Moving is confusing and sometimes even the simplest tasks can be challenging, so some basic information can go a long way to help.
Question: How to find accommodation?
Answer: Most Universities provide some sort of assistance in finding accommodation, it could be an agency they work with or a student organization that helps find an apartment. So, you should get in touch with a University representative and ask for some help. However, you can also find accommodation online by yourself. Here are a few links you can check out:
While looking for a place, you can find yourself an apartment or a room for just a few nights, visit www.airbnb.com and find the best option for you, maybe hosts even offer discounts for longer stays!
If you want to live in a dormitory, you need to contact your University. Most Universities have tie ups with dormitories and reserve places for their students. You can find a hostel to live in on your own too, check out www.hostelfabryka.pl or www.hostelbazyl.com
Question: What is the approximate cost of living in Warsaw?
Answer: Well, giving estimates is very difficult, because the range changes depending on the needs and expectations of the student, what lifestyle they want and what they like to do. However, I can try giving an approximate average.
1B apartment- 400/500 euros per month
2B apartment- 450/650 euros per month
3B apartment- 500/750 euros per month
The price would depend on the type of apartment and its location
The best option for students is to buy a student transport pass which allows you to use all public transport.
1 month- 50 pln (around 13 euros)
3 months- 140 pln (around 35 euros)
Most Universities have cafes on campus or nearby so you can always grab some lunch or coffee during your break. In Kozminski University (which is where I study), a good lunch is around 15-25 pln (around 4-6 euros).
You can stock up on food is various supermarkets which you ca find on almost every corner of the city. The most popular are: Tesco, Lidl, Carrefour, Auchan and Biedronka. Mini-markets are quite popular here too. The approximate budget for food can be around 150-200 euros per month. Again, this depends on what you like to eat and how much.
In the store, you can find produce of different categories and of different prices. For example,
Bread- 2.5 pln (0.6 euros)
Eggs(10 pieces)- 6 pln (1-1.5 euros)
Milk (1liter)- 3 pln (0.7 euros)
Tea(Lipton)- 6 pln (1-1.5 euros)
Coffee- 15 pln (3.5 euros)
Tomatoes(1kg)- 5 pln (1-1.5 euros)
The first month is always the most expensive, at this point you’re still adjusting to the general price range and you also need to tock yourself with things for the kitchen, the house, for university. You might need to buy things that you didn’t think to or couldn’t bring like books, towels, bed linen, gym membership, internet membership, a sim card, etc.
Most places around Warsaw have additional discounts for students. This can apply to movie theaters, museums, public transport and even restaurants or cafes. Most students spend around 100-200 euros per month on leisure and some don’t at all. This will depend entirely on you.
Question: How do I get insurance?
Answer: If you are a non-EU student, you will need insurance to stay in Poland. The approximate price of simple insurance is around 300 pln per year (80 euros). You can buy insurance coverage once you arrive to to Warsaw but it might be better to buy it in your home country. Just consult someone at the embassy and find out what company would cover your stay. Your arrival may be hectic and it might take some time to adjust so its better to have all the formalities done before your big move. If you decide to get it in Warsaw, you can try the company NFZ ( Narodowy Fundusz Zdrowia), to get medical insurance you will need:
- visa (or equivalent)
- student card
- a document that proves your stay in Poland (a signed lease agreement for example)
This medical insurance will allow you to visit doctors, receive your medical treatment and get your medical recommendations for free.
Question: How can I get around the city?
Answer: Warsaw has a pretty good public transport system. Every stop has a list of buses/trams that stop there and a detailed timetable. The timetables are quite reliable and you can even check the estimated time of your journey on them. The best option, is to get the app called jakdojade which will allow you to just fill in destination A and destination B or use your current location and will then provide you with a complete route of how to get there and how much time it will take you. You can also use a taxi service, the most popular is Eco Taxi (+48 22 644 22 22) and then there’s always Uber. Some other taxi companies are:
Grosik Taxi (+48 22 646 46 46)
Sawa Taxi (+48 22 644 44 44)
Damel Taxi (+48 22 649 96 26)
Super Taxi (+48 22 578 98 00)
Question: What are the emergency numbers around Warsaw that I need to know?
The code for Poland is +48 and the code for Warsaw is 22
Fire station: 998
The universal Emergency Number is 112
Generally, moving is hard. So, it is important to have someone already in Warsaw that can help you out at least during your first few days there. Most Universities have a student council or an ESN office that can help out.
ESN is an Erasmus Student Network and they deal with accommodating International Students. At Kozminski, our ESN group can help with anything, starting from picking you up at the airport to helping you meet new people. You can check our their page and you should definitely consider joining, their link to Facebook is https://www.facebook.com/kozminski.esn/?fref=ts For other Universities, contact any representative and ask around, they will definitely help you out with finding someone who will help.
I hope this post helped, and I’d be glad to answer any more questions that you may have. Comment under the post for any more questions you may need answered and I’ll keep you updated :)