Preparing for my adventure in Poland


~ Chantal

I want to take you back to last July, this month, I got my letter of acceptance from the University of Warsaw. It was the best birthday gift I got this year. I was so happy, but soon came the question for me how should I prepare for this?

Step 1: Lean polish!

Learning the Polish language is important for me, so I enrolled myself for a summer course of the Polish language. I wanted to learn this language, so I could be able to understand some aspects of daily life, for instance going to the supermarket or make an order in a café. I was thinking this course was held in Warsaw, but I was wrong it was online, because of the corona.

Step 2: Buy ticket

I started by buying an airline ticket, but I am not a frequent flyer, so I think I paid too much for my ticket. The second thing I focussed on was finding a place to live. I was a member of one or two accommodation groups on Facebook where I saw really nice rooms, but without prices per month for the rent and as a Dutch person, I hate that. Luckily, I had from my receiving university a guide with tips for finding a place to live and some websites. I picked one and spent an afternoon searching for rooms.

Step 3: Find room

I had some criteria: the room costs not more than I pay in the Netherlands and if it is possible half of what I pay in the Netherlands; There are not too many students living in the same apartment or home and the room itself has to look nice. During my search, I made a selection of rooms which fits my wishes best and during the final stage, I was looking through them and removed the ones I did not like in the end. Then I had one room left and I contacted the landlord, in a few days, I found a room.
Later I heard there were better rooms for the same price I paid here in Warsaw for the same price, but I am satisfied with my room.

Step 4: Pack your luggage

Then it was time to pack my luggage. Looking at the Polish climate and the season I was travelling, I needed to bring all kinds of clothes from shorts to sweaters. I had one problem, I was not able to take everything with me, or did I planned to bring to many things with me? Luckily, this problem was solved by my mom.
Remember: moms are important! She sent me two packages with the things I could not take with me and some chocolate sprinkles which I love from home.

Step 5: Take something personal

Another great help for me was my friend, who is an international student and takes her study for the whole four years in The Netherlands. I asked her for tips to pack my luggage because I was never this long from home. She told me that she did not have that many tips for me, but that it is good to take something personal from home and to take a stuffed animal. I did not have room for the personal thing, but I have the stuffed animal with me. Honestly, I am really thankful she told me to take a stuffed animal with me. It is from home, soft and talking to a stuffed animal is probably less weird than talking to your plants.

Step 5: Dear diary!

A few months before I left, even before I knew that I was selected to come to Warsaw, I did something which you can call unusual: I bought a little booklet and asked some people to write something in it. I asked my friends, family members and two of my roommates to do so. I took this with me, so I have something to read with me from the people I connected the most. Sadly, because of the corona, I had not that many people who could write in this book as I hoped. Now, I am planning to do the same, but then for my trip back home. I will ask the people I met here to write something in this booklet, so I have something to look back on when I finished my adventure here.