Kira Hamilton: 5 Most Memorable Moments From Study Tour in Poland

summer study abroadName: Kira Hamilton
Home University: University of Texas at Austin
Summer 2014 Courses at DIS: Health Delivery and Prioritization in Northern Europe (Session 1), Children in a Multicultural Context (Session 2), and European Genocides (Session 3)

It’s hard to put into words how incredible this past week has been. I went on a study tour to Poland with my European Genocides class; that alone should put this week into perspective.

Our walk down the Polish country road
A gloomy day at Auschwitz I and II

As a class, we visited Kulmhof, the very first extermination camp; Auschwitz I and II, both of which were concentration camps as well as extermination camps; and many other places around Poland with similarly heavy histories. All in all, the study tour was one of the most memorable l trips I’ve taken this summer.

Here are five of the most memorable things that happened over the week, although, there were many, many more:

  1. Our bus breaking down and walking as a class, single filed down a Polish country road, from Kulmhof, ‘The Castle’, into the forrest  three kilometers away where the SS men buried their victims
  2. Spending the day at Auschwitz
  3. Talking with our two DIS faculty and guides, Torben and Dorte, who are two of the kindest people and most interesting people I have met this summer!
  4. Our first day in Krakow – one of the most beautiful cities I have been to!
  5. Running to our connecting flight on the way home (thankfully, we made it)
kira 1
Our walk down the Polish country road
Beautiful Krakow!
Beautiful Krakow!

Like I said, this was one of the most amazing and memorable weeks of my time abroad and it is very hard to put into words just how incredible it was and the impact it had on me. I can’t believe I was standing in camps and on streets where some of the worst cruelty ever has taken place. I will always remember this trip. For those who did not make it out of those camps and the many others: Pameiçi, we remember.

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The best hot chocolate I’ve ever had after walking in the rain through Krakow’s Old Town

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