Matthew De Cae about his time in Poland
Who are you? Short bios. (where do you come from, where do you study? In which faculty, bachelor degree or master degree?)
My name is Matthew De Cae. I grew up in Luxembourg and was raised in a Belgian-British household, making me somewhat a proud Europhile. I conducted my 5 years of university studies in 5 different countries and am currently in what is hopefully my final year of studies at the University of Maastricht (Netherlands). I am following a Master degree in European studies which I enjoy very much, as it has allowed me to encounter people from many different backgrounds, something I have always cherished in my time abroad. In Poland I studied in the Adam Mickiewicz University in Poznan.
How did you come up with the idea of studying in Poland?
In my second year of BA degree in Bordeaux (France), Poland became somewhat of an obvious choice for conducting my Erasmus experience. I wanted to discover a central European country which on the European and international scenes has made many positive headlines since the post-communist years. Furthermore, my grandmother on my father's side, so his mother was Polish. It therefore became my deepest desire to discover how much I could relate top art of my ancestry.
Do remember the early days of studying in Poland? Describe the struggles you went through.
I don't remember any particular struggles I had to contend with. Tha language maybe, although I was very eager from the start to learn Polish "jak najlepiej". It was a very important step for me in my personal development.
What's the difference between studies in Poland and studies in your motherland?
It is difficult to assess this question for 2 reasons in particular. Firstly, as an Erasmus don´t think we experience the real Polish system of studies, making a precise comparison difficult. However I was extremely satisified by the quality of the courses I was taught and the insistence of most professors to participate actively in class.
Why did you choose Poland as a place for studying?
As mentioned above, the reasons were as much personal as academical. Discovering the land of a part of my ancestors was a vital stage in my life up to date. Also, I can´t imagine a place for Erasmus better tan Poland, a place I consider a cross-roads of many European cultures, nations and civilizaitions.
Do you know any famous people from Poland?
Adam Mickiewicz because of the university I studied. Robert Lewandowski, Jacub Blaszykowski, Robert Kuica, Donald Tusk, Radoslaw Sikorski are the first ones that come to my mind.
Which places in Poland have a positive influence on you?
Poznan, obviously, place where I did my Erasmus. I also very much liked Gdansk, and Warsaw, where our team finished second in the Poland Erasmus olympics. Good memories.
Number 1 country you have always wanted to visit but still haven't?
Poland surely was high on the list. Now I was there... Peru? Costa Rica? Tough one, there are still so many places to see!! I wish to have seen them all one day..