The English Learners' Blog

A blog for English learners and their teachers everywhere, initiated in 2010 with the contribution of students from the Jagiellonian University in Krakow, Poland. More about me on the On-line Profile below. Welcome!

Q & A on the Topic of TRAVELLING (1)

Assuming you were required to interview an Erasmus student about the time he spent during a semester abroad, what questions would you come up with?

On Sunday 7th, from 9 pm, tune in to the radio show, “Cultural me, Cultural you,” on RadioWiD. During this radio show you will be able to listen to three interviews and solve the tasks below.

TASK 1: Listen to the interview with Pawel Szmurlo & answer the questions.

Before listening to this first interview, take a look at the questions below. They were addressed to an Erasmus Law student who spent one semester in Ankara, Turkey. You will notice that I change some of the questions I intended to use during this interview, in order to adapt them to the fluency and coherence of the live discourse. Here is the original list of questions:

  • What is travelling for you? (Do you remember the learning metaphor we came up with for travelling?)
  • How many countries have you visited so far?
  • When did you make your decision to go abroad on an Erasmus exchange?
  • Why Turkey? Was it difficult to choose?
  • What did you know and/or expect about your life there?
  • How did you get there?
  • Did you study Turkish before?
  • Did you have an initial cultural shock (in spite of preparation)?
  • What did you discover about Turkey and the people in this country?
  • What would you recommend for a first visit to Turkey?
  • If you were to give travellers some advice for their trip to Turkey, what would your suggestions be?
  • Tell us about your studies there.
  • How are the teachers? The students? The student life? Are there many foreign students?Did you notice any significant differences between the Polish and the Turkish educational system?
  • Was there anything you would like to apply here, in Poland, as a student? Any suggestion for the teachers here?
  • Were the four months you spent there enough time for you do/ learn/see what you wanted to?
  • Would you go back? Why?/Why not?
  • What other countries would you like to visit? For how long?
  • Where do you see your home?
  • What are your aspirations for the future? What do you see yourself doing (what job) and where?
  • Would you agree with the statement that travelling can be a profession?

1.1. During this first interview write down the changes you notice  (questions I add, change, or omit).

1.2. What other questions would you have added to the list? Write them down.


Task 2: Listen to the next interview with Brian Gehrish & answer the questions.

2.1 Did I use any of the questions you thought about?

2.2. What other questions would you have asked Brian?


Task 3: Listen to the third interview with Alexandra Moldovan and Iuliana Csapo & answer the questions.

3.1. Did you discover anything new by listening to the two interviewees? If yes, what was that?

Further Questions

3.2.Which speaker(s) did you understand best? Why do you think so?

3.3. Which interview was the most interesting for you?

3.4. What are your thoughts on travelling?

Write your comments below and bring your detailed notes to class for further reference!

Have an inspiring weekend!

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Filed under: 5►On-line Assignments, ■ Radio Shows, ■ Travel, ■ Turkey

7 Responses

  1. Magda says:

    I’d add to the list of questions addressed to Pawel Szmurlo: What criteria should be met to take part in the exchange (good grades or other)?
    As for the last question, I think the good thing about travelling is that it broadens our horizons. Travelling enriches us with new experiences. We meet new people and their customs.

  2. Alina Alens says:

    Thank you for your contribution to the concept of travelling!

    I have directed your previous question to Pawel.

    Have a nice Woman’s Day! 🙂

  3. Przemek says:

    I remember listening to these interviews, but unfortunately I’ve lost my notes from that time 😦
    What I personally found quite interesting was the idea of meeting hostel owners from all around the world (well, at least within Europe ;)) and that’s why I’d like to ask what was the name of the event happening when all these ppl were interviewed? Thanks in advance for the answer!

    • Alina Alens says:

      The event you’re referring to did not have a particular name other than, let’s say, a hostel people’s meeting. In other words, it was a meeting initiated by people from different countries (in this case Romania), who wanted to learn from other people’s experience in hostel management and share their own.
      I think this is a good way to travel if you are working in a hostel, as the accommodation (and sometimes food) during these meetings is (are) provided for. (People from Turkey have free accommodation in a hostel in Poland and then their Polish hosts have free accommodation in a hostel in Turkey.)
      The girls I interviewed are working at the Transylvania Hostel in Cluj-Napoca. You could also go to their blog.
      If I come across additional info, I’ll add more to this comment.
      Happy trails!

  4. KasiaU2 says:

    Erasmus seems to be a great idea! You can improve your language, meet new friends and have fun. 🙂

  5. Szymon H. says:

    I noted that one’s countrymen are the easiest to understand when speaking English. People with the same native language have similar accent and make similar mistakes in pronunciation. Their speech and hearing are also somehow connected, so that it’s easier to understand people like us speaking. But I think it’s also very difficult not to move some schemes of construction of speaking into the foreign language. Now I have to learn form lecture notes written in English by my professors. They are Poles and their text, being absolutely correct, looks and sounds quite strange. But it’s much easier for me to understand these texts compared to similar texts on the same topic written by English or Americans.

    • Alina Alens says:

      Very interesting and accurate observation, Szymon!
      It takes some distance to notice the (more or less) subtle differences you speak of. In other words the contact with natives and with people of different nationalities always helps putting your knowledge of English into perspective.
      My advice?
      Read plenty (in English), turn off the Polish “lektor” when watching movies in English, interact in English with foreigners whenever possible, travel a lot, and open your mind! All these and more untie the tongue! 😀

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