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  1. #1
    kariani is offline Junior Member
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    From Canada to Krakow

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    Any Canadians currently in JAG want to describe what its like to live in Krakow vs. living in Canada? For example, access to different cuisines, as well as vegetarian/vegan food? What is your school schedule like and how did it compare to being in school in Canada? (hours? class structure? exams?) The weather, lifestyle, people...stuff like that! And, what is it from Canada that you miss the most?
    Also, any tips to new coming students as to what we should know/bring/keep in mind that you wished you had known before going to JAG?

    Thanks guys!
    Last edited by kariani; 05-10-2011 at 08:50 PM.

  2. #2
    Dave_MD is offline Member 515 points
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    If you are applying for the 4 year MD program then I can shed some light. I am in M2 and live in the Toronto area.

    A simple google search of Krakow will show you it's one of the largest tourist attractions in Central Europe, thus making it quite an international city. It's also a major student city, with its 2 largest universities having about 70,000+ students combined. You will have access to any cuisine you can imagine. Argentinian, Indian, Thai, Japanese, Chilean, Mexican, vegetarian etc etc. Vegan food might be a bit harder to find in restaurants but you can always go to the grocery store and buy your own stuff too.

    First year of the 4 year MD program is tough, especially first semester. Generally you are in class and have labs starting at 8 or 8:30 and some days (depending on your group) you can go until 6 or 7pm. Not everything is mandatory however, only labs and seminars. Search through previous threads for more on classes. You will figure it out and get the hang of it as you go along. I wouldn't worry about it too much now.

    The weather during the spring and summer into the fall is pretty nice, for example today is sunny and 27 C. Winter can be a bit harsh, but being Canadian I am sure you will have no problems dealing with the cold.

    What do I miss most from Canada? Count Chocula. Seriously.

    Tips? Dont buy any books before coming here, maybe only a stethoscope though you wont really need it until second semester. If you have a lab coat, you can bring it, but you can also buy those here. Bring a large external hard drive (at least 500GB) because at the start of every year there is a massive swap of medical material that happens (USMLE Step review stuff, lecture notes etc). A laptop is a no brainer. Get your cell phone unlocked before coming here. That's it off the top of my head but I can talk for hours about this stuff.

    PM me if you have any more questions.
    Last edited by Dave_MD; 05-19-2011 at 06:09 AM.
    Jagiellonian University Medical College
    MD Class of 2013

  3. #3
    Rotten is offline Junior Member 517 points
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    I'm a recent graduate and I'd like to add one thing that's often overlooked:

    Enroll in a frequent flyer mileage program before coming to Poland. After 4 years, I've earned enough miles to go anywhere in the world for free.

  4. #4
    kariani is offline Junior Member
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    @Dave_MD. Yes I am applying for the 4 year program...just waiting on the news now! Thanks for all the info~ its nice to know a vegetarian like me won't be on the frozen foods diet (yay!). Nice to know there is a certain degree of multiculturalism! A reminder of home, I suppose =). I expect first year to be as much, busy and busy. Is there a lot of mingling between different years? Does your year become really close knit/do you have time to do things as a group? Also, do you get a lot of guidance from the administration?

    Bahaha..Count Chocula.

    @Rotten: HAHA~ Noted.

    Also, I guess a more general question, are you glad you went to a medical school not in NA? Do you find the experience to be special and worthwhile? Where I am from, being diverse is a given and I think going to a medical school in such a cultural hub would be spectacular and life changing. Anyone else think similarly?

  5. #5
    Dave_MD is offline Member 515 points
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    Mingling between your class and upper years definitely happens so unless you have some sort of social disorder then I wouldn't worry about that. The degree to which your class becomes close/mingles with other years obviously depends on the other people in your class as well. The admin does their best to help you in any way they can, though sometimes it can be a bit of a process.

    And I don't think you'll talk to anyone who came to Jag who will say they regret it. Medical school is tough no matter where you go. Being in Europe makes it a different experience then NA though in many ways. But for me personally, I am super glad I came here.
    Jagiellonian University Medical College
    MD Class of 2013

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