Erasmus in Gdansk, 2009-10

Why did you choose to go to Gdansk, Poland?

Since it was one of the cities my university had connections with, and after looking at photos and comments on the city, I saw that it was quite a good place to go to and very attractive.

How long did your exchange last? How much were you paid?

I was there for nine months, and I was paid 900 euros monthly, apart from the final month where I was paid less due to the financial crisis. It depends on the university you're at however.

What's the student life like in Gdansk?

The atmosphere is great, generally - the academic level is much lower there and they don't ask much of you in the university. Students there are however genuinely there because they want to learn, and many of them are ver y motivated.

Would you recommend the city and the University of Gdansk to other students?

I'd recommend the city of Gdansk because it's beautiful, has a great feel to it and is also super cheap since it's in Poland. In terms of the university, I'd recommend it for a place easy to get good marks at, but you hardly learn anything...

What's Polish food like?

The food's very good, very cheap. You can eat in really cool restaurants and stuff yourself silly for four euros. I recommend going to Manekin for pancakes, which is next to the Uniwersytet and super cheap. It's a very typical restaurant in Gdansk.

Polish food usually takes the form of soups and pierogui, a type of ravioli which can come with meat, potatoes or spinach...

How did you find your accommodation?

I was given a room in residence no. 6 belonging to Gdansk University, which is definitely the best one. It's like a hotel, but my university was in Sopot, so all the girls who were living there went to flats in Sopot.

We lived in two flats. It's hard to find a good flat to live in, and also expensive. They also don't really have living rooms there.

Also, be very careful when renting a flat: my friends and I were living in one in Sopot which had rats! The street was called Alfonsa - don't look at any flats there, as they all belong to the same woman.

How expensive is accommodation? How high are prices in general?

Accommodation is pretty expensive. I slept in the living room, which I shared with another girl. Two other girls slept in the bedroom. We paid 2, 200 zlotys a month, bills not included.

Clothing prices are high, higher than in Spain, but food and transport are cheap.

How are you finding the language? Have you signed up to a language class at the university?

Polish is a very hard language to learn. I went to classes in the first term and still didn't learn very much...

What's the cheapest way of getting to Gdansk from your home city?

There are lots of cheap flights from Spain, the cheapest nearly always being the ones from Alicante.

What are the best places for partying in Gdansk?

I recommend Parlament, Nowa Republika, Tropikana, Kwadratowa, Ego, Y pokla (in Gdynia, with Latino parties every Wednesday).

What about eating out in Gdansk? What are your favourite places?

Manekin, next to the Uniwersytet; Pinochio in Sopot; any restaurant in Gdansk's old town.

What does Gdansk have to offer in terms of culture?

Its old town, the Sopot wall, the main street in Sopot called Montecasino, the Gdynia Gate, a park in Gdansk-Oliwa, the Wasterplatte (where the Second World War began)...

Do you have any advice for future students coming to Gdansk?

Have an amazing time and enjoy your time there to the maximum, as it'll fly by.

Bring warm clothes! :D

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