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Bc. Pavla Šimůnková, UCT Prague, ročník 5

Faculty Faculty of Environmental Technology
Field of study Forensic chemistry
Field of internship Biological and Biomedical Sciences
Specialization of InternshipBiophysics
Internship period (from - to) 20.6.2016 - 31.7.2016
Internship duration (weeks) 6
Transport (means, price) around 40 PLN/month, but I did travel only by bike throughout the city
Insurance/Insurance company VZP
Visa/Work permit (yes/no) no
Price of Visa 0
City of Internship Zobrazit místo na mapě  Poland, Lodz
Internship reference number PL-2016-ULO009

About the country

Location of the place

Lodz is located in the center of Poland. It is an industrial city but no factory is working in these times. They are all transformed into museums. I would say when you want to visit more cities in Poland, Lodz has a strategical central position.


As I wrote, Lodz is an industrial city. It has around 750000 inhabitants and the city itself is now rapidly developing. There are many hipster zones and also many zones which looks like 2nd World War is not or nearly over. The city has many jewish monuments, as there is the biggest Jewish cemetery in Poland (definitely worth seeing) and one of the biggest ghettos in Poland. And many factories and art. There is almost perfect bike sharing network which I recommend a lot.

Surroundings (possible trips, ...)

You can go almost everywhere from Lodz, especially to Warsaw, Torun, Poznan, Wroclaw, Gdansk (seaside, I heard it is great but I did not go there). There is a company called polskibus and the bus ticket prices are really low. Many of us were going for IAESTE weekend trips.



My employer was Wydzial Biologii i Ochrony Srodowiska Uniwersytetu Lodzkiego (Faculty of Biology and Environmental Protection University of Lodz). Me and other trainee from Czech republic were working on project under the supervision of prof. Maria Bryszewska and direct supervisor Elzbieta Pedziwiatr-Werbicka and I must say it was the best work so far.

Work description

I was working on developing new gene therapy where you take si-RNA and you complexate it with gold nanoparticles. Through physical methods we were searching for best si-RNA candidate to treat cancer and we were observing if the nanoparticles are good enough for transportation and protection of these complexes into cytoplasm.
We were working really hard, for what I was really glad.

Salary (sufficient for local conditions?)

Salary was 800 PLN/month. I think it is sufficient

Language requirements

When you master English at B2 level it is sufficient. But some Polish words are definitely not bad.

Accommodation (price, who provided it)

We were living in hostel Molo in Okopowa street. The price of accommodation was for my 6 weeks 115 PLN, which was really incredibly cheap! The accommodation was provided by local IAESTE.
But there were always problems with laundry keys (only one key and the people was not returning it properly), the toilet paper you had to buy by yourself and to clean all the place even the bathroom by yourself. But it was quite ok.
Only just that we had a terrorist in the hostel and one evening there were criminalists firemen policemen pyrotechnics and dogs and nobody told us anything. We were really scared, asked at the reception and they told us to evacuate in the hostel restaurant. There we were sitting for some hours and after they told us to go back to our rooms. But we did not know anything, could not sleep, policemen was questioning us in Polish because they did not speak English and nobody helped us and then in the newspaper we read that in our hostel was arrested a terrorist from Iraq who was planning some terrorist attack in Krakow and he was preparing explosives (because Pope was there). So after that I did not feel very safe in this hostel anymore even if it was not their fault.

Social life

Meeting IAESTE members (pick-up at the airport, organized events...)

I met IAESTE people from our commitee only a few times - when one boy was picking me up in the hostel (before this he tried to seduct me and all girls from our trainee group and he was very obtrusive), then the first evening at International party which they organized for us, then one girl was taking me and other trainee the first working day to school and then when withdrawing money in the bank. That was all. It was very hard to communicate with them and to know when we will obtain money and when we tried to communicate with them about these things they were not very helping.

Meeting other foreign students

My other co-trainees were superb. We really felt like a family, everybody was talking to everybody, we did out evenings or with meals, shopping, films, or massages...we were living in the same hostel, so we were meeting everyday in the hostel.

Sport and culture

Me and trainee from my hostel we went often for jogging or cycling. There was a swimming pool nearby but I had no time to go there and when there was a time, it was rainy and stormy.
There are many museums and monuments in Lodz, not everything is easily accessible (I mean Lodz is not that much city made for tourists so when you want to go somewhere, you have to ask and to search it, no much signs where everything is).

Food, local specialties

If is somewhere the paradise of food, it is in Poland. It is so good and soo cheap. Do not trust anybody who tells something bad about polish food! I totally fell in love with bajaderka (chocolate ball), chocolates, paczki (donuts), preparation of beetroot, different kinds of meat, kielbaski...beers of million different kinds and designs, sooo good!

Other information

Possibilites to communicate with the Czech Republic

It was great. I had polish sim card (for 5 zl) and for 25 zl / month you were always online and could speak with everybody.

Recommendations for students who will go to the same place

Do not expect lot of help from the local IAESTE commitee, take something for sun and even for big rains, more pairs of shoes...and be in good mood. And take also money for the first mont of living, you never know when you obtain your salary.

What not to forget with you

Umbrella or raincoat! Extra money are always good.

Benefits of the internship

I learned a lot from new methods of biophysics and hopefully I will be a co-author of the paper in coproduction with my supervisor and others.

Cooperation with IAESTE in the foreign country

Very bad, they hardly communicate with us, to get the money we had to contact them many times and there were problems with it. They picked us at the hostel, we had one small party, then one girl took us to school and that was it. When the terrorist was at the hostel, we contacted them to know how are we staying and they did not even reply. In other commitees they were meeting their trainees often, talking with them, partying with them...

Overall experience with IAESTE

As I wrote, the other IAESTE commitees were excellent from my point of view, I was not on IAESTE weekend but from what I heard from out group of trainees it was great and they cared for them and I was happy for them.

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