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A polite request for your help re: your personal experiences in the UK

Kirsten46 1 | 2  
30 Jul 2010 /  #1
Hi, my name is Kirsten and I am a Masters student at the University of Leicester. I work for the Student Welfare Service with four international officers organising induction and welcome programmes for international students both EU and non-EU. From my work I have developed an interest in migration and have decided to write my thesis on this topic.

My thesis is on the impact of Polish migration on the UK. I am particularly interested in the experiences of Polish migrants who have come to the UK after 2004.

Would you be able to help me by posting your experiences-
-> Did you feel welcome when you arrived in the UK?
-> Do you still feel welcome now?
->How has the recession affected you?

I would appreciate any personal experiences you have of living in the UK- good and bad.

I hope you can help!


Varsovian 91 | 634  
30 Jul 2010 /  #2
Do you know someone called Kumaran?
Serious question.
OP Kirsten46 1 | 2  
30 Jul 2010 /  #3
Yes I know Kumaran, he's been working at the Students' Union for years! Do you know him then?

Is anyone on here able to help me?

I really would love to hear from people with first hand accounts of experience of living in the UK!
SzwedwPolsce 11 | 1593  
30 Jul 2010 /  #4
There arent so many Poles working in the UK on this forum.
Skrymcz - | 30  
3 Aug 2010 /  #5
If you're writing on the impact of Polish immigration on the UK it seems that your questions are way off topic as far as your thesis is concerned?
OP Kirsten46 1 | 2  
7 Aug 2010 /  #6
Well, part of my thesis is focussed on the community impact of Polish migration, not just from UK nationals, but from the Polish point of view as well. This is why I wanted to know if you felt welcome when you arrived in the UK, since the UK is known for its tolerant nature towards different cultures, but there are always cases of exclusion and racist attacks. I have asked whether the recession has affected you because academic research has identified Polish migration to be cyclical and very responsive to the economic situation of a country. Hence, because the UK has been plunged into recession I wanted to know whether this had impacted on your decisions to stay and work here, whether it had any effect on your employment situation and whether it affected your disposable income and purchasing power.

I hope this has answered your thoughts behind my questions.
Misia - | 31  
31 Mar 2011 /  #7
-> Did you feel welcome when you arrived in the UK?

I think anyone's experiences widely depend on their own character and attitude towards other people, and where they travel to. I try to keep a friendly attitude with everyone, occasionally I'll speak my mind, but I try to do it in a peaceful manner that would allow me to communicate my thoughts in a way that doesn't intentionally aggravate others. I try to be respectful towards everyone, and hope for the same in return.

So here is my personal account of living in London.

I moved to London, just before the whole "Polish people boom" happened, for school and work. It way before any high-street shop owners thought of selling Eastern-Europeans products.

I lived in North London for a few years, and while I was very welcome in the area I lived in, I felt that the people who were genuinely nice and welcoming were not of English descent (from London). (Sorry)

I generally don't have a problem making friends, but it was very difficult to befriend a "true Londoner". I met many very nice people form other parts of England, Europe, Middle East, Africa, Scotland and Ireland. Maybe I was just unlucky.

One big minus for guys from London.

Many English guys were quite disrespectful towards me if/when they knew that I was Polish. It was an assumption, I guess, that if a girl was from an eastern country she would be super glad to talk to them. Most of the Polish girls I was friends with had the same experience. Whenever I indicated that I am not interested I'd be told off for being a "Yankee". Yay for going from one bias to another. As for my Polish friends, they'd be told something rude as well when they didn't show any intrest.

I often like to experiment in my social reactions when I notice a pattern in people's behaviour, so I used a few different ways of declining a drink or a chat with someone. It really didn't matter if I was super pleasant, polite, or unpleasant and direct. The general response was, "How dare you decline my offer, you should feel lucky that an English guy wants to talk to you!". *Again, I'm not saying that's how all the men in England are, but it was disappointing*

I kind of gave up on "Londoners" in that area of the city after this guy followed me and a friend of mine to a bus stop, and demanded we tell him where we live. He pretty much indicated that we are obligated to answer him because he was superior to us as an English person. No comments.

As for girls, well, it was tricky... few were super nice but most were not really up for making friends with a foreigner.

This does not apply to everyone of course, I met many nice people, girls and guys, from Manchester, Newcastle, and Cornwall so overall I had a good experience.

When I travelled around England I noticed that people from very small towns were a little more cautious when warming up to 'strangers' - but it wasn't difficult to turn them around with a few pleasant words and a smile.

-> Do you still feel welcome now?

- Sure, though I don't think I'd count on the attitude of certain groups to change.

->How has the recession affected you?

- I left England before we fully went into recession in Europe and North America. Other than paying more for gas and groceries currently, no.

I never moved to England just to work and make money. Architecture and history were of much greater interest to me at the time. :-P

I would appreciate any personal experiences you have of living in the UK- good and bad.

I hope this is of any use. It's also quite late here, so I hope whatever I wrote makes sense. *crosses fingers* I'll check tomorrow morning. :-P
Wroclaw Boy  
31 Mar 2011 /  #8
Interesting post

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