magical story, full of romance, scents, and light. In this story about monks, people, buildings and smells have their secrets. ‘Man – Woman Wanted’ – is a great comedy by the great director – Stanisław Bareja – showing the life of Poles during the communist era. ‘Vabank’ – an excellent Polish crime comedy directed by Juliusz Machulski, gives an insight into the life and urban planning of the city of Łódź in the 1980s. ‘Maids of Wilka’, directed by Andrzej Wajda, is a psychological film nominated for an Oscar in the non-English-language film category. The return of the main character to the countryside revives memories and old feelings, forcing you to reflect on your fate. ‘Wałęsa, Man of Hope’ – is a film telling the history of great political changes in Poland after 1980, which ended with the fall of communism in 1989 in Poland, and at the same time changed world politics forever …
Each time, FILM FRIDAY attracted great interest among students who were eager to participate in these meetings both at school and online. These events are a unique adventure into the past – a person from another country can better understand mechanisms and lifestyle in Poland, which greatly facilitates acclimatisation in a new country. Each screening of a film is preceded by a short overview of the background of its creation, the director’s idea and the message that the film carries with it. During these exciting meetings, we not only watch movies, but also discuss, finding similarities and differences in comparison to other countries. FILM FRIDAY is also an excellent activity within learning the Polish language, supplementing Polish courses at the school.
Christmas in Poland is preceded by a long period of preparations and events that begin four weeks before Christmas itself. The period of spiritual preparation for Christmas is called ‘Advent’. Advent is an important time in the Christian church in anticipation of the birth of Jesus and his coming at the end of the world. This year, this began on 28th November. On 6th December, we celebrate ‘Mikołajki’ in Poland. This is the only day of this kind, especially for children who expect little gifts left in their slippers by Santa Claus when they wake up in the morning. In addition, in December, children in schools and kindergartens take part in ‘Jasełka’, or nativity play performances, and the cities shine with the light of a thousand beautiful Christmas lights.
Three weeks later, it’s Christmas time.
This is a special time for many Poles. Christmas traditions are very important in Poland. These customs are nurtured and passed down from generation to generation so that they can still give the holidays a solemn and family feel.
The most important family event is the evening of 24th December, when Christmas Eve is celebrated. The whole family sits down to the Christmas Eve dinner, which does not start before the first star shines in the sky. An extra plate is always served with supper for an unexpected guest, and there is hay under the tablecloth – a reference to the birth of Jesus in the stable. Before eating, family members share a wafer, expressing their best wishes to each other. This custom emphasises the special bond that binds loved ones together, as well as the readiness to forgive and reconcile with each other. During the dinner, 12 meatless dishes are served, and depending on the region of Poland, these are: borscht with dumplings, fried carp, cabbage with mushrooms, vegetable salad, potatoes, carp in jelly, dried fruit compote, kutia, poppy seed cake and cheesecake. After supper, all well-behaved people are visited by Santa Claus (in Warsaw), Aniołek – a little angel (in Krakow), or by Gwiazdor (in Poznań) 😊. One of these 3 people can also leave gifts under the tree that’s lavishingly decorated with ornaments (baubles, tinsel, a star, gingerbread, etc.). At midnight begins Midnight Mass, a very solemn mass in the church, celebrating the birth of Jesus Christ. Christmas in Poland is, next to Easter, the most important religious holidays. Celebrating these special days in December culminated a warm, joyful, and family atmosphere. Cultivating Polish Christmas customs is conducive to strengthening the bonds between family members and emphasising national identity, but also gives the celebration of Christmas a unique beauty that can be longed for many months.
Many students have already found out that the Polish Language School KLUB DIALOGU is an extraordinary place where they do extraordinary things! SOLIDARITY WITH REFUGEES is a new project in which school employees got involved. Its purpose is to resist the mistreatment of refugees and to help to the best of our ability. We, the employees of KLUB DIALOGU, which is not only an educational institution, a school of Polish as a foreign language, but also a place for meetings, conversations, and exchange of experiences between people from different continents and cultures, cannot accept breaking the law, international conventions, and situations where refugees’ medical, material or asylum applications are refused. We also cannot accept hate speech and violence against people of other nationalities.
The actions we have taken so far include: participation in the ‘Stop Torture on the Border’ protest march and undertaking the project of writing and reading letters of support from foreigners who, for various reasons, found themselves in Poland and have a different status of stay in our country (read further here >>).
But that’s not all! In December, we plan to organise a ‘Collection of necessities’ (cleaning products, clothes, food), which will be donated to appropriate foundations to help. With our help, we also want to support one refugee to whom KLUB DIALOGU will provide a scholarship to learn Polish as part of the ‘Solidarity in Education’ program.
If you would like to join us – don’t hesitate! Any help is appreciated. You can bring items to the fundraiser, help with packing, or make a donation to the scholarship. Maybe together we can help more than one person in linguistic and cultural assimilation! Vouchers can be purchased at the school office or by making a bank transfer with the title Solidarity in Education’.
We could not miss the Sunday (17.10) march – protest: Stop torture at the border! A march of solidarity with refugees, which started at 2pm from the Charles de Gaulle roundabout, commonly known as the palm tree roundabout. It isn’t a coincidence that this was the place chosen by the organisers of the march. This exotic tree standing on the ‘Royal Route’ (Trakt Królewski) came about in December 2002 as an artistic project by Joanna Rajkowska, who wanted to commemorate the Jewish population, once inhabiting much of Warsaw, and from whom the name of Aleje Jerozolimskie Street (Jerusalem Avenues) was derived. The palm was also, according to the artist, a symbol of openness towards others.
We, employees of KLUB DIALOGU, which is not only an educational institution, the Polish language school for foreigners, but also a place for meetings, conversations, and exchange of experiences between people from different continents and cultures, cannot accept violations of the law and international conventions and situations where medical aid for refugees is refused, risking their health and even death.
Walking along the streets of Warsaw (ROUTE: Rondo de Gaulle’a, Plac Trzech Krzyży, Sejm, Plac Konstytucji, Metro Centrum), in a walk lasting over two hours, we wanted to show that we are in solidarity with the fate of people suffering at the borders and we believe that you should always protest when someone is hurt, or deprived of a chance for a normal life just because they were born in a country affected by war or other humanitarian crisis.
We also want to thank OUR STUDENTS who were with us at the protest. Thanks to them, we can learn tolerance and openness. Thank you for the lessons you teach us and for being there! When matters are important to us, let’s be together!
Saying goodbye to summer is never easy, and summer 2021 is already behind us. Luckily, after a one-year break, we managed to organise a summer calendar full of KLUB DIALOGU events. Despite the worldwide pandemic, many difficulties and limitations, we spent this time very intensively and effectively, and the return of our side events sweetened us even more than usual! So what’s so special about this summer?
At the end of June, our intensive Polish language courses began, which are liked and sought after by students who need a faster pace of learning. These courses are very demanding and oblige you to work independently from home, but they give you really great results! However, learning Polish every day does not have to be difficult, boring or tiring! The pleasant summer weather allowed us to go outside the classroom as part of the lesson. We were at the park, at the market, at the cafe, and at Hala Mirowska to buy ingredients for the rest of the lesson where we cooked in Polish! After all, the goal of learning Polish is to use it every day, in various situations, not only with a course book in hand!
During the summer holidays, there were also regular group Polish language courses, as well as individual lessons, the nature and frequency of which depend entirely on the student’s needs.
We love to see our school full of students with happy faces, filled with the desire to learn Polish! We have also become experts in conducting online classes, offering online group Polish language courses and individual online lessons to meet the needs of all our students. We have introduced hybrid courses that allow lessons to continue even when a student was absent due to going on vacation. The beauty of online and hybrid classes is that they can be joined from anywhere!
Traditionally, the Polish Language School for Foreigners KLUB DIALOGU invited its students with their family and friends to additional summer events aimed at integrating and sharing everyday life in Poland. The interest in the events exceeded our wildest expectations! As every year, together with students and friends, we celebrated another birthday of KLUB DIALOGU. More than 40 people came to share this special date with us! Thank you very much! The following Saturday, there was a canoeing trip on the Pilica River near Warsaw. Beautiful, sunny weather, playing volleyball on the beach and a barbecue gave everyone a lot of needed energy for the next week. In addition, we visited the Night Market to enjoy street food and card games, had a lovely evening at a Silent Disco, had a great time in an intense phonetics workshop and exercised our bodies in a cheerful atmosphere while playing bowling. What’s more, we hosted our regular meetings: ‘Film Piąteczek’, during which we watch Polish films with English subtitles and discuss Polish culture, tradition and mentality of Poles. We love these events because they give the opportunity not only to show our life, but also learn a lot of interesting things about other cultures, and our students come here from all over the world!
This summer we welcomed many new students who came to us from the USA, Argentina, Israel, Iran, India, Indonesia, Mongolia, Ukraine, Belarus, Uruguay, Brazil, Spain, Italy, Germany and Great Britain! Moreover, we also enjoyed the time we spent on our own vacations. This summer, our employees visited, among others, Italy and Sicily, Ukraine, the Netherlands and Slovenia, and of course they had a great time in Poland and in Warsaw itself.
Summer will be over soon. But life at KLUB DIALOGU school goes on! 🙂 We are fully ready, full of energy and new passion to teach our Polish language!
The arrival of the 2020 pandemic was a shock for many of us. In March 2020, our school closed for what we all thought would be only a little while. However, the following days showed that the situation was not improving, and it was in fact getting worse. And although we were very worried, we managed to switch to online lessons within a week. It was not an easy task for us at all. The lack of more appropriate equipment and materials turned out to be a big challenge, and we soon found out that this was just the beginning of our complicated adventure with remote learning…
The new teaching conditions required new investments. Purchasing computers, video cameras and microphones, adjusting our program and new internet applications required time, special commitment and intensive work of the entire KLUB DIALOGU team. We asked our students questions about the quality of online learning and, thanks to their creative and constructive responses, we decided to make further investments.
Currently, Polish language courses at KLUB DIALOGU school, as well as group and individual online lessons are conducted at the highest level, which is greatly appreciated by our students. The purchase of interactive boards for each classroom and the acoustic soundproofing of the rooms has adjusted our school to allow for hybrid classes. It is convenient for those students who, due to business trips or illness, cannot attend their course in person and do not want to miss their lessons.
Additionally, modern interactive boards make learning Polish at school and online faster and more attractive. On these boards you can not only write, but also use it to display multimedia presentations, movies, websites, or exercises and interactive applications. After the lesson is over, the teacher can send the lesson notes online to all students. Interactive boards are an excellent teaching aid, thanks to which students are more interested in the lesson and can focus on a specific topic.
Come and see for yourself how the Polish Language School for Foreigners KLUB DIALOGU has changed for the better, for you!