Cluj04



Frequently Asked Questions about the EGG school



1. About the travel

1.1. When is the best time to arrive and to leave?

Arrival: Sunday 25 July. Departure: Saturday 7 August. You can however arrive already on Saturday 24 July.

1.2. What is the nearest airport?

There is an international airport in Cluj, see its website for international flights (from Vienna, Budapest and various cities in Germany and Italy). The biggest and closest international airport for most destination is Budapest. You can also fly into Bucharest.

1.3. How do I get from Budapest to Cluj?

Either by bus or by train. You can find the train schedule and the itinerary (but not the prices) on the German railroad website. There is also an excellent post by Sylvia Blaho on the mailing list, explaining in detail how to get from the airport in Budapest to the train and what the best train schedule is.
As for the bus, you can find the on this Hungarian website, and also some connections here and here if you look carefully. [We are told that the buses tend to be crowded and stressful (?). If you have any info on this, please email us.]

1.4. How do I get from Bucharest to Cluj?

There are several trains from Bucharest to Cluj and the trip lasts about 8 hours. The ticket is about 10 euros and you are supposed to buy it either at a travel agency or at the station (in Bucharest that is called the North Station - Gara de Nord). Here is the train schedule from Bucharest to Cluj:
BUCHAREST CLUJ
07:15 15:20
12:55 20:13
15:25 22:28
16:20 03:41
19:55 03:52
22:45 06:39

1.5. How do I get to the dorms from the train station?

You can either take the trolley or walk.

With the trolley: Across the road from the station, take trolley bus #9 (you buy the ticket at the bus stop) and get off at the fifth stop (without counting the stop of origin). You will see a new building of the Bogdan Voda University on the right-hand side of the street as you look towards the direction the bus was taking you. To the left of this building, you'll see some concrete stairs with a blue railing. They take you directly to the dorms (Campus Hasdeu, camin A3). In case of difficulty, people in the street should be able to help you. Trolley buses provide a frequent and reliable service around the city, though stops are often far apart. Also, be aware that these trolley buses stop running at 23:00.

Walking: From Cluj's train station, it takes about 45' to walk to the dorms. You first walk down Strada Horea, past the Mughal-style synagoge, across the Somes river, where the road becomes Strada Regele Ferdinand (until not so long ago, Strada Gheorghe Doja), and, a bit further down, into the spacious Piata Unirii. Piata Unirii is in the very center of town. This walk is about 20'.
At Piata Unirii, turn right on Str. Memorandumuli, which soon becomes Calea Motilor. Keep walking for another 25' (don't get past Strada Piezisa, an intersecting street to the left). You will see a new building of the Bogdan Voda University on the right-hand side of the street. To the left of this building, you'll see some concrete stairs with a blue railing. They take you directly to the dorms (Campus Hasdeu, camin A3). In case of difficulty, people in the street should be able to help you.

1.6. How do I get to the dorms from the airport?

The bus 8 takes you from the airport and drops you off at Piata Mihai Viteazul (every 30mn up to 22:30). From here on, you can either walk (30') or take a trolley bus.

Walking. Go to Piata Unirii by walking south on Strada Regele Ferdinand (until not so long ago Strada Gheorghe Doja). This takes about 5'. Then see walking instructions above in question 1.5.

Trolley bus. Bus #8 leaves you in front of the Republica Cinema theatre at Piata Mihai Viteazul. As you face the cinema theatre, walk for 1-2 minutes to the left towards the river Somes. You'll find another bus stop there. Take trolley bus #9 (you buy the ticket at the bus stop), and get off at the third stop (without counting the stop of origin). Then see trolley bus instructions above in question 1.5.

You can also take a taxi to the campus (Complexul Hasdeu, caminul A3). However, you should avoid those taxi drivers who come and offer to take you, since they will definitely not turn on the tax meter and they will charge you fabulous fares. The most popular taxi companies are Pritax, Terrafan, Nova, Diesel and usually the fare to the campus is about 5 euros. Just in case there is no taxi waiting at the airport, you can ask the airport staff to call for one. Here are some of the telephone numbers: 949, 953 or 946.

2. About the hostel

2.1. What kind of place are we staying in?

A student hostel/dorms of the Babes-Bolyai university in Cluj. There are two beds per room, a bathroom and a small kitchen. The dorm is a 5mn walk to the classrooms.

2.2. Where is the hostel

Complexul Hasdeu, caminul A3 (ie: the Hasdeu Campus, hostel A3)

2.3. Do I need to do anything in order to book my hostel room?

If you are correctly registered, no. People who are registered and requested a space in the hostel, automatically have rooms allocated in the student-hostel where we all stay.

2.4. Does the hostel include meals? Are any meals provided?

No, meals are your responsability. The hostel is a bare-bone no-comfort student-dorm, and does not provide things like meals. There are however have small kitchens in the rooms. There are also small food stores around the hostel, for bread, tinned food, eggs, pasta etc.

2.5. Can I bring my wife? children? mom? pet?

No. We cannot provide space for people other than the participants.

2.6. Can I choose my roommate(s)?

Yes, if you organise with them beforehand.

2.7. Is there enough room for all of us?

Yes.

2.8. I arrive late in the evening, will the hostel still be open for me?

yes, we are trying to arrange that. We'll give you more precise info when/if they come in.

2.9. Are there sheets/towels in the hostel?

Sheets yes, towels no.

3. Money issues

3.1. What kind of money should I bring? Can I change it easily?

The Romanian currency is Lei (pl.). Generally, you cannot pay for things in a foreign currency. The Lei is not convertible, so you can't get it outside Romania. You should bring either Dollars or Euros - banking transactions mainly accept this kind of currency. If you bring cash, there will be no problem in changing it. The average course is 1$=35/36,000 lei, or 1Euro=40/41,000 lei.

Banks and exchange offices are the most secure and legal option for changing money. Apparently, there is a number of ATM's in Cluj that accept international bank cards. You should pay attention to the commission fee imposed by the banks or the exchange houses for the money conversion - it may range between 0% to 10%; 0% in some exchange houses, 1% generally in banks. You can also exchange money at street dealers but this is not wise - you may be subject to cheating.

3.2. Should I bring all my money in cash?

Not necessarily, you can also use traveler's checks or your credit card at some banks. Here are some banks:

4. About Cluj

4.1. What is the weather like?

The temperature in summer ranges between 25-35C. However, sometimes it can get a bit chilly in the evenings, especially. You can check the weather at: http://weather.yahoo.com/forecast/ROXX0022_c.html?force_units=1

4.2. Restaurants around the dorm?

Around the hostel there are fast-foods, restaurants (not necessarily expensive), internet cafes, a disco, a bus stop. Here are some suggestions:

5. Grants

5.1. Are grants really only for Central/Eastern Europe?

Yes. See the blurb on the purpose of the school for a brief explanation of why this is. It would be great if we could give out more money, but we're on a shoestring budget and it's already difficult like this...

5.2. What about people from Central/Eastern Europe living abroad?

That's to be seen on a case by case basis. But in general preference is given to those living out of reach of all these nice dollars ;-)

5.3. Is it true that grants are given only to people who stay for the whole school?

Yes!! And we are pretty strict on this (see question 5.5)

5.4. When will I know if I received a grant?

Since the deadline for applications is 15th may, it'll be a little after that: around end May.

5.5. I have a travel grant, how does reimbursement proceed?

You are expected to pay your travel, and then be reimbursed during the school. The reimbursement will be at the end of the school. We will be pretty strict on this, as there has been some abuse in the past.

6. About the classes

6.1. Are all classes in English?

Yes

6.2. Where are the classes held?

t.b.a.

6.3. Am I supposed to attend all the classes?

No way!! This school is supposed to be benefit you, not stuff too much down your throat!! So attend as much as you can digest, and only the parts you are really interested in.

6.4. Can I attend classes from all tracks?

Yes, of course.

6.5. When will the schedule be known?

Scheduling is a long and difficult process. Wish us luck...

7. Misc

7.1. Will there be an internet connection available at the egg?

Probably not. But there are internet cafes close to where the school will be held.

7.2. I need a visa to to go Romania, and an invitation letter to get the visa. How do I get it?

You can download it here. Here is also a fairly informative page about Romanian visas - but you should make your own research about your visa needs.

7.3. Who should I contact if I have more questions?

First make sure that the answer to your question is not on this website!! If it's not, then you have the local organisers have a number of helping persons, distributed by country. Here is who you should contact:


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