Polish exchange students visit Lincoln High

Some Pol­ish stu­dents and their teach­ers vis­ited Lin­coln High School last week.

The 24 stu­dents are from Torun, Phil­adelphia’s sis­ter city in Po­land, said prin­cip­al Don­ald An­ti­coli. They stayed with host fam­il­ies in the North­east for their 10-day vis­it, teach­er Keith Roeckle said. Most are ju­ni­ors and seni­ors in their home city and they speak Eng­lish, Roeckle said.

“Most people in Po­land un­der forty speak Eng­lish,” he said.

Good thing. Pol­ish is not widely taught in the United States, so stu­dents from the Ry­an Av­en­ue school who will vis­it Po­land next year as part of the ex­change pro­gram will have to rely on the more cos­mo­pol­it­an Poles to be un­der­stood.

Lan­guages are taught early in Pol­ish schools. Vis­it­ing stu­dent Joanna Jasku­lowska, 18, for ex­ample, said she knows Span­ish, French, Ger­man, Itali­an and Lat­in as well as Eng­lish and Pol­ish.

She is stay­ing with the fam­ily of Lin­coln stu­dent Heath­er Ec­cle­stein, who vis­ited Torun last year. She hopes to study to be­come a pe­di­at­ri­cian in col­lege and is ap­ply­ing to U.S. schools.

The stu­dent ex­change pro­gram has been go­ing on for a few years now, and the stu­dents who have vis­ited on both sides of the At­lantic have been keep­ing in touch by e-mail or on Face­book, Roeckle said.

One thing that was a little sur­pris­ing to the vis­it­ing stu­dents, Roeckle said, was school se­cur­ity — a met­al de­tect­or at Lin­coln’s front en­trance, for ex­ample.

But it’s not com­plete cul­ture shock, Roeckle said. There are se­cur­ity check­points all over Europe and they’re usu­ally manned by well-armed sol­diers. ••

You can reach at jloftus@bsmphilly.com.

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