Seasons Change, Memories Stay: A Journey in Poland

Come join Rizka in this fifth edition of Lenses on her dream-fulfilling journey of becoming a student in Europe.

Come join Rizka in this fifth edition of Lenses on her dream-fulfilling journey of becoming a student in Europe and the ups and downs of her heart throughout Europe’s flaky seasons

My childhood dream, among other things, was to experience snow. I always wondered, what does it feel like to walk on ice? Cliché, yes, but it was what kept my imagination going that one day I would set my foot in the Northern Hemisphere. Fast forward to 2021, I was beyond privileged to have been granted IISMA. Along with 23 amazing people, most of whom had never been to Europe, we went through season changes 10,397 km away from home.

Arriving in Warsaw, we were warmly welcomed by the staff and professors of the University. I remember talking to one professor, Dr Raś, about that childhood dream of mine. He seemed touched by such a small wish and hoped that snow would arrive before we went back home.

It started with early fall, the season we began it all. The environment was bright, vibrant, and warm during the day. However, the wind was cold at night. It perfectly served as our phase of adapting: familiar weather at noon, strange one at night. 

Then came the famous Golden Polish Autumn. As the name stated, everything was golden. Funny thing, we went out of town, Kraków, when it was still green. When we got back, it was all golden already. I personally went through a lot during this time: joy, heartbreak, and in-betweens. It really was the seasons of life as I learned how everything happens for a reason and for everything there is a season.  

In the blink of an eye, the long-awaited winter arrived. I will always remember the feeling of falling snowflakes on my hair. The road became icy, so we had to be wary. At one point, Dr Raś made a speech, mentioning how we Indonesian students wanted to experience snow. It was bittersweet to know he remembered and snow did arrive before we left. 

The weather was sombre, especially in late December. We felt mixed homesickness in both Indonesia and Poland. On one hand, we couldn’t wait to return to our home country, but on the other, we just made our host country home.

Created by : Dhiah Rizka Raihani

Rizka is a graduate of International Relations with a great interest in internationalization, cross-cultural activities, and foreign languages. She was a 2021 IISMA Awardee to the University of Warsaw.

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