My favorite time of any new life event is ORIENTATION; whether it is a conference, a new job or a university admission procedure. Orientation week at Kozminski University was no different. From day one, the facilitators of ESN (Erasmus Student Nation) did not leave us a moment of recovery. From informational sessions and breakfast in the mornings to pub crawls and parties at night. I can officially say that I have slept less through this orientation week than I did in my finals week.
While in orientation, I was introduced to the most vibrant night clubs of Warsaw, to delicious Polish dishes such “pierogi” and to amazing people from all over the world. Even though there is a big international student population at UM-Flint, I met a different kind of international students and stories in Poland. While the international students in UM-Flint come from Pakistan, Malaysia, China, Saudi Arabia and Nigeria; the international students at Kozminski University come from Finland, Italy, Kazakhstan, Netherlands and Germany. I learned about the history of Italy, the war in Bosnia, the education system in Finland and the stereotypes different European countries have of each other. Throughout this week, my mind was a mess trying to absorb all this information while trying to learn the names of each new person I met. Overall, there are 150 exchange students from all over Europe, China, and America.
After orientation week I started to focus more on my apartment hunting journey. The search for an apartment was not easy work. While looking for an apartment I encountered shady and scary-looking streets, had to speak using my hands to Polish people who did not understand me, got lost endlessly, and most of the time I came back extremely cold and devastated at the end of each day.
After tirelessly searching the past 15 days for an apartment, I have finally found one in the beautiful neighborhood of Ursynów in south Warsaw. My neighborhood does not only offer a peaceful quiet life but also nearby stores and convenient transportation to Centrum and my university.
Now that I am settled and know a few words and tram stops that help me get around in Warsaw, I can start exploring the city…