My Erasmus Exchange in Stettin, Poland - by Noelia

Why did you choose to go to Stettin, Poland?

I wanted to go to Poland for financial reasons, as everything is cheaper there. Also, the other places on the list were further away, and Stettin is very near to Berlin.

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

My exchange lasted for six months, though I'm staying here for a whole year. 1, 000 euros is what I've been paid, 200 euros a month during the first term. After that, you have to cover the costs yourself.

What's the student life like in Stettin?

It's great if you're living in halls. I went with the intention of living in halls for the first month to get to know people and then moving out to a flat after this - I didn't do it in the end. I liked living together with people of so many different nationalities too much.

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

As a tourist city, there's not much to see, but living there is fun. We spent a lot of time in halls as it got dark quickly. I'd definitely recommend the city for its thousands of Erasmus students though.

What's Polish food like?

Although it's not the best, it's still good - they eat a kind of pastry filled with meat, cheese, vegetables, etc. called pierogis. I preferred buying them from the supermarket and cooking them in the pan. They also eat cooked potatoes with sauce, but I'm not sure what it's called. There's also gulash sauce.

Did you find it hard to find somewhere to live in Stettin?

No because I was given a room in halls, though in the ESN presentation a guy gave a talk on how to get a flat through some kind of estate agent.

How expensive is living in Stettin?

Not expensive at all. My shared room in halls cost me 95 euros a month, bills included. They say they have individual rooms, but when you get there, every room is a double one, unless you're lucky and your roommate has cancelled their exchange or just doesn't turn up.

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

The language is hard. The university offers free Polish courses, but I only went for the first three weeks, as it was really tough.

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

From Galicia, you can fly from Oporto to Berlin, or from Santiago to Madrid, and then on to Berlin.

Berlin is the cheapest and easier option, since it's around two hours by bus from Stettin and you can get this bus from outside the airport. It only costs 5 euros. If you prefer to go from the city centre, there's a train from Berlin HBF to Stettin which changes at Angermünde for 10 euros.

What are the best places for partying in Stettin?

Pinokio, definitely. It's near all the residences and the main day for going there is Tuesday, as they sell half pints for one euro then. Everyone goes to Coyote on Thursdays, above all because they do two for one on drinks. People also go to City Hall or Pinokio instead, and the latter is full on Saturdays too. If you're prepared to fork out a bit more (compared with the places I've already mentioned, as you can get into them for free with your ESN card), try Lulu club. Elefunk club is also good if you want a more relaxed night out sat on the sofas there. The ESN clubs are also good.

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

Like everyone says, MarcoPolo is excellent, with its daily giant pizza offers for four euros. To give you an idea of their size, they're slightly bigger than those from Telepizza or Dominos. If I'm honest though, I prefer PizzaKing, which also serves rubbish pizzas has amazing hamburgers with great barbecue sauce. Don't forget about KFC, which is for some reason better in Stettin than it is at home. The best place for definite is Szsaslik though (I think that's how you write it), it's like a 24 hour corner shop will sells roast chicken and sausages, potatoes and 'local meat' (which is super yummy). It's great for when you're on your way home from Pinokio and feeling hungry - you just ask for a Ziestaw de la Zieka (not sure how you spell that) and they give you chicken, chips, a drink and a kinder egg (for some reason this counts as a dessert! Haha) for 11 zlotys, which is around 2. 60 euros. What a bargain.

What does Stettin have to offer in terms of culture?

The cemetery, which is enormous and quite beautiful, café 23, the Jezioro Szmaragdowe, and anything on Tripadvisor's list of What to do in Stettin, hahah.

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

Go with an open mind and be willing to have fun, spend time with the other Erasmus students, don't pick fights! Whether you go to Stettin or not, you'll love your Erasmus year, the only task is to have fun. If you're not convinced by Stettin, don't worry - I thought the same and now I wouldn't change my experience for the world!

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