Christina from Tanzania
by Emilia Galas,

International Business BA student

Hello Everyone! It’s time for a new story of an international student at the Univeristy of Opole! Today our guest is Christina from Tanzania!

Hello Christina! Please tell us something about yourself 🙂

Hello everyone! I’m Christina Massawe from Tanzania, I’m 26 years old and I study a 3 year student of International Business. I like travelling, hiking, shopping, music, drawing and sleeping 🙂 

Could you tell me why you decided to choose Poland as your studies destination? What was your first feeling when you arrived to Opole? What did you hear about this city before and what you were excited about?

I chose Poland because it is the most affordable developed country in Europe for many international students. I was very excited when I arrived to Opole and curious to get know the city. I heard that Opole is very small and I felt even more excited about it because I wished to experience life in a small city with smaller population.

What do you like the most about this place?

I like Opole city because is less populated and has a beautiful environment.

What surprised you the most when you came here?

The most surprising thing when I arrived here was the language barrier. Most of people here can not communicate in English. Therefore, it is difficult to communicate with most of Polish friends unless I use Google translate.

Why do you think it’s a good idea to study in a different country? What are the advantages and disadvantages of this decision?

It’s a good idea to study in a different country because I got to learn about new cultures and perspectives, seeing the world and I also experienced a new style of teaching. Advantages; I met new friends, learnt a new language, skills and culture. I got to experience new and different country. Last but not least, I think it increases chances of creating new career opportunities. Disadvantages; Culture and language barrier, living expenses can be a bit expensive, weather especially in winter season, illness, missing events back home, assault (not so common in Poland).

What do you recommend to do in Opole? How can you spend your free time there?  

First I would recommend to try the most delicious pancakes at Grabówka restaurant and during your free time you can relax on an island by the Odra river or you can visit museum Moszna castle, Opole Zoo or walk around the city center.

Your favourite places in Opole and close to Opole. What are the best places to visit? Did you visit any other places in Poland?

My favourite places to visit all the time is Zakopane. I have been there several times and I can’t get enough of it. But I also visited other places too like Krupówki, Wielka Krokiew, Gubałówka, Kasprowy Wierch, Sromowce Wyżne (spływ Dunajcem), Sromowce Niżne, Mosznej Castle, Opole Zoo and Kudowa Zdrój.

How about the transport? Is it hard to find buses / trains / flights to other places?

Within the city it’s easier to travel by bus, but when you want to go out of the city it’s good to take a train.

What do you think about Polish people? What are they like?

Poles are family oriented, most of them are very friendly, hard-working, very traditional and religious, kind, but most of all Poles take holidays very seriously!

Is it difficult to communicate with Polish people in English? Do they know English or foreigners should know at least a little bit of Polish?

Yes, it’s difficult to communicate with Polish people in English but it also depends on which group of people; young Polish people can speak English while most of old and average age Polish people can not speak English and therefore in order to communicate with them you will need to have a basic knowledge of Polish language or use the help of Google translate.

I have also one funny story regarding the language barrier. During my first days in Poland I visited an office, unfortunately nobody could speak English with me but in the end I got help with everything I needed. The funny part was I had to agree on something with the lady who assisted me..she said to me ‘no’ (Polish means Yes) and I told her ‘No’ (english) and try to explain myself more. So she told me again ‘No tak’ and i told her ‘no’…For me it was a bit confusing and I came to realize later that she meant ‘YES’.

Is Poland an expensive country?

The living cost in Poland is not expensive compared to other good Europen countries.

Are there any disadvantages of choosing Opole as your studies destination?

Yes, when it comes to opportunities, like job opportunities. For international students it is quite a challenge because Opole is a small city compared to other big cities like Krakow, Warsaw, Gdańsk where you can easily find jobs.

Are classes at the University hard? Is it hard to pass exams?

Nothing is easy! But it’s possible to pass if you attend lectures, do presentations and tasks.

Your favourite Polish food! What can you recommend to non-Polish people?

Kotlet mielony, kotlet schabowy, pierogi ruskie, placki ziemniaczane, jabłecznik and Polish pączki.

Would you recommend to others to come here?

Yes, I would recommend others to visit Poland, to come and see the nature, beauty of Poland and other amazing interesting things they can find here.

Thank you so much Christina for sharing your experience with us! 🙂

You are welcome!