University of Mary graduates return from Poland trip

BISMARCK, N.D. - Several students from the University of Mary took off just a couple days after graduation for Poland. We introduced you to them about two weeks ago as they were getting ready to head out.

The recent graduates spent time in special needs, elementary and high schools in Ruda Slaska, Poland. They say while there are some similarities, one of the big differences is that students there are taught three languages from a young age: Polish, English and Russian.

The education majors from Mary say it was a chance to see how lessons are taught, and the different programs and technology used in Poland schools.

"We're very blessed here every teacher has a laptop every classroom has a smartboard and many of our students are getting close to one to one with technology and over there that's not always the case,” Taylor Petersen of Bismarck said.

Education department chair Kimberly Marman says she was able to talk to other administrators about teacher pay, issues with parents and how to best help students.

"They're using a lot of the same techniques that we use they may be a bit more strict with their students and expect very high standards for their students,” Marman said.

Marman says they had a translator the whole time, although most people they spoke to could speak English, but were afraid of saying something wrong.

They also had a chance to do some sight-seeing, visiting some of the concentration camps.

"There are rooms filled with human hair that they found or rooms filled with shoes and just to see that it really hits home and actually feels more real than it ever had before,” Petersen said.

Marman says when talking to the Polish students, they were relieved to know that Americans aren't taught that the Polish are at fault for the concentration camps.