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Ultimate student guide to Gliwice – 2019/2020

Published by Massimiliano Banini — 17 days ago

0 Tags: Erasmus experiences Gliwice, Gliwice, Poland


SHORT INTRODUCTION – WHY GLIWICE YES

  • Cheap(one of the cheapest cities in Europe and in Poland)
  • Good connection pointwith other cities and European capitals (with Flixbus from Katowice you can reach easily Prague, Berlin, Wien, Bratislava, Budapest, etc… and with cheap flight from the small Katowice airport you can easily go also to Kiev)
  • Amazing campus architecture

 

SHORT INTRODUCTION – WHY GLIWICE NO

  • No English-friendly(you will have for sure a lot of problem with caretakers and managers of the dorms, that know nothing of English. Be prepared to use a lot Google Translate). Some professor are very terrible having classes in english. Basic rule is: don’t expect everybody to speak English, in fact almost nobody will talk to you in english
  • Without students, it’s a ghost city (university classes start in October, but from June to September Gliwice is aghost city, with nothing to do)
  • Be ready for another level ofdisorganization, that you have never experienced before
  • It’s not so common studying at SUT (usually people go to study in Warsaw, Krakow and Wroclaw)

 

HISTORY

Gliwice is one of the oldest cities in Upper Silesia. It was founded in 1276 on Magdeburg Law. At the twilight of the Middle Ages the town occupied the territory of a few hectares and it was inhabited by ca. 900 people. The majority of them were newcomers from Western Europe and Lower Silesia. Over the centuries it was ruled by Poles, Czechz and Germans.

The Old Town of Gliwice has preserved its legible architectural and spatial layout from the times of its foundations. Its architecture consists of a quadratic market square with a town hall and tenements reaching back t the 15thcentury. The Old Town used to be surrounded with stone fortifications (1125 m long) and 36 towers and a moat. Two gates led to the town – the White Gate (Bytom) and the Black Gate (Raciborz). In the 14thcentury near the latter prince Siemowit from the Silesia line of the Plast dynasty erected a castle. Today not even a trace is left after it. The present edifice called the Piast Castle is in fact a former manor of Friedrich Zetritz. It owes its present appearance and form to reconstructions executed from the 16thto the 20thcentury.

The first wooden town hall, the main seat of the municipal authorities, was erected here in the 13thcentury. Later on it became a brick edifice. At present it is a building in the classicist style with the height of 41.5 m. Its representative interiors hold a session hall, a conference hall and a concert hall, and in the arcades there are stylish cafes. Next to the town hall there is a foundation with the statue of Neptune by Johannes Nietsche from 1794.

The first brick tenements at the market square started to be erected in the 15thcentury. Reconstructed in the subsequent centuries, they were partially destroyed in 1945. They owe their present appearance to the revalorization carried out under the supervision of prof. Franciszek Maurer in the period 1957-1959.

The dynamic socioeconomic development of Gliwice was brought about by the industrialization of Upper Silesia in the 19thand 20thcentury. Its power was built by ferrous metallurgy and hard coal mining. Modern industrial plant were followed by housing estates, tenements, residences, public utility buildings and facilities. The municipal architecture was enriched with various architectural styles from historicism, through Art Nouveau to modernism.

At the end of the World War I, the population of the town was ca. 60 thousand. After the Silesian uprising and the plebiscite (1919-1921) the town remained within the territory of Germany. At the eve of the outbreak of the World War II the so-called Gliwice provocation took place (31 August 1939). Germans faked a Polish assault on the building of the Local Radio Station, which constituted one of the pretexts to declare war on Poland. In 1945 Gliwice and the whole territory of Upper Silesia became part of the Polish state.

 

ADVANCED TECHNOLOGIES, SCIENCE AND ECONOMY

Gliwice is one of the leading edge cities of Upper Silesia. Its strengths are: favourable location and transport opportunities, efficient economy, comprehensive development of science and education, and rich cultural, sports and recreational life. The city’s dynamic development is based on the manufacturing industry with the automotive and logistic sectors and companies operation in the sector of advanced technologies. The latter are also applied in the Polish army, The Gliwice Garrison is a quarter of e.g. the Military Unit AGAT, the 6thAirborne Battalion, and the 4thMilitary Economic Unit.

Science and Technology Park ‘Technopark Gliwice’ (ulica Konarskiego 18C) was established in 2004. Its founders were: the City of Gliwice, the Silesian University of Technology, and the Katowice Economic Zone. Currently there are 24 companies operation there, several of which are companies of a very high technological level. In the 2016 the 7thedition of the ‘Day of Science and Industry’ was organized here.

The Military Unit AGAT is provided with the most advanced equipment and armament. Its specially selected soldiers are trained in different regions of the world and in different climate zones.

In the 1990s the heavy industry and hard coal mining that had dominated the city gave away to enterprises and businesses applying the most advanced achievements of knowledge and high technologies. An important role in this process is played by the Silesian University of Technology and numerous scientific and research institutions, including units of the Polish Academy of Sciences. In 2004 over 24 thousand business entities were operating in Gliwice. They represent all sorts of sectors, starting from commerce, through construction and industry, to science and technology. Among them there are also 19 large commercial law companies fully or partially owned by the city.

The foundation of the dynamic development of the city is its contemporary educational and scientific side. This in turn translates into obtaining advanced staff for the economy of the region, which is supported by numerous schools, universities and scientific and research institutes. Among them a special role is played by the Silesian University of Technology, established in 2945. Today it is one of the Poland’s largest universities. Currently, it consists of 13 faculties, 2 colleges, and 3 science and education centers. In 2016 the Silesian University was educating 23 thousand students, with 17 thousand students of full-time courses. They could choose from 54 mayors and 200 specialties. Within the premises of the ‘New Gliwice’ Education and Business Centre, on the other hand, the Gliwice School of Entrepreneurship operates.

The economic zone is also responsible for the position of Gliwice on the economic arena. Within its territory there operate 70 companies and 5 developers representing the following sectors: automotive, metal, construction, machine, electronic industry, and the logistic sector. These are entities with the Polish, German, Italian, Portuguese, French, English, Spanish, American, Dutch, Japanese, Danish, Austrian, Belgian and Korean capital. By the end of 2016 ca. 9.1 billion PLN was invested in the Gliwice Subzone (that belongs to the Katowice Special Economic Zone) and nearly 19 thousand jobs were created.

The Roca Polska company of Gliwice is one of the most modern plants manufacturing sanitary ware in the world.

Gliwice is a city which has ones of the best traffic connections in Poland – this is the place where the A1 and A4 motorways intersect, providing great transport opportunities from east to west and from north to south. In March 2016 the construction of the regional motorway called Drogowa Trasa Srednicowa was completed – it links Gliwice to Katowice and it is a road of key importance for Upper Silesia. It intersects Chrzow, Swietochlowice, Ruda Slaka and Zabrze. In the city center the Drogowa Trasa Srednicowa is hidden in a 493 meters long tunnel, equipped with the most advanced technological solutions. Devices installed in it are to secure safe driving. The tunnel is monitored on a current basis byt the Traffic Control Centre, which shortens the response time of emergency services or safety personnel stepping in the event of any incidents.

 

CULTURE, SPORT AND RECREATION

Gliwice is not only a dynamic economic, academic and scientific center. It is also famous for its rich cultural, sports and recreational life. The oldest culture institution of Gliwice is the Museum in Gliwice. Today it consist of the following departments: The Caro Villa, the Piast Castle, the Upper Silesian Jews House of Remembrance, the Artistic Casting Department, and the Gliwice Radio Station. The collections of this facility comprise over 80 thousand exhibits. Apart from permanent and temporary exhibitions, it organizes numerous meetings, lectures, concerts, museum, lessons and big events – the Gliwice Cultural Heritage Days and the Night of Museums. In Museum there operate the Art Reading-Room and the Centre of Cultural Information and Regional Education.

The Piast Castle belongs to the oldest buildings in the city. Today it is one of the facilities of the Museum in Gliwice. Its interiors hold collections of the divisions of archaeology and history. After its revitalization in 2005, it also received night illumination. The monument of Stefan Batory donated to Gliwice’s population by the authorities of the twin town Salgotarjan was erected near the Piast Castle in 2014.

Diversified artistic forms are presented by the Municipal Theatre in Gliwice. It administers there stages. The main stage (ulica Nowy Swiat 55-57) is a place where most of all theatrical plays are held. The second stage (al. Przyjani 18) is used for climatic concerts and other artistic events, such as the ‘jazz in the Ruins’ International Festival organized by the Silesian Jazz Club in Gliwice. The third stage (“Bajka” Stage – “Amok” Cinema / ulica Dolnych Walow 3) is adjusted to stage performances as well as to film screenings. For several years now spectator can enjoy watching live opera performances broadcast from Metropolitan Opera in New York.

The wooden broadcasting mast of the Gliwice radio Station from 1935 is one of the tallest structures of the kind in the world ( 111 meters ). In the competition for the Best Public Space of the Province of Silesia 2010 the revitalized area around the radio station was awarded in the category of urban planning. An outdoor cinema is sometimes planned near the Gliwice radio Station.

Gliwice citizens like spending their free time doing all kinds of sports and relaxing activities. All this is possible thanks to vast green areas in the city (c. 369 ha) and its state of the art facilities, such as sports fields, stadiums, sport halls, indoor and outdoor swimming pools, an indoor skating rink and a climbing wall. Nearly in the very center of Gliwice there is Chopin Park with the Municipal Palm House. Its four pavilions hold over 5.6 thousand plants. (The pavilion of tropical plants, where plam tree, cycads and ferns grow, is over 20 m tall). In 2013, two aquarium-pavilions were opened. Four aquariums hold several dozens of fish species from Poland, Amazon basin, southeastern Asia and Tanganyika lake in Africa. Fish from Amazon basin including arapaima, freshwater stingrays and Herbivorous Pacu Piranhas are presented in the largest aquarium of the exposition (60k liters of water). The city is also full of playgrounds for children, located in parks, near schools and in housing estates. Remarkable is the equipment for outdoor gym placed in park (if you don’t want to buy an indoor gym ticket).

In 2013 and 2014, four modern performance and sport halls were made available to residents. The facilities are designed for different sports disciplines, e.g.: basketball, volleyball, handball, indoor football and martial arts. Inside there are also a climbing wall, a fitness room and a gym. In addition to training, the premises may hold sport and stage events, shows and even fairs.

In 2017, the Gliwice Sport and Entertainment Arena opened at Akademicka street (“Ulica Akademicka). This modern multifunctional facility is one of the largest structures of the kind in Poland.

The new municipal stadium is a place of many exciting meetings for GKS Piast Gliwice footballers. Entire families coming to matched five their warm support to players.

Perfect relaxation opportunities in the city are provided by the “Lesne” Outdoor Swimming Complex and the “Czechewice” Leisure Centre. The former has a few picturesque pools, water slides, sports fields and playgrounds for children.

 

ADMISSION OFFICE – A TEMPORARY RESIDENCE PERMIT FOR EDUCATIONAL PURPOUSE AT THE UNIVERSITY

(Updated to July 2020)

To whom and for how long may be granted

 Foreigners, the purpose of whose stay in Poland is education at full-time university studies or full-time PhD studies and foreigners intending to take up a preparatory course to start such studies in the Polish Language, provided that these circumstances justify the stay of a foreigner on the territory of the Republic of Poland for a period longer than 3 months.

Note for an important exception: the above permits cannot be obtained by among others, foreigners who perform work or run business activities on the territory of the Republic of Poland, unless they apply for granting another permit for educational purpose at the university.

The first permit to study at higher education institution for foreigner who undertakes studies on the first year in granted for a period of 15 months. If the studies justify the stay of a foreigner on the territory of the Republic of Poland for a period shorter than 1 year, the first permit is granted for the term of the academic year or the studies, extended by 3 months.

Subsequent permit for temporary residence for the purpose of studying at higher education institution is provided for the period of study, extended by 3 months, but not longer than 3 years.7A temporary stay permit for foreigners intending to take up a preparatory course to start education at a university conducted in the Polish language, is granted for a period of duration of this course extended by 3 months.

Where and when submit the application

The foreigner makes the application personally, no later than on the last day of the lawful residence on the territory of the Republic of Poland to the voivode competent with regard to the foreigner’s place of residence.

The procedure related to Temporary Residence Permit takes some time so it’s better to apply for the Resident Card about 3 months before your visa expires.

Foreign students who stydy at the Silesian university of Technology (SUT) and live in the Silesian district submit application to the Silesian Voivodeship Office.

All important information related to Temporary Residence Permit are in the website of The Silesian Voivodeship Office: http://www.katowice.uw.gov.pl/service/gb/temporary-residence

During making the application the foreigner is under obligation to give his/her fingerprints.

Since 1stFebruary 2019 untill further notice, all the foreigners serviced by the Division for Foreigners of Silesian Voidodeship Office in Katowice (Oddzial do Spraw Cudzoziemcow w Katowicach) who are planning to apply for their stay legalization are obliged to reserve the precise visit date via Silesian Voidodeship Office internet Booking system: http://rezerwacjia.slask.eu

Necessary documents:

(lack of any of the aforementioned documents will result in margin call within 7 days from tis delivery, under pain of leaving the application without examination.

Standard documents necessary for examination of the application:

(Documents listed below attached to the application may reduce the quantity of official correspondence and shorten the time which is necessary to handle the case)

  • A certificate of an entity conducting studies concerning enrolling for their study programme or continuation studies or accepting for a preparatory exam
  • Evidence of payment of the fee for studies if a foreigner starts or continues studies for a fee
  • Documents confirming having health insurance as defined by the provisions of the Act of 27 August 2004 on health care service financed from the public funds or the Insurer confirming covering the cost of medical treatment on the territory of the Republic of Poland
  • Documents certifying having sufficient financial means to cover the substance cost and return to the state of origin or domicile or the cost of transit to a third state that will permit access and the cost of the studies.

(In case of explanations or particularization of evidence during the administrative proceedings the foreigner may be called to deliver other documents or to submit testimonies which confirm circumstances referred to in the application)

Fee related to residence permit:

  • Stamp duty 340 PLN
  • Fee for residence card 50 PLN
  • Foreigners, the purpose of whose stay is education at secondary school and university are entitled to a reduction in the fee for issuing a residence card in the amount of 25 PLN

Residential status following the application

If the application for temporary residence permit was made during the foreigner’s lawful residence and this application did not contain formal defects or these defects were supplemented within the time limit, the voivode stamps the travel document which confirms registration of the application. Residence of the foreigner is deemed to be legal from the date of submission the application until the date when the decision on temporary residence permit becomes final.

(Stam in the travel document does not entitle the foreigner to travel through territories of other countries of Schengen area, while the foreigner may travel to the country of origin, however, in order to return to Poland he/she must obtain a visa, if she/he comes from the country which is subject to the visa obligation.

The document issued after granting this permit

The foreigner who obtains temporary residence permit on the territory of Poland will be issued with the residence card. This document is issued ex officio by the Voivode who granted the residence permit.

Residence card in the period of its validity confirm the foreigner’s identity during his/her residence on the territory of the Republic of Poland and entitles him/her, along with the travel document, to multiple crossing of the border without the need to obtain the visa.

Information obligations related to the residence permit

The foreigner who gets temporary residence permit, has an obligation to notify the voivode who granted this residence permit within 15 working days, on cessation of the reason for granting this permit. If the permit was granted by the Head of the Office for Foreigners in the second instance, the notification is addressed in the voivode, who ruled on the granting of this permit in the first instance. Failure to fulfill this obligation may result in refusal to grant another temporary residence permit, if the application for another temporary residence permit was made before the end of the year from the end of the validity period of the previous permit or from the date on which the decision to withdraw the temporary residence permit has become final.

The rector f the university or the head of a different unit running studies is immediately under the obligation to notify in writing the voivode who gave a foreigner the permit, in order to receive education at a university, to cross out a foreigner from the list of students, as well as not to give credit for the year or study in the specified time.

Information for the foreigner on the rules and the procedure and of his rights and obligation

Above mentioned information is available on the website: https://udsc.gov.pl/wp-content/uploads/2018/04/Information-for-the-foreigner-on-the-rules-and-the-procedure-and-of-his-rights-and-obligations.pdf

Information for the foreigner on the rules and the procedure and of rights granted to hum/her and obligations imposed on him/her in the cases of extension of an issued visa or a period of stay covered by this visa, granting for foreigner a temporary residence permit, a permanent residence permit or a long-term resident’s EU residence permit, in accordance with Article 7 (1) point 1 of the Act of 12 December 2013 on foreigners (Journal of Laws of 2017, item 2206 as amended).

(in the case of applying for an issued visa or a period of stay covered by this visa, Chapters I, II, II, VIII are handed over. In the case of applying for a temporary residence permit Chapter I, II, IV, VII, VIII are handed over)

Contact of Silesian Voivodeship Office

Phone: +48 322077327

E-Mail: [email protected]

 

COST OF FOOD AND ACCOMMODATION IN POLAND

Gliwice is not a very expensive town. Prices are definitely much lower than in major polish cities (Krakow, Wroclaw, Lodz, Poznan) or in the capital (Warsaw).

  • Dorm: 500-650 PLN/month
  • Food: 500 PLN/month
  • Bread: 4 PLN
  • Water 1L: 1,50 PLN
  • Tea in bags: 13 PLN
  • Butter: 4-5 PLN
  • Coffee: 15 PLN/kg
  • Milk: 3 PLN/L
  • 8 free-ranged eggs: 9,50 PLN
  • Tomatoes: 4-8 PLN/kg
  • Cucumber: 3 PLN/kg
  • Lettuce: 3 PLN
  • Bananas: 4 PLN/kg
  • Apples: 2,5 PLN/kg
  • Oranges: 5 PLN/kg
  • Cheese: 25 PLN/kg
  • Ham: 27 PLN/kg
  • Potatoes: 2,50 PLN/kg
  • Avocado: 5 PLN
  • Rice (400g): 3,20 PLN
  • Bar of chocolate: 3 PLN
  • Lunch at student canteen: 12 PLN
  • Soup at student canteen: 4 PLN
  • Pizza: 20-30 PLN
  • Chicken filet: 16 PLN/kg
  • Beef meet: 29 PLN/kg
  • Mean in restaurant: 15-40 PLN
  • Meal (two courses + water): 30-50 PLN
  • Public transport (ticket for whole Silesia region): 3,80 PLN/ticket
  • Cinema student ticket: 20 PLN
  • Taxi: 2 PLN/km
  • Full price museum ticket: 20 PLN
  • Bike Hire service: 1 PLN/hour
  • Haircut (male): 50 PLN
  • Swimming Pool: 15 PLN/hour
  • Gym membership: 120 PLN/month
  • Coffee to go: 13 PLN
  • Cheeseburger: 4 PLN
  • Polish language group course: 900 PLN for 40 class hours
  • Bottle of water (1,5 L): 1,60 PLN
  • Orange juice: 3,20 PLN/L
  • Beer: 3 PLN/0,5L

 

ATTRACTIONS IN SILESIA

  • Historical Coal Mine in Zabrze, with the original 19thcentury galleries, stables and chambers located 170 and 320 meters below ground  (www.kopalniaguido.pl)
  • Silver Mine and the Black Trout Drift in Tarnowskie Gory, recently added to the Unesco World Heritage Sites. It also offers open-air exhibition of steam engine machines on the premises of the mine (www.kopalniasrebra.pl)
  • The Palace and Park Complex in Plawniowice. A beautiful example of residence architecture in Upper Silesia. (www.palac.plawniowice.pl)
  • Tychy Brewery, along with the Museum of Brewing industry, an attraction not only for beer enthusiasts, where the history of this beverage, dating to 1629, is presented in the most modern way. (www.tyskiebrowarium.pl)
  • Krakow-Czestochowa Upland. Limestone rocks of the Cracow-Czestochowa Jurassic Highland Chain, with perfect condition for rock climbing. (www.jura.info.pl)
  • Beskidy. Mountain ranges of the Silesian and Zywiec Beskids with well-known ski resorts of Szczyrk, Wisla, Ustron and Korbielow.
  • Palace and forests with bisons in Pszczyna, which witnessed the history of the Dukes of Pszczyna and the Upper Silesian conurbation with an industrial legacy of almost 200 years (www.zamek-pszczyca.pl )

 

ATTRACTIONS IN GLIWICE

(useful link: www.gliwice.eu )

  • Villa Caro (part of Gliwice Museum), Dolnych Walow 8a St. (www.muzeum.gliwice.pl )
  • The Piast Castle (part of Gliwice Museum), Pod Murami 2 St. (www.muzeum.gliwice.pl )
  • Gliwice Radio Station, Tarnogorska 129 St. (www.muzeum.gliwice.pl )
  • Municipal Greenhouse, Fredry 6 St. (on the area of Chopin Park)
  • Upper Silesian Jews House of Remembrance, Ksiecia Jozefa Poniatowskiego 14 St.
  • Ruins of Municipal Theatre, Aleja Przyjazni 18
  • Bajka Scene and Amok Cinema, Dolnych Walow 3 St.

 

MUST EAT LIST

  1. Dumplings (Piergi). Number 1 on the must-eat list, don’t forget to taste them with different fillings:
  • Russian Dumplings” (Pierogi Ruskie) filled with cottage cheese and potatoes
  • “Russian Dumplings” (Pierogi Ruskie) filled with cottage cheese and potatoes
  • “Cabbage Dumplings” (Pierogi z Kapusta) filled with cabbage and mushrooms
  • “Meat Dumplings” (Pierogi z Miesem) filled with meat
  • Sweet ones during summer, filled with blueberries, strawberries, etc…
  • In Katowice there is a place dedicated only to pierogi (just try it if you go there), and In Krakow I ate the best fried dumplings of whole Poland in Kuchnia U Babci Maliny
  1. Zapiekanka. This long opened bread with whatever you want to eat above. Amazing for all type of snack or meal. You have one in the main place, just follow all the people you see in the center walking and eat that
  2. Borsch (Barszcz). Classical beetroot soup, usually served with dumplings filled with mushrooms or meat
  3. Borsch (Barszcz). Classical beetroot soup, usually served with dumplings filled with mushrooms or meat
  4. Sour Barley Soup (Zurek). A soup flavoured with fermented bread, served with potatoes, diced sausages and hard-boiled eggs
  5. Sauerkraut Soup (Kapusniak). A typical polish winter soup, based on sour cabbage
  6. Silesian Beef Roulade (Rolada Slaska). A beef roll stuffed with bacon, pickled cucumber and mustard, served with Silesian dumplings (kluski Slaskie) and cooked red cabbage (modra kapusta)
  7. Hunters Stew (Bigos). Made with sauerkraut and a variety of meats, smoked meat and mushrooms
  8. Potato Pancakes (Placki Ziemniaczane)

 

USERFUL POLISH LANGUAGE EXPRESSION

Honestly, from an international student point of view, Polish Language is difficult. It’s not English, it’s not German, it’s not Russian, it has a lot of combined letters to make strange vocal sounds, and (moreover) university will try to force you to study it in any case. (if you are a luck student in a full-degree program, an endless 3 semesters of polish will be suited for you). Normally, the nearest language to Polish is Ukrainian, so, if you are from Ukraine you could be fluent in Polish in less than 6 months.

So, bear in mind to learn at least basic things of polish language (anyway you will learn a lot of these expressions during your life in Poland)

I suggest you to print, or have in your notes, a table like this, where there is the written expression, what it means in English (or your language) and how to speak it.

(see photos attached)

 

ESO SUT ERASMUS GLIWICE (EX-ESN GLIWICE)

The ESO office is located on the top floor of Mrowisko (Pszczynska 85): just take the right when you enter the building, up the stairs, take a right again down the hallway and the office is second to last door on the left, with a big sticker on it.

A lot of time they ask to pay with the correct amount in cash, and honestly it could be much easier if they could accept credit card payment (or online payment for the event), to create less problem to Erasmus students.

They have opening hours, so they are not opened 24/24 they are students too, and they have to come there exactly to offer a volunteer service to new one: don’t be harsh if you need to be opened often, but they have to come directly from their home (usually not in Gliwice) to there for you.

Usually there are boxes left from previous Erasmus students, and the ones that nobody takes are gifted to people (if they need useful things inside, like spoon, plates, and other kitchen stuff) 

 

SUT UNIVERSITY

To connect to“eduram”,the university wifi in the campus, put PEAP in the EAP method, the second one is MSCHAPV2, username is your university email (there is no private username or something), disable certificate, and enter your password.

You will have a student card, with an “album number” that will be the identification number when you will do exam. Connected, you will have also a university email (usually ending with “@student.polsl.pl”), with a password.

There is a university newsletter, but is useless seeing that it’s only in polish (we tried to explain the advantages to have a version in English, like normal international universities that aim to connect all the international student, but they didn’t care about our proposition)

In the lab you will enter with your university email as credential, but sometimes you have to cut the “polsl.” part from your email. Why? I don’t know, there is a lot of disorganization and mismatching in the explanation.

In the SOTS website (https://sots.polsl.pl/) you will have all the documentation and grades of your course (remember to change the language to english, on top right)

Some courses could be online, but anyway also a platform is used to upload material related to courses: https://platforma.polsl.pl/

Almost all courses are explained with slides, so you will not have to take too much notes on paper.

Get familiar with “dean’s hours”: sometimes, with a short advice, there will be “Dean’s hours” where there will be no classes. What is the motivation? I don’t know. Be updated with latest news. In January 2020, there was a week with 3 Monday (like Monday-Monday-Wednesday-Monday-Friday-Saturday-Sunday), so strange things could happen.

The grades are from 0 to 5, and to pass you have to score at least 3 out of 5. There are a lot of exam with open book, where you can have your notes with you during the exam: check it in advance with your professor. Oral exams are not so common: professors prefer to give projects/presentations or do written test.

A lot of subject are divided in theory part and practice time: you will have two different exams.

Almost all the subject will be held with slides, so you can study them without taking too much notes in class. Don’t buy books and paper that you will not use. The notebook they will give to you at the orientation day could be enough for a whole semester of notes.

You will have a lot of subject related to coal industry, because of course almost all Poland is still based on coal.

 

ORIENTATION WEEK

Normally last week of September, made from ESO staff. It’s not mandatory, you can recover the information also in the next days/weeks, but of course it’s the best way to know suddenly new people for the semester. Usually is worth to show during the first orientation day because they will give you a voucher for a free lunch (soup, 2ndmeal and juice) at the canteen (called “Zajadalnia”, in Ulica Łużycka 24, 44-100 Gliwice)

There are different events during all the week.

For sure there will be a walk around the University Campus, to leave you familiar with all the faculties and facilities.

There could be a visit to Kolejkowo, which is a fun place with the biggest railway model in Poland and beautiful model of Gliwice’s town square

You will know the center of all Erasmus activities, the center “Mrowisko” (you can easily spot his name in red, with the ants mascots) in front of Lidl.

Another useful visit is to Katowice: it’s a good way to visit the old town and museum

Or going to Sztolnia Luzia: it is a part of mine in Zabrze. This is a water tunnel located underground. There is a trip that show history of mines in Silesia (there could be cold, about 16°C, so wear warm clothes)

Or going to Palm House in Gliwice.

Pub Crawl, that will finish in the iconic Mardi Gras.

There are pubs in the center doing karaoke.

The Orientation Day is useful also for changing your learning agreement 8for example if you realize that not all your courses are in Gliwice, but some of them are in Zabrze), to learn that you have to do a minimum of 25 ETCS, have a % of mandatory presence to pass the exam, etc…

 

DORMITORIES

If you to contact the director ofKarlic, call +48 32 237 2384

Head of Barbara: [email protected]

You don’t need to email the dormitory before your arrival, reception is working 24/24h.

After visiting almost all the dorms in Gliwice, I can say to you the best dorm in Gliwice are:

  1. Elektron (the only one with private rooms)
  2. Karlic

The worst ones are:

  1. Solaris (the worst one, where also polish students refuse to go there)
  2. Piast
  3. Barbara

 

You will know a lot of people two by two, because almost all rooms in dorm have only double room available (yes, it’s a very strange thing also for me). The only dorm that has single room is Elektron (but anyway you will have a flatmate, to share a bathroom with). No private bathroom are possible in dorm. For example Karlic (that is divided in “Karlic A” and “Karlic B”, one building next to the other) has also triple rooms (so for 3 students at time). If you want your privacy at any cost, it’s good to evaluate to pay a double room only for you (so paying twice as much), but not all dorms permit it (it depends on the amount of students there are for the semester). Of course, dorms have different price depending on these characteristics.

A lot of dorms have a shared bathroom for a whole floor. In that case, it’s better to choose room in the groundfloor, where at least there will be less people to share the bathroom.

You have anyway the possibility to change dormitory after the first day you are living there, but bear in mind that best rooms finish early, and other rooms are already booked since months.

Usually (in all dorms), after 23.00 main door is closed, but you can still enter ringing the bell: the woman at the reception (that sleeps at night) will come to open to you, check you document, and let you enter.

Remember to have some passport photos (before your arrival), because you need some of them to have your ID card for your dorm.

If you are Indian, you can find two different nice group of Indians in Ondraszek dorm.

There are a lot of dorms under renovation, but are only outside renovation, they will not change much: they are only improving the thermal outside insulation when global warming is hitting more and more (so, it could have been more useful years ago, when you had winter with -26°C, not now when the lowest temperature in winter is -5°C)

Almost all dorm has a working staff that don’t speak in English (and I mean no English at all, “zero” of English, not only the doorwoman, but also the manager of each dorm). So prepare to use a lot of Google Translate English-Polish.

Usually you have to buy a lot of things inside the dorm, that you will need (except the good case where previous students left in the room useful things). For example, you have to buy all you need for the kitchen, because the plates and piece of cutlery in the shared kitchen are not enough for everyone. A lot of Spanish people leave boxes at the Erasmus Office in Mrowisko before leaving, so probably you can gain useful stuff if they leave for you (the boxes are signed). The unredeemed boxes are given for free, because they don’t have space to store too many boxes in the office.

Internet. No wifi is available in dorms. You can only have an ethernet connection (that is available in each room, because it’s connected with the fast internet of the campus, probably with fiber, seeing that you will have in average 828 Mbps of download, and 833 Mbps of upload). So, if you want a wifi in your room, you have to create an hotspot with your computer/phone, and connect through it with other devices.

At your arrival, they will give you some documents to fill (with your name, nationality, …) where you will have to put also your IP address (pay attention to the different ones, because they have a different last number. “Wifi Mac Address” is different from “Ethernet Mac Address”, write only the second one), so the IT guy of the dorm will provide you the access to the internet grid.

Of course, a lot of people that have to do this, are students (will you really think that with all that disorganization there is a dorm staff able to manage and resolve your internet connection problems? Of course not): this means that if they will arrive in the second week of October, you will remain your first week without internet connection. That’s why a lot of students in the first week go to buy an additional polish SIM card to have additional internet data on your phone in the first week (I suggest to go to the “Orange” shop at the forum, to have one. Check the actual offers)

At least internet is included in the rent price.

You have quiet hours in dorm from 11.00 pm to 6.00 am. Elektron doorwomen are the strictest about rules, in other dorms you have more tolerances. But bear in mind that you could always have some neighbor that could report you, and staff could always threaten you to get rid of your Erasmus scholarship. So, party smart (usually just outside the dorms, where you can also have barbecue party with a grill).

 

ELEKTRON DORM

The manager of Elektron Dorm is Regina Bozena Chalubiec, and you can write to her email (in polish, because she doesn’t speak english): [email protected]

At your arrival, the woman at the reception will give you paper to fill, and then will give you the keys of the room. Prepare to use Google translate, because she will understand zero of English, like all the women of the staff. Have in mind in polish the useful words, like “laundry” (pralnia) and the number of your room.

Usually they ask to return the keys of your room every time you go out of the dorm, but after sometimes the doorwomen will recognize your face, and they will ask to report only by voice the number of your room, to note it.

Remember to have a passport photo to leave at the manager in the first days: they will print for you a dorm ID card (with your name and your room number). They could ask it to use the laundry, the gym, the pool room, and the common room at the groundfloor.

You will need an ethernet cable if you want to connect to internet: no wifi is available in the dorm. You have to wait the IT guys to five him your “Ethernet address” to connect to the internet: he is a polish student that will not arrive in the dorm before October, and he usually stay in the room 103 (at the first floor).

There is a kitchen (with sink and 1 or 2 oven/s at each floor). You will have your private fridge in each apartment. Remember to follow the common rules to live in a dorm with other: always leave the kitchen clean, clear the kitchen after each time you use it, don’t leave dirty dishes in the sink, don’t clog the sink with the leftover of your meal (put them in the waste basket, and only after wash the plates), if you soil/dirty the burner while cooking clear it after usage, etc…

At the groundfloor you can find the manager office, the reception, the gym, a space for the bike, a kitchen, a pool room, and the common room. So, there are less apartment at the groundfloor.

The bedsheets are usually changed once in a month. There will be an advice on the main door (in English) for the correct day and time to change them. Just remove them from your pillow and your blanket, bring them to the reception, say your room number, and they will give you new ones. Otherwise you can always buy bedsheet for yourself, and wash them when you want.

You usually have to pay a deposit of 200 euros at your arrival. A lot of people don’t do it, and the manager will not ask it. They will re-give it to you after 7 days of your exit. Funny fact: there are two different back accounts relative to Elektron dorm, one in Euro (where charge the deposit) and one in PLN, and the owner of each one don’t know the other owner. Amazing Polish disorganization. So, that’s the reason why you have to charge the deposit on the euro account, and instead you have to pay your monthly rent in PLN directly to the manager in cash (before the 10thof each month)

The washing machines will work only with tokens: you have to buy tokes at the ground floor, in front of the manager office (on the right of the main entrance). 1 token costs 6 PLN, the suggestion is to buy 2 tokens at one (because 2 tokens cost 11 PLN). There are instructions next to the washing machines, also in english. Follow them to not do mistakes. You have to buy yourself the detergent, the powder or laundry cups.

Please follow the common rules about the usage of the washing machines: don’t use them for more than 3 hours (don’t leave your clothes inside for a whole afternoon or a whole night), otherwise you will block all the queue after you, otherwise when you will need it suddenly probably you will have to wait 1 week. There are only 2 washing machines in all the dorm (1 floor and 3 floor), and they are used by more than 100 students inside, they are not only for you.

Suggestion: buy a drying rack to have in your room. There is space to dry clothes in the laundry room, but there is no space for everyone. Moreover, the polish weather will not allow you to dry your clothes in a short time (it means that you can leave all the night your clothes to dry, and they will be still wet in the morning). If everyone leaves all his/her own clothes hanged in the laundry room for a whole day, you understand that there is no space for all the other students. Remember to leave always the windows open, to let the air circulate. A lot of students leave clothes hanged with all the windows closed: maybe in 100 years they will dry….

Doorwomen will not allow you to have party at night: usually after 23.00 they come to check noise in the dorm, and let you stop. You have to be fluent in polish to try to convince them to not scream at you.

The rent for a single room is 630 PLN/month (bills included), but you can also pay half of it if you arrive/go away in the middle of the month. There is the possibility to pay day by day, but of course it is more expensive than the whole month.

 

BANKS

I wanted to live my life in Gliwice without any PLN (called zloty), but technically it’s not possible, so prepare yourself to deal with a lot of these coins.

The best option remains the PKO, the national bank of Poland, that has the best conversion. You can find the nearest ATM at the main entrance door of Mechanical Engineering Building (inside the campus). Unluckily, in 2020 they put an additional fee (that was not present before), and for example you will have an additional 17 PLN for each transaction (so it’s still better to withdraw all the money you need for all the month, instead of withdraw many times during the month)

The last time I have checked, a useful comparison between other banks was:

(Actual conversion without interests is 1 euro = 4,43 PLN)

  • PKO: 1 euro = 4,24 PLN
  • Santander: 1 euro = 3,92
  • Planet Cash: 1 euro = 3,90
  • Euronet: 1 euro = 3,87

There are center to change your money to PLN, calledkantor: you can find them everywhere around the city.

 

USEFULL APPS

  • Koleo app (for train tickets)
  • Jakdojade app (for bus and train ticket around Gliwice and Silesia. Tickets in ZTM are more expensive that these from app)
  • Pyszne.pl app (for delivery food)
  • Uber Eats (for delivery food. Just be updated if somebody you know has some discounts for you)
  • Uber. If you want to move to Katowice to go in some disco, it’s the best way to go there, sharing the cost (20PLN each one, to be under your dorm in 22 minutes), and avoiding the walk to the station + the train time to reach Katowice.
  • Omio App. Another one to book your bus and train in trip in central Europe. It’s useful because it show not only Flixbus options, but also local one, so it will give more alternative to plan your trip (for example to Prague, or other cities)

 

SUGGESTIONS AND USEFULL INFORMATION

  • First thing to known: how to pronounce “Gliwice”. The final “c” is pronounced like a “z” in “zebra”, so in the end you have to pronounce it more like “GliwiZe” (and it’s very common in Polish Language, for example also for “Katowice”)
  • If you are an Erasmus, Martyna will be your only reference for everything. All other professor in the university will snob you. Usually there are 3 people for 300 Erasmus students (plus the international ones in full degree)
  • Mobility office for Erasmus is available from 9.30 till 13.30
  • Gliwice is a ghost city without students. If you arrive in middle September you will find around only international students just arrived like you, still shocked that nobody talk in English with you. All the students will arrive the first day of October, or the second week of October (because almost always, no important classes are held during the first week)
  • You will have to go to the City Hall to fill some documents, or to do something (for example get your PESEL number, that is your identification number in Poland to register your official polish adress),: there only 1 person out of 20 can speak in English. You go in bars, and 1 out of 10 will talk with you in English. Also the young ones, because it’s not common in polish having English speaking exam, so also young people can understand English but for them it’s not easy to communicate fluently.
  • They will tell you to go out always with a document/passport printed, because Silesian Police could stop you at anytime to check you. It’s completely wrong. (Don’t miss the polish police that will come to the orientation week to explain rules, speaking 0 of English. Amazing show of each semester). Police will never stop you because they can’t communicate with international students. Normally whatever party outside the dorm is stopped when police come to see you from distance, so you slowly spread, and they will not come to check you near because they don’t know how to talk with you.
  • Using drugs at home is allowed, nobody will come to check you. But avoid to create big party at dorms, because anyway some neighbor will call the police to check and let you stop it. Normally, the first reprimand will be from the doorwoman, so known in advance which ones will allow you to have party longer, instead of the other that will scream at you. No drugs are permitted on street. Pay attention to “disease drugs” that are cheap acid mixed with mice poison, metals, and other not healthy material.
  • Technically you have different limits of alcohol permitted and not, but (knowing how much polish drink) remember that police could block you for 24 hour to sober you up.
  • Have in mind the normal rules for each tourist in a touristic places: don’t show money in your wallet, don’t drink your drink alone, stay in group in pub/disco… These suggestions are useful in all situation and everywhere.
  • The police phone number is 997 or 112 (will they speak in English? Who knows…)
  • The canteen (Zajadalnia), near the dorm, is open Mon-Fri 9 a.m.-6 p.m., and Sat-Sun 11 a.m.-5 p.m.
  • Remember the initial “K” for women, and “M” for men
  • Do the ESN card to have students discount (like for example discount for Ryanair flights)
  • As a student you usually have 51% of discount for public transport ticket (and reduced ticket for museum in all Poland)
  • A lot of people (for example Spanish) use the Revolut card to pay, pry u can try also N26 if it’s useful for you
  • Resident permit is not worth id you want think to travel outside Poland within 90 days, because they must be 90 days straight. Example: if you go to Prague after 2 month (so you have been in Poland for 60 days straight), when you return to Poland the sum will be reset and it will restart from 0.
  • Some old people know some basic of Germans and Russian (for example numbers), because they was forced to study them when they were young (you know, history and wars happened in Poland)
  • Mardi Gras is the only valuable places where to go to dance and party in Gliwice (sometimes the entrance is free, sometimes no, but anyway you have to pay for the wardrobe, because you are not allowed to enter with a bags, jackets and sometimes also jumpers). That’s why a lot of people prefer to go to clubs in Katowice (like Orange Club, Spiz, etc). If you want to exaggerate, take a bus to Krakow at 23.30, arrive at the Havana Club (also called “Teatro Cubano”), stay there all the night and return to Gliwice in the morning at 6-7 in the morning.
  • A visit to Zakopane is always worth it, in winter for the snow and in summer for the nature.
  • In a cinema you have almost all film in Polish, and only the famous one has some show with English subtitles. If a movie is panned for 20.50, it means that at 20.50 a 20 minutes of advertisements will start, then you will have 5 minutes of trailers, and only after them the real film will start. There is no interval (or break) during film. Never choose the option of “lektor”, because there will be the original volume with an actual lector that will translate every dialogue in polish with the same tone (check this to understand better, from the film Bad Boys 2: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1yHD45zYcV0 )
  • You will understand that a normal lunch is not common in Poland, there will be only breakfast and dinner. Just see the timetable of your course, you will not have a lunch break, but only 15 minutes breaks between the 1.5h classes. Normally first class is at 8.30-10.30, 15 minutes break, second class 10.45- 12.15, 15 minutes break, third class 12.30-14.00, 15 minutes break, forth class 14.15-15.45, 15 minutes break, fifth class 16.00-17.30. Normally on evening hours you could have shared language classes.
  • Normally shops are all closed on Sundays. But there are some exceptions: for example, Lidl is usually open only the last Sunday of the month. Just check in advance when are the national holidays, to not remain without food for a whole day. Your salvation is the shop at the petrol station, seeing that is always open, also at night, and it could be useful if you search for alcohol after 22.00…
  • Be prepared for the sunrises: Poland has the same timezone of central Europe (till Spain) so for a lot of people it will be difficult to sleep in the early morning, seeing that there will be sun directly to your eyes at 5.00 a.m. There are no rolling shutters in dorms, and the curtains will let pass all the light. Consider sleeping with a mask on your eyes, or get familiar to wake up each day at the early morning.
  • A lot of websites in Poland (SUT university included) have a version in English, but be prepared because in the English version there is 10% of the information available in the polish version. For sure, if you search for detailed information, you will not find it in the English version.
  • If you are a student from Middle East, you will see for the first time a radiator. It will be very useful to regulate it with valve, to have a decent temperature in winter. In addition, from your point of view, Gliwice will result a green city, with all the trees around.
  • For Latin-American, Gliwice is the cheapest European city where to live (also because you can have only 1 semester of exchange): it will permit you to travel around Europe, for a once in a lifetime great trip around European Capitals in your free time.
  • In a barber shop will happen something very unusual: they have a mirror, but they will not let it see during the cut. So, you will only see the final result. Know this in advance when you choose to go cut your hair.
  • Have in mind what are the shop near to you, from the biggest to the smallest, from the nearest to the further.Kaufland(the biggest, where to find almost everything),Lidl(the nearest to almost all dorms),Netto, andBiedronka(the smallest, but sometimes the cheapest). There are theZabkashops all around, open till late, but usually they are small and they have highest prices in comparison with all the other alternatives.
  • There are some good pubs near the dorms, likeHellgate, otherwise you have to go to the main center to have some night-life.
  • There are gyms in dorms, but they are very poor. So, if you want a good gym, go toSmart Gym: the month ticket is very cheap, and you can enter there 24/24, so you can go there when you want.
  • My favorite places to eat were Fresh Burger (the best burger I hate in Poland till now) and the Orient Ekspres (with an Israeli chef, and a some vegetarian dishes), so they are worth a try.
  • The weather. In February 2019 there was -26°C. Unlucky global warming is real, and if 20 years ago there was never-ending snow from November to march, now you will barely see snow once in the winter. Usually September-october is a good time to travel, with 15-20 degree each day. The winter of 2019/2020 was not so harsh, with the minimum of -5°. So, it’s okay have a thermal shirt and a quilted winter jacket (with maybe some thermal pants/leggings) but don’t bring too much winter clothes unless you don’t want to travel to the north part in your free time. In the evening it’s usually the freezing wind that let you feel cold, not the temperature (that is not so low for the standards). In April and May usually there are always good days, while in June it rained almost everyday. Consider this when you are planning your travel.
  • In May, without a pandemic, there are a lot of holidays/events/party in Gliwice, for example the sport week in the middle of May. Check all the national holiday in advance, to have long weekend to travel.
  • If you are Erasmusm, and you have the possibility to choose, be smart and not choose the courses in Zabrze (so you will stay only in Gliwice without moving for university), and moreover, plan to have courses not on Monday morning or Friday. So you can have long weekend to travel.
  • There are a lot of kick-scooters spread around the city, you can use them download the related app. Be aware that is totally NOT a good idea to use them when you are drunk, or when there is water/ice on the roads…
  • Extra activities: If you want, you can try apaintballmatch. 50 PLN for 200 bullets, 60 PLN for 300 bullets, and if you want to charge 100 bullets more 15 PLN. Otherwise, try the “House of Air”, that is an indoor trampoline park, right next to Kolejkowo.

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