Wroclaw05 FAQ

1. About Travel

1.1. When is the best time to arrive and to leave?
Arrival: Sunday 24 July. Departure: Saturday 6 August. The dorm will open its doors to us on Saturday 23 July and Sunday 24 July. There will be somebody there to welcome you at times that will be publicized here. If you absolutely must arrive outside of the regular times, please send us an email to arrange for your arrival. IMPORTANT! the dorm is closed from 2 a.m. to 3 a.m. everyday, because the receptionist is on her round in the building.

1.2. If I'm going to arrive late at night, when, where and whom should I contact?
Please, let us know in advance the exact time of your arrival so that we could make sure the dorms will be open, or even somebody could meet you at the railway station. Please contact bash-ka(at)tlen.pl

1.3. Could someone stay in the dorm until the 7th August if he/she cannot leave on the 6th August?
There should be no problem with leaving a day later (only in exceptional situations). It would be better if you could tell us about this in advance so that we could estimate the number of such cases. Those of you who need to stay until 7th August please contact: bash-ka(at)tlen.pl

1.4. Do I need a visa?
Those of you who live in countries outside EU might need a visa. If you are not sure check Polish visa requirements at the website of the Polish Ministry of Foreign Affairs http://www.msz.gov.pl/start.php?page=1270000001.
An invitation form is now available online for download. All you have to do is fill in your name and other data. Most embassies accept this as a valid invitation. If this turns out not to be sufficient, please contact Ewa at ewar AT go2.pl - but only when you are certain that the online form does not work.

1.5. What is the nearest airport?
There is an airport in Wrocław (Wrocław Strachowice). It is actually located 10 km west of the city centre and is served by LOT (flights from Warsaw, Frankfurt, and Munich), Lufthansa (Munich), SAS (Copenhagen), and Ryanair (London Stansted).
Detailed information concerning the airport in Wrocław is available at: http://www.airport.wroclaw.pl/en/index.php

You can also fly to Warsaw. On LOT flights the final Warsaw-Wrocław leg is often for free. If you fly to Warsaw with airlines other than LOT it is a lot cheaper to take a train to Wrocław. Information on how to get from the airport to the central railway station in Warsaw is at the airport website http://www.lotnisko-chopina.pl/katalog/dojazd/en/dojazd.php

The airport in Katowice is served by Wizzair, a low-cost airline. It takes 50 minutes to get from the airport to the railway station in Katowice by bus. Then you can reach Wrocław in 2,5-3 hours by train.

You could also try Budapest (at least 11 hours by train), Prague (close to 6 hours by train), and Berlin (again 6 hours by train). International trains tend to increase the cost substantially, though.

1.6. How do I get from the airport to the city center?
There is a bus (No. 406) that goes every 20-40 minutes to the Central Railway Station from where you can get a tram to the dorm as described under 1.6. The last 406 bus departs at 22.28. Note that this is an express bus ('przyspieszony'), which means that you'll need a ticket that costs 2,80 PLN and another ticket for your luggage. Here are the bus timetables from the airport to the railway station and from the railway station to the airport. 'W dni robocze' means on weekdays; 'w dni wolne' - at weekends. The evening buses marked with 'z' in the timetable run only to the bus depot, so don't take them if you want to get to the station.

In addition there is a shuttle bus between the airport and the Central Railway Station but it runs only once a day. Departure times: Central Railway Station (Sucha street) - 12.30 p.m., Galeria Dominikańska - 12.35 p.m., Kazimierza Wielkiego street (near Swidnicka street) - 12.45 p.m. Departure from Wrocław Airport - 3.20 p.m.

If you are wimpy and prefer to take a taxi, call one by phone. Do not take one of the taxis waiting at the taxi stands at the airport or the train station, since you run the great risk of being ripped off. Instead call for example ACI Taxi: (+48 71) 9667 or Domino Taxi (+48 71) 9455. Phone numbers of other taxi companies and more information concerning the Wrocław airport website indicated above. A taxi from the airport should cost 40-45 Polish zlotys (plus 50% at night).

1.7. How do I get from Warsaw to Wrocław?
There are a lot of train connections between Warsaw and Wrocław; you may check them at the website of the Polish train company PKP:http://rozklad.pkp.pl/bin/query.exe/en. The prices are also listed there. A ticket from Warsaw to Wrocław costs approximately 50 PLN (12 EURO) for through train, 80 PLN (19 EURO) for express train and 100 PLN (24 EURO) for IC. The Polish names are respectively: 'pospieszny' (marked with P), 'ekspres' (EX) and 'intercity' (IC). Prices for the last two include obligatory reservation. All prices are one way, adult ticket, 2nd class. Note that your destination should be Wrocław Główny (the Central Station). Do not get off at Wrocław Nadodrze or anywhere else!

1.8. How do I get from the railway station to the dorm?
Take a tram! Generally you need to get a ticket for the bus/tram before you get on. You can buy tickets from any kiosk marked "Ruch" or "Prasa" - look for a sign saying "Bilety MPK". Most stops have automatic ticket machines, but you may need to have exact change to use them. One ticket for one bus is 2 zl (≈0.50 EUR) adult fare. You will need an additional bus/tram ticket for your luggage, which costs 1 zl. You have to punch the ticket in a box on the bus/tram into which you stick the ticket till it clicks/or you punch it yourself in 'older boxes'. Whenever you change tram or bus, you have to get a new ticket. More information on the transport system is given below in 1.10.

If the trams don't run any more you will have to fork over for a taxi to the dorm. Ask to be taken to Akademik Ołówek - roughly pronounced as 'owoovek'. The taxi costs about 25 PLN (6 EURO). Night and holiday fare is plus 50%.
Road repair works will begin soon somewhere between the railway station and the dorm, and they may involve changes to the tram route. We are still waiting for more info, so please be patient. ;) Actually, anybody who is registered for the school can edit this document, so if you know a precise description, you can enter it by clicking on the edit FAQ link in the left column of the school's web page.

A) From the Railway station.

Ok., so here are the details concerning getting to the dorms from the railway station. Use the main exit to leave the station. IMPORTANT! Tram routes changed! Take trams number 17 or 76. Both stop outside the station, a little bit to the left. The stop is called Dworzec Glowny PKP (which means the Main Railway Station). At the stop there is a list of trams on which you can get on and the relevant timetables. You may also check the timetables here (number 17) and here (number 76). They are easy to understand, all you should know is that dni robocze means weekdays, while dni wolne means weekends and holidays. Please mind, however, that the timetables are due to change in about two weeks when the school holidays begin, so it's no use checking them too early.

Anyway, whichever tram you choose, you should get off at the stop called Bujwida. On the tram 17 it's the 7th stop from the railway station, WITHOUT counting the stop at which you get on. On the tram 76 it is the 9th stop. From there, you can't get lost: the student hostel is one of the twin high buildings you will easily notice once you get off the tram. It is called "Ołówek" (see below for details).

As it was said, there are other trams that stop about 500 metres from the dorms but because of that distance we do not recommend taking them. The good news is, however, that late at night (after the trams stop running) you can take one of two buses: 240 or 250, which go once in about 45 mins. If you take 250, the stop to get off is called Akademik; if you take 240, the stop to get off is called Grunwaldzka. In both cases you should get off at the eighth stop. Mind you, this solution is recommended only for those who like night adventures; the most reasonable thing to do at night is take a taxi.

We do not expect any new changes to take place because now (the beginning of July) the road works season has already started, but if anything surprising happens, we will inform you about it as soon as possible.
A more comprehensive guide to the Wrocław public transport system can be found below in 1.10.


B) From the Bus station

Just cross the street to the Railway Station and follow the instructions above.

Click here for a map of the area near the Railway Station. Bus stops (with names) are marked with A; tram stops are marked with T. You can navigate the map using the buttons above it. It works better in Netscape or Opera than in Internet Explorer.

1.9. How do I get from the coach station DW PKS, SUCHA Street to the dorm?
Simply go to the railway station just on the opposite side of the street and from there follow the above instructions.

1.10. City transport in Wroclaw
To get from the dorms to the classes you will have to use the public transport. Here is its brief description - we hope you'll find it useful.

Buses.

Buses are marked with three-digit numbers or with letters. With ordinary ticket you can take any of the buses except for those whose numbers begin with 5 or 6 or which are marked with letters. The 5 / 6 lines are suburban lines and are operated by separate companies; we don't think anyone will need to use them. The ones that are marked with letters are through buses, slightly more expensive. Most likely you won't use them either, but their prices will be given below – just in case. There are also night buses, marked with three-digit numbers beginning with 2; they have special prices, also described below. In general, to get from the dorms to the classes you won't need to take a bus (but trams will be really helpful).

Trams.

Trams are the best means of transport in the city centre, because they avoid most of the traffic jams. Probably you will use them all the time. They are marked with one- or two-digit numbers and, luckily, don't have any types whatsoever.

Tickets.

Generally, you may buy single tickets or tickets that are valid for the whole day or a couple of days. Obviously, we recommend the latter, but here are the prices of all of them. The tickets are valid in trams and buses, but some types of buses (see above) require more expensive tickets.

Single ticket (regular tram and bus lines) - 2 PLN
Single ticket (through and night buses) - 2,80 PLN

Ticket valid for 1 day (regular tram and bus lines; through and night buses) - 9 PLN

Ticket valid for 5 days (regular tram and bus lines; night buses) - 23 PLN
Ticket valid for 5 days (regular tram and bus lines; night buses; through buses ) - 27 PLN

Ticket valid for 10 days (regular tram and bus lines; night buses) - 40 PLN
Ticket valid for 10 days (regular tram and bus lines; night buses; through buses ) - 48 PLN

Ticket valid for 30 days (regular tram and bus lines; night buses) - 90 PLN
Ticket valid for 30 days (regular tram and bus lines; night buses; through buses ) - 114 PLN

Caution. If you're taking luggage with you, you should buy a ticket for 1 PLN for each piece of your luggage whose sum of dimensions exceeds 120 cm. You have to buy another ticket any time you change to another tram or bus.

Getting a ticket.

Single tickets are available in kiosks and ticket machines, as described above. They can also be bought on the bus/tram from the driver but only at weekends and after 8 p.m. on weekdays; the price is +0,40 PLN for each ticket you buy.
The tickets valid for longer periods are available in a few places around the city. You can get them straight at the railway station, just to the left of the main exit, on the way to the tram stop. The key phrase is "Bilety okresowe". A table with prices should be displayed outside the kiosk, which will be helpful, because there is little chance the selling person speaks English.

Discounts.

Good news is that if you are a student, you are entitled to 50% discount. It applies to all tickets, except for those that cost 1 PLN (for your luggage) and except for the special extra fare for selling a ticket on the bus/tram (in that case, you pay a reduced price plus 0,40 PLN). Bad news is that to buy a cheaper ticket you must have either a Polish student ID (including Ph.D. students) or one of international student IDs: International Student Identity Card or International Youth Travel Card - GO25. Don't ask me why Euro<26 is not valid :( Anyway, you do not have to show the ID on buying the ticket, you just need to have it when going by bus or tram.

2. About the hostel

2.1. What kind of place are we staying in?
A student hostel of the Wroclaw university. There are the so-called 'modules' with two double rooms (or 2 + 3) with a kitchen and a bathroom. Communal facilities include a communal TV room, two study rooms, and launderette.
Bed sheets, towels, and soap are provided. The rooms have been recently refurbished.

2.2. Where is the hostel?
The short answer is here and here. It's just one dorm, but two maps one more general one of the center and one of the dorm vicinity. The name of the dorm is Ołówek (it means "a pencil" and is roughly pronounced as 'owoovek'). The address is: pl. Grunwaldzki 30. It's 2,5 km from the classrooms - about 30 minutes of brisk walk or 15 min by tram.
The route from the dorms to the classrooms is described in 5.2.
Click here for a detailed map of the area near the dorm. Bus stops (with names) are marked with A; tram stops are marked with T. You can navigate the map using the buttons above it. It works better in Netscape or Opera than in Internet Explorer.

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 responsibility. (The hostel is a bare-bone no-comfort student-dorm, and does not provide things like meals.)
There are kitchens in the dorms so you could do your own cooking in principle. There are fridges and electric kettles in the rooms, as well as glasses and plastic (disposable) teaspoons and plates. You may want to supply your own pots and cutlery if you want to cook in the dormitory, though.

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 roommates?
Yes, if you organize with them beforehand - though we encourage that you live with complete strangers and make new friends that way. You can send your preferences to Mroowa: lodgings (at) mroowa.prv.pl

2.7. Is there enough room for all of us?
Yes, of course.

2.8. empty question

3. About the registration

3.1. What happens if I submit my registration form several times?
Only the last one will be counted.
(If you submit them with the different names, then they will all be counted and you will receive the shame-of-the-egg punishment for giving additional work to organisers.)

3.2. If I register, can I later decide to withdraw my registration?
Yes, of course!! Just send a msg to egg-withdraw@auf.net and you will be automatically removed from the list of participants. We do request though that you tell us before June 1st.

3.3. What is this stuff about a mailing list?
When you register, you are automatically subscribed to a mailing lists for annoucements about the school and for general discussion. (Notice that you must remain on that mailing list as long as you are registered with the school, we need a way to reach you!!)

3.4. How does one behave on a mailing list? What emails should I send there?
nil

4. Grants

4.1. 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...

4.2. 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 ;-)

4.3. 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 the following question).

4.4. 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.

5. About the classes

5.1. Are all classes in English?
Yes.

5.2. Where are the classes held?
The classes are held at the Institute of English, in Kuźnicza Street no. 22. It's in the old town, close to the Main Square. Here is its website http://www.ifa.uni.wroc.pl/index.php?lang=en
Here is a map of how to get from the dorms to the classrooms. It describes both the way on foot and by tram. There is also a rather large photographic essay illustrating this same map here. Finally, there is a .pdf version of the entire description from the dorms to classes (in black and white) as a .pdf file (2MB): http://egg.auf.net/docs/maps/DORMSTOCLASSES.PDF. (My own machine doesn't like to download this file and usually stops somewhere in the middle, so maybe you should save it to your hard before looking at it. In any case, maybe it's just my computer... -- Michal says: "Your machine is weird, Klaus.") Here is the most updated version of how to get from the dorms to school by tram. Please mind that the tram stop changed. Now you have to start from the stop called BUJWIDA . After leaving the dorm turn left immediately and cross the street but do not cross the tram line. The stop is there. Take the tram number 17. After crossing the river (Odra) get off at the second stop called GALERIA DOMINIKAŃSKA. Cross the street in the direction of the big shopping center (Galeria Dominikańska) and go straight till you see the church. Go past the church and keep walking straight along the street with the tram line (ul. Piaskowa). When you see a big square on your left (PLAC NOWY TARG) cross the street and cross the square diagonally in the direction of ul. NOŻOWNICZA. Keep walking along this street till you see on your left the Institute of English Philology on the corner of ul. Kuźnicza and ul. Nożownicza. At night (starting approximately at 11 p.m.) there is a bus connection number 241 between Bujwida (the dorms) and Galeria Dominikańska (the center). It goes every hour.

Click here for a detailed map of the area near the Institute of English. Bus stops (with names) are marked with A; tram stops are marked with T. You can navigate the map using the buttons above it. It works better in Netscape or Opera than in Internet Explorer.

5.3. Where will the school be opened?
We will have a brief meeting before the beginning of classes
on Monday, July 25 2005 from 9:30-10:00
in the Aula Leopoldina in the main University building, which is very close to the Institute of English, where all the classes are held.
There is a map which has the spot of the Aula marked on it.

In words: As you leave the institute, turn left and you'll immediately reach the corner of Nożownicza and Kuźnicza Streets. Turn right and keep walking along Kuźnicza Street until you reach a modern building of the Faculty of Law on your left and the statue of a fencer ('Szermierz') on your right. You are in front of the main University building now. Turn left to the main entrance and go upstairs to the first floor, where you'll find the Aula behind this door.
At the meeting we will try to give you some necessary information about the school, ourselves, the two weeks ahead,... as an extra bonus, the Aula Leopoldina is a very beautiful baroque hall well worth seeing from the inside.

5.4. 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.

5.5. Can I attend classes from all three tracks?
Yes, of course.

5.6. When will the schedule be known?
Scheduling is a long and difficult process, but it does come to an end. Here is the schedule: http://egg.auf.net/docs/Schedule05.html.

6. About Wroclaw

6.1. What is Wroclaw like?
You can find all essential information about Wrocław at www.um.wroc.pl or check out The Multimedia Presentation of Wrocław at http://www.wroclaw.pl/ms/english/, where you can also find a map of the city.

The "Wroclaw In Your Pocket" guide contains a lot of practical information about the city: http://www.inyourpocket.com/poland/wroclaw/en/

Other sites in English: http://www.wroclaw.com/
http://www.uni.wroc.pl/JEDNOSTKI/DWZZ-E1.HTM
http://www.kogeneracja.com.pl/kamera
There are a lot of tips on what to see/do in Wrocław at: http://www.virtualtourist.com/travel/Europe/Poland/Wojewodztwo_Dolnoslaskie/Wroclaw-466578/TravelGuide-Wroclaw.html You'll find photos of the railway station (dworzec), the main square (rynek) and other landmarks at http://www.if.pwr.wroc.pl/VOSDF/Wroc.html

6.2. What is the weather like?
The temperature in summer ranges between 18-23 C during the day . However, sometimes it can rain or get a bit chilly. You can check the weather at http://uk.weather.com/weather/local/PLXX0029?. This is a 10-day forecast for Wrocław.
There is also a usually accurate Polish site at http://pogoda.interia.pl/miasta?id=11998.
And if you are into long term statistics, here is your weather site: http://www.weather.com/outlook/travel/vacationplanner/vacationclimatology/monthly/PLXX0029

6.3. Restaurants around the dorm?
There are a couple of fast food bars (and pubs) around the dorm and plenty of restaurants, bars, pubs around the school. More info soon...

7. Money issues

7.1. What kind of money should I bring? Can I change it easily?
The official currency of Poland is złoty (PLN). 1 EURO is about 4,2 PLN and 1 USD is about 3,4 PLN. You can be sure to exchange them, as well as other European currencies, at banks or exchange offices (called 'kantor'). There are lots of them everywhere, especially in the city centre. They are safe and reliable, no commission is charged. At the airport and at the railway station the exchange rate my be slightly worse but the differences shouldn't be significant (there is a 24-hour 'kantor' at a small filling station just in front of the railway station). If you are not sure if you can exchange your currency on the spot, please e-mail us and we will check it for you.
A currency converter can be found here.

7.2. Should I bring all my money in cash?
Not necessarily, you can also use traveler's checks (at some banks) or your credit card. In most of the shops, especially bigger ones, and at some restaurants you can pay with credit or debit cards. ATMs are frequent in the city center, as well as banks. Generally, as far as exchanging money, using credit cards etc. is concerned, Poland doesn’t differ from other EU countries.

7.3. How much do bread, beer, and pizza cost?

Typical prices are as follows:

ˇ        a loaf of bread (0,5 kg) ? 2 PLN (0,40 EURO)

ˇ        cheese (1 kg) ? 20 PLN (4,8 EURO)

ˇ        ham (1 kg) ? 25 PLN (6 EURO)

ˇ        pizza starts at 10 PLN (2,4 EURO) but you?re more likely to pay 20 PLN (4,8 EURO) or more

ˇ        meal at a student canteen can be bought for about 10 PLN (2,40 EURO) or slightly more, at a regular restaurant prices start at about 20 PLN (4,8 EURO)

ˇ        beer at a pub costs 5 PLN (1,20 EURO) and shouldn?t be more than 8 PLN (1,9 EURO) ? unless you?re at a really posh place

ˇ        coca-cola, juice, tea, etc. at pubs and restaurants: from 3 PLN (0,70 EURO) to about 6 PLN (1,40 EURO)    

Of course, you may only pay in PLN :)

8. Misc

8.1. Will there be an internet connection available?
Yes, there will be some, limited internet access, roughly 2 hours per day at the Department of Polish, very close to the place where the classes are held. The address is 15 Nankiera Square. More info about it on site. There are also plenty of cheap internet cafes available in the area.
Moreover, internet will be provided in the dorms, provided you provide your own computer.

8.2. Where can I find maps of the areas near the dorm, the school, and the railway station?
Here are links to the maps mentioned above, put together for convenience. You can navigate the first three maps using the buttons above them (for example, change the scale, print, move into different directions and see other parts of the city, etc.). Bus stops (with names) are marked with A; tram stops are marked with T.
The Railway Station
The dorm
The school
A detailed map of the centre
A map showing the way to the dorm
Another map showing the way from the dorm to the classes
The same map with pictures

8.3. 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 two options:
- either you feel your question is of general interest, in which case you should send an email to the entire mailing list (where every registered person will receive it), at egg.05 at auf.net

- or you feel it is a private issue that would not interest all the participants to the school, in which case you should contact the organisers directly, at summerschool at auf.net