University of Bielsko-Biala in a nutshell
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University of Bielsko-BialaWillowa 2
International Relations Office
phone.: +48 (33) 8279 434
Q: What is the Polish currency?
A: The Polish currency is the Polish zloty (PLN).
One zloty is divided into 100 grosz-es. Coins come in denominations of 1 grosz to 5 zloty (in turn: 1 gr, 2 gr, 5 gr, 10 gr, 20 gr, 50 gr, 1 zl, 2 zl, 5 zl). Bank notes go from 10 zloty to 500 zloty-s.
The value of 1 PLN is: 1 EUR = 3.8 - 4.5 PLN (you can check the current rate at the Polish National Bank’s website).
Do not exchange currency with people on the street! Instead, go to any place marked as a currency exchange office (kantor). These are legal exchange agencies. You may also exchange currency in some banks. As in most countries, do not change money at airports , the rates are terrible there.
Q: When are shops open?
A: From Monday to Friday grocery stores (Polish sklep) are open, usually from 8 am to 6 pm, on Saturdays they are usually open from 9 am to 1 pm. On Sundays hours may vary, but most shops are closed on this day.
Supermarkets are open seven days a week, from 8 am to 10 pm, while shopping centres are open from 9 am to 9 pm.
Q: What is bus transportation like in Bielsko-Biala?
A: The main bus transportation company in Bielsko-Biala is the MZK (Urban Department of Transport).
Bus tickets can be bought through the use of mobile applications such as SkyCash, moBILET, or mPay, as well as through the use of the mobile applications of banks such as PKO Bank Polski, Bank Pekao, Alior Bank, Santander Bank Polska, Millennium Bank and BNP Paribas. Alternatively, tickets can be bought from custom service centres, a list of which can be accessed here, or from ticket machines, a list of which can be accessed here. Tickets can also be bought in select grocery stores, a list of which can be accessed here.
There are five types of tickets which are available to be purchased:
1) A single use ticket. It’s regular price is 3,00 PLN, however with a student ID card, the price is only 1,50 PLN (the student ID must be that of the University of Bielsko-Biala).
2) A ticket which is valid for 60 minutes, which can be utilised as many times as possible. It’s regular price is 5,00 PLN, however with a student ID card, it’s price is only 2,50 PLN.
3) A ticket which is valid for 24 hours, which can be utilised as many times as possible. It’s regular price is 14,00 PLN, however with a student ID card, it’s price is only 7,00 PLN.
4) A ticket which is valid for 7 days (1 week), which can be utilised as many times as possible. It’s regular price is 40,00 PLN, however with a student ID card, it’s price is only 20,00 PLN.
5) A ticket which is valid for 1 month, which can be utilised as many times are possible. It’s regular price is 110,00 PLN, however with a student ID card, it’s price is only 55,00 PLN.
IMPORTANT: Your student ID card must be one from the University of Bielsko-Biala, otherwise you cannot utilise student discounts when buying tickets.
Tickets (unless they are e-tickets bought through the use of mobile apps) must be scanned in a special machine inside the bus, usually near the entrance. Even once scanned, you should keep your ticket, in case of an ticket inspection. The fine for using bus transport without a valid ticket is 200 PLN, so please be careful, follow the law, and always have your personal ID documents available.
Read more about the price of tickets here, and more about bus transportation in Bielsko-Biala here.
Q: What is the cost of transportation by taxi in Bielsko-Biala?
A: The cost of a taxi is quite attractive. A trip from the centre of the city to the student dormitory will cost around 15-20 PLN. Remember that if you try to find a taxi from a railway station or a nearby hotel, the price maybe significantly different. Rates during nighttime are also significantly higher. You can use the internet, or download a mobile application, to find good taxi companies.
Q: What is intercity bus transport like in Poland?
A: Between large cities in Poland, as well as between major European cities, there are developed bus connections. Timetables can mainly be found on the Internet, for exampe, here.
Q: What is train transport like in Poland?
A: The Silesian region recently announced new comfortable trains, which are much faster and more comfortable than older models. In our region there is also a special discount program for students who are up toup to 26 years old (a student ID card from the University of Bielsko-Biala is needed).
You can travel on commuter trains, express trains and international trains. The cost of a ticket will depend on the type of train, class and distance.
The timetable is available on this page: PKP Timetable (Polish Rozkład jazdy).
Q: Can I open a bank account while in Poland?
A: A: It is possible to open a bank account as soon as you arrive in Poland, it’s even possible to do it through the internet before leaving your home country. Please be careful and check the conditions of different banks, since in some of them it may be very difficult and expensive to maintain and close an account. You have a few choices of standard bank accounts in Poland:
Current account: this account, which is what most people have, will provide you with a cheque book for obtaining cash at the bank and for making payments. At regular intervals you will receive a statement showing the transactions made on your account. This is a useful way of keeping your money safe.
Deposit account: you can use this while already having a current account, or independently without one. It is useful if you have other funds which you don't need to use immediately and which can therefore earn interest in the meantime.
Q: Can I pay using a credit card in Poland?
A: In Poland credit cards (VISA, American Express, Euro Card etc.) are regularly used for daily payments, so you should not have any issue paying with a credit card. However, it is recommended that you always have some hard cash with you, in case a given shop does not accept credit card payments.
Q: Are public phones accessible?
A: Public phones are still accessible, for instance, in hotels.
Q: How is mobile communication in Poland?
A: The easiest option for students would be to bring their own phone (already unlocked) or to buy a prepaid package. Buying a SIM card is very easy - you can get one in any kiosk. It is quite cheap.
Emergency numbers are the same all over Poland:
Fire Brigade: 998
Anti-terrorism centre: 996
Emergency breakdown service: 981
Emergency (Mobile phone only): 112
Q: What are the postal serives like in Poland?
A: Post offices (Polish poczta) can be found all over the city at many points in every city. Costs depend on the size, weight and country of sending of the package or letter. Post boxes are red and they usually hang on the walls of the buildings. Find a post office in Bielsko-Biala here.
Q:What can I buy in a pharmacy?
A: Cosmetics and medicaments are available at the Ppharmaciesy (Polish apteka). Some kinds of medicine are only available by a prescription (issued by a Polish doctor). But, if you catch a cold and your nose is running, it's easy to buy aspirin or other helpful remedies in many shops.
Q: Can I use my driving license?
A: Driving licenses issued by other EU member states are recognized by Poland and remain valid until the expiry date indicated in the document. If you are from outside the EU you will have to obtain an International Driving Licence to drive in Poland.
While driving a vehicle on the territory of Poland, a driver is obliged to have his license and vehicle registration on him. Civil liability insurance is also needed.
Seat belts must be used in both front and back seats, with children up to the age of 12 and up to 150 cm tall using special certified seats. Using your mobile phone whike driving a car is forbidden! Loud-speaking phone systems are allowed.
Drivers have to use hedlights during the whole day. The vehicle must be equipped with a reflector triangle and has to be marked with a sign indicating the country of its registration. Radar-warning systems are banned.
Q: What are speed limits in Poland?
A: Speed limits:
Image by Gerd Altmann via PixabayThe University of Bielsko-Biala cooperates with many academic centres and research institutes all over the world to build partnerships to help better the experience for students. The number of bilateral agreements is growing rapidly each year. We currently have over 100 Erasmus+ agreements in the EU and beyond, as well as about 50 bilateral agreements covering scientific and educational cooperation with foreign partners.