The Unbreakable Spirit

Poland, Various

Tentative: 3 weeks in mid-May -June, 2024

With the ongoing Russian invasion of Ukraine, CSB + SJU decided to move this program to Summer 2024.

Program Highlights

  • Gain a deeper understanding of Poland as a crossroads of WWII through visiting the Warsaw Uprising Museum and Schindler’s Factory.
  • Reflect on the lasting impact on the Holocaust as you take in the overwhelming sights of Auschwitz and Galicia Jewish Museum.
  • Explore the role the fine arts may have played during Poland’s history to strengthen, soothe, and to express the human spirit.
  • Deepen understanding of Poland’s Catholic faith and spirituality:
      • Visit several Catholic pilgrimage sites important to the Polish people such as Czestochowa and Calvary Kalwaria Zebrzydowska.
      • Connect to our Benedictine heritage abroad as we visit the Monastery of Benedictines of the Perpetual Adoration in Warsaw.
      • Reflect on Pope John Paul II’s journey of faith as we explore his hometown of Wadowice.
      • See how Poland’s daily work and faith entwined at the Wieliczka Salt Mine.
    • Attending a panel discussion at the University of Warsaw exploring opposing ideas about Poland’s future as a modern European State.
    • Get immersed in the local culture with a 2-day Service-Learning Experience with:
      • Helping to reclaim graveyards of minority populations to honor those who have no one left to remember them.
      • Volunteer in area schools and help Polish students practice their English. 

    Explore more Poland Program details on CSB/SJU Global Portal.

    Course Information

    Course Name: Poland: The Unbreakable Spirit

    Course Number: COLG 280T

    Credit Number: 2 credits

    Common Curriculum: Intercultural (IC) 

    Integrations Curriculum:  Global Engagement (GL) & Raven - pending

    Program Information

    While in Poland, a student will  experience Polish culture, traditions, music, and faith. We will examine our own lived experiences through the experiences of people who have endured much. No musical experiences is necessary to participate, only an appreciation for music and its unique form of connecting to others is required.

    Program Cost & Financial Considerations

    During a summer program abroad, CSB/SJU students will pay the cost of the required 2 CSB/SJU credits at the reduced summer tuition rate. In addition, all students studying abroad will pay an Education Abroad Program Fee. Program Fee information will be available in September, but you can find more information about costs on the  CSB/SJU Global Portal.  

    Students should plan early for a successful study abroad experience. Financial aidand  scholarships may be available to help with program costs, but must be searched out well in advance.   


    Students will stay in double-occupancy hotel or hostel accommodations while in Poland. Wifi is available at all hostel/hotel locations.

    Program Director Information

    Dr. Susan Vollbrecht serves as Associate Professor of Music Education and Director of the Women's Choir. Her research explores creating community through singing, and how singing can provide a unique way to experience self in the world. She has spent several summers in Poland teaching at English-Immersion Fine Arts camps. Contact Dr. Susan Vollbrecht

    Allison Spenader is Associate Professor of Education, focused on language and culture teaching. She studied abroad in Krakow, Poland, and later taught English in Poland as well. Her experiences living and working in Poland spans more than 20 years.

    Contact Allison Spenader