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Living In Poland For The Expat


ianaus 8 | 20  
11 Jan 2009 /  #1
Okay, here is the situation... I am originally from England but now live in Australia. I have been seeing a Polish girl for almost a year, fell in love with each other etc etc. She has been back in Poland since October to study. We still talk every day, miss each other, and all of that stuff. I have been thinking about going to live in Poland for a while now. I work from home so I can just do the same thing wherever I am. I am not unfamiliar with emigrating as I have already lived in 5 countries previously due to work etc, so I am ready for the whole culture shock and the feelings of that I already know only too well.

However, what is Poland really like for the expat? Of course I have heard a lot but would like some different opinions as I have never been there.

What are the people like? Friendly?
The, well, bit grim weather?
The language? I have started learning but it seems a bit more difficult compared to my French and Spanish learning days.
And how do you guys feel who live there compared to your previous countries of residence? I am interested to know.

Thank you in advance.
Guest  
11 Jan 2009 /  #2
Nobody will give you a correct answer, its a question of giving it a go and make your own decision. You will get a mix response for and against, this is to be expected.

If you enjoy a current good lifestyle the change may be a initial shock. Top quality food and lifestyle items are expensive and Poles generally have a closed mentality. One thing for sure is the cold weather for some 6 months of the year. If you enjoy the first 6 months you will probally stay there for life.
delphiandomine 87 | 18,458  
12 Jan 2009 /  #3
However, what is Poland really like for the expat?

Difficult if you don't speak the language - you simply cannot rely on someone being able to understand even basic English, and so you have to adapt. But if you have someone Polish - then it's much, much easier.

What are the people like? Friendly?

Yep, the people are generally friendly - unless they work for the State.

The, well, bit grim weather?

It's actually not as bad as the UK - yep, it's colder, but it's much drier too. It hasn't rained here in weeks - and right now, the skies are blue and the sun is shining. It's still absolutely freezing, mind - but it's much more pleasant than the constant rain in the UK.

The language? I have started learning but it seems a bit more difficult compared to my French and Spanish learning days.

It's a doddle to pick up once you're actually here - though I agree, it does seem more difficult - probably because of the weird alphabet.

And how do you guys feel who live there compared to your previous countries of residence? I am interested to know.

I prefer it to the UK, simply because the pace of life is considerably slower. People are more relaxed here - even the local drunks seem more chilled out. And the lack of kids getting drunk in parks is very very notable.
andy b 4 | 156  
12 Jan 2009 /  #4
I think it very much depends on where in Poland you are planning to move to.
My opinion is that Krakow is the most "expat friendly" city in which to live, though I have lived here for 5 years and can't comment on other cities. Certainly, you will find it easier to adjust and make friends in the larger cities, I think if you move somewhere small it will be a very big culture shock
OP ianaus 8 | 20  
12 Jan 2009 /  #5
Hey guys, thank you for the replies. Obviously knowing that feeling of culture shock from previous experiences I want to lessen that as much as possible. I am not really too used to the high live, no. In fact, I always seem to fair much better in the third world places that I have lived in. Not really sure why that is.

I guess the language and the weather are my two main concerns. I have had to learn languages before so I guess I am kinda used to it, but Polish does look very difficult. And of course it is not spoken anywhere else. :S And I am not a big fan of the cold weather. I certainly preferred the climate when I was living in the tropics. But you know, there is more to life than getting all worked up about the weather. And I am told that the Polish weather during the summer months can be pretty nice.

I would be going to a city called Tychy, which is in the south, I believe not too far from Katowice.

Anybody had any experiences of these cities?

Thank you so much yet again....
McCoy 27 | 1,275  
12 Jan 2009 /  #6
And of course it is not spoken anywhere else

its spoken all over the world (;

I would be going to a city called Tychy, which is in the south, I believe not too far from Katowice.

Seanus is from Tychy
isa 10 | 41  
12 Jan 2009 /  #7
But really, what does it all matter when you are madly in love ;-)

I would follow my love to anyplace he lived and learn to love the lifestyle that produced him...

(men from Siberia excluded, of course ;-))
OP ianaus 8 | 20  
12 Jan 2009 /  #8
its spoken all over the world (;

What I mean is Polish is the main language only in Poland. Unlike say, Spanish, that is also the main language of most Central and South American countries. Sorry for the confusion.

But really, what does it all matter when you are madly in love ;-)

Yeah that is true. :) I don't know what is wrong with me sometimes, the older I get, the more cautious I get. I guess it is the old once bitten twice shy thing. :S

And I don't know, I have heard some of them Siberian men are a bit of alright!!! ;)
davidpeake 14 | 451  
12 Jan 2009 /  #9
from another aussie, im freezin my nuts off here, I live in Wroclaw, about 2 hours i think from where you are looking, email me if you have any questions.
ShelleyS 14 | 2,893  
12 Jan 2009 /  #10
from another aussie,

Sweety, he's an ex-pat already in Aus, he's a Pom :) Which is why I find it difficult to believe he has such issues with the weather conditions in Poland - it's cold in the winter, warm in the summer - perfect! As for culture shock...even though I haven't lived there, I have been a few times and there was nothing culturally shocking about it...
Seanus 15 | 19,706  
12 Jan 2009 /  #11
Wrong again, McCoy. You are getting good at this, ;)

I'll let you off as you are a smart dude :)

I am from Aberdeen and live in Gliwice. Gliwice is not too far from Tychy though.
cjjc 29 | 408  
12 Jan 2009 /  #12
I work from home so I can just do the same thing wherever I am.

Lucky guy....what do you do?
McCoy 27 | 1,275  
12 Jan 2009 /  #13
huh, Sorry mate. I knew youre scotish, dont know why I thought youre in Tychy.

Wrong again, McCoy. You are getting good at this, ;)

again? i hardly remember any of my previous mistakes. I'm too cool to be wrong
Seanus 15 | 19,706  
12 Jan 2009 /  #14
Check the cottage cheese thread.

I've been in Tychy before, yes. Too cool, the Real McCoy
OP ianaus 8 | 20  
12 Jan 2009 /  #15
from another aussie, im freezin my nuts off here, I live in Wroclaw, about 2 hours i think from where you are looking, email me if you have any questions.

Ah yeah David, Shelly is right, I am a pommie. So where in Australia are you from David? It has been a while since I have felt cold. But you know, every cloud has a silver lining, and no matter where you live there is always good and bad.

Which is why I find it difficult to believe he has such issues with the weather conditions in Poland - it's cold in the winter, warm in the summer - perfect!

Yeah, well I certainly like the summer weather. It is good to know that the culture shock is not too bad. Like I see pictures of Poland and to be honest, things in the photos do remind me of the UK. I once lived in Costa Rica in Central America, and everything was so different there, it was so so difficult to adapt. But I did manage to do eventually, and now I love the place.

Lucky guy....what do you do?

I work for a US company designing 3D animations and special effects mainly for tv commercials. Most of the work I get to do from my home now, so that is good. A bit lonely, but it makes life a bit easier.
Grzegorz_ 51 | 6,163  
12 Jan 2009 /  #16
Anybody had any experiences of these cities?

It is a part of a large and heavily industrialized urban area. Some love It, some hate It.

en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Upper_Silesian_Metropolitan_Union

Tychy is the best known for a Fiat car factory and beer...
Davey 13 | 388  
12 Jan 2009 /  #17
Tychy is pretty cool, some cool clubs, there's a lot of young people and yes very close to Katowice and also Oświęcim, also not too far from Kraków
TheKruk 3 | 308  
13 Jan 2009 /  #18
I worked in Tychy and lived in Katowice which I think it is an up and comming city and while it will never be Krakow beautiful the best bands stop by often from all over the world. There is great Hockey and awesome piwo. Katowice is central and all of Europe is a train or plane ride away when you need a break. I learned enough Polish to get by and even converse (poorly but semi-understandibly) just by listening and asking questions.

And if your telecommuting job pays decent English wages you will be a King in Tychy.
Hell I will move back there with you. I miss Polska very much. you can e-mail me any questions also I am very familiar with the region I lived there for 4 years.

Love will keep you warm matey. Good luck.
I say go for it.
davidpeake 14 | 451  
13 Jan 2009 /  #19
Sweety, he's an ex-pat already in Aus, he's a Pom :)

well if he is a Pom, then know help from me then lol, :)

Ian i am originally from Melbourne, good luck with your move..
Guest  
14 Jan 2009 /  #20
Im a Nigerian female who lived in Poland in the 80's as the daughter of a diplomat and a university student. That was a different ball game being black during the socialist era.

My experiences have not stopped me from falling in love with the country, the culture, the respect and warm family bond you get especially in the rural areas. As an expat, there are many other people to socialise with. The country has attracted many foreign companies so there are many other expats to meet. You will enjoy the cafes, restaurants in Warsaw, the beautiful picturesque nature of the rural areas, the mountains of the Tatry. It does pay though to bond with the Poles as they are very hospitable. Even the drunk ones.

Day to day life might be a bit boring until you get a decent job. You may end up teaching english like most people. Id advise you to register in a language school in poland for a very intensive course. Thats the easiest way to learn.

I live in UK now but I have a family of polish friends here and I visit Poland every year.
McCoy 27 | 1,275  
14 Jan 2009 /  #21
Nigerian female

Thank you. Glad to read such a words of kindness. You should register on PF and share with us more of your expiriences.
OP ianaus 8 | 20  
15 Jan 2009 /  #22
I live in UK now but I have a family of polish friends here and I visit Poland every year.

Ah yeah, I have kinda thought about going back into teaching. I was a schoolteacher in the UK for a number of years. I do not have a TEFL certificate but I do have a teaching degree. But to be honest, my own knowledge of the English language is not particularly good. Like I can speak, read and write good English, but explain to somebody why you say something like this and not like that etc, well that is another story. I should probably stick with the things I am good at.

Thank you to much to everyone who has been responding.
Harry  
15 Jan 2009 /  #23
Perhaps you should:
a) Not go to Tychy, it's a s--hole at the best of times. Go to one of the larger and nicer cities. Life is a hell of a lot better here! The girlfriend can easily transfer to a different uni. If you're moving to a different country to be with her, the least she can do is move to a city where you'd enjoy life.

b) Do some conversation classes for an EFL school, just to get you out of the flat and meet some people.
c) Not go to Tychy. There are worse places in Poland (much much worse) but there are also places that are far far better.
benszymanski 8 | 465  
15 Jan 2009 /  #24
but explain to somebody why you say something like this and not like that etc

Yes but that's exactly what they teach you on the TEFL course. You can even do online ones if you don't mind starting at the screen for 40 hours...
Harry  
15 Jan 2009 /  #25
You can even do online ones if you don't mind starting at the screen for 40 hours...

You can't do an online one which will be taken seriously by anybody!
benszymanski 8 | 465  
15 Jan 2009 /  #26
Depends. In somewhere like Krakow or Warsaw I guess you are right. Where I live in the countryside where there are no native speakers then they don't care.

However as the OP is already a teacher and just wants to learn about English grammar etc.. then I was just suggesting it as an option.
Harry  
16 Jan 2009 /  #27
Depends. In somewhere like Krakow or Warsaw I guess you are right. Where I live in the countryside where there are no native speakers then they don't care.

What I meant was that the schools which will employ a teacher solely on the strength of an online course will also employ a teacher with no qualifications at all.
stellaf - | 1  
17 Jan 2009 /  #28
Hi,

I am Stella and I am new in Poland and I really likeit.
Seanus 15 | 19,706  
17 Jan 2009 /  #29
Osioł, you had a great point about Tesco. I was angry today because they had 2 cashiers closed which were for up to 10 items. The point is, they only have 2. That was the whole point of me going to Tesco today, to pick up 9 or 10 things, my fiancee doing likewise, and getting out of there. I hate the queing there. I was very close to saying, 'jeszcze bliżej, co?'. I moved away from the til area for a while, leaving my fiancee there. She was apparently harassed when I was away by this old hag.

Those fuckers are over the hill, what have they got to hurry for? What's so important that they can ignore civility?
Misty 5 | 144  
17 Jan 2009 /  #30
The trick to dealing with people who harass you at the checkout queue is to go even slower than they already think you are. Take ages put things down on the counter and packing your bag and then take ages finding the right amount of cash or right card and then packing your change/card away and collecting your bags together. You'll annoy them even more if you drop your card or something and then take your time in picking it up. :)

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