Dear Five Towns College Community,

I trust this note finds you well. I’ve recently returned to campus and am eager to share the rich insights and experiences I’ve garnered from my visit to Poland, where I had the opportunity to represent Five Towns College at two significant international conferences.

Krasiczyn Castle

The first conference, the Schuman Trimarium Forum, held in the historic Krasiczyn Castle, allowed me to reconnect with my Eastern European heritage and engage with the youth, inspiring them with my journey and the myriad possibilities that lie in pursuing one’s dreams. I was privileged to contribute to several panel discussions, reflecting on the promising future of our region and connecting with individuals from Romania, Georgia, Lithuania, Ukraine, and other countries.

The second conference, Poland 2.0 Summit 2023 in Warsaw, was a hub of technological trends and business insights. It aimed to bring together elite Polish students from renowned global universities like Oxford, Cambridge, the University of Warsaw and many others. It was an honor to represent our institution amidst such a diverse and brilliant cohort. The conference locations were emblematic, spanning the National Philharmonic in Warsaw, the Polin Museum, and the illustrious Ujazdowski Castle, which hosted the concluding ball. These venues added to the richness of the experience, intertwining learning with a deep connection to Polish culture and history.

Ujazdowski Castle

The summit highlighted innovative discussions on blockchain technology, A.I., and politics and included inspirational talks by dignitaries such as Mark Brzezinski, the USA Ambassador in Warsaw. His insights on the enduring relationship between Poland and the USA were enlightening, emphasizing its unprecedented strength.

I seized the opportunity to interact with Mr. Brzezinski, posing the question: “What could Polish individuals learn from Americans, and vice versa?” In response, he enlightened us about the advanced networking ethos in the States, emphasizing the significance of creating meaningful connections that can harbor mutual benefits. He suggested that Poles could embrace this spirit of networking to cultivate richer, more diverse relationships.

Conversely, he pointed out a lesson that could be invaluable for Americans—embodied in the Polish word ‘gościnność,’ meaning hospitality. He commended the inherent warmth and welcoming nature of the Polish people, citing their compassionate response to the crisis in Ukraine as a paradigm. He expressed a wish that Americans could imbibe this spirit of openness and altruism, extending their hands in solidarity and support just as the Poles have done for Ukrainians.

Addressing Mr. Brzezinski

I am profoundly grateful for the opportunity to present a unique perspective, influenced by the values and knowledge ingrained during my time at Five Towns College. It was not only a learning journey but also a means to showcase the diverse and inclusive ethos of our institution on a global stage.

I’m already looking forward to contributing to the organizational board for next year’s conference, and I am excited to integrate the knowledge and connections acquired during this journey to enrich our academic community.

Thank you for your support and for fostering an environment at Five Towns College that values such enriching international exchanges.

Looking forward to sharing more about my experiences and insights with you in person.

Jan Jagielski