By Lia Lipinski and Maya Sirotin
After teaching in Warsaw for 5 years, Ms. Hansen will be leaving ASW for the American International School of Budapest, Hungary.
Ms. Hansen, who teaches DP chemistry, came to ASW from China, looking to live somewhere in Europe that allowed her to take only one flight back to her home. She first set her eyes on ASW as “Warsaw seemed to be in the middle of Europe, allowing for a lot of opportunities to travel.”
She arrived in Warsaw via the Trans-Siberian train from Beijing to Moscow, which she recalls as an amazing experience. “I could watch the landscape and culture change right before my eyes from Chinese to Mongolian and then Russian, and even within Russia it was so different in Siberia, around Lake Baikal and then as we approached Moscow.” She compares the experience to watching a National Geographic documentary from her train window.
Although when she first arrived at ASW, Ms. Hansen remembers it looking like a typical American-style school, she also told Warrior News that the students and the staff were extremely inclusive and welcoming from the very beginning. She looks back on her time at the school fondly, reflecting that the “students are a pleasure to teach, and my colleagues are supportive and helpful.” She specifically remembers enjoying working with the seniors through Advisory and the retreat, as well as with the student leadership council.
In addition to enjoying her time at ASW, Ms. Hansen has enjoyed her time in Warsaw, telling Warrior News that although she initially came to Warsaw intending to use it as a hub to explore the rest of Europe, she ended up “falling in love with the city.” She recalls exploring different cuisines at restaurants around the city, getting brunch with friends, visiting markets and spending time in the cafes, as some of her favorite pastimes. “Warsaw really has something for everyone,” whether it’s “live jazz music, silent discos, vintage markets or poster exhibitions.”
Despite the fact that she will miss Warsaw once she leaves, Ms. Hansen is looking forward to the opportunities and challenges that Budapest offers and learning how to navigate the city. In addition to exploring Budapest itself, she is looking forward to exploring Hungarian cuisine and specifically investigating how history has impacted the use of specific ingredients and how different cuisines relate to one another. “I will be sad to say goodbye to Bigos and pierogies,” Ms. Hansen told Warrior News, “but am looking forward to goulash and langos.” Luckily for Ms. Hansen, she will only be a short plane ride away from coming back to visit ASW and Warsaw.