Sukhi Sangha - Indian- Canadian student in Poznan

Who are you? Briefly describe yourself.

Hello there! My name is Sukhi and I am from Vancouver, Canada. I just turned 25 in June. I am born and raised in Vancouver, I am an Indo-Canadian girl. My mother and father were both born in India. Eventually they ended up immigrating to Canada, and decided to live there. I am Sikh, and I speak Punjabi, English, French, and a little bit of Polish now. I studied at Simon Fraser University in Vancouver, BC. Currently, I am studying at Poznan University of Medical Science in the Dentistry program.

How did you come up with the idea of studying in Poland?

I have been in Poland for about 3 years now, and what has surprised me is how much this country has evolved; along with the people. I find that after the Euro Cup in 2012; more people have become willing to speak English. I feel prior to that many people were too afraid or in their own little bubble. I recall first coming here and being shocked that barely anyone spoke English. Also, I see a Cukiernia, or pastry shop/bakery, at almost every corner, and I do not understand how everyone here is so skinny! I am shocked! If you were to have a pastry shop at every corner in the USA or Canada, I swear people would be suffering with obesity.

What has surprised you in Poland?

I always wanted to come to Europe, and Poland offered an English program. By word of mouth I found this school; and looked into it, it seemed legit, so I decided to apply; and here I am today. Am I content with my decision? I must say, I am quite happy; I have met many great people; and gone through an immense amount of experiences.

Do remember the early days of studying in Poland? Describe the struggles you went through.

Oh my goodness, my first few days here were quite horrible. I had come with my mother and father, not knowing anything about Poland. When we went grocery shopping I would be purchasing the wrong things by mistake. My parents had bought Kefir instead of Mleko for their coffee. Yeah, that did not turn out too well! I would take a taxi everywhere, because I was afraid I was going to get lost taking a tram. Eventually, I started getting used to it.

What's the difference between studies in Poland and studies in Canada?

Studying in Poland as oppose to studying at Simon Fraser University in Canada. Poznan University of Medical Science:

-The campus is spread out through the city.

-Food places, you will find a small cafe in some buildings

-15 minute rule if teacher does not show up; does not take effect.

-School residential rooms are quite small

-Tuition is cheap

-Certain programs are quicker

-Very few school sports teams or organizations.

Simon Fraser University:

-The campus and classes are all situated in one area

-School residential area is more apartment like, and bigger.

-Tuition fees are quite expensive

-More food options available 24 hours.

-Many different school clubs or sports teams.

What do you like about studying in Poland?

Cheap, cheap, cheap!!! The expenses in Poland are not so much. Grocery shopping is quite cheap, and there are many healthy "organic fruits and vegetables, and they are not outrageously expensive. This is why everyone is so fit and healthy!Also, I absolutely love the fact that there are so many countries that are close by. I can easily hop on a plane, train, or bus, for less than $100CDN, and go visit a completely different atmosphere just for the weekend. This is my favourite thing about studying abroad.

Which places in Poland had a positive impression on you?

I adore, Lake Rusalka in Poznan. It is a 15 minute run away from my dorm room, and like a 10 minute bike ride. It is such a relaxing place just to run or bike around the Lake. It is very peaceful there, and lets me get into a calm zone, that takes me out of the busy, city vibe.Also, I felt quite connected to Warsaw. It is a very modern city as oppose to the rest of Poland. Also, culturally I found many native English speakers, therefore, it was easy to communicate with others. The major selling point for me was that there is a Sikh Gurdwara (Indian Temple/Church). Warsaw has the only Gurdwara in Poland, and I feel it is quite comforting to go there once in a while. I feel this keeps me connected with my culture.

Do you know any famous people from Poland?

To be honest, I was not aware of any famous Polish people; I actually just googled it right now, and found out that I had studied about John Paul II, so I suppose I knew of him back in high school.

Tell us about the country you've always wanted to visit, but still haven't:

Actually I have a new goal to visit 30 countries by the time I turn 30. So I have a few countries on my list that I have yet to hit up. It is quite difficult to choose just one country now. I find every place in the world is intriguing to me; with its variations in culture, language and food. I have a list of places that I have visited, and intend to go to on my blog: sukhisangha.blogspot.com/2013/07/30-before-30.html

Are you a member of any student's club or organization? Tell us something about it:

Yes, I am apart of a dance team back home. I do my traditional Indian dance; known as Bhangra.

My previous experience with Bhangra:

- Coaching North Delta Bhangra Team 2005-Present

- Dance Member of Jawani Bhangra (Compete all over North America)

- Organizer & Publics Relations of BC Highschool Bhangra Competition

-Teaching kids Bhangra Classes ages (2-15) @ North Delta Recreation Centre

-Teaching Adult Bhangra Aerobics Classes @ Sungod Recreation Centre

-Teaching Bhangra Aerobics at Poznan University of Medical Science 2009-Present

First of all, what is Bhangra? Bhangra is a lively form of folk music and dance that originates from Punjab, India. People traditionally performed Bhangra when celebrating the harvest. Bhangra Aerobics is one of the trendiest of fitness and exercise routines, and is fast emerging as a popular alternative to regular Aerobics. Keep fitness exciting with this popular indian dance, an intense, vibrant, joyful dance that elevates your heart rate & state of mind. Have fun learning something new! Majority of the moves used follow the folk dance pattern, but have been reconditioned so that they can also provide a healthy cardio-vascular routine, designed to burn as many as 500 calories an hour. Since the workout is a derivative of a folk dance it is safe for all age groups.

Here is a sample video of an aerobics class I taught at Poznan University of Medical Science: www.youtube.com/watch

Have you made any permanent relations with polish students? What you like the most in them?

I have met an immense amount of Polish students. At first I feel many were quite intimidated to speak to me; because they were embarrassed of their English skills. However, I eventually broke them down; and got some of them to talk to me. One thing Polish students have is, a very, very, strong liver! I do not know how they are capable of containing that much alcohol; I must say that I admire that. However, other than that, they are quite family oriented, and are quite like Indians. The students that I met, have family values and are very respectful; and open to learning new things.

If you run your own business or work anywhere, please tell us something about it.

I do not run my own business here, but I think it would be quite neat to open something up here. This country is progressing, and to open something in the mere future; would be quite an investment I feel.

Would you like to come back to Poland in the future? Why?

I have made so many friends here, I would definitely come back in the mere future. Presently, Poland is my home basically. I have lived in Canada all my life up until now. I have developed a strong bond and connection with Poland. Therefore, I believe I would naturally come back here to visit.

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