Excursion Spotlight: Kraków, Poland

CEA offers a few trips for their students throughout the semester, and I am extremely grateful that I was able to go to Kraków, Poland, through our program. It was not a place that I naturally would have selected to travel to for the weekend, this is one of the main reasons why I am so glad that it was provided through CEA. It ended up being one of the most memorable experiences I have had so far while abroad. We took a bus from Prague to Kraków on Thursday afternoon, spent 3 nights in the city, and came back via bus on Sunday.

There were some really interesting sites that we were able to explore within the quaint city, and we enjoyed time discovering new places with our friends. However, the trip was mainly centered around the prevalence of this city during the Holocaust. We were taken through the old ghettos and were able to stand amidst the staggering Empty Chairs Memorial. We visited the Schindler’s Factory historical museum. And we took guided tours through the Auschwitz-Birkenau camps. The experience was completely sobering. It provoked a significant internal dialogue that I had never experienced before. Being able to physically be in the presence of such intense history brought a new significance, understanding, and questioning that many of us had never experienced. I cannot believe that I may have never experienced Krakow if it had not been offered to me through CEA.

Ashley Cooper is a Spring 2016 CEA MOJO Blogger in Prague, Czech Republic. She is currently a senior at Chapman University

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