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Erica's Blog
Hi! I’m Erica. I am a senior at Northeastern Illinois University, graduating May 2011. I am completing my last semester at the University of Warsaw in Poland because my Polish exchange student friends convinced me it was a good idea, and because I have an unsatiable desire to see and experience the world :)

Here you can read about my Polish adventures. Want more? Visit my blog.

A trip to Łazienki Królewskie Park Print E-mail
October 1, 2010
A trip to Łazienki Królewskie Park

I was a complete genius and left my house without having eaten anything. I know, complete brilliance! I walked down Nowy Świat to see if I could find another copier, while keeping my eyes peeled for food. I didn't ever find another copier, but I did find lunch! This was real "fast food"! I ate from a place called Quick Point, which is basically a window where you order food. I didn't know what I wanted, so I just pointed to the special, which turned out to be a mushroom sandwich. It was more like a mushroom melt with ketchup on top. Weirdly enough, the ketchup is what made the sandwich! I don't even love ketchup!
Kamieniołomy Club = fail Print E-mail

September 30, 2010
Kamieniołomy Club = fail

Today, I went to the supermarket with Kasia. The supermarket is different than the small grocery store across the street from my house. The store by my house is more like a convenience store with a produce section. The supermarket, however, was almost as big as a Jewel in Chicago. The bid difference was that the labels were all in Polish, but thankfully this time Kasia was able to translate for me! :) That is how I got feta cheese. Hooray!
I had decided yesterday that I would be brave and go to one of the orientation week parties thrown by the Erasmus Student Network (ESN) at the University of Warsaw. The one tonight promised 90s music and a summer throwback. It sounded fun, party started at 10pm.
Orientation day Print E-mail
September 28, 2010
Orientation day

Today was orientation day at the University of Warsaw, and I started my day with the breakfast of champions, a bowl of Cheerios! :) I left home around 8:45a, and waited seven minutes for the bus to arrive. I was very glad to sit by the bus heater today, as it was very rainy and cold. 

At school, I found the Old Library and joined the hundreds of students who were there for orientation. The orientation was not too bad! We got a brief welcome, introductions to the policies for international students, information about specific courses and programs, and information packets (very handy, too!). On my way out of the library after orientation, I picked up the free SIM card starter kit the university was giving away. Yay! I finally have my Polish phone number!! :)
An American girl in a Polish world Print E-mail
September 27, 2010
An American girl in a Polish world 

I found the university! I felt very pleased with myself for getting there without getting lost or confused.

At the university, I walked into the bookstore/gift shop place and asked where to find the building I was looking for. It was an awkward exchange in broken English, but she knew where it was and pointed at the building. Yay! When I got to the Casmir Place, I couldn't find the room, and had mimed conversation with the general consensus of, "Up two floors on the other side". When I found the room, office hours were over, but there were still people working. I asked to see Anna, and was told it would be her decision since office hours were over. When she had a break from the people she was working with, she said hi and seemed glad that I was there. :) When it was my turn, Anna gave me information for the ID cards, class registration system, and verified whether or not I would be at the orientation tomorrow. When we were done, I left to take care of business.
Warsaw, my new home! Print E-mail
September 26, 2010
Warsaw, my new home!

The Warsaw airport was remarkably un-busy. I walked with the group of people to the immigration check point, and successfully got into Poland. I didn't realize until after the fact, but I didn't have to fill out any deceleration or immigration forms like I've had to for every other country I've visited. Interesting... I walked a very long way to the baggage claim, found my suitcase, and went out to the main area where I was greeted by my friend.
After lunch, I took a shower, then we set out for Old Town Warsaw. We took another bus! This time the bus driver was very aggressive with his breaking, and it reminded me of the crazy CTA drivers back home. We took the bus to Nowy Świat, right by the University of Warsaw. Our first stop stop was the university, so I could find it later, and my friend Patrycja showed me where some of the different faculties were as a reference. After visiting the university campus, we started walking and Patrycja pointed out many sights: monuments of important people, churches, landmarks, gardens, etc. After walking around for about an hour or so, we walked in the direction of Old Town, and stopped for a coffee on the way.
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