International exchange student finds a new home at Quinnipiac

October 25, 2023

Patryk Smyk, an exchange student from Poland, smiles.

In January, Patryk Smyk ‘25, of Mazovia, Poland, was given the opportunity to participate in a student exchange program. He was tasked with ranking a list of various schools around the world, and out of his list, including 220 colleges, Quinnipiac was one of three U.S. institutions that caught his eye.

Smyk hails from Kozminski University in Warsaw, Poland, he has always been fascinated with American culture and diversity, so picking Quinnipiac was an easy decision.

“What drew me to Quinnipiac was its vibrant and multicultural community, which acted like a powerful magnet, pulling me in,” he said. “The prospect of being part of a campus where people from various backgrounds come together was extremely appealing. Plus, the proximity to the bustling city of New York was an added bonus.”

While Smyk endured a three-month-long process of formalities to complete his exchange, he expressed how the Bobcat community stepped up to assist him. The Director of International Student Services Sarah Driscoll was a primary resource for Smyk, helping him form a course of action.

“In my first week here I met people from all across the world – India, Italy, Nigeria, Hungary, Ghana, Canada, Brazil and that’s only to name a few,” Smyk shared. “That’s exactly what I was looking for and Quinnipiac makes it possible.”

Even though he will be visiting for one semester, Smyk chose the economics program because it allows many flexible career paths and opportunities. He aspires to be a financial or market research analyst and wants to own a business one day, he said. Many unique courses have allowed him to gain skills in developing a firm and creating a company.

After reflecting on Smyk’s personal experience, he encourages prospective transfer or exchange students to embrace the journey and remain optimistic. Pushing through is key to seeing the light at the end of the tunnel, which is arriving on campus and becoming a part of the Bobcat family, even if only for a little while, he said.

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