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Polish Students Study at NECC

Submitted by on August 1, 2011 – 4:34 pm

Vice President of Academic Affairs Bill Heineman, Professor Tom Greene, and President Lane Glenn pose with Polish Students.

Eleven students from the Adam Mickiewicz University in Poland are enrolled in an intensive four-week creative writing program taught by Northern Essex Community College Professor Tom Greene on the college’s Haverhill Campus.

The students, who arrived July 15, are staying at the Comfort Suites in Haverhill.

While most are not a fan of American coffee, fast food, or public transportation, they are pleased with the class and the attitude of all they have met.

“The people have a positive attitude,” says Marta Budziak. “They are friendly and eager to help. Not only are they friendly, but they want to learn about our culture as well.”

During a recent trip to Portland, Maine, the group became disoriented, but was quickly approached by an individual eager to help the lost visitors.

The students, both graduates and undergraduates with majors ranging from law to geography to international relations, are finding their way in the classroom where they come three days a week for four hours a day.

Greene says he is teaching them the primary work involved in any creative writing class including a short nonfiction story, a short fictional story, and a collection of poems.

“It has been challenging trying to meet the needs of students studying different fields and keeping the material relevant,” says Greene.

He says he is pleasantly surprised by the level of sophistication in the responses from the Polish students.

Jan Kukulski says he finds the creative writing class very different from the university classes he takes back home.

“It is very different,” Kukulski says. “This is an interactive class between the professor and the students. We can express ourselves easily in this class. We receive feedback from each other and the professor. We will even discuss it later after we leave the classroom.”

Administrators from both Northern Essex and the Polish university are hoping to build the relationship between the two educational institutions in the future.

Located in the city of Poznan in Western Poland, Adam Mickiewicz University is one of the largest universities in Poland.