Gliwice is one of the starting points for the The specified item was not found. (Clean Fossil and Alternative Fuels Energy) Master Program. It is located in the Silesian region, in the Southern part of Poland. In recent years, Gliwice has become one of the most modern cities of Upper Silesia. Its strengths are its favourable location, advanced economy, comprehensive development of science and education, as well as rich cultural, sports and recreation life. Here you’ll find the SUT: Silesian University of Technology – one of the top technical universities in Poland.
Gliwice Town Square, Photo Credit: Mofeed Hakim
How to get there:
There is no airport in Gliwice. The two closest airports are located in Katowice and Krakow. Other possible airports are in the cities of: Wroclaw in Poland and Ostrava in Czech Republic.
Usual practice for incoming international students is to stay at student dormitories, for which there is a wide choice. The administration from SUT is very helpful in the process. Staying in a dormitory is very cheap (by far the cheapest rent compared to other InnoEnergy locations) and still everything is provided. Most of the dormitories are renovated and clean. In case you want to look for an apartment, have in mind that you need to make a contract with the owner and usually pay bills, which for the heating season might make your expenses double than those in the dorm. Still, even in apartment, the prices are low compared to other InnoEnergy locations.
As a warning note for torrents users, the Internet provided in the dormitories is restricted on torrents. Downloading them will result in one month ban of using it and additional problems!
Regarding regular supplies (groceries) there is a wide choice of markets. Highly recommended for regular use are Lidl and Biedronka, which are both close to the dormitories. In the later hours, small markets like Zabka are a life-saver. For more choice and specific products, you should look for Carrefour and Tesco, which are located in the shopping malls Forum and Europa Centralna.
Around the faculty and dormitories there are several canteens with very affordable prices. At SUT, the canteen is located in building C, while in the other buildings there are some snack bars. The biggest canteen (Stołówka) is located close to the dormitories, and it is open even during most of the weekends! In addition, there are some typical student parties here, so check on the posters inside for the events being organized.
You won’t be hungry in Poland for sure, due to the plenty of choice of burger places, kebabs, restaurants with authentic Polish and Silesian meals and some restaurants with international food.
Look for: Zdrowa Krowa, Korova Burger Bar, Juicy Lucy and other places around city centre
There are plenty of other restaurants around the city center, each having something unique to try. So, just look around and find what suits you.
The dormitories are located very close to most of the faculties, the city square, the closest shopping mall and the train and bus station. Therefore, the public transport in Gliwice is very rarely used. Regarding the transport, what will be most common used are the trains. The relation Gliwice-Katowice is served by modern trains which are also very frequent. Although there is a train connection between Gliwice and Krakow through Katowice, taking the bus to Krakow seems to be a much more practical option, although it is more expensive.
With the student discounts (up to 50%) and careful planning upfront, even the intercity trains are ridiculously cheap compared to other European countries. Soo, prepare your travel pack.
Site to check for trains - Rozklad Trains
Common places to meet/go out:
The most common place is the Town Square, known as Rynek in Polish. It presents the city building structure, it’s a place full of history, and at the same time it is the most common place for going out for young people. It has plenty of bars and restaurants around, so every taste is satisfied.
In addition, there are often fairs held on the square, which depend on the season. In conclusion, this will be one of the most common places where you will spend your free time.
- Gliwice Radio Tower
This is the place where WW2 is said to have started started. Except for its historical meaning, this is the tallest wooden building/tower in Europe (111m). Currently, it is a museum, in which radio transmitters and telecommunication equipment are exhibited.
- Piast Castle
This castle is now part of the Gliwice museum. In the history, it had several different functions such as: castle, arsenal, prison and grunge.
- Frederic Chopin Park
Gliwice has several well-maintained parks in the urban areas. This is the biggest one, with a size of over 6 hectares.
- Palm House – Palmiarnia
A must visit site for the flora and fauna enthusiasts. On the outside the garden/park is used for common walk-around, chilling and picnics.
Palm House, Photo Credit: https://mzuk.gliwice.pl
- Municipal Stadium – the place to be for football enthusiasts.
The local football club plays in the Polish Ekstraklasa League. The tickets are very cheap, and there is additional possibility for a student discount. In the stadiums there are stands where fast food and beer can be bought, for proper football enjoyment.
- Sport centers
There are several fitness centers in the city, tennis courts, ice skating rinks and other places for sports enthusiasts. In most of the student dormitories, there are gyms with decent equipment for weight training. There are also some places for street workout.
- Shopping malls
There are several shopping malls in the city or close to it. The Forum is accessible by walking (25 min) from the dormitories, for Europa Centralna a free bus is provided.
The Forum is the place where you may spend most of the time when shopping. It has a huge Carrefour market, clothing shops, hair salon, cinema, restaurants and fitness club.
Forum Shopping Mall, Photo Credit: www.paweljurek.pl
Drink, dance & enjoy the night:
This is the least of your problems – you won’t have any trouble finding a place to have a drink in Poland. Since the local students are friendly, you can expect the parties to start at the dormitories and then go on to the local bars and clubs. The two most frequent places for students are: Zoom and Spirala and both are close to dorms.
In the city center, one of the most popular places is Mardi Gras.
Other popular places for students are Podwórko, located close to the dormitories and Ministerstwo Śledzia i Wódki (Ministry of Herring and Vodka –ask no more!).
If by any chance, all this is not enough for you, the nightclubs in Katowice and getting back home with the first morning trains is an option that you should consider.
Useful hints and hacks:
Except from the regular recommendations and advice, for foreigners there are always some small hints, which can help avoid trouble or make the stay better than ever, so it’s good to put some attention on these things.
- Banks and currencies
The scholarship holders will receive the money in euros, while the official currency in Poland is złoty (PLN). The ratio of exchange can vary significantly, so if the exchange is done in a careful and planned way, some savings/“earnings” are possible.
The bank used by SUT to pay scholarship to students is ING, so it means that if you have an account there, you can expect to have the money transfer within one working day, compared to other banks. However, this bank has lower ratio of euro-PLN exchange, so it’s not recommended to exchange money there. The second biggest bank around is Alior, which has very good exchange ratio, especially when using the online exchange (kantor). Also good option to check is Conotoxia, an online kantor, which was recommended by the local students.
In any case, the staff of both banks are very friendly and helpful, and the provisions for having an account are minimal, so having account in both might be the best solution.
- Health insurance
Depending on the origin of the student (EU or non), the insurance requirements differ. EU citizens are covered with their insurance cards. For non-EU students a good option is to have national insurance from NFZ, which costs around 10 euros per month. The basic doctor services, I used them while having that insurance, didn’t ask for any additional payment.
Ouch, Houston we have a problem ☺. Well, English will not be enough to get around. Although all your studies and work on faculty is in English, for the other activities you will need some basic knowledge of Polish. If you have knowledge of German, it will be also helpful, since older people know more German than English. To get through this – ask the local students for help, learn the basic words in Polish that you will use most often, have Google translate app on your phone.
This depends on your requirements. You can pass relatively cheap in the dormitories, middle price in some small local saloons and the higher price for the most popular saloons and the ones in the shopping malls. In any case, the haircut will be cheaper compared to other European cities. Places to consider visiting:
- Lucjan barber shop
- Studio Jata
Other suggested activities:
- Explore the local parks
- Take a look at ESN activities, they are a good guide for the region
- Explore Katowice and Krakow for start, then go through as much as you can around Poland
- Winter is coming! You have great ski resorts close to Gliwice at more than affordable prices. Highly recommended.
This basic guide is for the purpose of facilitating new student adaptation in Gliwice, especially in the first weeks. Have in mind that this guide covers only the most basic/important aspects considered by the contributors. You can expect to find much much more around, so feel free to explore the city and the region. We wish you an exciting, entertaining and successful academic year at SUT Gliwice.
Written by: Milan Zlatkovikj
The CommUnity Post in collaboration with the InnoEnergy Masters School