How to avoid problems in Poland? Guide for foreigners. Part 2
We rent rooms in Warsaw and Gdańsk mainly to foreign students and expats. Thanks to this, we get information about the difficulties that foreigners sometimes have in Poland. We decided to collect the most popular questions and answers on the blog to serve all interested persons. Part one of this guide is here. And we go further😊.
I do not have a Polish ID card, what document should I use? We already hear this question when signing a room rental contract. We checked it: if you are a citizen of another country, you can use a passport or equivalent of a Polish ID card from your country. It is important that this document allows you to be identified without doubt. The most popular are rooms for students in Gdansk or Warsaw, because a good document is the one confirming taking up education at a Polish university. It should not be a loyalty card of your favorite store, of course. Polish regulations say that every person, regardless of nationality, can be identified at any time by authorized services. For example: you cross a street on a red light and the police catch you. They ask for proof or other document confirming their identity. You do not have? Problably you will pay a fine. That's why you should have your documents with you, just in case.
Polish zlotys are not a very popular currency, which is why we are not surprised that there is no such currency in your account. What can you do? It is not a good idea to make transfers from your standard account to a new bank account in Poland. Most often you lose a lot on this due to various conversions, fees, margins. Walks to the money exchange with cash are not comfortable and can be dangerous. You can find a better way, but we recommend virtual exchange offices where you can buy and sell money. We use transferwise.com, but if you find something better, let us know.
Language barrier - who has no problem with that? There are not many languages similar to Polish in the world enough to get along easily. If you need to talk to someone and you know any language well enough, use the help of your smartphone. Google Translate translates writing and speech in real time. It's not perfect, but enough to do the most important things. We recommend Word Lens for translating written texts. However, it is nice that young foreigners who come to our country want to learn Polish. This is because they are increasingly taking up studies with us, and are also renting a room for a student in Warsaw or Gdańsk.
An important skill that helps shape your life in a new country is seeking help. Seriously, it's often worth looking around for people or institutions that do just that. If you want to go sightseeing, do not hesitate to look at the tourist information point in your city, if you have a problem buying a ticket at the station, use the information. Erasmus students and employees of large international companies should look in the immediate vicinity for a person or office supporting them in a new place. There are various organizations operating at universities that deal with international cooperation. This sounds serious, but also means practical help, for example, when looking for rooms to rent. In corporations, HR department employees are often prepared to provide various, mundane information. Thanks to this, you can easily rent a room for Erasmus in Warsaw or another city.
Weekend outside the city, big shopping in the supermarket, and maybe daily commutes to work or to the university? If you can't live without a car, in Poland you can probably use it. If you are a citizen of a European Union country, your driving license is ok, you can drive as much as you want. If you are a citizen of a non-EU country and you intend to live in Poland for more than six months, you will need to exchange your driving license for Polish. The third option, which sometimes happens: if you come from a country outside the EU, e.g. Peru and you have already exchanged the driving license, for example in Spain, in Poland Your driving license from Spain is fine, you can use it. If you have doubts about the use of driving licenses in Poland and other EU countries, look at europa.eu (available in all European languages).
Would you like to read something not necessarily in Polish? Or maybe you are looking for Polish textbooks for foreigners? You will certainly find such publications in the university library, but this is not the only source. In Warsaw, there are several bookstores with an international book collection, for example, at Bankowy Square - Co-Liber Importery Bookstore. Online bookstores such as Land of Books work everywhere. If you are not addicted to the smell of paper books, you can use e-book readers. This is cool because of comfort, ecology and zero effort.
Remember, if you have problems in Poland dealing with matters, finding services or products, if you need advice - contact us. We don't know the answers to all questions, but we always try to find them for our guests.