During the month of March the Social Science department took a group of students to Poland; this visit was based around enlightening students of the events which initially sparked researcher’s interest into the field of Social Psychology.
Whilst on the trip the students had the opportunity to learn about the history of Poland’s Jewish community and appreciate the culture, history and architecture of Krakow whilst on a walking tour. Whilst staying in Krakow the students experienced the local cuisine and traditional Polish food. The students spent time exploring Krakow Old Town, Wawel Castle at Wawel Hill, the Jewish district and also the former Jewish Ghetto. We also visited several memorial sites and monuments during our time in Krakow including the Holocaust memorial and the ‘lonely chairs’ memorial. We visited several museums which included the Galicia museum and the Schindler factory museum. At the Galicia museum the students had the rare opportunity of meeting a lady whose parents were both murdered for their faith and who told a heart breaking story of how her parents fought to keep her safe from the hands of the Nazi German soldiers. During this intimate meeting the students had the chance to listen to her story and also the story of her parents in which she shared many photographs and poems during the Q&A session. This was followed by a tour of the museums latest exhibition and displays which was themed around Jewish memories throughout time. The students also visited the Auschwitz- Birkenau concentration camp where we visited the many exhibitions on display there. This experience gave students the opportunity to reflect on the atrocities that took place during the Second World War and ensure that the message and memory of the Jewish community remains heard throughout the generations to come. All students were extremely moved by what they saw at their time at the Auschwitz camp and spent a considerable amount of time reflecting on what they had seen and heard on their tour of the site. This experience has enabled all of the students to see the reasons why psychologists are so interested in human behaviour and the social interaction of individuals. The trip was a real success and all students had a brilliant learning experience.