Poland, Poznan – Olivia Bridger – 2007-2008

General Life in Poznan

PoznanPoznan is the 5th largest city in Poland located in the West approximately 3 hours from Berlin. There are a number of universities in the city with most having ERASMUS students. At the Poznan University of Economics there are approximately 40 international students (most of which could not speak Polish) in each semester. Most Polish people were unable to speak English and although all ERASMUS modules are taught in English I would recommend taking the beginners Polish course to learn vital phrases. The city has everything anyone could wish to do, with numerous shopping malls having been built in the last 10 years, markets, bowling, cinemas, ice-skating, museums, an endless number of clubs and bars and restaurants ranging from 80p a meal to about £15 maximum. The local Lech Poznan football team can be fun to watch and there are lots of different sites to see.

Weather varies from the coldest of about -15 C in the winter although averaging at -3 C to 30 C+ in the summer.

Social Life

PoznanSome may say life is one huge party on ERASMUS in Poznan. There is a beautiful old square in the city centre where most bars and restaurants are located. As not many tourists travel to Poznan prices are lower then in other cities like Krakow and Warsaw. Most of the ERASMUS students tend to stick together, however Polish students are very sociable. You may find that you are the only English student at the university and so everybody may want to practice their English with you!

Lectures

Most ERASMUS lectures are taught in English. I did find however that many of the modules I had chosen before arriving in Poznan had been cancelled and I had to make alternative choices. The subjects available can therefore be relatively limited. Expect to have approximately the same number of contact hours as you do in the UK. Unfortunately some lectures do have an 8am start!

Accommodation

PoznanI would recommend applying for university accommodation as they tend to put ERASMUS students in the nicest halls. It may be possible for you to request a single room although it is common for most people to have a room-mate. It is generally the case that there is 1 bathroom between 4 students. I paid approximately £15 a week to stay in Feniks Halls so compared to Exeter it was much cheaper. It was thankfully clean and relatively new, and most ERASMUS students choose to live in halls. There are also many Polish students about. Feniks has its own gym downstairs (although most of the machines were a little dated) and it is a located a short tram ride away from the city centre and university. There is a large park nearby which is great for a jog in the summer or a snowball fight in the winter!

If you do decide to not live in halls but in private accommodation I would be careful to not be cheated and over-charged for not being Polish.

Travel

Horse and carriage in PoznanTo get around Poznan, a student month tram and bus pass costs approximately £6. Trams run from two stops near halls and go about every 5 minutes to the city centre. Throughout the night there is a night tram as well as two night buses which all run every 30 minutes which is helpful when on a night out. Taxis are very cheap and cost about £2 to halls from the town centre

Travelling around Poland is incredibly cheap. There are many lovely cities to go visit, including the seaside in the North in Sopot and the city of Gdansk and south of Krakow are the mountains around Zakopane where it is possible to ski in the winter. There are lakes about an hour from Poznan such as Powidz and Skorzecin where it is possible to go swimming in the summer.

Poznan has its own airport where it is possible to get cheap flights with Wizzair, Ryanair and BA to the UK. There are also flights going to most other European countries and it can be possible to get a good deal. (I travelled to Stockholm return for £12.) It is located about 25 minute bus ride from the city centre.

Conclusion

Being an ERASMUS student in Poznan is incredibly fun, and with prices much cheaper then the UK it is possible be busy every night and still not spend all of your student loan and ERASMUS grant.

14 comments to Poland, Poznan – Olivia Bridger – 2007-2008