Dzien dobry Poznań!
As you will realise very quickly when you settle here, Poznan is definitely well connected to other European capitals. It is approximately three hours from Warsaw and Berlin by train (actually it is right in the middle), and you have direct flights from London, Edinburgh, Sheffield and Paris-Beauvais, for example.
The airpot Poznań-Ławica is served by low cost companies, and is only 20 minutes away from the city by bus. When you arrive, you have to take the 59 bus (you cannot get it wrong, it is the only one going to the airport!) and get off at Bałtyk if you want to go to Jowita Hall. If not, you can get off at Rondo Kaponiera or at the Central Station and take the tram going to your place. Check this website to know everything about transports in Poland.
To find a room in Jowita Hall, one of the main student dormitories in Poznan, you just need to talk to the local coordinator in advance by sending him an e-mail when you do the pre-registration. This option is very convenient if you only stay for one semester, because the rooms are cheap (525zl/around 150€ per month for a single room with a bathroom for two) and already furnished.
The building is also very close to the city center and only ten minutes from uni/train station. Yet, you will certainly not be able to improve your cooking skills, as there is only one kitchen… for each floor, that is to say for 30 people! The most unconvenient thing is that there is no common area where you can share your meal with other students. As a counterpart, in Jowita Hall you can be sure to meet people from literally all over the world. The building (and especially the second floor, where you will be) is a great patchwork of varied cultures and academical backgrounds, which is pretty cool.
If you plan to stay for a longer period, you can also easily get a room in a shared flat in town (more info coming later).
Adam Mickiewicz University
First, you will need to meet the local coordinator at Collegium Novum (located in aleja Niepodległości 4), where the majority of your classes will take place. There you can find two cafeterias, the official one and the one in the basement (yes, there is an underground cafeteria, and when you see it, that is the moment you realise you really are in Eastern Europe). This is also where you find the Literatures and Modern Languages library.
To work, you can also go to the University Library (located in ulica Ratajczaka 38/40, a five-minutes walk from Novum) which is an authentic old-style European one. And by the way: they have the greatest collection of comics in Poland!
Polish paperwork and administration
(… a.k.a. the most fascinating part of Crossways’ universe ❤️ haha)
Here it can go very smoothly, like a piece of pavlova; or it can be as citric as a sip of zurek, the typical Polish soup made of fermented bread and pickles. Administrative procedures are clearly explained in the coordinator’s emails, but there are some specific things you should know before you arrive.
First, it is better to make the translation of your official degree in Poznan, because it can be cheaper than in your own country (even if the price really varies according to the source language) and here you can be sure that your translator is certified by the Polish governement. Before you order your translation, you should check if the translator you chose is on the list of official translators.
The other typical and surprising Polish procedure you will have to get through is the acquisition of the medical certificate (50zl), but it is no big deal. As for courses registration, you can try every class you find interesting before chosing the ones you want for credits.
Last, but not least: you will have to upload your ID picture on Usosweb, the online portal of the university. That sounds easy, but it is not. For some mysterious reasons, you may upload it several times before it gets validated. Yet, if you have any issues related to technology, you can always go to the uni’s IT, who is very helpful (or you may always deny the problem of this ID picture and never see the color of your student card!).
We do not need to remind you that Polish is tough. It will take you some time and practice just to manage to pronounce the names of the streets. But no worries: the great majority of Poles can perfectly communicate in English, so you will not have any trouble to buy and find the things you need. Even if they only speak Polish, people are also always willing to help you/sell you things if you ask for it calmly and with gestures.
If you want to, you can also take Polish classes for free (2×90 minutes a week or 6 hours a week). For that, check the website of the School of Polish Language and Culture. Unless you have already learnt Polish before (
or you are an alien), you will not be fluent at the end of the semester; but Polish teachers are very good, and the atmosphere during the class is also nice and unique. You will find yourself in a room with 20 other international students, fighting altogether just to pronounce Polish numbers (epic moments guaranteed).
Specific Polish tips
There are two words that you must keep in mind whenever you go : Be. Patient.
For example; when you go for some bread or when you ask your way in the street, you often have to wait for the things you want, and you can never know why it takes so long; but in the end you usually get what you need without any trouble, which is what really matters. Time is especially long when you have to wait for the green light at the pedestrian crossing, because you know that you can get a ticket if you cross while it is not your turn.
Another “problem” is that most people are always, always willing to help – even if they do not know what you are talking about, even if they see you do not understand a single word of Polish except tak. It is nice but it can also be tricky, so be careful 😉
Relevant living costs
Loaf of bread : 8zl