Study programme at WUR: Management and Consumer studies
Study period exchange: 01/10/2018 until 19/01/2019
Country (exchange): Poland
City (exchange): Warsaw
University (exchange): Warsaw University of Life Sciences
2. Motivation for exchange
Why did you choose to go on study exchange?
It has always been a goal for me to study abroad and the Erasmus+ programme gave me this perfect opportunity. I also chose to do it because I was convinced that such an experience would be very valuable. Not only in terms of studying, but also in terms of being able to ‘survive’ abroad.
What is the reason you chose for this country/university?
I wanted to choose a country I didn’t know too much about so I could start my stay in this country/city with an open mind. Also I planned on travelling a bit during my stay and therefore, being one of the central countries in Europe, Poland is a perfect country to choose.
3. Accessibility to reach destination
Do you have any tips to reach your exchange destination?
Book you flight from Eindhoven to Warsaw 4-8 weeks in advance and it’s a bargain (€20-€40).
4. University and studying
Could you provide some general information about the followed courses?
How is the study formalized?
For most of my courses I had to do a relatively small report/essay in combination with either a presentation or a test. I spent most time on writing the reports and being present in classes because together with you report, they will grade you on showing effort.
What is the culture of the university?
All classes you follow as an Erasmus student are for Erasmus only. Therefore, during study you do not get to know Polish students. Lecturers are very approachable and if the schedule doesn’t suit for everyone they are flexible in changing it. Classes are not too big and therefore you can easily ask questions. The difficulty of passing exams/rapports is a bit lower than at WUR.
What does the university offer the student additionally?
In almost every building at the campus there is a place to buy coffee and have a plate of food. Fortunately, I didn’t need any medical help during my stay, but I have been told there is an emergency medical service present at the campus. Compared to WUR, sport facilities are not very much provided. But there is enough to do in town when you want to do sports.
What are the possibilities for housing?
You can get a double (€90,-) or a triple room (€80,-) at the dormitory and I really advice to stay there. It might be inconvenient to share your room with 2 persons and your bathroom/toilet with 9, but the atmosphere in the dorms is amazing. Also, the campus is situated 8 km from the city center. So if there is a spontaneous party in the dorms where 80% of Erasmus people live, it takes some time to get there.
What is the culture of the country like?
I would describe the cuisine as ‘Potatoe and Pork’. But once you are in Poland you should try Pierogi. Don’t expect the same hospitality and service with a smile as you are used to in the Netherlands. Polish people can be quite stiff and importantly, 75% of them don’t understand or speak English!
Could you give a general price indication of the place of residence compared to living in Wageningen?
My room in Wageningen is 300 euro. in the dorms I paid only €80. However, if you decide to loop for student housing other than dorms you will end up paying at least €300/€400.
Could you give some information about public transport infrastructure?
The public transport is awesome. It’s possible to get anywhere in the city at every moment of the day and even during the night there are multiple night busses. You pay 35 euro for a 3 month subscription on your student card, which is a bargain!
6. Free time
What are must-sees in the area?
As Warsaw doesn’t have too much cultural stuff to do, I would recommend to visit Krakow, Gdansk, Wroclaw, Torun,. All doable by train and for affordable prices.
Do you have general tips and tricks about leisure time?
Going out: Pavilony, Teatro Cuban, Bank Club, Klub Park, Smolna
Restaurants: (really try them all, it’s cheap and very nice food) Zapiecek, U Szwejka, Soto Sushi, Manekin, The Mexican, Ciao a tutti, Aioli, Orzo, Momu, and the best pizza’s ever…. ‘Tutti Santi’.
7. Challenges & best moment abroad
What was a challenge you have experienced?
Living in the dorms and sharing a room with 2 others. I’m totally not used to that, the room was small and I experienced a lack of privacy.
What was your best memory abroad?
Renting a car with 3 German friends and making a 6 day roadtrip through Lithuania, Latvia, Estonia and we even reached out to Helsinki.