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.
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.
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.
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.