My name is Valentin and I’m 24 years old. I’m a French student from Saint-Etienne and this year I’m studying Finance at the University of Warsaw. I have chosen Warsaw as my Erasmus destination for several reasons. First of all, I wanted to spend the Erasmus year in the East Europe in order to discover the culture. Then, I also wanted to be in a capital or at least in an important city, because there are more activities and things to do there. Finally, the last reason was that I also desired to be in a country where it was cheaper than in France.
Indeed, it appeared that it’s cheaper to live in Warsaw than in France especially thinking about food. I am sure that it is totally possible to live for less than 200€ per month without the costs of the accommodation and traveling.
*Tip: For the accommodation, it is important to start looking for a flat/room at least one month before the arrival to Warsaw.
Warsaw has an excellent location!Therefore, it’s very easy to find some cheap buses or flights to travel through Poland and the border countries. For example, during the first semester, I have visited Wroclaw, Krakow, and Gdansk in Poland. All these cities are very interesting, beautiful, and it’s very easy to go there from Warsaw. It’s very simple to organize trips with some friends and have fun! I have also been in Berlin, Hamburg, and Kiev during the 5 last months.
*Tip: Erasmus students should consider having an additional budget for the different trips
Before coming to Poland, I thought it would be really cold, but it appeared that the temperature was often the same as in Saint-Etienne. In addition, it’s less damp than in France, so it is not difficult to bear the cold. I also thought that it often snowed in Poland but that appeared to be a kind of stereotype. Another stereotype about Poland believed by some people is that Poland is less economically developed than France, which is totally false (at least in the main cities). Concerning the Poles, French people think that they drink much vodka and also a lot of shots.
I would say that these stereotypes are true considering the fact that vodka is cheaper than the other alcohol drinks. I drank more shots during 5 months than during the whole my life!
If I was getting a present when going back home, I would bring this Polish drink! The Polish vodka is very tasty and cheaper than the vodka sold in France, especially the flavored one. I would also bring some pierogi, because they are a Polish specialty.
For all these reasons, Warsaw is very perfect to do an Erasmus program. It’s also very nice to live in Warsaw because there are a lot of Erasmus students from different countries, especially from Italy, Spain, Germany, and France!