Kraków is truly a student city. With almost 200.000 students, over 780.000 inhabitants and over 10 million tourists every year it creates a dynamic mixture of cultures. If you are new in a place like that you can be especially exposed to some risks, therefore like in any big cities you should remember about some basic safety rules. These are only general guidelines. Additional, more specific information may be found in "looking for help?" section.
IN CASE OF EMERGENCY
Emergency services in Poland:
112 – emergency number
997 – Police
999 – Ambulance service
998 – Fire Brigade
968 – City Guard (Municipal Police)
If you witness a dangerous incident that may pose a risk to life or health, immediately notify:
- the emergency services (ambulance, fire service, police);
- the people in the closest vicinity;
- the building administrator.
In situations that do not require the immediate intervention of emergency services, inform the porter or the supervisor on duty about the situation.
Please, keep in mind that every situation requiring an intervention by the police or emergency services on the premises of Jagiellonian University should be notified the staff of the Department of Security, Safety and Equal Treatment – Safe JU. The contact details can be found on the following subpage: contact.
If any other person studying or working with you commits a crime, harassment, sexual harassment, hate speech, discrimination on any grounds etc. in relation to you, contact the staff of the Department of Security, Safety and Equal Treatment – Safe JU.
If you are a victim of crime:
Go to the nearest police station ASAP!
in the city centre:
35 Szeroka Street (ul. Szeroka 35) – 1st Police Station in Kraków
At the University:
- contact your programme coordinators and ask them for advice or help – it is the best way to get it at once!
- contact International Students Mobility Office and/or ESN UJ Cracow
- contact Safe Student Service
- Avoid isolated, poorly lit areas, especially when walking in the evening or at night.
- Try to find well-lit routes where there are people within sight. Plan your night out in advance. Try to let your roommates or friends know where you are going and what time you expect to be back.
- Most Kraków trams and buses have CCTV coverage, but be careful when using public transport. It is easy to get robbed in a crowd.
- Never leave any documents, money, mobile phones, laptop computers and other valuables in easily accessible and visible places.
- Avoid carrying large amount of cash on you. Especially when you go to a party, take with you only the amount of money you are going to spend that night. Buy your tram/ bus ticket home in advance or do not forget your KKM card/ Student ID card (valid monthly ticket). Check the route home using MPK maps or jakdojade.pl service.
- Be aware of rules regarding smoking and drinking alcohol in certain areas. Breaking these rules and regulations can cost you trouble and may lead to fines.
- Do not take New Psychoactive Substances (sometimes misleadingly known as ‘legal highs’, as they can contain toxic chemicals and drugs. You never know what you take and how it may affect you. Drugs (even so called ‘soft’) are prohibited in Poland. You can be charged with a criminal offence for drug possession. If your student’s mobility has ended and you are coming back home, you may be forced to come back to Poland to stand a trial.
- Keep your family updated on your travel plans and your contact information (phone numbers, e-mail addresses). Leave them contact numbers to people who may know where you are. Prepare a fixed schedule of contacts and stick to it. Do not let your family and friends be worried about you.
- Keep useful numbers in your mobile phone. Set an ICE contact (in case of emergency). Make sure you know how to contact your consulate in Kraków. The Embassies have their headquarters in Warsaw.
- Be aware of the risks of air pollution, especially during the winter semester. Reduce or avoid outdoor activity if the pollution alert is raised in Kraków.
- Trust yourself and avoid situations and people who make you feel uncomfortable. Try to observe your surroundings. If something seems strange or dangerous, follow your instincts and avoid it. Do not be afraid to ask for help or make a scene if you feel threatened. Do not take any unnecessary risk that you would not take at home.
Protect your privacy:
- Whenever you create a new password consider using a combination of numbers, letters (upper and lower cases) and other characters. Do not forget to change your passwords more often. Do not use commonly known information regarding your personal life. Try instead with a passphrase such as #I-l0ve-J@gielloni@nUNI.
- Keep the passwords to yourself. If someone comes into possession of it, your identity can be stolen in order to commit crime such as theft or fraud. They can also embarrass you by uploading your personal data.
- Do not share your password with anyone (best friend, boyfriend, girlfriend, sister, brother, anyone!).
- Check privacy and security settings and update your apps regularly.
- The dispatch of your naked photos to your closest ones may not be the wisest way to express your affection toward them. Sexting can also be dangerous. Such pictures or posts can cause extreme humiliation if they fall into wrong hands.
- Before uploading anything on social media, think it over. Do not share things you would not like your family or friends to see. Remember that your prospective employer may want to check the history of your comments and posts. You may also face a disciplinary action at university if you have posted something discriminatory, offensive, intimidating etc.
- Remember! Everything that goes online stays there forever.
Protecting your property:
Protect your mobile phone
- Use the security lock.
- Keep a record of the unique IMEI number of your device – to find this 15 digit number dial *#06#.
- If your phone is lost or stolen, immediately contact the nearest police station and your service provider.
Protect your bike
- Take a picture of your bike. Keep a note of its serial number and other details in a safe place.
- Keep your bike in a safe place. Remember to lock it to a secure banister or a ground anchor.
- Use secure and multiple locks (D-shape/ U-shape, wheel clamp, cable lock). Lock your bike every time you leave it.
- Fasten your bike through the frame and wheel to a U-shape bike rack or other fixed objects. Lock your bike in a well-lit place on view of people or CCTV cameras. Remember to remove bike accessories. Change your routine – lock your bike in different ways and places.
- Consider to make your bike look ugly enough to discourage criminals but still pretty enough for you!
- Plan your night out in advance including your way back home . Tell your roommates or friends where you are going and what time you expect to be back.
- Make sure your phone is charged and you will be able to make a call when needed.
- Buy your tram/ bus ticket home in advance/ do not forget your KMK card/ leave enough money to pay for your journey back home.
- Go to parties and clubs with friends you can trust and agree to look after each other.
- Watch your drink! If you decide to dance or to make a phone call or to chat with an interesting person or to leave your table ‘only for a moment’ – take your drink with you. Please, do not leave your drink unattended.
- Do not drink to excess so you are not aware what is happening. Remember to hydrate yourself.
- Help any student who appears to be dangerously intoxicated (drunk).
- Keep in a group of people, stay with friends and do not leave alone if you feel drunk. Ask a trusted friend to see you home. Do not accept lifts from strangers and use only official taxi/ cabs.
- Have your keys ready when approaching your accommodation.
The halls of residence:
Perhaps it is the first time you have lived away from home or the first time you have shared a room or a flat. Be aware and take some sensible precautions to stay safe:
- Familiarize yourself with rules and regulations regarding your stay in the residence hall (especially regarding room keys, hosting a guest, overnight stay of a guest, emergency procedures, disciplinary action, your rights and obligations).
- Remember to close the windows and lock the doors when leaving your accommodation. To protect your belongings lock your room whenever you leave even for a moment (e.g. to go to the kitchen or to borrow some sugar from your neighbour).
- Report any suspicious activities or persons to the receptionist or the administrator.
- Do not ignore emergency alarms. In case of the evacuation follow the commands of the rescue team leader. Unplug your electronic equipment, check the taps, close the windows, take your ID and the most important personal belongings and immediately leave the building. If possible, alert fellow students, but do not delay your evacuation. Provide the rescue team leader with any relevant information (injured students/ staff etc.). Doors MUST BE LEFT UNLOCKED in case of emergency/ evacuation! Do not use lifts in case of the fire alarm. Gather at the point indicated by the rescue team leader and remain there until you are told you are allowed to leave.
Failure to comply with the rules, including non-evacuation or late evacuation, may result in disciplinary action.
Remember that smoking is prohibited on the entire university premises, including students’ rooms, except the designated areas. According to Polish law, drinking alcohol (and even possessing it) is prohibited in the halls of residence.
For more information, please visit the subpage: Safety in halls of residence
Around the University Campus:
- Obey general safety rules.
- Familiarize yourself with your rights and obligations (especially those regarding disciplinary actions, health and safety in labs/classrooms etc.).
- Ask your programme coordinator, ISMO Office and/ or staff of the Department of Security, Safety and Equal Treatment for help if you feel threatened or are affected by a crime.
- Tell us what you think: once a year, during summer semester, we carry out a survey on students safety, security and discrimination within the Students’ Satisfaction Barometer. You will receive a link to the survey onto your JU mailbox. Help us to improve!
- It is vital to do deep research when renting a property. Ask someone to accompany you when viewing a flat. Think about the level of security (door locks, CCTV in the building, security where relevant, distance to public transport etc.). Consider to revisit the area in the evening or at night to check your potential route home from the party. Meet all the potential flatmates in advance to avoid any future quarrels.
- Make sure your potential landlords have their tenure of property – ask them to show identity cards.
- If you pay cash for rent or deposit, ask for a receipt. Always sign a rental agreement and ask for a copy. Ask for explanations, if you do not understand any of the provisions of the agreement. Consider legal advice especially if the agreement is not written in your mother tongue.
For more information, please visit the subpage: Safe tenancy
Trouble with law?
There are some misdemeanours (petty crimes, delinquencies) for which you may be fined by a municipal warden or a police officer. Foreigners pay the fine directly to the officer. You can refuse to accept and pay a fine, but then your case goes directly to court.
- Drinking alcohol is prohibited in certain public places (streets, parks, squares, Vistula boulevards, Planty etc.). Failing to obey the prohibition may result in a fine up to 500 PLN (approx. 125 EUR).
- Smoking cigarettes is also prohibited in certain places (like universities, halls of residence, workplaces, public transport - buses, trams, trains, cabs, bus/ tram stops, stations, restaurants, pubs, playgrounds). You are allowed to smoke in some of the above mentioned places if there is a smoking area. You may be fined with up to 500 PLN (approx. 125 EUR) for smoking cigarettes in forbidden places.
- Jaywalking or going through on the red light may cost you 100 PLN (approx. 25 EUR)
- Disturbing peace, violating public order or disturbance during quiet hours with yelling or misbehaving in public (e.g. urinating, vomiting) are also subject to a penalty (500 PLN, which is approx. 125 EUR).
- Drugs (even so called ‘soft’) are prohibited in Poland. You can be charged with a criminal offence for drug possession.
Look at the guidelines prepared by the City of Kraków for more details: http://krakow.pl/english/200980,artykul,the_most_important_regulations.html.
Disciplinary Liability of Students/ PhD students/ PhD candidates:
- According to the Law on Higher Education students shall be liable to disciplinary action before a disciplinary committee or a student disciplinary panel of the self-governing students’ union, hereinafter referred to as “the student disciplinary panel”, for any breach of the regulations in force in a higher education institution and any conduct considered to breach accepted ethical standards. Students may not be punished for the same act by both the student disciplinary panel and a disciplinary committee.
- The examples of the above mentioned misconduct or breach of the regulations: cheating during exams, plagiarism (appropriation of the authorship of a significant portion or other elements of another person’s work), using violence, harassing other students/ staff, stalking, being an perpetrator (committing crimes or misdemeanours), vandalism.