Tag Archives: Poland

Meet Gdańsk

I came to Gdansk to complete my internship at Kemira Gdansk, in the back office. I have now been here for 3 weeks and there are still over 4 months to go.
The impression I have had so far are mostly positive. The work is nice, the colleagues are even nicer and very helpful. At the moment I am handling shipments within Finland but my scope will grow over time.

Old mill in Gdansk
Old mill in Gdansk

The city is beautiful and full of possibilities, whatever the heart desires. You can go climbing, go to the beach or suck up culture by visiting museums.

At the moment the Icehockey World Championship is going on and for every game of the Finnish Lions we Finns meet up and watch the games together. The Finnish community within the comp20160503_145053any is very strong, so you’ll never be alone.

I am excited for the remaining months, developing my skills in the back office and making more friends with my co-workers. I am also hoping to go to a Polish language course, to learn some Polish. And I am waiting for the summer to fully arrive because the city will be even more vibrant then.

Günter Grass and Oskar from The Tin Drum
Günter Grass and Oskar from The Tin Drum

 

Warszawa, drugim domem

IMG_20151005_174533715Dzień dobry! I started my study exchange period in Warsaw University of Technology in Poland last October. My field of studies is Building Services Engineering with focus on HVAC, but during my exchange period I have been stud ying in the Faculty of Electronics and Information Technology. So my studies here don’t have that much in common with my studies in Finland, but it has been an interesting trip and I’ve learned a lot.

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I’ve been mainly studying telecommunications with some programming mixed in. The faculty has an English study programme here, all the Erasmus students attend regular classes with the full time students. Studying a different major in a University of Technology has had its own problems, but so far I’ve been able to follow all my classes. Classes are a lot more theoretical here than in TAMK, but most of the professors have great English proficiency so at least there isn’t a language barrier.IMG_20151206_153743267

There are people from all over the world including India, Spain, Turkey, Ecuador and South Korea.  Also in Warsaw there’s a lot of Universities besides WUT so I’ve gotten to meet a lot of people during my Erasmus and I continue to meet more and more every week.

 

IMG_20151003_124534552There’s always something to do as it’s pretty easy to gather a group of friends and hangout, try an escape room or just shoot at each other for a couple hours on the paintball field. The local ESN organisation organizes a lot of event ranging from city tours to swing jumps and also a lot of trips, which are quite affordable and an easy way to travel if you don’t want to organize everything by yourself.

When I first came here I didn’t know much about Poland, but it seems like a great country. Sometimes
you can feel a bit like an outsider in Poland as like in Finland it’s a really uniform country culturally. The overwhelming majority speaks Polish while English levels vary wildly. But it’s definitely possible to survive here while not knowing Polish. All in all Warsaw doesn’t differ that much of Helsinki, it’s just a bit bigger even though it’s easy to get around in the city center by foot. I would also recommend visiting Kraków, which is a really beautiful city with all its old buildings and great views.

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Life in Poland

Hey ya’ll! I started my Erasmus semester in October at Silesian University of Technology in Gliwice, Poland. I had no idea about the city or much about Poland anyway and the first thing to shock me was the language barrier. I arrived to Gliwice before the semester started and so most of the students hadn’t arrived to Gliwice yet, meaning English speakers were are rare breed. When I met other exchange students and local students, things got a lot easier.

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The studies in Poland have been very different from TAMK. Partly because the way courses are taught is somewhat different but also because the courses I have a something very different from TAMK. Even though they are different, they are that in a good way. I have a lot of energy engineering studies I believe are useful for me in the future but can’t be studied in TAMK at least as much. Also some of the equipment used in the laboratories here are way older than the ones in TAMK, but I think it has been useful to learn to use other instruments too.

The town of Gliwice is quite small, smaller than I imagined but the location in Europe is very good for travelling. I have met a lot of nice people during my exchange and travelled with them somewhere almost every weekend. Sometimes in Poland and sometimes in countries nearby Poland. One special treat was to visit Vienna and we got tickets to La Boheme in the national opera for only 4€. Opera is not really my thing but it was a great experience especially in Vienna opera which is considered maybe the best in the world.

opera

I have felt that Gliwice is a little bit too small place to be as an exchange student because the amount of English speakers is small but there are bigger and really nice cities near Gliwice and very easily accesible. I have visited Krakow, Wroclaw and Katowice which all were really nice, especially during christmas time. And we also had a really nice weekend trip arranged by ESN ( Erasmus Student Network) to Pieniny mountains near the border of Slovakia where we hiked on top of a mountain that was almots 1km high and rafted on a river that was the border between Poland and Slovakia.

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All in all my time in Poland hasn’t been always easy but I think it has been a great experience and I have made many good friends around the world that I look forward to visiting and them to visit me back in Finland. Right now while writing this post I am in London visiting my friends and going back to Poland in couple of days for the final month of my exchange. So most of the travelling fun is over and now I have to buckle down and study bit harder for my final exams.

Best Regards

Matias

Greetings from Warsaw!

Dzien dobry! I spent my exchange in the Warsaw University of Technology in the faculty of Electronics and Information Technology.  The university had a lot of faculties, some pretty far from the city center but my faculty was luckily next to the main building, not far from the center.

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Movies in front of the University

I had an awesome trip, made a lot of new friends and got to know different cultures. Some may have a bad image of Poland but I have to say, Warsaw was a beautiful city and full of life all the time. The traffic may first seem a bit crazy but you get used to it quickly.

I would recommend going to Warsaw and if you ever do, you must go and try pierogis!

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View from Palace of Culture and Science, you can see the national stadium in the background
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Christmas market in Vienna

Skyscrapers and pierogis!

Dzien dobry! Greetings from the capital of Poland, Warsaw! I’m studying in University of Warsaw at the faculty of management. I’ve been a couple months here and the time has been awesome. I’ve met some new amazing mates and experienced a lot in so little time. At the end of September I was really excited about the incoming semester in Helsinki Airport.

There were several issues with my courses in my faculty and I had to do my Learning Agreement again. But thanks for the crew in the local international relations office, it was really easy to handle these issues. I had only about 3 classes in a week so this hasn’t been so demanding for me compared to Finnish education. But this is totally ok for me because there’s more time to experience the Polish culture. Pierogis (Polish cuisine) for example!

I’ve already made couple trips during my stay here. First we went to see the infamous concentration camp Auschwitz-Birkenau and then headed to beautiful city called Cracow. Later we went to see different country Czech Republic and its capital Prague and headed back to Poland and spent one night in Wroclaw. Both of these trips were organized by Erasmus Student Network ESN.

People really should get rid of their prejudices about Poland because this is amazing and really underrated country. There are so many things to see! Of course Warsaw isn’t the most beautiful city in the world because the marks of wars are still available to see around here. On the other hand there are beautiful skyscrapers and modern shopping malls that have the latest brand retailers. I can recommend Poland everytime when someone is planning a city holiday! Na Zdrowie!

My face was excited before the flight to Warsaw. The plane behind has the same thoughts.
My face was excited before the flight to Warsaw. The plane behind has the same thoughts.
Pierogis tasted awesome.
Pierogis tasted awesome.
Warsaw Towers.
Warsaw Towers.
Auschwitz-Birkenau and the infamous sign.
Auschwitz-Birkenau and the infamous sign.
The castle of Prague.
The castle of Prague.

 

Cześć :)

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I still can’t believe it has been already 4 months since the first time I came to Sopot, Poland.

At first, luckily,  I did not have any difficulties in finding my dorminitory – 2 years living in Finland helps me know how to manage not to get lost :D. The life in dorm is fine; currently I am living with a lovely and friendly Turkish girl. The dorm still has some inconvenient things:  all of the dorm managers cannot speak English, one kitchen and 2 bathrooms for 25 rooms (approximately 50 people :D), the laundry task is much more difficult to do than in Finland and too loud noise at nights when there are parties. However, I got used to it and started to enjoy the dormitory life; which brings me many good friends from different countries.

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My dorm is quite far from city centre and the university; however, I love walking along the seaside everyday so I don’t mind walking a long way to go to the university. It only took me about 5 minutes to go to the beach; and I love the fact that because it is winter now, the beach is not too crowded.  It is not very cold in winter here compared to in Finland (of course!); and I’m get used to Finland winter so the weather here is okay for me. There is a peer near city centre where I can walk towards the sea, too. The city centre is also very nice; I’ve already had my favourite restaurants in Sopot. I thought there will be huge number of Asian shops here, but it seems like Sopot is only a small city so I only ended up finding one small Asian shop to buy special ingredients and food from my hometown. I have not met any Vietnamese people here, either. However, it is also a great chance because now I have to speak English everyday to enable to communicate with other people.

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Although I still think I didn’t get a lot of useful information regarding the studying during the orientation week but anyway, the orientation week at the university was quite fun.  We even received a Poland travel book, notebooks, pens and sim card from the university; I really appreciate this. My most favourite moment during the orientation week is the trip to Kolibki adventure park in Gdynia – I have never tried adrenaline jump and zip wire before; and I don’t mind feeling a little bit dizzy after all. I went to see a volleyball match between Gdansk team and Olsztyn team with my friends, too and this was also my first time ever.

 

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My studying is not so stressful. There are not so many differences in teaching style between Poland and Finland; therefore, I don’t have any difficulties in studying here. The university facility is modern and there is a separate medium library near Economic faculty with many different economic books. All the courses are easier than I thought; and honestly, some courses are quite boring. The good thing is that we only have one lesson per week for each course; therefore I have time to enjoy the life in Poland. One frustrated thing that I still cannot get over is the “name system” in the university – they only accept the names with 2 or maximum 3 words. My full name is Le Thi Minh Trang with my first name: Trang but I ended up becoming “Thi” afterall. Now my student card is Thi Le; and even I tried to explain to the university officer, they said they cannot change it. One more thing is that each person was given a “Exam paper”, which we have to present to our lecturers at the end of the courses so the lecturers will give grades for the courses; then submit it to the university officer to enable to have final credits. There is no online grading system and it is quite inconvenient to me,  especially when I have to book flight ticket to return to my hometown beforehand. Besides that, everything is okay.

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Honestly, I was not too excited at first when I know my exchange destination is Poland (it is not my first choice, and well, not my second and third choice either). However, now I think I love this small peaceful city with beautiful seaside and I’m sure I won’t regret to decide to come here in the end. I’m preparing to leave it soon; and I feel missing this city already :).

Dzien dobry, kocham Polskę

Greetings from northern Poland!

I am currently studying at the University of Gdańsk, in the Faculty of Economics in Sopot. One of the best things about studying here is that you get to see three cities instead of just one. Gdańsk, Sopot and Gdynia are located so close to each other that it is very easy to juggle between them just by jumping on the SKM train that runs amid the cities approximately every 15 minutes. And the train ticket for students only costs 0,50€!

Breakfast and Sopot

Gdańsk is beautiful with its colourful old town, lively riverbank and cozy cafés. The statues and buildings are full of a historical feeling that you never get bored of.

Sopot

Sopot, where I live and study, is a seaside city with crazy nightlife on the clubs of the main street. The view at the sea and the long coastline is breathtaking (especially for a girl that is more used to lakes). Walking on the beach is great and close to the big pier in Sopot there is an old lighthouse. The scenery from the top of the lighthouse is also great, so make sure to go up there. Also the big five star hotels, like the famous Grand Hotel and Sheraton are located just beside the pier. I heard a rumour that even Rihanna once stayed at the Grand Hotel.

Warm weather

When I arrived to Poland at the end of September, it was still like summer here. I think that it is still warmer and more sunny here than in Finland. I have noticed that the people here are amazingly friendly and helpful. Here is a useful tip: learn some simple Polish words before you arrive here and you will be surprised how happy everyone is when you are showing an interest towards this challenging language.

University of Gdańsk

In Poland I especially love the street markets filled with fruits, flowers, and vegetables. They are usually open until late in the night so you can always get your fresh apples from the city centre.

Gdańsk and Sopot in the evening

Also the fact that Poland is so close to many great countries makes it an excellent choice for an Erasmus exchange destination. Living here is so much cheaper than for example in Switzerland, Germany or France, but it is just as easy to travel around Europe from here. Did I already mention that you can also eat a hearty meal in a restaurant for just 5 euros?

Travelling around

Pozdrawiam, all the best from Poland!

Land of consonants

I’m studying civil engineering at West Pomerian University of Technology. University is located in city of Szczecin in North West Poland. Szczecin is the fourth biggest city in Poland, it is almost same sized with Helsinki. Szczecins round shaped center remind little the center of Hamina.

Szczecin centrum

I came to Szczecin 27th of September and the academic year in our University started on 1th of October.  Before I came here I traveled one month in Europe.  It was good time to have little intensive course of English before starting studies in Poland. Here in Poland it is harder to improve your English because there are few people who speak properly. Most of exchange students come from Spain or Turkey. Usually Spanish and Turkish guys speak just their own language and it is quite hard to have conversation with them.  So probably Szczecin is not best place to improve your English skills.

Szczecin central railway station

School has started and I learned that studying here is pretty different than in Finland. I study in class called European engineer  where are  also Polish and exchange students. Most of lectures are in English but some are in Polish and i had to do some special arrangements. The level of teaching varies lot and some of courses are quite thin and poor.  Fortunately there is few good teachers and courses.

Polish architecture

– Juha