Romanian student in Gdynia
Lavinia C., came from Bucharest (Romania) and studied her first year of Master, in the field of Business and Administration at UBA in Gdynia, Poland
What has surprised you in Poland?
From the very first day that I arrived in Poland I was glad to find people that were very happy to meet me as a foreigner and ask me about my country as well as sharing the Polish tradition, experiences and customs with me. Whenever I needed help, the Polish people were there to support me. They knew how to be serious, honest, calm, to keep their promise and they also knew how to party, travel and make my stay as a foreigner really memorable in their country. I was also surprised after having a course at the University about the history and culture of Poland, how many endeavours, challenges and obstacles this country had to go through in the past. Therefore I admire the Polish people for the strenght and hard work they provided for their country, helping it to grow economically and spiritually. The cities I travelled to in Poland like Gdansk, Sopot, Gdynia, Warsaw, Krakow, Torun, Malbork they were really clean, animated, cultural, full of well preserved historical places, museums, meant to offer you a good time as well as parties with very hospitable and kind people at high quality services. Also when it comes to travelling abroad Poland has very good flight connections, some of them cheap, it would be a pity not to take advantage of them.
How did you come up with the idea of studying in Poland?
At first when I saw I could choose Gdynia in Poland among other countries from Erasmus I was attracted by the fact that Poland was the only country in the EU which didn't face the economic crisis. Also I thought it has great potential, it's economy is emerging, new investments are made, it has a good educational system. After that I said to myself, I want to go to a country where I can learn a new language, that is not so popular in Romania, for example polish. More reasons that I had to choose Poland were: the safety of the country, the strong religion, world known tourism, good location. I was also very enthused because I always wanted to live in a city by the sea and 3city was exactly what I needed all year long.
Do you remember the first days of studying in Poland? Describe the struggles you went through.
UBA Gdynia provided me with all the support I needed, we corresponded some time before the Erasmus mobility started, the coordinator found me a place to stay, then when I arrived in Poland I was welcomed in a very professional and pleasant way, I had an orientation week, then an introduction course at the University. I was studying in English in a group formed only of Erasmus people, so the teachers were always glad to interact with us because we could all talk about our cultures, economic practices in every country that we were from , make projects reffering to our countries and so on. I was surprised that the Polish students at UBA Gdynia, except from the ones from the Student Parliament were not communicating with us, the Erasmus students, they didn't want to talk to us, go out with us, get to know us. They should try to expand their horison and get to experience different friendships and situations in life. For me, getting used to the Polish language was more like a challenge than a struggle, as it was for others. Of course it is difficult at the beginning because it's a very hard language but if you have a talent for foreign languages you'll manage to graduate from a Polish language course at the first level.
Tell us about the differences between studies in Poland and studies in Romania?
The studies for the Erasmus people are easier than the normal studies we have in Romania. The educational systems are different. In Romania we had exams, projects, extra reading and homework. Everything that we learned was not taught to us in a practical way, but theoretical. Classes were dispersed during the whole day, not mostly in the morning or mostly in the evening each day. A lot of conferences were held as well as scientific paper sessions giving the elite students the posibillity to affirm themselfes. In Poland, in the case of UBA Gdynia, the classes were taught in a more practical way, with examples from the real life, the teachers were more close to the students giving them advice, we had classes only in the morning everyday until noon, giving us time to participate in our Erasmus events and to work in a company. The University provided visits to companies as well as professional advice, through the carrier office which was extremelu helpful, as well as Polish language courses. Studying abroad always offers you as a student a wide perspective among study programmes, and it gives you the possibility to experience and to bring the best practices in your country as well as giving advice and ideas to the country you're going to for Erasmus.
What do you like about studying in Poland?
I appreciated the fact that the schedule was very flexible and it offered me the possibility to study and work at the same time. I also enjoyed the fact that I was studying in a group of Erasmus people, from Spain, Turkey, Germany and Romania and this intercultural ambient filled me with curiosity, joy and useful information. I was also glad I could study a wide range of subjects in English and I mixed exams and projects with practical examples during the courses and also in real life.
Do you know any famous people from Poland?
I didn't have the chance to meet any famous person face to face but I know a lot about Lech Walesa, John Paul II, Fryderyk Chopin, Nicolaus Copernicus, Marie Curie-Sklodowska and Roman Polanski.
Describe the places in Poland, that have a positive influence on you.
There are several places in Poland that have a positive influence on me. I will start with Sopot, the place where I lived for 9 months during my stay in Poland (afterwards I moved to Gdansk). I love it because it's very beautiful all year long, it has great access to the seaside, it's vibrant, clean, full of shops, parties, pubs, events, discos everything you could ever wish for. It's cultural, modern, and chic at the same time. It offers a wide range of places to visit, among from which the Molo is my favourite. Gdynia, the newest from 3city has a positive influence on me because it's the place where I was going to work at Sony Pictures Entertainment and to study at UBA Gdynia. Also I admire it because it offers great views, it's modern, it has a nice harbour, a lot of Multinational companies are located there, it has good international cuisine restaurants and one of the most impressive Molo, the one in Gdynia Orlowo where you can spend a great afternoon with your friends. Gdansk, this city is amazing! So beautiful, every walk on it's streets tells a new story, so old and so vibrant at the same time, I never ceased to admire it's architecture, it's most famous streets and I always enjoyed talking a walk in the evening on Ulica Dluga. Krakow, one of Poland's jewels, remained in my heart firstly because I spent time there with my best Polish friends, that showed me around the city and secondly because the city has got a splendid architecture, well preserved museums and history, a lot of culture, amazing atmosphere, great parties, it's emotionally and visualy touching.
Tell us about the country you've always wanted to visit, but still haven't.
I've always wanted to visit the United States of America, because I like experiencing different cultures and ways of life as well as touristic attractions.
Are you a member of any student's club or organization? Tell us something about it.
I wasn't a member of such an organisation.
If you ran your own business or worked in Poland, please tell us something about it (what was it, how many hours weekly did you work, etc.).
I worked in Poland from December 2011 until October 2012 in Sony Pictures Global Business Services where I first started as a trainee and then I got promoted as a Junior Treasury and Cash Management Accountant. I worked 6 hour/day as I had to attend classes at the University as well. Sony Pictures was like a second family for me, they integrated me into the company , treated me extremely nice and offered me the opportunity to learn a lot from them both professionally and personally as well as I offered them my knowledge & abilities for the benefit of the company. Also, one important achievement among many more while working at Sony Pictures consisted in the Polish Language Course I attended in the company and have been awarded with a Grade A, basic level in Polish by the Empik School of Gdansk. This experience meant a lot for me in my career therefore I'm really grateful to have worked in Sony Pictures and to meet and be friends with such amazing people.
Would you like to come back to Poland in the future? Why?
I would love to come back to Poland to continue working at Sony Pictures, to be with my Polish & international friends , to travel more in this country and explore it, to live again in 3city, to take part into all the events and traditions here, to practice the Polish language more and to take part in the amazing polish day to day life among it's people.