So I have officially moved into my new home for my stay in Krakow. I am living a a student accomodation called Zaczec, which sleeps over 1000 people and is a network of corridors and staircases. I only recently met my flatmate, who moved in after 4 days of me living solo. He is polish and is really friendly, already offering me local food and showing me around the area.
I realised that in my last post i forgot to explain a bit about myself. I am 23 years old, from Adelaide in South Australia and do a double degree in law and commerce at Flinders University, which is conveniently situated about 5 mins from my house!
So back to Krakow, tomorrow is the start of the university semester, and it is orientation week at the same time. Thus my week will be divided between going to classes and all the extra student activities organised for the days and nights. Like I mentioned in my last post, the university makes a real effort (well the students network) to include international students in campus life. So for example tomorrow we have a cracow fun tour starting at 10am, in which we work in teams to discover the city through games and activities. in the afternoon I have been enrolled in ‘fast dates’ ….a strange concept, but I was assured it would be fun. It comprises of meeting 15 people in 1 hour to get to know each other more. At night there is a welcoming party for the 400+ international students at the Jagiellonian University, where 10 tonnes of beach sand is being imported to the nightclub for a hawaiian themed party.
I finished my two week intensive language course, which I passed, so I am happy to announce to the world that I speak basic polish. (Jak sie masz : how are you?) It has been very useful for ordering food, buying tram tics and counting for money transactions etc. I am in the process of working out if I can continue learning for the rest of the semester!
I have been touring much of the city, and attended a football (soccer) match recently, which was a real eye opener. In the Krakow Post newpaper the next day, the title for the game: Football in the ‘city of knives’ …eek!! there are real fanatical hooligans in poland, the two main enemies in Krakow are the Wisla Sharks and Cracovia. Basically a two town team, like Adelaide in the AFL, but in a much more passionate and voilent manner. In a strange twist of fate, I moved from Piast – 2oom from Wisla’s stadium- to Zaczec, which is only 100m from cracovia’s! so thus every sunday afternoon I hear the chanting and cheering from the stadium, which is really loud from my window! I have been advised to not wear any team colours in order to avoid a potential fight!
The University itself, it spread across the city, with many different campuses…fortunately I have most courses in the magnificent town square, the biggest medieval square in all of Europe. Every hour from the top of Mary’s church you can hear the trumpet player, who originally used to sound his trumpet when the gates to the old town were opened. It’s very beautiful and much loved by the tourists. I hear however that the trumpeters work in 18 hour shifts, thus they have to get up 18 times, often during odd hours to play.
I will be sure to add some more after the madness of o week.