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Ing. Jakub Houdek, Pardubice,ročník 1
About the country
Location of the place
Krakow is located on the south of the Poland (Lesser Poland), few hours from Czech and Slovakia border. The work place was situated in AGH University campus in Krakow (see description below). University campus is situated in west part of the city centre near Blonia meadow. There are many buildings in the campus, but there is a good information system, so you will not get lost.
Krakow - although it has almost 800 000 population, it's city centre is relatively small. It is incredible how much green places and trees are in the streets. Krakow is student city, but during summer most of them are leaving. If you want to enjoy "student life" go there during the academic year.
Surroundings (possible trips, ...)
A lot of lovely places are possible to reach by public transportation or by bike (wawelo). During hot summer days, you can visit Zakrzowek or Krispinow lake for swimming. Around Zakrzowek, there are also caves and rocks. Also, Kamienolom Liban is interesting, there was Nazi concentration camp. Near Liban, there is Kopiec Krakusa with a nice view on the old town centre. Nice place is Tyniecky forest with Kopiec Pilsudskiego (free entry, with view on airport) and Kopiec Kosciuski (paid entry, nice view on all city). You can visit Ojcowski park narodowy, thre is nice nature and valley. For weekend trip you can go to Zakopane (by Schwagropol buses) and Tatra mountains.
AGH University, Faculty of energy and fuels, department of Hydrogen Energy. Group of Prof. Janina Molenda.
Work in department of Energy. I was working on Li-ion batteries and materials for their production. We mainly worked in air sealed glove-box. For testing of assembled there, we worked in electrochemical laboratories.
Salary (sufficient for local conditions?)
800 PLN. It was enough for basic things you need (food, accommodation, transportation). For some trips, you have to bring more money. Also for beginning few weeks, you need some money, salary is paid after some time.
English required for communication at workplace. You will learn very quickly basics of Polish language, so communication will be easy for you.
Accommodation (price, who provided it)
Accommodation was managed by IAESTE at Miasteczko Studentske at dormitory Akropol. It costs about 350PLN per month. There are shared toilets and bathroom for four rooms (10 persons) and kitchen for all floor.
Meeting IAESTE members (pick-up at the airport, organized events...)
IAESTE managed person which picked me up at train station and showed me dormitory and all necessary things. IAESTE in Krakow organized many events during my stay: parties at Miasteczko studentske, City tours, Weekends in another european cities (Prague, Budapest, Gdansk...) and also ICEM weekend in Krakow, trips to Tatra mountains, etc.
Meeting other foreign students
All foreign student were accommodated in Akropol dormitory, so we could meet anytime. Also, some events for meeting were organized (see above).
Sport and culture
It is possible to make a reservation of various sport at dormitory (football, tenis and volleyball courts etc.). Also swimming pool is 5 minutes from dormitory. There are two big Football stadiums near campus, where some events are organized. For active sport, you can go at Blonia meadow or forests around Kopiec Kosciuscki.
Food, local specialties
In university campus, there are many places, where you can get lunch or snack. There are all types of food (pizza, kebab, Zapiekanka, chinese, pasta, etc...) for good price.
Possibilites to communicate with the Czech Republic
Via internet, Polish post office... Now roaming is cancelled, so you can call with no limitations.
Recommendations for students who will go to the same place
Take some money for few first days until you will get your salary.
What not to forget with you
Some basic thing for life at dormitory (IAESTE will borrow you some dishes, pan, pot etc.), money
Benefits of the internship
Improved language skills and also communication generally. Cooperation with foreign people. Life and work in unknown city.
Cooperation with IAESTE in the foreign country
A lot of documents, which has to be filled before you travel. Many times you fill almost the same forms and send them to people you dont know. At the place, communication was absolutely OK.
Overall experience with IAESTE
First experience was quite confusing for me. A lot of forms, which had to be filled and sorted. One person is telling you different information than another. Many times the same information had to be filled and send to different people. This took me a lot of energy. But after arrival, everything was well organized and communication was absolutely clear.
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