Erasmus,  Travels

Erasmus in Zielona Gora – everything you need to know

Erasmus in Zielona Gora? That sounds like… Well, probably doesn’t ring any bells, does it?

My name is Alicja and I was born in Zielona Gora. I studied there, I participated in the Erasmus programme in Spain and when I returned home, I took care of other foreign students. Therefore, I believe that I’m a the right person to tell you everything you need to know before coming here. Here is your ultimate guide of Erasmus in Zielona Góra, Poland!

Zielona Gora isn’t an internationally renowned city so you probably never heard of it until now. It has about 140k inhabitants and it’s a rather calm, peacful city. In Poland, it’s mostly known for its wine tradition. In Zielona Gora, we have an annual event called  Winobranie – a one week-long festival of wine, which takes place in September. The city is also full of small figures of Bachus, the God of wine from the Greek mythology. Outside the city there are many vineyards. And, of course, the Palm House in the very heart of the city.

For students – also Erasmus – what might be interesting is  “Bachanalia”. In Polish cities there are student’s dayss every year in May/June. We call them “Bachanalia” because of the Bachus but normally they’re called “Juwenalia”. During these days you can enjoy parties, concerts, barbecues and other fun activities.

1. How to get there?

First things first. The whole “Erasmus in Zielona Gora”  adventure will probably start at the airport and… It’s often getting complicated just there.

Zielona Gora is a city located in Western Poland. Trying to describe its location  to my foreign friends, I usually say that it’s between Poznań and Wrocław, close to Berlin.

Therefore, the easiest way to get to Zielona Gora is by taking the train from one of these cities. Personally, I’d recommend Poznań or Wrocław. It takes about 2-3 hours by train and they depart relatively regularly. Another big advantage of this option is, naturally, the price. Single ticket (without polish student card) costs around 20 zł (more or less 5e).

You can also take the train from most Polish cities, such as Warsaw, Cracow, Gdańsk or Szczecin. I specifically mentioned Poznań and Wrocław earlier because they’re the closest ones. Nevertheless, Zielona Gora has connections with other cities. For example, it takes around 7 hours to go from Warsaw to Zielona Gora. The price would be around 70 zł one way (WITHOUT Polish student card which gives you 50% off). There aren’t so many connections though.

If you want to check the connection, you can do it on this site.

How to get from Berlin to Zielona Gora?

Unfortunately, there are more cheap flights to Germany’s capital than to Poland.  I say “unfortunately” because coming from Berlin can be more expensive and more complicated but still, not impossible.

You can look for a “bla bla car” in advance. There are many people taking this road quite often. The average price is aroud 15e. You can also check out this Facebook group.

Another option is taking the train but there aren’t many direct connections. Again, you can check it on the website linked above.

2. Accommodation – where will you live

 

This is very simple. Erasmus students are located in two dormitories. “Wcześniak” for those studying Humanities and “Rzepicha” for students of scientific subjects. Both of them cost around 300 zł per month (90-95e). Prices can vary depending on the dorm and utilities.

Don’t forget about the deposit in the beginning!

A big advantage of these dormitories is that they’re just next to your campus. So even if you oversleep after yesterday’s party, you don’t have to take the bus.

Usually, Erasmus students of “Rzepicha” live on the same floor and each of them have their own room. In this dormitory, the bathroom and kitchen are shared. The standard is a little lower but the “Rzepicha” is known for a unique, friendly atmosphere.

 “Wcześniak” is more renovated. Normally, students live in a studio with shared kitchen and bathroom. Every studio has two rooms, each for two people. That means, you will have both a roommate and flatmates.

 

3. City centre/Railway station – a way to your dormitory

Your first steps in Zielona Gora will be probably taken on the railway station (pol. Dworzec PKP or Dworzec Główny). The question is: how to get to your dormitory?

You can use bolt or taxi (they’re just next to the entrance). This is especially convenient when you have to carry a lot of suitcases. The driver will leave you next to your door and the price shouldn’t be that high neither.

The cheapest way would be to use the bus. When you leave the station, you should turn left until you see something like this.

Buses going to Rzepicha: 20, 8, 19 – all of them should have written direction OS. ŚLĄSKIE

You get out at “Uniwersytet Zielonogórski Campus A”

Buses going to Wcześniak: 7, 11, 21 – – all of them should have written direction direction WYCZÓŁKOWSKIEGO)

You get out at “Uniwersytet Zielonogórski Campus B”

You can also take buses number 8 (direction ZAWADZKIEGO ZOŚKI), 80 (direction BOTANICZNA), 37 (direction direction OS. LEŚNE), 5 (direction ZAWADZKIEGO ZOŚKI).

You get out at “Wojska Polskiego”. Then you have to walk straight f

or 5-10 minutes until you see a big campus. It’s hard to miss it so no worries!

If you want to visit the city centre, you can take most of the buses mentioned above. The bus stop is called “Centrum”.

If you want to visit the shopping centre, you should take the bus number: 1, 6, 7, 10, 14, 30, 37. The bus stop is called “Palmiarnia”. You can also take a walk from the city centre, it takes about 15 minutes. The shopping centre is called “Focus Mall” and the Palm House is just in front of it. Both were renovated recently.

You can check all your buses here or here. Once you learn some Polish 😉

 

DON’T FORGET TO BUY THE TICKET. Normal ticket costs 3 zł. When you get your student ID, you can buy a student one which is 50% cheaper. I reccommend you to do it so you don’t have problems when it comes to the control.

4. Once you’re there…

The most important thing is to contact the Erasmus in Zielona Gora Office aka Rektorat. The best way to do it, is just to go there rather than sending an e-mail. I’m not the best person to tell you everything about your university plan, students ID, your coordinator etc. Ladies in the office surely will guide you.

5. Go social – parties, travelling and everyday life!

I’m not gonna lie to you – Zielona Gora isn’t the craziest city in the world. Once you get to know it, it seems pretty small and cozy. Of course, it doesn’t necessarily mean that you will get bored. Remember that city without people is just a place. So the most important advice I’d give you is to simply socialize with other students.  Erasmus in Zielona Gora has about  50 participants every semester so you can really become a family.

Travelling

Being on Erasmus in Zielona Gora has one, huge advantage – living there is relatively cheap. So please, if you can afford it… Travel as much as you can.

You will receive a student ID card which gives you a 50% discount on trains. That means you can have a return ticket to, let’s say, Cracow for 60/70 zł… Which is about 15e.

As I mentioned before, you can easily reach Poznan and Wrocław. I know that other Erasmus students loved Cracow, Zakopane, 3city (Gdańsk, Gdynia, Sopot), Warsaw, Torun and Szczecin. I’d recommend you to include these cities for some “city break” ideas. Also, if you’re studying at Campus B (Humanities), there’s a chance that your Fridays will be free.

Don’t forget that we you will be living in the centre of Europe. You can get almost everywhere!

Many Erasmus students are travelling a lot during the programme. My friends visited Hungary, Czech Republic, the Netherlands, Denmark, Italy, Germany, Norway, Sweden, France, Georgia and many more. Ryanair, Wizzair, Flixbus… You can find really good deals.

Try to look for cheap flights through this website. Just type e.g. from Wroclaw to “Everywhere” and see where it takes you. Erasmus is a perfect opportunity to discover the continent. I also visited a lot during my stay in Spain – like Tenerife or Porto. I really recommend you to take that chance.

Parties

Like I said before, Zielona Gora isn’t New York. It’s quite small and perhaps you will complain about lack of activities. Despite it all, I believe that you can have a lot of fun once you get along with your Erasmus friends.

Every Wenesday there is a student night at x-Demon – the biggest club in Zielona Gora, located in the centre. It’s also quite busy on Fridays and I know Erasmus students go there quite often.

On Thursday I’d recommend you Warka for karaoke. It was always such fun!

Gęba is a great and cozy place near Campus B. U Ojca is more suitable for those living on Campus B. Both are great and students-friendly.

Another enjoyable place is called One Love. The entrance is sometimes paid but it’s fine if you like smaller places to dance.

For having a beer, I’d recommend you Prywatka, Jazzgot, Barcelona and Warka. It’s especially nice during the summer when you can sit outside and enjoy the weather. If you’re a football lover, you can watch games in Barcelona as well.

Everyday life

I know that often Erasmus students aren’t really aware that there are things going on OUTSIDE the city centre. And that’s a pity! Here are some of my recommendations that you might find helpful.

Trampoline Park  SKOKOLOKO – it looks like a place for children but trust me, with a bigger group, you can have tons of fun.

WAGMOSTAW – not many students know about this because it’s quite far. I really like visiting this place during spring or summer. It’s nice to chill with your friends.

MOSIR – it’s close to the place mentioned above. It’s a sport centre where you can see a basketball match or simply go to swim in a fancy swimming pool.

CINEMA CITY – yes, I know. There’s nothing special here but I just wanted to let you know that all the movies (except animated ones) have original voices and Polish subtitles only. On Wenesdays you have the cheapest prices.

OCHLA/DĄBIE – During the summer, when the weather is outrageously hot, you can go there and chill next to the water.

And some other places that I really like:

COSMOS – a Greek cafe. My favourite one! They have an amazing coffee and tasty food!

CAFE KRATKA – cozy place, full of books and good music.

SOWA – a little bit pricy but worth it.

CAFE ROSA – romantic place, you can take a Polish girl there 😉

ALL’ANGOLO – it’s next to Campus B and they have the best ice cream in the city. And cakes. And coffee. Basically, the best place.

LA GONDOLA – the biggest pizza is a deal. Really.

KUCHNIA POLSKA – again, next to Campus B. I know that many students love this place for tasty dishes, big portions and affordable prices.

PALMIARNIA – the restaurant might be pricy but the cafe is, surprisingly, affordable! Portions of cakes are really enormous! Palmiarnia is one of the city’s symbols so it would be nice to visit it at least once!

KARPICKO – this cafe is often full of old ladies but who cares, they have marvellous sweets.

(I mean in the cafe, not ladies).

 6. Tips

  1. Remember that no matter where in the world you are, there’s no fun if you don’t have a good company. Try to go out often. Organise a country night, spend a weekend in another city, make a group chat and post memes about your countries. You won’t have a nice experience if you don’t socialize with people.
  2. Be aware that not everyone in Zielona Gora speak English fluently. Learn some basic Polish before coming there so you will be more prepared.
  3. Attend a Polish course at the uni. It’s free and it will save you a lot of problems.
  4. Download these apps: JAKDOJADE (you can check your buses, trams and trains in the whole country), HINATIVE (a great app where you can ask anything about Poland and Polish), KOLEO (if you want to buy your train tickets via app which is way easier and faster), DUOLINGO or MEMRISE (if you want to learn some basic Polish words).
  5. Bring some food, alcohol or national souvenirs from your country. It doesn’t have to be big or expensive but it’s always nice to share some of your culture with friends
  6. Party!
  7. Study, also ; )
  8. Don’t bring too much of heavy stuff. Our drugstores are affordable and really well equipped. No need to pack heavy shampoos, conditioners etc. to your suitcase.
  9. It can be cold, so take some warm clothes. There’s no need to take many painkillers or other medicine. You can buy them not only in the pharmacy but also in supermarkets so no problem with that.
  10. Take a lot of photos. It might seem annoying in the beginning but you will appreciate it after all

7. How it is to be Erasmus in Zielona Gora – opinions of former students

 

Leaving Spain was one of the saddest moments of my life. I had the best experience I could ever dream of and saying goodbye wasn’t easy. Feeling that way after the programme is perfectly normal. What helped me a lot was creating our little “FSN”. Yes, that’s exactly a fake “ESN” 😉 My friend and I wanted to help foreign students but also to meet new people and to cheer ourselves up after coming back to Poland. And you know what? That was one of the best decision I made during my studies!

As you could read in my previous post, the best experience isn’t really about the place but about people. I asked some of my friends to share their experience, opinions and tips about Erasmus in Zielona Gora. Here’s what they said:

I have participated in Erasmus in Zielona Gora for the Academic year 2018/2019.

Zielona Gora is a very nice city, with interesting history, architecture and places to visit. During my stay in the city known for its rich and long tradition of wine farming, I participated in many interesting events. I took part in a Gold panning, Marathon organized by the University and Erasmus trip to vineyards located close to Babimost airport area.

I would also like to highlight that Erasmus in Zielona Gora offers possibility to meet many new friends from all around Europe! Regarding courses and Academic staff of the University, I have only positive impressions!

Finally, I strongly recommend Zielona Gora to all people interested in gaining new experience and knowledge within Erasmus program. Also, if some of you decide to stay in Zielona Gora even after Erasmus, it will be a good choice for sure. ; )

– Simon, Serbia (semester I&II)

I was on Erasmus in Zielona Gora during 3 months and it was full of discoveries. Meeting people from all over the world is something to live at least once in a life.

Even if the city is not the best to visit or to find activities, trains are cheap and connect you to many cities that are worth seeing like Poznan, Wroclaw etc.

If you are on Erasmus in Zielona Gora, meeting new friends from abroad in the city centre or in the two campuses  is the best activity. You won’t regret it.

– Antoine, France (semester II – internship)

Zielona Gora is very a calm place, especially over spring. There are a lot of parties and fun activities available. The city centre is small but magical. I think that in Zielona Gora everyone can find a piece of their own. Beautiful libraries, green spaces and traditional Polish dishes which are worth trying.

– Amila, Bosnia (semester II)

Erasmus in Zielona Gora was by far my best experience as a student. It is a small city but it can give you many activities to do. It is close to two airports Berlin and Poznan, so you can easily  plan many trips. Poland is in the centre of Europe, so travelling abroad is a must. My favourite place was Warka where you can go to enjoy pizza and beers.

Also, each Thursday there is a karaoke night. There is a shopping mall, Focus. You can find there many clothes in good prices. For those who love nature there are two lakes near city. You can enjoy the calmness there.

There are also parties for Erasmus students. x-Demon is the most famous night club in the city, each Wednesday the entrance is free for students. You can enjoy traditional dishes in really good prices in a place near university. Don’t forget to try hot dog from Zabka with a garlic sauce!

– Dimitra, Greece (semester I)

So, let’s start with the fact that it is a small city, not really known but still very, very beautiful. Distances are shorter in comparison to other bigger Polish cities, which makes it easier to bond and move around with the rest of exchange students! What’s more, the city centre has similar characteristics to the  rest of well-known towns I visited (colourful buildings, cute Bacchus all around the city centre). The dormitory I stayed (in Wojska Polskiego) was clean, with comfortable rooms, close to the bus stop and had everything I needed. There are nice places to hang around, play bowling, board games and have a drink.

I believe the negatives have to do with the fact that most people (especially older ones) don’t speak English. Communicating (especially at first) can be a bit tough. A small dictionary with the basic words, how to pronounce basic phrases and ask for things could be useful. Plus, students coming from other exchange programmes (not Erasmus) couldn’t get a full discount in the public transport card, so it is an issue that maybe could be fixed.

Personally I would like to have a few more options for entertainment in the centre and a 24 hour store closer to the Dormitory. But all these little problems can be fixed with the group of young Polish people who are willing to help with the language and the adjustment, organise activities and make the time in Zielona Gora the best time of your life! <3 So thank you guys for that!

– Magda, Greece (summer internship)

Taking part in Erasmus in Zielona Gora was a great pleasure.

First meeting with other Erasmusers (in following text I’ll call participants of Erasmus Erasmusers) happened in dormitory. That will be your home for the next months.

During the next meeting we all got to know with each other. And since then, we all became one, big international family.

My Erasmuser of next the generation, you have to know that I am shy person. I am an introvert, mostly closed from outer world. But there, where everyone were paying attention to me, I was totally drowned in it. It was like not death, but rebirth.

You have nothing to be afraid of, young Erasmuser.

You also will find your people.

And you will have fun.

You will have common travels around Poland, as we did, I guarantee it. That’s a wonderful adventure but you have take into account that it’s better to buy tickets on time. In other case (if you will buy tickets on train few minutes before the departure) there is high risk of another adventure.

(Or disco in train).

Almost every week we organised a country night in which Erasmusers prepared national dishes and sung national songs. It was an introduction to national culture and habits of every Erasmusers.

The city itself is very compact. I was moving within city mostly by bike. There is NextBike system. Education was friendly, so you don’t have to be afraid of this part of Erasmus.

And the last thing:

Don’t forget that #miroislookingforwife.

– Miro, Ukraine (semester II)

Erasmus in Zielona Gora was one of the best experience I had as a student. It helped me to meet great friends that I will keep forever. It might be a small city but that helps to create closer relations with people. Zielona Gora is in the middle of Europe so that will help you travelling. Flights are cheap and you can take them from Berlin, Poznan or Wroclaw. This 3 cities are close and I also suggest you to go for a  party there, if you have such an opportunity.

The best disco in Zielona Gora is x-Demon. For me the best day was Friday but you can enter for free on Wednesdays with your student ID. If you have to choose, I ‘d suggest you to go on a second semester. Weather will be much better and you will be able to enjoy the city festival! Enjoy Erasmus in Zielona Gora!

– Diego, Spain (semester I&II)

Erasmus for the first time, Poland, so many new people, so many questions, doubts,.. I just didn’t know what to expect!
After almost 5 months that I spent in Zielona Gora, I can assure you that it was one of the best decisions in my life.

A mix of different mentalities has produced an enormous, multicultural Erasmus family. Being together in a relatively small city such as Zielona Gora had an influence on all of us – to hang out more intensiveley.
Our common trips through whole Poland were amazing. We visited a charming Baltic perl Gdańsk, modern capital Warsaw, historical reminder Auschwitz, Wroclaw – the city of dwarves, unsurpassed Polish beauty Krakow and many more. I have to add traditional nights to this list, where we had an opportunity to get familiar with different types of the food from every part of Europe ( and even some regions of Asia).

I would round off this path of memories with lifelong friendships!

-Andjela, Montenegro (semester II)

Erasmus in Zielona Gora was an amazing experience. I can say that we complained a lot about Zielona Gora being such a small town. When I thought about it though, I realised it was actually better for Erasmus experience than some kind of a big city. I think so for several reasons. First of all, there wasn’t too much to do and so we, Erasmus people, gathered all the time and became like a real family, which I think would be a lot harder in a big city.

Secondly,  Zielona Gora is way cheaper than other European cities and it is in very good location so we could travel a lot with Erasmus family. We discovered  beautiful places in Poland and in Europe generally! So if anyone asks, I would definitely recommend this experience.

The only problem we had was that almost noone spoke English in the city. But that was kind of fun too, explaining with gestures and stuff! And basically I loved hospitality and everything. You, Pawel and several other Polish people involved in this program were the best, really! You helped us a lot♥♥♥♥The only tip I’d give to future students  would be not to assign 7:30 am classes, please! That was the only torture.

-Kato, Georgia (semester II)

My Erasmus in Zielona Gora lasted 4 months. Poland is a decent choice for being a student. Dormitory managers, student dean and lecturers cared about us like from tip to toe. They were all ready to help us. In city there are several places to get some drinks. Even if you’re interested in different cuisines, the city serve you that option as well. There is one big night club which all students go on Friday night. It’s called x-Demon.

My trip advice is certainly Wroclaw. I recommend you to use that spiritual Polish trains! You are definitley find the peace in there.  Try pierogi, Soplica and also ask other Polish people for recommendations.

-Ozkan, Turkey (semester I)

I spent 9 months on Erasmus in Zielona Gora  and they were the best months of my life. Zielona Gora is  a small town but people made this place beautiful. I found friendship, love and fun in that small city. I saw new cultures, explored new food, new games, met new people… That small city tought me many lessons. This experiences is unforgettable for my life. Easter, Christmas, country nights, fatdays, karaoke nights, drinking games, trips with friends and x-Demon parties are memories that I miss the most. Maybe first day I was scared about people but in the end, I was even able to understand and speak a little Polish. People were so friendly and funny. I hope everyone can live this experienc and love ZG as much as I did. Ps: Dont forget to try Soplica hazelnut and Somersby blackberry – they’re my favourites 💙

-Aleyna, Turkey (semester I&II)

1. There is no better place than Zielona Gora for Erasmus. Remember it and thank Bachus to be there!

2. Remember to enjoy every Mondays in “U Ojca”. The DJ goes to funfit gym, so if you will be close to him, maybe he will not put the same music every week.

3. Don’t wear sandals if you’re going to dance in x-Demon (or ask a friend to bring your shoes downstairs).

4. You are allowed to continue “Countries Night”.

5. A party is not over till there is still alcohol and at least one person dancing. It’s okay also if someone is vomiting in the toilet and you’re helping him. Just don’t do it with disco polo as soundtrack, it’s unrespectful.

6. Gęba is your new church. Attend it weekly! And remember to thanks Ula, Jadzia and Gabi with a special kiss and a good Soplica.

7. If you’re going to Warka on Karaoke Thursday, write all your songs in the beginning and give it to the karaoke guy. Remind him from time to time that you want to sing… Just in case he forgets.

8. In Biedronka there is “lasagna barilla” and nice discounts – worth trying. Lidl’s country week is totally fake but Intermarché has a decent alcohol department.

9. Venerate Kuchnia Polska! That women can cook bardzo dorbze. Tell them dzienky every day and eat everything! There is no better place where you can have your lunch!

10. I thought I would come back with some friends, but eventually I came back with some people I consider as a part of my family. Good luck!

– Lele, Italy (Semester II), the biggest fan of Erasmus in Zielona Gora that I ever met

 

Last but not least, I’d like to quote Andjela once more time as I think she said something truly beautful:

The end of Erasmus is not the end of hanging out; furthermore, it is a gorgeous reminder that you have at least one friend in each European corner who will host you and refresh your memories of the good, old days!

Enjoy your adventure!

Alicja

About

Graduated journalism, wandering around Europe. Heart in Spain, body in the Netherlands. Survived an attack of angry cows.

Graduated journalism, wandering around Europe. Heart in Spain, body in the Netherlands. Survived an attack of angry cows.