Agnieszka Pajak is a 25-year-old student at Georgia Southern University from Wroclaw, Poland and is quite the traveler. Agnes (her American name) has lived in several different countries such as England, Portugal, Poland, Jordan, and Spain. When asked which is her favorite place she answered that due to the vast differences in the countries it was too hard to pick a favorite.
Agnes has had to learn a lot to get along in the various countries. Some of the differences were picked up easily while it was harder to adapt to others. The most difficult part of moving to America was the paperwork and documents she had to go through with the government. She also said that the lack of public transportation was something that has taken some getting used to because she is a very independent person and is here without a vehicle. In order to get places she has to rely on others or walk.
Agnes said that she loves to sightsee, travel, meet new people, and experience the different places of the world to get a feel of what they are like for herself rather than listen to what others have to say about them. She enjoys the challenge of moving from place to place and has traveled to America alone. “I realized that I can go wherever I want,” said Agnes, “so I do.”
Curiosity and the fact that America is a 24 hour flight from Poland contributed to her travels to the United States. Also studying American history and literature sparked her interest.
I enjoyed interviewing Agnes. She is a pleasure to talk to and such an interesting person. The following are the questions asked to Agnes and her responses verbatim:
- How do the media operate in Poland?
Through news stations and radio broadcast it operates the same way as it does here. There are public and private media.
2. What is your view of global business?
I think there should be a healthy balance of differences among nations. I am for international exchange as long as it is done in a healthy way. It is important to keep your culture but if it helps to make changes in order to support yourself then I am for it.
3. Are you familiar with public relations in your country?
Yes. PR started in late the 1980’s. There is a huge gap between American PR and Poland PR. It moved from the west to the east. It is still developing and it is developing very fast. It is a must now to have a PR firm in your company but ten years ago you rarely heard about it.
4. What do you find most interesting about public relations in Poland?
I find it interesting that our text books over PR are from America. The thing is we that we have a completely different environment. Our companies have a lot of history concerns. We have had to find our own strategies and tools. In Poland it is really popular to study PR, law, medicine, and journalism.
5. What advice do you have for an American seeking employment in Poland?
It is much easier for you to find a job because you are English speaking. You just have to have some experience. It is almost impossible to get a job without a Masters degree. You would need to know some Polish or Russian too in order to get a job. You must speak 2 foreign languages.
6. Does Poland follow western influences?
Yes, it does.
Some interesting facts about Agnes and questions that didn’t pertain to public relations are as follows:
1. What is your favorite food from Poland?
Pierogi (dumplings with different stuffing)
2. What is your favorite American food?
3. Are the holidays the same in Poland?
They are similar, yes. We have Christmas, Halloween, Valentine’s Day, and Easter.
We also have others that you do not have here in America
4. What is your favorite holiday?
Christmas! I love the traditions. The big meals, the gathering of family is all awesome.
It is so much fun. It is not necessarily based on the Christian aspects although I am
Catholic. My other favorite holiday that I do not think you have here is Women’s Day.
We celebrate it in March and it is to show respect to the women.
5. If you could bring anything from Poland to America what would it be?
My Bonsai tree and my bicycle I got from the Netherlands. I am not homesick but I
miss my partner. He is still in Poland but we can talk some. I guess you would call it a
6. What is the time difference between America and Poland?
There is a 6 hour difference. Ugh, I know.
7. Which language has been the hardest to learn thus far?
The Asian languages were much harder because they have different alphabets.
8. What was your view of America before you arrived?
I never thought that America was the place of dreams, it was just interesting.
9. When you first arrived to America what was the hardest thing to overcome?
The jetlag and the way that Americans behave and dress were hard. Americans are not
as open-minded and friendly as I have expected so I feel socially awkward sometimes.
10.What is something about America that stands out to you?
There are many more “black” people than I expected. There are only 20-30 in my whole city.
As you can see Agnes has been all over the world and we can learn a lot from her. She is more than willing to sit and talk to students about her culture and her traveling experiences. She said in July, when she returns to Poland, she will make a trip to Ecuador and then next year she plans to stay in Japan, China, and India. She has a degree in international studies and teaching. In addition Agnes has completed a year of post graduate studies in journalism and public relations. Her hopes are to one day be an English teacher.