This is a post mostly for people going on Erasmus+ project (in that case in Torun, Poland) but I really think some of those tips can be useful wherever you go.
*In this post I will tell you some tips and reminders of what to bring with you on your Erasmus journey. But first I have to tell you: congrats! You picked one amazing and full of events and surprises city – the lovely small Krakow, a.k.a Torun!*
I will differentiate three different groups to make it easier.
- Tips for living/surviving/having fun in Torun.
- As much as I love Torun, I can’t deny the cold weather there, so the three most important things (especially in the winter semester) are a hat, a scarf and a big warm coat. Oh, and gloves! So four things. But don’t be scared, everything is worth it!
- Another thing that you may need considering the weather and your trips here and there is a raincoat. Not an umbrella, because it’s uncomfortable. Just go to the first shop and buy one colorful and cute raincoat. In case you don’t believe me or don’t want to bring it with you, you can always go to “Tiger” and buy it from there. Actually, you can buy almost everything in there. You will see what I am talking about.
- Torun is very flat. So if you like riding a bike, skate, roller skates or similar stuff, you can definitely do it there. Well, you don’t have to bring your bike (even though one boy from my Erasmus group bought one there), because the city has city bikes, which you can use. Read more about how to use them in the last post of Larisa Cristea. Of course, you can also run – there are a lot of little forests suitable for this.
- In Torun, you can also go to basketball (GO! GO! Twarde Pierniki!) and hockey games, even to ice skating, so if you like those sports, prepare yourself for amazing experiences (again pics below.)
- Tips for your accommodation.
- The accommodations of the Nicolaus Copernicus University are pretty nice. For your room, they will give you sheets once a month, but if you want to change them often, you can wash them in the washing machines in the basement or bring your own. Note that the pillows in Poland are really big, like maybe twice the size of a normal one, so you can take a bigger pillow case or you can just fold the pillow into two and put it in a normal one.
- You will definitely need towels, because well, that’s not a hotel xD.
- If you like cooking, there is a big kitchen on every floor of the accommodations, but you will need your own dishes and stuff. But my advice is not to bring from home, because a lot of Erasmus students leave their stuff when they leave, so first check your room drawers and then if you don’t have, you can always buy some from Kaufland, or the Chinese shop, or some other cheap shops.
- Other things you may bring/keep in mind.
- Your national flag! (This is a MUST thing for me.)
- Photos of your friends and family to put on the shelves. It makes the room more cozy and homelike.
- Another must – a camera!! Really, you will go to a lot of amazing places – you just need this!
- A comfortable backpack for one/two-day trips.
- For the girls – hairdryer and other similar stuff.
- Some magnets or cards from your home cities/countries to give to your new friends.
- Two pairs of personal documents and credit cards!!! And always leave one ID card/passport and one credit card in your room, in case you lose the ones that you have in you. It happens, trust me. And also in case you lose your ID/passport check what day is before you go to the embassy. And, yes, I lost mine in Prague and went to the embassy on Saturday – well, it was closed. Fortunately, later that day one friend found them, so don’t be sorry for me :D.
- Keep your money in different pockets and places, especially when you are traveling.
- !!! Bring smiles and positive attitude!!!
Something additional: What to leave at home?
- Toooooo much luggage. Really, don’t take too much. It will be hard with too many suitcases.
- Control mania (if you have this), because every plan is made at the last minute and that’s the beauty of it.
- Stereotypes!! Definitely! I know it’s easier said than done, but really try to be open-minded. If you can’t, don’t worry, your new Erasmus friends will help you get rid of them.
- Fear and doubts. Everything is possible, just believe in yourself.
In my opinion, these are some of the most important things that you have to keep in mind. Sorry, if I missed something.
I hope you have a great time in Torun (or any other place that you are going on Erasmus), meet a lot of new friends and experience amazing journeys. Take care, be open, be spontaneous, take risks and make it worth it!
Cheers! (Monday night at Pijalnia!)