IntegrART7: 2 Month Volunteering Experience

IntegrART7: 2 Month Volunteering Experience


It has already been two months that the IntegrART7 group has been a part of the Krakow ecosystem.

With the end of November also comes the end of the vibrant Autumn season and winter begins to take hold of this cozy town!

Soon you will hopefully hear our review of the wonderful Winter Wonderland in the main Krakow square! But for now, I believe it might interest you what these volunteers have to say about their first two months living here:


Hey everybody,

before coming to Poland I was thinking that 12 months is a veeery long time and I may struggle with homesickness and feeling alone. But the first two months here in Krakow proved me otherwise! Time flies very fast especially when you’re having fun and spend it with the right people. The first two adaptation weeks with amazing autumn weather were perfect to settle in, get to know all the Cultural Clubs and the people that you will live with for the next year.

On October 16th I began working in the Highschool “27 LO”, introducing myself and proposing my English and German Conversation Classes through a little presentation. After around 20 times talking about my Homecity, Fun facts and Interests 😮‍💨 my English Conversations finally started. I’m so happy that students signed up and sometimes even come earlier or stay longer after school, just to talk to me. Besides planning those English Classes, one of my tasks is to create Instagram Posts on Canva and take pictures of events that take place in school.

The weekends were obviously my favourite part of the week. Going for hikes to the “Kopiec Kościuszki”, baking cakes, doing biking tours along the Vistula River, trying the famous Chimney Cake and going Bar-hopping on Halloween were memorable activities. When October was over, all of us were shocked and a little sad how fast time has passed, because it felt like there wont be enough time to explore and experience Krakow and Poland to their fullest.

The first half of November was also very exciting. On All Saints Day we went to the biggest graveyard in Krakow to light a candle – the view with thousands of candles was just very magical. On this long weekend I also finally met my two mentors Karolina and Sara, two students from grade 3. They also showed me a graveyard near the school and told me how they spend this traditional holiday with their families. After that we went to a small Café and they showed me around Krakow a little bit, while we exchanged a lot of stories of our pretty different school lives.

After a weekend of Pool Bars and Sushi it was finally time for Jojo, Mila and me to travel to Warsaw to our On-Arrival Training. We got to know a lot of other volunteers, learned about different projects and values, but most importantly ate too much 🤰 The experience on the 11th of November, the Independence Day of Poland was very different than expected. Big crowds, sad faces, flares and helicopters was not what I expected on a supposedly happy holiday. Unfortunately I got sick after this weekend and had my first doctor’s experience in Poland.

The weeks after that I could really feel how there is certain routine in my daily life and the early sunsets and beginning of temperatures around 0° really set the mood for the tiring beginning of winter. A lot things were going on in School: a League of Legends tournament, a Volleyball tournament, presentations and supporting the German Teacher with her German classes.

Luckily, our friend Linda that we met on the On-Arrival Training was staying in Krakow and we spend a fun weekend together. My Excitement for the first snow on 25th November was out of this world. The beautiful white view out of our cozy apartment is one of a kind.

Now on the last day of my least favorite month we are planning and working on the project for the upcoming International Volunteering Day, which we will spend in my Highschool. I can’t wait to spend more time here in this lovely city and continue my volunteering journey, but of course I’m really looking forward to seeing my family and friends on the Christmas break.


Time flies – my first two months in Krakow

November is now almost over and with that also my first two months of being part of the IntegrART7 team and living in Krakow. Where has the time gone?!

These two months were as beautiful as they were intensive. Stating with the adaptation weeks at the beginning, we had the chance to get an overview of the clubs, the Highschool and the amazing people working there. At the same time we got to know each other better and used the free days to collectively explore and fall in love with the city. I was obsessed every day when I stepped out the door and saw the yellow and orange leaves falling on the streets of Krakow’s stunning old town or now. The same now as we were blessed with a couple days of beautiful snow to officially start the Christmas season. Then, in the middle of October, we finally started working in our clubs.

Honestly, the first week was dominated by a feeling that can best be described with “I’m completely overwhelmed with everything”! However, after some time I got to know the team and their everyday activities in Klub Kultury Mydlniki, participated in several events like a Cracovian folk dance and concert evening (which was suuuper fun) and worked on my own projects, like a Social Media cycle about the German language and culture, English conversation meetings and a yoga class! Definitely check out our social media to stay updated on that 😊.

Last week I’ve been in Warsaw with Daniel and Mihaela for our on-arrival training. These five days have definitely been intensive, but nonetheless full of amazing people and inspirational activities about our projects and life as a volunteer. Exchanging with so many people from all around Europe about their projects, lives and experiences is always very precious to me. And of course we got to discover Poland’s beautiful capital!

As if that wasn’t exciting enough, I started my own activities this week! On Monday, I had my first “Let’s talk” – English conversation and language learning meeting. We started off with some simple ice breakers before talking about Krakow, the city’s culture and what it means to all of us. On Tuesday my first yoga and stretching lessons “Happy and Healthy” took place, which also went super well! These 45 minutes were filled with a sweet mix of activating, strengthening exercises as well as relaxing full body stretches. Overall, the feedback was so positive that I couldn’t be more excited for the sessions so come!


It is hard to believe it has been two months already. That is not only how I feel, but the previous volunteers as well. Time flies fast when so much is happening. New challenges await beside each and every corner and zapiekankas just never seem to lose their taste.

It has been good so far.

I heavily enjoyed the first two weeks of the adaptation period. We got the chance to visit all of the clubs and explore the different sides of Krakow. I especially remember the visit to Dworek as I love music and audio production. The radio studio impressed me heavily there.

Other than the clubs, I adored spending time with my roommates. Going grocery shopping together, exploring the city that was so new to us, figuring out where to find the doctor, where to buy towels, where to buy toothpaste and what not. It felt adventurous! Coming to this year-long volunteering project straight after high school, I really did feel like I was finally tasting freedom.

One of the things that I thought I would like a lot less than I actually do is sharing a living space with 5 other people. It is tough sometimes for sure, but by staying empathetic, really trying to make the living space nice and friendly for everyone and incorporating non-violent communication methodology, the apartment becomes not so crowded. It turns out to be quite cozy!

Talking about cozy, our weekly movie night sessions are a blast! Each Sunday we pick out a movie to watch together. We either buy or make our own snacks, get into the cozy, candle-lit living room, get on the sofas and vibe. So far we’ve seen Baby Driver, Snatch, the How to Train Your Dragon trilogy,  Puss in Boots 2 , Nimona, Shrek and Into the Spider-verse! I would highly recommend the aforementioned films, especially Puss in Boots! 

Now moving on to the work side of this volunteering project, it has been quite formative for me at least. As I am still very young, having experience working in an office, creating projects, properly communicating new ideas, etc. is invaluable. After the remaining 10 months I imagine I will be quite a lot more independent, concise and dependable. But all comes with time.

I’ve made some mistakes and have been too excited about some things that did not turn into anything special, but it is incredibly important to decide how you will react to these types of situations. Will they break you or will they shape you into a stronger individual? I’ve decided which path I want and I will strive to continue growing and improving as a person.

To conclude this short text, I am really satisfied with the choice of volunteering in this specific project. I genuinely believe it is one of the better projects ESC can offer. It has been fun, but there have also been challenges. But what is important is how we deal with them. I’d say face them head on and don’t be afraid of change, whatever that change may be. Stay hydrated!


Cześć wszystkim,

Now almost 2 months that I started working as a volunteer in the @Integrart Project 7 in Klub Kultury Wola and already such a nice experience with wonderful sharing, meeting and thrilling project to come !

Through the first 2 weeks of my arrival I had the chance to visit all the Klubs part of the Integrart projet with the other volunteers. It was a great opportunity to practice our dancing, cooking and arts and crafts skills, but also to get to know each other better ☀️ 💃🏻

🎤 Thinking of my French roots, I went to the concert piosenki francuskiej interpreted by Agnieszki Grochowicz in Dworek Białoprądnicki on the 25th of October. Earing French songs like “Milord” , “La vie en rose” (Edith Piaf) or “Ne me quitte pas” , “Dans le Port d’Amsterdam” (Jacques Brel), in Polish was unexpected for me. It made me realized how French songs are known, even here in Krakow.

🚴🏼 I also had the chance to ride till the beautiful Opactwo Tynieckie with the other volunteers and attend the World Press Photo exhibition in the Nowohuckie Centrum Kultury with Antonia, another volunteer 🎟️

🎭 The big highlights for me was on the 31st and 2nd of November when I organized and led two theater workshops in collaboration with the @XIV Liceum Ogólnokształcące and Erasmus + students, coming from Poland and Czech Republic, around the theme of ecology and sustainable environment. This project “Artists for Ecology” had the ambition to raise the level of ecological awareness among young generation through theater. Improvisation is a powerful means to approach social issues, that is how, after ice-breaker games, we brainstormed some ideas about the topic and played several improvisations more or less realistic, allowing everyone to be creative. Improvisation is a complex discipline, based on listening, team spirit and reactivity, Erasmus+ students raised the challenge with flying colors and I am grateful for this opportunity !

Click here to see more about this project :

🗺️ From the 6th till the 10th of November I spend a week in Warsaw for our on-arrival training where I met amazing people and immerse myself into the history of the city. It was also a great time to talk about our respective projects and European volunteering.

As the 11 of November marks the National Independence Day of Poland, I was able to help with the event organized in Wola : the Patriotic song concert of the Krakowski Chór Lekarski. Their energy and voices were beautiful to witness.

🎨🐍 Saturday 18th was a busy day in Wola’s Club as we welcomed people for the Prasa Zaprasza workshop where everyone could develop their creativity through the graphic press, then families came for the monthly “Rodzinny Misz Masz” where they cut, glue, planned, laughed and fabricate little puppet to put on their fingers. The day finished with the presentation of the “Snake Show” where children and adults got to see, touch and know better about all sorts of snakes ! This day was special for me, full of togetherness and I really enjoyed it.

🎭🥰 I also had the chance to meet with my mentor, the fabulous opera singer Justyna Slawiec-Korzen. We exchange a lot about our cultures, our mutual passions for theater and on-stage performances. This was trully a blast and I hope to continue those cacao/conversations moments !

November 28th will end with the starting of my French Club, a place where teenagers and adults can learn the French language and culture in a non-formal way, through music and theater. Can’t wait to tell you more about it 😃

Shout out to 2 months full of culture, music and fantastic meeting !! Do zobaczenia


Well, I guess it’s my turn to share my 2 month experience of being in the project. There are so many things to tell you, shish.

First of all – I’ve started my own music podcast on JazzKultura Radio. I guess it’s one of the things that keeps me alive right now. Literally. In this podcast I’m talking about music I love and people I’m inspired by, as well as telling some stories from my own life. I’m trying to improve my Polish language so I asked everyone at my workplace in Dworek to talk to me in Polish. Hope I’m doing well. One girl didn’t even understand at first that I was not Polish hah. Good for me I guess. But I still honestly suck at this.

Another highlight – I bought a bike, finally. So now I’m more like a local, though the timing wasn’t perfect – I’m not riding it right now because of the snow. But I hope I will equip myself better for a winter season.

Also, this autumn was my first time celebrating Halloween and it was really nice. Mihaela made an amazing costume for me – I was Wirt from «Over the Garden Wall». Some people in the streets even took photos with me, when they recognized the character. I felt myself like a celebrity a little bit.

I was sick almost for two weeks and it wasn’t a pleasant experience frankly speaking. Not only for me, but for my roommates also hah. Cause I guess I was a little bit annoying. Shoutout to all of my volunteer mates. All in all, these two months were intense, with ups and downs, but I’m definitely looking forward to what comes next.


I greet you from here from the heart of the Klub Kultury Łokietek, I am Mihaela, one of the volunteers of the IntegrART project. First stage of this project has passed, the first two months full of emotions, activities and memories that I will always have with me.

Let me tell you a little about how we started: the first two weeks we had an accommodation stage where we visited all the cultural clubs of this project, we danced traditional dances, we had a small introduction to the world of ceramics but we also cooked together one of the most tasty Szarlotka cakes, but also let’s not forget that we explored the city to find the most beautiful locations. And then after these two feelings of adventure we started to discover in more detail the clubs in which we are active. On the first day of work it was like an introduction that I had to do and the coordinator asked me what activities I wanted to do throughout this year. Then the next day followed when it was time to work together with the children. We decided to create together with the kids an original traditional drawing from my native country, the Tree of Life. A day full of positive emotions and even if at first I was a little afraid, the people I work with supported me and helped me overcome these fears, so that later I could start working at least two days a week with children and adults and they also helped me integrate as well as possible into this community by learning colors with children, short talks with adults and much more.

During these two months I also created posters for many activities that took place in the club. I participated in recycled art, ceramics class and textile design courses. In all of these I would learn something new and sometimes I felt like a child who wanted to know more and more. And then I also started the preparations for my personal workshop which is also on the recycling bar, more precisely textile recycling, because this is one of the industries that produces the most waste, but we will talk about this another time. My workshop is based on creating textiles through recycling, embroidery, drawing, using old materials to create something new and special that defines our personality.

Then time came to go to Warsaw for a training where I met many other volunteers. I made new friends and during these activities I worked in a team, I learned new information but also I was inspired with new ideas and activities which I would like to achieve during this year.

When we came back from Warsaw again to Krakow we started my first workshop which is called ARTĂ in which we started to recycle, embroider and style our old clothes to give them a new life. I really liked how the first lesson took place and I am looking forward to the next ones which are sure to be just as exciting and wonderful.

To conclude this small story of the first two months of this project, I will describe one of the most wonderful emotions I had during this period when I returned to the club after a week when I was away in Warsaw. The children and I had an activity; they came and grabbed me and asked me where I had been and they missed me. This is the key that makes me love more and more all of the activities we create in this club. A short description would be: emotions that cannot be adequately described with words but the most beautiful emotions that will stay with me always.

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