Since I have been in Brest, most of my friends are polish, and as the time went by, I learned to live with their culture, and even learned some words, expressions and we chose to live this adventure together… Here is a brief portrait of my friend Rafal…
Hello Rafal, can you present yourself for those who don’t know you?
Hi Souki, I’m Rafał Gajdosz I am a 24 years old student in Finance and Accounting at Cracow University of Economics. I came from Poland. I was studying in Cracow, but my hometown is Nowy Sącz (Southern Poland).
As you are coming from Poland, how come that you chose France?
I always dreamt of going to a french speaking country to spend one semester of my Erasmus there. I have been learning French so I thought that it would be a great opportunity to enhance my language skills.
Okay, so what is the reason behind choosing Brest Business School?
Well, I chose BBS because I always wanted to study in Britany. I was in France 3 years ago in the frame of my internship. I was told that I would be working in Britany but once arrived I was informed that I would have the internship in Normandy! However, I had already bought the tourist guide about Britany and I kept it. In that way I discovered that Britany is very attractive. Since my Polish university proposed me only one school in Britany for my Master’s degree, I didn’t hesitate! Of course, I had to take under consideration the compliance with my Polish major.
What about you and the French culture?
I was already familiar with French culture. However, living in Britany feels like living in a different country than France. Breton culture is amazing. I discovered that Britany was rich of stories and legends full of korrigan (dwarf-like spirit) or good and bad fairies (the number of legends is one of the highest in Europe!). What is more, we can’t forget about the King Arthur’s legend that is omnipresent here.
What are the things that you liked or disliked then?
I don’t like French cakes because I find them too sweet for me. I started to drink wine in France – before my favorite alcoholic beverage was definitely vodka and bear. Most surprising French habits? For instance, in Poland we don’t kiss each other to say hello. We do it but just among the closest friends or family. What is more, we don’t get on the bus through the front entry.
In my opinion, the French are huge individualists. In Poland we have strong family bonds and basically we are traditionalists.
What can you say about your life as an international student?
In fact, I don’t feel like a 100% international student here. Of course, I spend a lot of time in the international environment, but I think that I got used to live in “French conditions”. I follow French politician events and I am quite interested in French society issues. In my opinion, the Bretons are very similar to the Polish. They are proud of their history and culture as we are. They have a sense of independence. They drink a lot of alcohol like we do!!!
How do you spend your free time in Britany?
I spend my free time planning the trips and learning foreign languages. When I have the opportunity, I travel. But on the other hand, I like relaxing with a good book.
What are the places you visited during your stay in France?
It is really hard to list all the places in France. Basically, I was travelling in Britany. I visited a lot of small cities like Brignogan-Plage, Porspoder or Saint Pol-de-Leon and bigger ones (Nantes, Morlaix, Vannes, Quimper). Britany is full of surprises. I saw the highest lighthouse in Europe (on the island of Vierge). I’ve never expected that this region could offer so many attractions for the visitors. For example, the point of Saint Mathew has a spectacular coast and most of all, it is very close to Brest. This site is one of my favorite ones. I went to Paris twice and I visited my friend in Montpellier. I also went to Carcassonne, Marseille and Avignon. I started putting stars on the map on the google application to mark the places which I already visited.
Any future projects?
Yes, since I did my Master and this is my forth year, I want to find a job and start working from July. My plan is to work in the international environment in area of finance or accounting. Preferably in French or in English. I intend to focus on Russian language because I gave up learning it during my semester in France.