Many diehard “Harry Potter” fans would give anything to receive an acceptance letter from Hogwarts and be whisked away into a magical world.
If you consider Poland to be a magical world, you’re in luck.
At the College of Wizardry located in Leśna, “long-flowing robes and dragontooth wands meet jeans and leather jackets.”
Enrolled students can cast spells, learn about Ancient Runes, and be the star of their own “Harry Potter” experience.
Scroll down to learn more about how to become a student of magic.
The College of Wizardry (CoW) is a live action role play (LARP), meaning each person involved takes on a character and acts out the life of a witch or wizard for the weekend.
Tickets for a 3-night stay at the Hogwarts-esque castle (called Czocha) are 2.800 Danish Krone -- or about $406.
The price includes room and board, with dormitories and group meals served Hogwarts-style. You'll have to get yourself to Poland, though, and it's BYO-wand.
There are only three sessions held each year. Tickets are sold out for the 2016 events, but you can start planning now for a March 2017 trip.
Though the CoW operates in a magical universe inspired by 'Harry Potter,' it is not endorsed in any official capacity by Warner Bros. or J.K. Rowling. Students there behave as if they have already 'graduated' from Hogwarts, and are attending college.
Instead of 'Muggles,' non-magic folk are referred to as 'Mundane.' Students must bring their own wands, and 'Mundane' clothes. School robes are provided.
A full description of the LARP (called the 'design document') is posted online in an 88-page PDF. It's up to each participant to take on a character of their own design.
Even the professors in charge of classes are LARPers, not professional actors. Everyone at CoW speaks English, despite the homebase in southwestern Poland.
Many aspects of the school directly mirror that of Hogwarts. The players are sorted into houses, and some students are assigned Prefect duty (similar to college RAs), and points can be awarded to students.
The Czocha castle has five houses, unlike Hogwarts' four. They are Houses Faust, Molin, Sendivogius, Durentius, and Libussa. Each house is based on a different Eastern European culture.
There are 13 subjects taught, including Alchemy (Potions), Beastology (Care of Magical Creatures), Herbology, and Magical Theory.
Students are taught how to cast spells, and can interact with each other based on a mutual agreement of imagination.
It's up to the the LARPer on the receiving end of a spell to have the right reaction, whether it's falling to ground or dodging the incantation.
Some of the experienced role-players use make-up and elaborate costumes to bring depth to their characters.
At the end of the weekend, there's a celebration similar to the 'Yule Ball' from 'Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire.'
And of course, there's Quidditch. The real life version of the game is similar to dodgeball, soccer, and rugby all in one.
The CoW has a whole team of creative people working behind the scenes on props, costumes, and set designs, making the setting as magical as possible.
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