When I was making my application to study abroad and choosing cities, Warsaw didn’t even make my Top 10. I knew nothing about it, and I had never been to Poland. Due to other allocations being cancelled, it was the only option for me if I wanted to go abroad this year. However, now that I’ve lived here for almost three months, my expectations have been truly exceeded and I would recommend studying here for lots of reasons!
These are some of them…
The currency in Poland is the Zloty which is 1 PLN to 0.19 GBP. This makes the living cost low, especially compared to other study abroad options. You also get awarded a grant just for studying in Europe which helps a lot. This means that I can live a more lavish lifestyle than I would in the UK, eating and drinking out more, going on trips and buying all the souvenirs! My accommodation is a lot nicer and significantly cheaper than what I would pay in Manchester. It also means I don’t have to get a part time job, which would have been a struggle as I can’t speak much Polish, giving me a lot of spare time. The money I have saved from just living in Warsaw means I can travel to more expensive locations for a few days without breaking the bank.
I hadn’t experienced much Polish cuisine before I moved here but from Pierogi to Zurek soup to Rogal Swiętomarciński, it is some of the best food I’ve ever had. I’ll have to find out which supermarket has the best Polish section when I return to the UK. There’s a really good food scene in Warsaw with every type of restaurant you could imagine. There are plenty of nice coffee shops and the supermarkets have an amazing selection as well.
Another great thing about living in Poland is that you’re in the centre of Europe. Flights to most countries don’t exceed £20 so I’ve made the most of it, travelling to Sweden, Finland, Austria, and Belgium so far, as well as getting the train into other Polish cities like Gdansk and Wroclaw. The rail and bus connections are also good so you can get night buses and trains to a lot of great cities as well, which is a lot better for the environment. By the time I finish my study abroad, I hope to have seen most of Europe!
I find it a lot safer to walk around by myself and at night. I have not had any trouble, especially compared to Manchester which can be quite scary. There’s also a low chance of any natural disasters like earthquakes, floods, or terrorist attacks. There are things to avoid as there are in most cities such as protests but in general, I feel really safe here.
Overall, it’s a very beautiful country. Everything is well looked after and very clean. There are endless parks, mountains in Zakopane which I’d like to hike in summer, beautiful buildings, a gorgeous Old Town, a nice river and much more.
To sum up, don’t rule out places that you don’t know much about when applying to study abroad! Wherever you end up, it will be a great adventure.