Basic information about Krakow
Krakow is the second largest city in Poland: it has about one million residents, including students. This metropolis in the south of Poland used to be the capital of the country from the 11th until the 16th century. Today it is regarded as the most popular cultural, tourist and academic destination in Poland.
Krakow is one of the European Capitals of Culture. Its Old Town escaped the devastation of World War II, leaving the beauty of its historical buildings untouched. In the Old Town you can see the largest medieval Main Market Square in Europe. At the centre lies the Renaissance Cloth Hall, which used to be the major point of international trade and still offers a range of local products today. The most distinctive features of the Old Town are the Town Hall Tower and the Gothic St Mary's Church dating from 13th/14th century with its famous wooden altarpiece.
The Main Market Square is not the only cultural and tourist attraction. On the banks of the Vistula lies the Wawel Royal Castle: replete with the tombs of the Polish monarchs, audience chambers, chapels and tapestries, it is a living testimony to the richness of Polish history. Kazimerz, the old Jewish District, is currently one of the main centres of Jewish culture in Europe: it is especially famous for its synagogues, restaurants, pubs and numerous cultural events.
Krakow has been known for a number of years as the largest and most attractive student city in Poland. The city hosts more than twenty universities and academies and attracts more than two hundred thousand students annually. Thanks to local and international students and the events organized for them, the city is always full of life and youth atmosphere.
Finally, the city was the home of Archbishop Karol Wojtyła, who became Pope John Paul II in 1978. His home town of Wadowice, is in the region and is home to the Museum of John Paul II, whilst Krakow itself has many places which are indelibly linked to Polish Pope.
Cost of living
Approximate costs of living in Krakow:
- Single room per month: 170 – 250 Euros
- Double room per month: 100 – 180 Euros
- Meals – breakfasts, lunches and dinners starting from 3-4 Euros
- Transport: Bus or tram transport 20 Euros a month
Currency information: Poland does not officially use Euros. Euros can only be accepted in some locations but there are many bureau de changes (kantors) which can change them and are commission free.
The currency is Polish Złoty (1 Euro = 4,15 PLN, as of June 2014)
Student ID card
All incoming students are provided with an electronic student ID card.
It is valid (with an affixed hologram) from 1st October to 31st March and from 1st April to 31st October. It entitles its holder to the University library use, concession fares on public transport in the city, concession rail fares (if owner is under 26 years of age) and to concessions in cultural institutions (theatres, museums, etc).
Unfortunately our university does not have its own residences to offer to its exchange students. Students wishing to stay in a dormitory can contact independetly other Krakow universities' dormitories or search individually for a flat or a room to rent.
firstname.lastname@example.org (UJ University)
http://www.up.krakow.pl/main/eng/?page=dormitories (UP University)
Popular polish websites for finding accommodation:
The price for a room depends on the standard and location of the flat. The Jesuit University is located just a 10 minute walk from the city centre (Rynek Główny) and generally to the Old Town district or ''Stare Miasto'' in Polish. Almost all of the flats which are close to this location are in old-style houses, fact that has its pluses and minuses (for example, heating bills during the winter are quite high). Please bear these additional costs in mind when looking for an apartment.
Other districts close to the University are: ''Kazimierz'', ''Śródmieście'', ''Grzegórzki'' and the prices and conditions of apartments can often be better than in the Old Town. If you need cheaper accommodation, however, you will probably need to travel to the University by bus or tram, walk a longer way or use a bike.
Krakow has a good system of transport. The nearby John Paul II- Balice airport offers many international flights and even more can be found at Warsaw Airport (you can also travel by train from Warsaw to Krakow). The Central Train station (Dworzec Centralny) situated in the centre of Krakow, allows you to travel to other Polish cities and abroad. (Remember that with a Polish student ID you have a 50% discount for travelling by train). In the same area you can find the main Bus Station of Krakow (MDA) where you can take a Polski Bus, a very popular option among Erasmus students. The local system of buses and trams can take you safely to any part of the city and tickets can be bought at ticket machines on board or near most bus-stops. Bikes are also popular and the abundance of bike paths and parking places make it a great transport option. Bikes can easily be borrowed or bought in Krakow.
http://www.krakow.pl/english/ Krakow city website
http://en.karnet.krakow.pl/ events in Krakow
http://www.study-krakow.com/ study in Krakow
http://www.go-poland.pl/ official website of Polish Ministry of Science and Higher Education with information about studying in Poland
http://www.popolskupopolsce.edu.pl/ Learning Polish A1 level online
http://en.polska.pl/ official promotional website of Poland
http://www.poland.travel/en/ travel in Poland
http://erasmusplus.org.pl/in-poland/ usefull information about Erasmus+ in Poland
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