Polish Studies Initiative Tour

Poland Old and New

Warsaw and Gdansk, Poland

June 13-22, 2016

Join the Polish Studies Initiative at The Ohio State University’s Center for Slavic and East European Studies on a 7– day tour of Poland to explore the country’s storied past, as well as its development since 1989. The trip will visit both classic, symbolic sites from Poland’s past and newer venues that show how Poland is changing today. Throughout the trip, Poland’s connection to both the Catholic and Jewish religions will be explored. Visiting Assistant Professor Daniel Pratt from the Department of Slavic and East European Languages and Cultures at Ohio State will lead the trip. Professor Pratt has visited Poland many times since the 1990s, seeing firsthand how the country has changed and developed over the past 25 years. Throughout the tour, he will guide you through the cities of Warsaw and Gdansk, adding lectures and discussions to create a new, multifaceted impression of this fascinating country.


Monday, June 13: Participants will depart the U.S.

Tuesday, June 14: In the late morning/early afternoon, we will arrive in Warsaw, be picked up at the airport by our private motor coach, and taken directly to our hotel. There will be free time in the afternoon to relax and unpack before rejoining the group for a Welcome Dinner.

Wednesday, June 15: After breakfasting at the hotel, we will start the morning with an orientation session and lecture, as well as a brief walking tour and lunch in the surrounding neighborhood. During the afternoon we will tour the city of Warsaw by bus, accompanied by a lecture on the history and culture of the city, and finish the day with a group dinner.

Thursday, June 16: The morning will begin after breakfast with a lecture on Poland during World War II, followed by lunch at a traditional Milk Bar, a Polish culinary icon from Communist times. Afterwards, we will journey to the Warsaw Uprising Museum to learn about this pivotal event. The day will end with a group dinner.

Friday, June 17: Following breakfast and a morning lecture on Jewish history and culture in Poland, we will be taken to the newly opened POLIN Jewish Museum, a state-of-the-art facility dedicated to immersing visitors in the lives of Jewish people in Poland from medieval times to the present. While at the museum, we will able to taste traditional Jewish cuisine at the museum’s excellent restaurant. In the evening, we will then take a walking tour of Old Town and end the day with a group dinner.

Saturday, June 18: After breakfast, we will take a private bus to the train station to board a new high speed service to Gdansk, taking 4-5 hours. We will be taken by coach to our hotel and have the rest of the afternoon and evening free to explore the city, with a group dinner to end the day.

Sunday, June 19: The day will focus on visiting Malbork Castle, located just outside of Gdansk, following morning breakfast. We will travel to the Castle on a private coach, and have a guided tour of the Castle and surrounding grounds with time for lunch. Upon returning to the hotel in the afternoon, we will have an afternoon lecture discussing the city and its history as the heart of the Solidarity movement. To finish the day, we will have a guided walking tour of the city followed by a group dinner.

Monday, June 20: In the morning, following breakfast at the hotel and checkout, we will travel by bus to the European Solidarity Centre. The permanent exhibition of the Centre is dedicated to the history of the Solidarity movement and the opposition to Communist rule in Poland, and its impact on other countries in Central and Eastern Europe. Following our visit and lunch, we will return to Warsaw again via high speed train arriving in the evening. A private coach will take us from the train station to hotel, and the evening will be free with no formal group dinner.

Tuesday, June 21: On our last full-day in Poland, following morning breakfast at the hotel, we will travel by bus to Palmiry-The National Memorial Museum. The Palmiry Museum and surrounding forest grounds commemorate the lives and deaths of the thousands of Polish people who were killed by the Nazis. On our way back to Warsaw, we will stop for lunch, and return to the hotel for our wrap-up lecture in the afternoon. There will be time in the afternoon and evening to pack and the trip will end with a Farewell Dinner.

Wednesday, June 22: Participants will return to the U.S.

Intended Audience

Poland Old and New is being organized by the Polish Studies Initiative (PSI) at The Ohio State University as a means of connecting with alumni, supporters of the Initiative and the study of Poland, and community members. PSI was founded in 2012 by the Center for Slavic and East European Studies at Ohio State. Its aim is to support the study of Poland and the Polish language at Ohio State and to advance the understanding of this important country within Europe. Each year, PSI organizes lectures, film screenings, and symposia, as well as supporting grants and scholarships for faculty and graduate students conducting research on Poland and students studying the language. This is our first time organizing a trip of this kind and represents an exciting new opportunity. Through the trip, we will offer an educational opportunity for non-students to learn about or reconnect with Poland. Additionally, we will raise funds to support PSI in the coming years, in particular for student scholarships and hosting events.

Note to Potential Participants: This trip will require a lot of walking, potentially on uneven surfaces. All participants will need to obtain a passport if they do not have one already, or make sure that their current passport does not expire before January 2017.



Double Occupancy: $3,500

Single Occupany: $4,050


A $350 non-refundable deposit is due on March 1, 2016. Deposits and all trip costs can be paid by either credit card or personal check. Full payment and passport information is due on April 1, 2016.

What is Included

Housing in a centrally located 4-star hotel for 8 nights, daily breakfasts, select dinners and lunches, ground transportation to and from the airport, transportation to sites and on excursions, admission to sites and museums, expert leadership by Ohio State faculty, a professional guide, gratuities to bus drivers and guides, and health insurance.

What is Not Included

International airfare to and from Poland, travel insurance, additional nights lodging, meals not specified in the itinerary, passport fees, and other personal expenses.

Questions and How to Enroll

Please call the Center for Slavic and East European Studies at (614)292-8770 or email csees@osu.edu.