Arrival

Visa

Poland is a member of European Union. If you come from the country outside EU, you need to apply for a visa. You can do that in the Polish Embassy or Consulate in your home country. You should do this as soon as you get your acceptance papers, since the application procedure can take up to 8 weeks. You do not need to apply for additional work permit. All necessary VISA information can be found on the following webpage:http://www.msz.gov.pl/en/.

Insurance

In order to start an IAESTE traineeship in Poland, an adequate health and accident insurance is mandatory. Also, we strongly advise you to get liability insurance before leaving for Poland.

Accomodation

The members of IAESTE Local Committees will arrange lodging for you in a student dormitory, at the same conditions as polish students. Rules of paying rent may be different, depending on the city; however you need to be prepared that you have to pay the full month rent in advance. For more details please contact the Local Committee responsible for your offer. If you do not wish to stay in the student dormitory with other trainees, you can arrange other lodging yourself. If you plan to do so, you are required to inform the Local Committee in advance.Extremely important note!

 

Once you know you are accepted and BEFORE you leave your country it is your obligation to let us know:

    • Exact TIME (date and hour) and PLACE of your arrival in Poland and the city you are going to !
    • Flight or train number or any other identification of your mean of transport
    • Your contact information i.e. the phone number we can reach you on your way to us !

If anything changes on your way here and differs from the information you have sent to the Local Committee (LC), let us know as soon as possible via phone or mail, otherwise there might be no one waiting for you.

Unless you give us the information we will not be able to book an accommodation for you and pick you up.

Cost of living

The costs of living (and therefore the salary) in Poland depend on the city. The salary paid by the host institution usually covers basic living expenses (although this will be a bit „tight budget”), including lodging, urban transport and food (it’s cheaper if you prepare meals by yourself or arrange university canteen).

You should be prepared to cover all non-obligatory, extra expenses such as traveling in and outside Poland, participating in IAESTE events and other entertainment.

Please make sure that you will have enough money (in cash or on your bank account) for the time before you will receive your first salary, usually four weeks (maybe a few days more).

Accommodation rent is paid in advance at the beginning of each month.

Major credit cards, i.e. Visa, EuroCard – MasterCard, Maestro, are accepted in cash dispensers (ATMs) but they are not very common in rural areas. Credit cards are accepted in supermarkets, shopping centres and travel offices, but please remember that small shops and groceries usually take ONLY cash.

Average prices:

Product Price
Bread (0,5 kg)   2,00 – 3,50 PLN
Butter  3,00 – 5,00 PLN
Milk (1 litre)  2,00 – 3,50 PLN
Coca-Cola (0,33litre)  2,00 PLN
Beer in pub (0,5 litre)  5,00 – 8,00 PLN
Beer in supermarket (0,5 litre)  2,00 – 4,00 PLN

For up-to-date currency rate go to: http://www.nbp.pl/kursy/ratesa.html

Weather

The weather in Poland is diverse and changeable. Climate depends on continental influence from middle of Eurasia or on maritime influences from the Atlantic Ocean. Sometimes there are beautiful and warm holidays, whereas sometimes it can get chilly and damp.

In one season, the first month can be hot and the other – wet. Warm summer days can get stifling, but also scorching with temperatures rising up to 35°C. Unfortunately, it is possible to experience various types of damp weather in the summertime as well. You can observe drizzles changing in to showers or long-lasting downpours.

Frequently, it can be raining cats and dogs and as a result floods may occur in many parts of Poland. Storms and thunderstorms are also features of Polish climate as temperatures can vary from 10°C to 35°C it is really hard to predict what clothes will be needed.

That is why it is advisable to pack rain coat and umbrella, warm sweater and trousers, as well as T-shirts, short skirts or shorts and sandals.

 Travelling

We hope that travelling around Poland will bring you a lot of pleasure! Your stay and training wouldn’t be complete without visiting the most beautiful and famous places in our country. We are able to provide you with all information about places worth seeing (also ask your Local Committee about the events that are planned), but unfortunately we cannot cover costs of your trips.

By train

The most popular way of travelling around Poland is by train. Unfortunately ISIC Card holders do not have any special discount for tickets, and you have to pay full price.

We strongly recommend asking members of our Local Committee for help with organization of trips – it is far more convenient and much faster.

IC and EC, EN and EX are more expensive than regular trains. There are fees for reservation of the seats and special charges for the sleeping places as well. If you are interested in travelling, we can try to contact you with other IAESTE Committees, not only in Poland, but also abroad. It might be really useful especially while reducing the cost of accommodation.

You can find also some information on Polish Railway Website:http://rozklad.pkp.pl/bin/query.exe/en

By bus

If you don’t like trains, you can travel around Poland by bus as well. For discounts and special offers you should ask at the counter.

There is a National Bus Network (PKS) or a private-owned (e.g. PolskiBus,http://www.polskibus.com).

By plane

In Poland there are twelve airports: Warszawa, Kraków, Gdańsk, Katowice, Wrocław, Szczecin, Poznań, Łódź, Zielona Góra, Rzeszów, Bydgoszcz and Szczytno. The largest one is in the capital (Frederick Chopin’s airport) and if you are entering Poland by plane, you will probably land in Warsaw. Domestic connections are rather expensive, but you can fly to larger Polish cities quite fast, safely and comfortably.

List of cheap airlines flying to/from Poland:http://www.whichbudget.com/?lang=en

By car

We suggest not to come to Poland by car. If you are bent on coming here by car, you need:

-      insurance against accidents (full service) – international liability insurance, so-called ‚Green Card’ is obligatory;

-      insurance against theft.

In Poland, the speed limit is 50 km/h in towns and villages and 90 km/h on ordinary roads. Everyone in a car must have their seat belts fastened while driving. It is also obligatory to use loud-speaking system or hands-free set when using mobile phone.

Petrol cost approx.: 5,30 – 5,50 PLN per liter unleaded.

Currency

The currency used in Poland is Zloty (PLN).

Banks in Poland are open on weekdays from 8:00 a.m. until 6:00 p.m.; some banks are open until 4:00 p.m. and on Saturdays from 9:00 a.m. until 1:00 p.m.

Money exchange is possible in many places, e.g. ATMs, banks, hotels, exchange offices (‚kantor’) or even at some post offices.

1 zloty (PLN) = 100 groszy (gr)

At the moment there are issued:

Coins: 1 gr, 2 gr, 5 gr, 10 gr, 20 gr, 50 gr, 1 zl, 2 zl, 5 zl. Banknotes: 10 zl, 20 zl, 50 zl, 100 zl, 200 zl.

Language

The official language of IAESTE Exchange Program in Poland is English. Generally nobody expects that a foreign student would speak Polish. Knowledge of other languages, if it is necessary or useful for trainee is always determined in Form 0.

There will be a person who will be able to communicate and work with you in the language chosen by company and appearing in your training offer. Please keep in mind that in many places in Poland e.g. in shops, buses or cinemas, it is very likely to meet non – English speaking people, so having a dictionary or book with common Polish phrases may be useful.

Polish language belongs to western Slavic language family (as well as Czech, Slovak and some others, southern Slavic languages: Russian, Ukrainian, Belorussian and Serbian, Bulgarian, Macedonian, Croatian and Slovenian). All citizens of Poland speak Polish and for almost 98% it is a mother tongue.

Public Holidays

During the three summer months: July, August and September there is only one public holiday: August 15 (Catholic Holiday).

The academic year at Polish Universities usually starts on 1st of October and finishes at the end of June. Summer holidays are from the beginning of July until the end of September. Within July – August there are no regular university studies or exams, whereas September is dedicated to those who failed their exams in June.

We suggest finishing your training a few days before October when the dormitory is peaceful and empty. At the very beginning of July entrance exams take place, so one part of the dormitory is occupied by the candidates.

Important numbers

Police, emergency 997
Fire Brigade 998
Ambulance, emergency  999
Type Number

If you use mobile phone please call 112 in case of emergency!

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