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.
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.
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.
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.
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 :).