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Any tips for a first-time Expat?

KLove 1 | 8  
5 Dec 2009 /  #1
Im moving to Gliwice (from America) in June '10 with the wife... I know its gonna be hard and Ill be depressed/lonely and all that... but Im looking forward to it. Any tips on work/life/sanity/bureaucracy hurdles ?? Id love to hear some stories too.
Seanus 15 | 19,704  
5 Dec 2009 /  #2
What part of America are you from? I knew a guy from NYC here and he loved it. Others came from big cities and they enjoyed their stay. There are some Americans here who would be happy to show you around. The foreign community is quite decent in Silesia.

One American here is having problems with bureaucracy but that's only because the way of doing things in America is different on that point. He has been able to get things done generally.

It is possible to get lonely in Gliwice. This is where I live and it can get that way but it comes alive in summer. The market square is bustling with activity and the city seems much better.

Any specific questions? I'd be happy to answer them. I'm Scottish btw. I've lived here for just over 5 years.
frd 7 | 1,401  
5 Dec 2009 /  #3
I've been living here my whole life and Silesia is generally a depressing place, gray, heavy layer of smog every now and than.. naah just kidding, it has been like that long time ago but now when most of these "after communism" heavy factories had been closed down it's all brighter and greener. Although, the place was branded as one of the most polluted place on our planet (by some Japanese scientist looong time ago) I think it's a nice place to live.. fairly developed. Good luck with Polish bureaucracy :)
OP KLove 1 | 8  
5 Dec 2009 /  #4
Im from New Jersey.. the wife is from Gliwice.. Ive been there maybe 5 or 6 times and I think I can get along well there... I like the city.. and we'll be living a couple blocks from Rynek so I think Ill like the location. Do you have any comments on work there? I have an TEFL cert from courses that I took... is it tough finding work nearby?
Seanus 15 | 19,704  
5 Dec 2009 /  #5
New Jersey, nice, Bon Jovi territory :) Ask your wife about działalność gospodarcza. It's your own registered firm. The sooner you set that up, the better. It'll mean that you can contract directly with businesses here.

I live a couple of blocks from the rynek too. Please PM me where and I'll let you know about that place.

It's all about timing in getting a job here. There are many schools but you need to take a direct approach with them. Even then, it doesn't always work.
Cardno85 31 | 976  
5 Dec 2009 /  #6
Just remember, male toilets are triangles and female ones are cirlces ;)
OP KLove 1 | 8  
5 Dec 2009 /  #8
yeah I made that mistake before :)
Cardno85 31 | 976  
5 Dec 2009 /  #9
Seriously though, there is not so much to say. When I first moved here, the big things were making sure you get yourself about and meet people (that helps with loneliness, as well as finding jobs and help with services). If you have a job sorted then get your paperwork sorted as soon as possible, if not then don't be disheartened if you don't find something really quickly. Also it is important that you get yourself sorted with your surroundings: doctors, shops for specialist things, etc.

It can be a nightmare trying to find certain things when you really need them. The mild panic set about by being very ill, or without certain essentials can really get you down and affect your ability to find stuff. As I found when I had an acute asthma attack one night and tried to find a doctor the next day, running about trying to find the right place that will also take an EHIC while you can hardly breathe is surprisingly difficult.

But other than that, embrace it all and enjoy yourself!
delphiandomine 88 | 18,322  
5 Dec 2009 /  #10
Any tips on work/life/sanity/bureaucracy hurdles ??

Work - be flexible, but at the same time, be strict and don't allow them to take any liberties whatsoever. Go with your gut instinct - if something isn't right, then it isn't right.

Life - try and get independent friends from your wife, it'll help considerably with your sanity if you have someone to go to the pub with, so to speak.

Bureaucracy - it's not so bad, just so long as you give them what they expect. And make sure that your paperwork is entirely in order - do not attempt to get round things, you'll just end up finding that it causes trouble for you in the long run.

In relation to work - it could be worthwhile for you to contact us at - I'm developing something right now that could make life considerably easier for you in terms of paperwork :)
FUZZYWICKETS 8 | 1,883  
9 Dec 2009 /  #11
Delphiandomine wrote:

Bureaucracy - it's not so bad, just so long as you give them what they expect.

and then wrote on another thread advertising his "services":

This forum alone contains enough evidence of bureaucratic nightmares made worse by not having someone with you that knows how the system works.

and then wrote:

Sure, you can do all this yourself - but the point is that even for a Polish person, it's a minefield in navigating, particularly in dealing with the Foreigner's offices which can often have very funny ideas, even with EU citizens. I had enough nonsense when doing it for myself!

and then wrote:

life is much more difficult for non-EU citizens in Poland........but as always in Poland, the devil is in the detail.

and then:

Of course, you can do it all yourself - but we take the pain away :)

and then:

Many people also get themselves in a terrible mess and would rather pay someone for the peace of mind rather than risk getting it wrong.


I've dealt with one person who managed to get into a dreadful mess concerning residency, benefits and health insurance


There are also countless other cases where people have been screwed over by their employers in Poland - those people are hardly likely to receive assistance from their employers, are they?

i could go on and on, but here's a post from dagenhamdave regarding Delphiandomine:

Who are you, what are your qualifications and credentials, and what references do you have?

well Mr. dagenham, I asked the same questions a couple weeks ago, with no answers. glad to see others are catching on.

This poster, Delphiandomine is an absolute disease on this forum. I'm new to Polish Forums, but I couldn't help but notice how this poster routinely fires back comment after comment on various threads (1200 posts in a little over a year's time) doing nothing but saying how fantastic Poland is, displaying a sort of blind patriotism, reeeally waving the white and red like I have never seen before even from a NATIVE Pole, and then I started wondering where the motivation was coming from, because his posts about how everything is unicorns and rainbows in Poland is just uncanny. This guy defends things in Poland where absolutely anybody that has spent 6 months or more in Poland would tell you otherwise.........and THEN turns around and says that without his help, you're doomed. Saying the bureaucracy in Poland is "not so bad" is laughable, but what's even worse is to critisize it TO THE BONE and then turn around and offer your services. There are countless instances like this on Polish Forums with Delphiandomine.

When I read between the lines, this is what I see from Delphiandomine:

"YES!, it's great here! Come to Poland, anyone and everyone! And then when you get here and realize how completely disastrous the system is along with other "mine fields" you may encounter, here's my web address to my company, we'll get you sorted out for a great price!"

It amazes me that this clown has not been booted from Polish Forums yet.

So KLove, consider this to be some "tips for a first-time Expat."

And as for you Delphiandomine, you display immaturity and a lack of professionalism. Whether you mean well or not or your "business" is legit or not, your actions along with methods on this forum are all wrong. For those of you, like KLove looking to take the plunge and head out to Poland, well, come and see for yourself. Just don't be surprised if the fluffy bunnies and velvet ropes Delphiandomine promised you are not here. BUT, if you run into any know who to contact!!!!!!
delphiandomine 88 | 18,322  
10 Dec 2009 /  #12
My God, the life of an unemployed expat must be unbearable...
10 Dec 2009 /  #13
Would depend on how much the wife made really. I know an expat here whose wife has a very good job indeed (pots of cash) and he doesn't appear do much at all apart from look after their kid after school, play rugby and drink the odd pint. He always seems extremely happy.

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