1. What documents should I have with me in Poland?
You should take the following documents:
– your ID card (the original document and a photocopy) – this document has to be valid at least for the duration of your stay in Poland. You can also take your passport with you.
– EKUZ card – thanks to this card you will be able to get health care in Poland.
– Other documents – if e.g. you have some medical documents connected with an allergy or other chronic disease, you should definitely take them with you.
2. Will I have a mentor during the traineeship in Poland?
Yes. Every student will get from us contact details to their mentor from Proyecto Ibérico, whom he/she will be able to contact by phone or email. The mentor meets the student after their arrival in Poland in order to give the student as much useful information as possible and then stays in regular contact with him/her. In case of any emergencies, there is also a number available to students 24/7.
3. Will someone pick me up from the airport?
Every student who has decided to make use of our offer of the transfer from the airport will be picked up by our drivers and workers and taken to their place of residence. It is also possible to buy the transfer back to the airport after the traineeship is over.
4. Will someone go with me to the company on the first day of my traineeship?
Yes. A worker of Proyecto Ibérico will always accompany the student on the first day of their traineeship. The mentor will show him/her the most convenient way to get to the company and will introduce him/her to the workers and mentor of the receiving company.
5. What is the dress code required in the traineeships?
Suitable clothing is very important. In some sectors the dress code is imposed by the character and place of work – for example, in a microbiological laboratory a uniform is obligatory and a suit is required at the reception of an elegant hotel while in the manufacturing company there may be a need for protective footwear. However, very often students who have traineeships in offices have doubts what they should wear to work. At the beginning, the safest choice would be classical clothes, not extravagant. After a few days, when the students learn about the customs in the company and policy regarding the dress code, he/she will know best what to wear.
6. What are the working hours in Poland?
The majority of company workers in Poland have an 8-hour workday, most typically from 9 am to 5 pm. There is no long lunch break in the middle of the day, workers usually take a short 30-minute break for a meal so that they can finish work earlier and get home faster. There are also companies which start work earlier, for instance at 8 am. Therefore the working hours of a trainee will depend on the company they will work in. He/she will get to know them on their first day of the traineeship.
7. What is the Polish climate like and what weather should I expect after my arrival?
Poland has a temperate climate. The hottest month is July, when the average temperature is about 20-25 degrees. The coldest months are January and February, when the temperature is below zero. However, nowadays winters in Poland are much milder than they used to be a few years ago.
During the stay
8. What is the best way to move around the city? What does the public transport in Poland look like?
Public transport both in Warsaw and Krakow is really good and has a network of many connections. Buses and trams, and in Warsaw also the underground, ensure fast and cheap transport around the city. One-time tickets can be bought at a newsagent’s and in special machines at the stops or on the buses and trams. Season tickets are a great solution for people who are planning to stay in the city for a longer time.
9. What is the best way to move around Poland? How can I get to other cities?
It is very easy to travel around Poland. There is a great network of connections between big cities, both rail (PKP) and bus ones (e.g. Polski Bus). There are also more and more plane connections, not only by LOT but also low-budget airlines such as Ryanair or Wizzair.
10. Where is the best place to exchange money?
In Poland people most frequently exchange money in a place called KANTOR. “Kantors” can be found in train and bus stations, shopping centres and tourist parts of the city. However, it is important to realise that at the airports the exchange rate is very unfavourable so it is better to exchange money in the city centre and not at the airport or to exchange only a little money there. Instead of exchanging euros brought from Spain it is possible to simply take out money in Poland from cash machines. It is the easiest way to get local currency. Nowadays it is very popular to pay by credit cards in Poland. They are accepted almost everywhere, even in transactions for very small amounts. This makes it unnecessary to carry a lot of cash.
11. What should I do if I lose my documents?
You should contact your mentor from Proyecto Ibérico and he/she will help you. The theft of documents such as an ID card or passport should be reported to the police. Then you should contact the Spanish Embassy in Poland, which is in Warsaw.
Situations of this type happen very rarely but it is good to remember about that and for that reason make copies of the documents beforehand. This makes it easier to later deal with all the formalities connected with such a situation.
12. I am feeling bad and I need doctor's help. What should I do?
You should inform your mentor from Proyecto Ibérico about that fact and he/she will help you in this situation. If it is a minor illness, the fastest way to get help is to ask a chemist in the pharmacy, as many chemists speak English. But if you really need doctor’s help, you should go to a health centre. With the EKU card you can get free, or much cheaper, medical help in Polish health centres. Your mentor from Proyecto Ibérico will show you the nearest place and, if it is needed, will also contact the health centre and make an appointment with the doctor.
In life-threatening situations, when it is necessary to go to hospital (e.g. when you break your leg) the mentor from our company will go with you to hospital to help with all the formalities.
13. What should I do if I need to go to hospital because of an accident?
In life-threatening situations, when it is necessary to go to hospital (e.g. when you break your leg) the mentor from our company will go with you to hospital to help with all the formalities. If it is necessary to go to the police, for example in order to report a theft, then as well he/she will accompany you.
14. I am feeling bad and cannot go to work. What should I do?
First of all, you should contact your mentor in the company. Then also notify the contact person from our company. In the answer to question number 12 you can find an explanation what to do when you need doctor’s help.