Maria from Bulgaria and her experience in Łódź
Who are you? Briefly describe yourself (where do you come from, what do you study, etc.)
My name is Maria and I'm from Bulgaria. I study Polish language and culture. I did my Erasmus in the Univeristy of Łódź last year and it was the best 5 months in my life so far.
What has surprised you in Poland?
I think Poland is a rather peaceful place to live. I was in Warsaw two years ago and everybody was telling me how stressful it is and how everybody is rushing. But for me it was nothing like this. The same experience I had in Łódź, where I felt like at home. A negative surprise to me was that very few people speak English and if you don't know Polish it will be a bit difficult to get things done in the beginning.
How did you come up with the idea of studying in Poland?
For me it was the best option to improve my language and to get to know the country and the people and see if I like them in person, not only from the books I've read. I also always wanted to travel to different countries and Poland has really interesting history and beautiful places to see.
Do you remember the first days of studying in Poland? Describe the struggles you went through:
To be honest I don't really remember any troubles. Of course getting internet in the dorms is always a struggle, but when you win this uneven battle it's always a satisfying feeling. In the uni I had almost no troubles, everybody was rather understanding and helpful.
Tell us about the differences between studies in Poland and studies in Bulgaria:
I didn't see any differences, actually it's pretty much the same. Maybe this is why I didn't have any troubles.
What do you like about studying in Poland?
I like the opportunity to meet many people from all over the world. I like all the magical places you can visit - from the cathedrals in Wrocław to the abandoned factories in Łódź. The people are really friendly, warm and helpful. And there's always something new and fun to do or see.
Do you know any famous people from Poland?
Well with me studying Polish philology it would be a shame not to know any :) Of course John Paul II, Lech Wałęsa, Kopernik, Chopin are always one of the first names that are poping in your head, but I personally admire Norwid and his great work.
Describe the places in Poland, that have a positive influence on you:
Warsaw - which was the first city I've visited in Poland and fell in love with. Łódź where I really left my heart and it's one of my all time favorite cities. Krakow - where I currently live and I'm yet to explore. The amazing Wroclaw and the beautiful Poznan, where I couldn't stop taking pictures.
Tell us about the country you've always wanted to visit, but still haven't:
Finland, cause I have a thing for Scandinavian guys who doesn't really speak, but have nice long straight hairs :D
Are you a member of any student's club or organization? Tell us something about it:
Not really. I wanted to be a mentor in the ESN, but with me traveling every year I couldn't really do it.
Would you like to come back to Poland in the future? Why?
I hope so. I spent half of my education here, so I now have a connection with this country and feel here like in my second home. Who knows maybe one day I can come to live here for good.