The last week of October was filled with thrilling events and long-awaited meetings. Between October 26-30th, we had an enormous pleasure to host in Warsaw for the first time Zach Przystup, the Fulbright Program staff member stationed in Washington, D.C., who has worked closely with our Commission for the past 3 years. He is the Program Officer for Fulbright Europe/Eurasia at the US Department of State’s Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs. The primary goal of Zach’s visit was to meet the Fulbright Poland staff in person and learn more about our current initiatives, explore Warsaw, as well as to participate in the Media Literacy Seminar 2022.
Zach’s agenda was filled to the brim with numerous meetings (which in most cases involved trying out some best Polish delicacies, including a visit to the Milk Bar!), and “walking and talking” tours, a fun way to take advantage of the beautiful weather in late October and explore some of Warsaw’s best spots. Zach also had a chance to meet with Jeanne Briganti, Cultural Attaché at the U.S. Embassy and participate in a dinner organized by the Fulbright Alumni Association.
It is not an understatement to say that in those few days, we walked miles. And all the while we engaged in vigorous conversations about the specificities of the Fulbright Program in Poland; the intricacies of contemporary Polish society, culture, and educational opportunities; the experience of being a cultural ambassador; recent noticeable changes in both Polish and American societies and much more.
It was a unique opportunity for our Commission staff to be able to meet Zach in person and show him around Warsaw. On a more personal note, it was also fascinating to learn more about his Polish roots and family history, as well as how Polish customs and traditions are observed among the Polish diaspora in the United States.
Zach Przystup about his first visit to Warsaw:
First off, it was wonderful to meet alumni, scholars, and ETAs from Poland (+5 other countries) to see the people the program is impacting/has impacted over the years. Their enthusiasm was palpable and energizing.– Zach Przystup
Thank you so much for taking time out of your days to play tour guide, translator, historian, foodie, and cultural ambassador for me. What may have been a mundane experience for you – walking through the streets and parks of Warsaw –was an amazing, eye-opening one for me. I know you facilitate experiences like this for hundreds of American students and scholars–I am just so grateful that you do it for Fulbright staff members too.– Zach Przystup
Please take a look at the photo gallery: