Do you want to do your Erasmus in Lódz? Go one or two semesters, you can’t miss these tips! (If you are still hesitating, we advise you to read 5 reasons to go on an Erasmus trip to Poland).
Lódz is the third largest city in Poland and, although many Poles consider it the ugliest in the country, it is known for three very important things: the textile industry, the cinema and the ERASMUS. Every year this city receives more than a thousand students from all over the world who want to do their Erasmus in Lódz: China, Turkey, France, Kazakhstan, Greece and especially Spanish (in total more than 200!).
Before stepping on the country you should know that it is not pronounced as you are thinking but “GUCH” or “UCH”, something like that. The truth is that foreigners are not very clear about it either, but if you tell a Pole that you live in Lódz he will not find out anything.
If you want to know why it is pronounced like this and many other rumours (in addition to real advice) read on …
1. The Polish are not the parents
Yes, it is a real language and is spoken by more than 50 million people. The first day is going to sound Chinese to you and let’s not kid ourselves: the last one too. However, if you feel like it you can learn to develop perfectly during your stay. The University of Lódz offers those who do their Erasmus in Lódz an intensive Polish course.
When you are registering you can sign up in the same application without any difficulty. Normally the course takes place during the last two weeks of September, just before classes begin.
And if, on the other hand, you already have enough with English, here are a few words that will be useful:
- Dzień dobry (“llendobre”): good morning.
- Proszę ’(” proshe “): please.
- Dziękuję (“llencuie”): thank you.
- Przepraszam (“sheprasham”): excuse me, or rather: I’m pushing you because you won’t let me get the hell out of you.
- Nie mówię po polsku (“nimuvie popolsku”): I do not speak Polish.
- Dwa piwa proszę (va piva proshe “): two beers, please (because one is not going to be enough and you know it)
As we said before, Lódz is pronounced “uch” because in reality it is not written with a Latin L, but with a Ł (which comes to be the same but with a stick that crosses it). This Polish letter is pronounced like a U and you will find it in thousands of words.
2. Apartment or residence?
Lódz has two main universities: the Politechnika Łódzka (engineering) and Uniwersytet Łódzki (languages, history, law, politics, economics, etc.). Depending on the university you go to, you have a campus to live in or another.
How can I request a room? The university itself asks if you want a place in a dorm or residence when you are enrolling. We recommend that if you are really interested in living on campus, hurry to cover the online application because the sooner you finish it, the more chances you have of getting a place. The price per month is around 80 euros and you can meet hundreds of Erasmus from other countries, share your customs and typical dishes, and especially have parties
Most of the foreign students who do their Erasmus in Lódz live on the Lumumby campus or the Polytechnika campus, however, if you want to have your own room you should look for a shared apartment. The most recommended is to enter this Polish page where you will find everything from homes to second-hand mobiles.
3. How to get to Lódz and not die trying.
That formula does not exist, we are sorry. You will die of tiredness and boredom making stops. Yes, Lódz has an airport but there is no connection to Spain yet so you will have to fly through Warsaw.
If you are one of the lucky ones who lives in Madrid, Barcelona or Malaga, you will have it easier because you have a direct flight. If, on the other hand, you are from the north of Spain, we are sorry for your back because the connections between flights are more complicated.
Note that Warsaw has two airports, but the Ryanair company only flies to Modlin, which is a 40-minute drive from the city center. The easiest option if you fly there is to take a Modlinbus that will drop you directly in Lódz after 3 HOURS of travel (yes, it is only 100 km but the Polish motorways have traffic lights). If you fly to Chopin airport you can do the same operation, or take a bus that will leave you in front of the Palace of Culture, and then a train to Lódz.
4. Watch out for checkers on the tram.
In Lódz there is no metro but there is a large network of trams and buses, which you will have to use almost obligatorily (especially if you live on campus). It is important that you go with a ticket because the city is full of reviewers, and they can even fine you if you exceed the 20-minute journey that the ticket takes.
Tickets can be purchased at a lot of kiosks and machines around the city, also in the first trolley car. With the student card you can afford the reduced rate, which is sooooo cheap (as well as 1.30 zl).
However, if you want to save yourself the hassle of buying tickets and validating them every day, you have to get the transport card. For this you must go to the MPK central office with a passport photo and ask for a monthly or semi-annual bonus.
5. You are going to get fat and the sooner you assume it, the better.
Although Polish food is not known worldwide, we assure you that you will eat A LOT and WELL. In Lódz there are all kinds of restaurants: Italian, Japanese, kebab, some Vietnamese and even a Spanish restaurant. Since your desire to cook is going to be rather null, we went ahead to advise you some of the best places in the city:
- Manekin (Piotrkowska, 65): the official restaurant in Poland. No one knows why but there is always a queue. Here you can eat crepes of all kinds and the famous Polish soup served on bread: the zurek.
- Pozytyvka (Piotrkowska, 72): one of the best places in town to try pierogis.
- Zapiekarnia (Piotrkowska, 52): open at almost any time and perfect if you fancy a hangover panini.
If you live in Lumumby you will be happy to know that in Hell’s Kitchen they also serve food in addition to vodka. Don’t leave without trying their burgers. Long live Erasmus!
You can visit Poland on many of our trips: