Karol Kisiel

Poland

Coming to Estonia...
It was about the time, while I was finishing my Master studies of choral conducting in Poland. I met professor from USA, Artur Sjogren, who had good knowledge about Estonian musical culture, and adviced me coming here to get some new experiences.

Before coming here I knew about Estonia...
I have always been connecting Estonia with other small Baltic countries and very interested in its inner life. I have also been aware, that Estonia has one of most beautiful capital cities in Europ and is has very high level of technological development.

Differences in student life in Estonia and in my home country...
Organization. Definitely. I can compare only my city, Gdańsk to Tallinn, but I think it may have broader context concerning Polish musical institutions. Although Poland seems to be going in a good direction still it leaves much to be desired according to schedule of the studies and possibilities to develop.

In Estonia I have possibility to attend lectures in several other universities, access to various scholarships supporting my studies and musical experiences like attending masterclasses and competitions. I feel close connection between me as a student and the authorities of EMTA, which guarantees me for sure, that I can find professional support whenever I need it.

Studying in Estonia ...
During my stay in Estonia I learned a lot about myself, because I’m constantly discovering my reactions in several situations appearing to me as an international student. I know better how to find myself inside of different society and culture, how to respect it and still represent myself, as well as inside of the international society, created by several foreign students from my Academy and other institutions.

Professionally, I find my studies in Estonia as really valuable. I have contact with great teachers, talented students and highly respected choirs and orchestras. This is the most important for a conductor, wishing to develop intensively and quickly.

Some of the things I learned here...
I feel strongly, that I have developed much as a person surrounded by people representing different cultural habits and traditions, and as a musician having contact with professionals artists. This is unforgettable experience and I’m happy to be able to continue this dream.

I would tell others in my home country...
I find sudent life in Estonia quite intensive, especially in Tallinn, where are collected some universities representing several education scopes: Tallinn University, Estonian Fine Arts Academy or Estonian Academy of Music and Theatre. There are various places where you can meet students of these universities, what appears to be a great opportunity to make your ideas wider, not only based on students interested in music.

From professional point of view, Estonia apperas to me as a country very intensively seeking for its own character and already having it clear and easy to recognize. On one hand people are interested in many aspects of life, also in traveling, getting knowledge about other nations. On the other hand, their expectations meet with rich offer coming from many institutions, interested in supporting young generation in their development.

While being away from my home country, I miss the most...
It certainly is contact with cultural life, which I have grown up with several years. Nowadays, since I visit my country only twice a year, I have limited knowledge about things happening especially in my city. This makes me wanting to find possibility to cooperate with Poland and Gdańsk, to find opportunities to organize some projects together, to come with students from Estonia to introduce them my culture and to show their culture to my Polish friends and proffesional accuaintances.

I liked to study here...

Such programmes like Erasmus become an „everyday bread“ in student life. This moment, when we for the first time settle in another country, is one of the biggest challenges in our life. After that, nothing seems to be difficult or impossible. Another aspects of international studies are of course new professional contacts, experiences, getting knowlege about another cultures, in my case also about music of the country where I live. These connections and memories stay often for a very long time or even forever, I think it makes our personal and professional life uncomparably richer.

My future...

Continuing PhD studies in choral conducting at the Estonian Academy of Music and Theatre, using Erasmus Placement program for getting another international experiences, trying to create my own ensemble to work with and give concerts. One of my dreams is to become a teacher and work with passionate musicians.

The last thing I want to say...

Gdy studiujesz i żyjesz za granicą, wracasz dwa razy mądrzejszy: znasz nowe miejsca i nowych ludzi, ale poznałeś również siebie.

When you travel abroad to study and live, you come back twice smarter: you know the new places and people, but you also know yourself for real.

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