Study exchange in Poland

Field of study in Wageningen: Biology
Study period exchange: 15/09/2018 until 09/02/2019
Country (exchange): Poland
City (exchange): Warsaw
University (exchange): Collegium Civitas

2. Motivation for exchange

Why did you choose to go on study exchange?

For me going on a study exchange was a nice possibility to get familiar with different cultures, meet new people. I also wanted to see another part of Europe for a longer time, I expected this to be very interesting. It would also help me to become more independent because I didn’t know anyone in this city when I arrived.

Why did you choose for Poland?

Actually it was my 3rd choice. I wanted to go to Scotland in the first place, my second choice was Spain. So this
country was a back-up plan. Poland seemed cheap to me, so I chose this country as my third place.

3. Accessibility to reach destination

Do you have any tips to reach your exchange destination?

The cheapest and most easy way to travel is by plane. I took a plane from Eindhoven.

Do you need a visa and/or residence permit for studying in the country of your destination?

I think when you really follow the law, you need visa after three months, but in reality nobody asks for this and you
don’t actually need it. None of my friends was concerned about this and they said there’s no need.

4. University and studying

Could you provide some general information about the followed courses?

How is the study formalized?

In general you will have lectures. In most of the courses there’s a lot of participation with the teacher. The examination is not that difficult, mostly multiple choice. The workload is fine, but take intou account that most courses are only for 3 ECTS so you have to follow a lot of courses. Every course has only 1 meeting a week, so you will get used to this. There’s not to much work. You don’t have to buy books or anything.
What is the culture of the university? (E.g. How approachable are the lecturers, engagement with local students? What are the differences with the WUR?) I had contact either with the local students and the international students. The students are kind from what I experienced. I think you will feel at home, the teachers are kind and are happy to help you. The differenced with the WUR as I told before are the small amount of ECTS you get for a course. Also the level of examination is quite low.

What does the university offer the student additionally?

At the university there are some places where you can buy drinks and bars. You can buy a sport pas in Warsaw with a high discount for students, the university itself does not have sport facilities.

5. Housing-travelling-living

What are the possibilities for housing?

The rent for rooms for exchange students in Warsaw is almost similar to Wageningen. There are possibilities to live with more people in one room, then the monthly rent will be low.

What is the culture of the country like?

You can almost buy everything you can also buy in the Netherlands. Unfortunately there are no kroketten or borrelnootjes from Duyvis, very sad. Something I can really recommend is pierogi of course, Polish people are really proud of this food.

Could you give a general price indication of the place of residence compared to living in Wageningen?

The supermarkets are some cheaper, especially fruits and vegetables are cheap. Warsaw is a modern city, the price is in comparison with the Netherlands a bit lower, but for example electronics etc. won’t be cheaper.

Could you give some information about public transport?

When you get your student card you can buy a 3-months ticket with student discount, around 35 euro, so that’s very cheap. There are busses, metros, trams and trains so nothing to worry about. Taxi/uber is cheap as well. The university is accessible by all means of transport. During the night there are busses as well.

6. Free time

What are must-sees in the area? 

Krakow is near, it’s a nice city. Of course you also have to visit Auschwitz, you can combine this with a visit to Krakow.

What does not appear in the travel guide, but is worth a visit?

In the praga district you have one street with all kind of nice restaurant. When you want to experience the Polish kitchen you can visit Zapiecek.

7. Challenges & best moment abroad

What was a challenge you have experienced?

The first days were a bit hard because I didn’t know anyone. I felt a bit lonely. But after a few days everything was perfect when my flatmates arrived and I started to meet other students.

What was your best memory abroad?

Renting a car and driving through the forest.