When should I arrive in and depart from the host country?
Plan your flight to arrive at the Warsaw International Airport In Siedlce, Poland (airport code WAW), before 12:00 Noon on the first day of your service program. Plan your departure from Warsaw for after 10:45 AM on the final day. For Zakopane teams, please plan your flight to arrive in Krakow, Poland (airport code KRK), before 3:00 PM on the first day of your service program and your departure from Krakow for after 10:00 AM on the final day. Your team leader will be at the airport to meet you from 1:00PM until 4:00 PM, allowing time for the 3:00 PM arrivals to clear customs.This coordinated schedule will assist in assembling the team for transportation to the host community. Global Volunteers official service program commences on the first Saturday of your service program with the evening meal. Any expenses that occur before the evening meal, other than airport pick-up within the window of arrival, are your responsibility.
Will someone meet me at the airport?
Yes, provided you send your flight itinerary to Global Volunteers at least two weeks in advance of the service program arrival date. A Global Volunteers staff person or representative holding a Global Volunteers sign will meet you in the public area outside Customs. You'll travel with your teammates to your lodging.
What should I do if my flight is delayed?
Please notify Global Volunteers as soon as you confirm your new arrival plans so your team leader can arrange your transportation to the host community. If you make last-minute changes to your itinerary, or if you don't inform us of your flight plans, you must arrange your own transportation to the hotel or host community.
How late can I arrive in the host community?
Our orientation sessions are a critical component of the preparation for your assignments. If circumstances beyond your control prevent you from reaching the program on the opening day of the program, we require that you arrive no later than 9:00 AM on the following day so you can join your team for these sessions.
What should I do if I arrive before the scheduled arrival date?
If you choose to spend time in-country before the service program begins, please plan to meet your team at the designated airport within the specified arrival window on the first day of the program in order to be transported to the host community. Do not travel to the host community without the team leader or Global Volunteers representative without prior authorization.
FOOD AND LODGING
What type of lodging is provided?
If you are serving in Siedlce, you'll stay at Reymontowka, a very delightful restored manor house in the hamlet of Chlewiska. It has double-occupancy rooms equipped with full bathrooms - and free access to wireless internet. During the school year, supplemental lodging at Reymontowka might include the quiet annex guest rooms with shared bathrooms away from the main manor house. If you are serving in Zakopane during the summer, you'll stay at a comfortable mountain-style hotel in double-occupancy rooms. Each room is furnished with single beds and includes a full bathroom.
What are the laundry arrangements?
In Siedlce, you can do laundry on specified days each week. In Zakopane, all laundry is done by hand.
What is the electrical power?
The electric current throughout Poland is 220V. You should bring a converter (to 220V) and an adapter (the large round double-pronged version used throughout Europe) for your electrical appliances, unless they are dual voltage.
What is the local cuisine?
The diet in Poland consists of soups and sauces, seasonal fruits and vegetables, potatoes, assorted meats (including wonderful sausage). The largest meal of the day is lunch. Breakfast and supper are lighter meals consisting mostly of bread, cold meats or sausages, and cheese. A rich selection of fruits and home-grown vegetables accompanies the meals. Tea and coffee are plentiful.
Can special diets be accommodated?
Most vegetarians can choose from a broad assortment of fruits, vegetables, soups, salads, and cheese. Vegans are much more difficult to accommodate because much Polish cooking, even that of vegetables, uses animal-based oils. Volunteers with such strict requirements should bring their foods to supplement their diet.
Will potable drinking water be provided?
Bottled water is provided for team members.
HEALTH AND SAFETY
What are the principal health risks?
We strongly recommend you consult your own physician, public health clinic and/or travel clinic for detailed travel health information. At higher elevations, you must take care to avoid altitude sickness indicated by headaches, dizzyness and low energy, which can become life-threatening if not treated. Zakopane is the only host community where altitude could bother some people.
What health precautions should I take?
For general recommendations, consult the following sources:
Centers for Disease Control
Health Canada Online
Canadian Department of Foreign Affairs and International Trade
Travel Health Online
Is the water safe to drink?
We recommend that you bring a water bottle with you, and keep it filled with bottled water that will be provided to you by the team leader.
Is it safe to eat food purchased from street vendors?
We strongly recommend that you do not purchase food from street vendors.
What type of insurance do you recommend?
We strongly recommend medical insurance that covers you while you are outside your home country, and trip cancellation insurance. Your travel agent can refer you to travel insurance providers. Global Volunteers will provide you with emergency medical evacuation insurance.
What is the local currency?
The currency in Poland is the zloty.
What is the current exchange rate?
Where do I exchange money?
At the airports: You can exchange a small amount of money there because you might not have a chance to exchange again for several days. In Warsaw: You'll have access to banks and exchange booths. In host communities: You can exchange currency at banks or the local exchange agents (kantors).
Can I use cash, credit cards or checks?
Credit cards are accepted at SOME stores and restaurants in Siedlce or Zakopane; however, they are more widely used in major tourist centers such as Warsaw and Krakow. Debit cards can be used to get cash 24 hours a day in many towns and cities. There are several ATM machines in Siedlce and Zakopane that can be accessed anytime of the day. Traveler's Checks are not very convenient in Siedlce or Zakopane; you can wait up to 45-minutes to cash traveler checks. Traveler's checks are much more easily cashed at Warsaw and Krakow banks. Cash is definitely the easiest option if you bring clean bills. Banks and kantors often will not exchange torn, worn, or defaced bills.
How much money should I bring with me?
How much you bring depends on your personal spending and shopping habits and whether or not you want to go on an excursion during your free time on the weekend. Because of the variety of options a good rule of thumb is to plan to spend between US$50 and US$400 per person. It's best to research your touring desires before you depart from home and plan accordingly. Your souvenir budget is discretionary.
How can my family contact me while I am in Poland?
You'll receive a contact sheet with phone numbers for reaching you in the host community about a month before your departure. Please provide a copy to everyone who may need to reach you.
Can I make international phone calls?
Public pay phones are available for you to use for international communication, however, there are no phones in the individual rooms. You can buy phone cards locally.
Is internet service available?
Internet cafés are available in Siedlce and Zakopane. Volunteers serving in Siedlce (at Reymontowka) have access to free wireless internet service in some parts of the manor house, so volunteers are welcome to bring laptop computers.