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Moving to Krakow (and other questions)

darkhalls1983 3 | 6
25 Jul 2013 #1
Hi all

I have taken the decision to move to Krakow in September, due to being made redundant. I have visited Krakow 3 times and I love the place. I also have friends there which helps. I'm not entirely sure what I'm going to do for work just yet (15 years office work experience of various kinds, but no degrees) however with my redundancy money and other savings I can afford to rent (preferably) 6 months or at a stretch 12, so I'll have plenty of time to work something out (and if I don't I can just go home again!).

If anyone has any job suggestions please let me know. I know there are some big companies like Google and IBM around - though whether I'd ever have a chance I don't know.

My main question is, how difficult is it to sell a RHD car? I'm thinking of driving from the UK to Krakow but don't want to keep the car. I realise you can't register RHD cars in Poland. It's a Volvo 850 2.4L Automatic and done 118,000 miles (anyone want it?). What can I do with it?

Secondly, and I realise this has been asked and answered many many times over (I've searched), but sometimes it's good to ask again for a definitive answer - what sort of price to rent a flat would be considered livable plus utilities, assuming I'm living no more more than 20mins walking distance from Old Town? I'm thinking no more than 1,500zl for everything. I realise this is dependent on wage, but assume I'll earn an average wage (if I get a job!).

I've been doing a lot of thinking and research about this, and now is the right time even if it doesn't work out. It's not like I've got a job here anymore and I'm still young so why not eh?!

I think that's all I have to ask right now. Thanks
Monitor 14 | 1,820
26 Jul 2013 #2
1500 is good price for studio close to the center.

Steering wheel can be moved to left in most of cases. Here they write that it costs from 2000 to 7000pln depending on car:

Learn what would be the price for your model and do it after coming here. (when it has economic sense).

You don't write anything about your qualifications so how can we suggest you anything. If you know other European language except of English, then you have chance to get a job in some outsourcing company. Perhaps they have jobs for native English speakers too. Knowledge of IT or Finance is usually appreciated there.
smurf 39 | 1,981
26 Jul 2013 #3
My main question is, how difficult is it to sell a RHD car?

You've got two choice, do as Monitor suggests and get the steering and all that's connected with it changed, or sell it in the UK.

Mate, do not try to sell it here, you can go to Polish eBay ( and you can find tons of UK reg cars for sale for half the price of a left-hand drive. You won't get anything near the current value of the car. My suggestion would be to sell it at home and buy a car when you move here. Car are reasonable prices and insurance is dirt cheap compared to UK, here you insure the car and not the person. MY insurance on a 1.8 Focus was only 1300zl, that would be around 270 UK pounds-ish.

Moving your things can still be done pretty cheaply, there are many white-van man types who drive to Poland weekly who would transport your belongings, check out sites like gumtree etc to try and find some. When I moved from Ireland I hired a guy and it cost less than 100 euros for a van full of stuff.

Without Polish you will find it extremely difficult to find a job. Krakow, especially, is awash with people who fell in love with the city and moved there. You could teach for a while, until you find your feet and build up a list of contacts. But you will need at the very least a CELTA qualification. But I guess you could finance this by selling your car?

Don't want to p!ss on your chips man, Poland isn't an easy place to live without the lingo or the qualifications to get a job.

The likes of Google/IMB are relocating here as we speak, but they will be hiring Polish people who already have 2, if not 3 languages and Master's degrees in IT/Finance etc.

If I was you, I'd do the CELTA, teach for a couple of years, build up tons of contacts, try learn some of the lingo and then get back into business thru the people you've met on the way.
DominicB - | 2,709
26 Jul 2013 #5
I have taken the decision to move to Krakow in September

Bad decision. The job market is much more competititve in Poland than in the UK, and without an advanced degree, special qualifications, high-level experience in high-level positions, and knowledge of the local language, you are at a very big disadvantage. Your experience as an office worker won't count for much. Office workers are dime a dozen here. Chances are remote to the extreme that you will find anything in Kraków besides working in a call center, which pays very poorly. So poorly, that having your own apartment in the center of the city is going to be challenging or downright impossible.

Teaching is probably not an option open to you if you want to live in Kraków. It is the most competitive market for English teachers in the country, and the market is way oversaturated with job-seekers who are better qualified than you, even if you were to take the CELTA. Taking the CELTA would probably be just a waste of money in this case.

Your best bet is to stay in the UK and take advantage of the oportunities available to you to beef up your qualifications. Your chances of finding gainful employment for a decent wage are much, much higher there than in Poland, and you will not be able to expand your qualifications in Poland. However bad your chances of finding work in the UK may seem to you, they are absolutely rosy when compared to your chances of making a go of it in Poland. There's a darn good reason why so many Poles emigrate to find work in the UK, and so few Brits emigrate to Poland.

If you want, you could keep looking for a job in Kraków while still in the UK. Like I said, the chances are remote, but you might hit on something. If you're going to be making less than 3500 more more net AFTER TAXES, you are unlikely to break even. Problem is, for wages that high, there are few, if any, jobs in Kraków for non-Polish speakers who do not have a degree.

Whatever you do, don't come to Poland on the hope of finding a decent-paying job once you get here. That just ain't gonna happen. At best, it would be a very expensive vacation at a time in your life when you can little afford to spend time and money goofing off. See a career counselor and examine your options at home.
Cardno85 31 | 976
29 Jul 2013 #6
Lots of good stuff

I agree with your post almost completely and I would add that, for finding casual work, September is probably the worst time as there are plenty of Students in town then that will work part time for beer money and speak the language fluently.

There are opportunities here but I would certainly say that if you come over thinking you will get a job after you arrive you will probably end up squandering a large amount of money getting there and, depending your situation when you arrive, that could be hard to get back up from. Look for jobs on-line while you are still in the UK and talk to friends that are already there if they know of openings.

Speaking of friends, how well do you know these friends living in Kraków? If you are set on coming in September no matter what, you need to be sure that they will be a good support network and would be able to help in situations that are a struggle without fluent knowledge of Polish. If you met a few ex-pats in the Irish Pub and thought they had good chat then you might want to assess what you will need to be doing when you arrive and what help, if any, they could be.
local_fela 17 | 172
29 Jul 2013 #7
Kraków besides working in a call center, which pays very poorly.

Are you stupid? OR retarded or something? Why you are misleading this guy? I know thousands of people who makes a decent living from these call centres. Looks like u dont like foreigners, right?

Its true he might not enjoy the same lifestyle as in Britain, but Krakow ain't that expensive either.
phtoa 9 | 236
29 Jul 2013 #8
It's true you can make an actual very good living from working in one of these call centers, but you will need to know a specific language.

Considering that the OP probably only knows English, then I would have to agree with Dominic that the salary will be sh*t and you can not afford an apartment in the center with the salary he would be getting, even a room in the center could be a stretch.
smurf 39 | 1,981
29 Jul 2013 #9
but you will need to know a specific language

Exactly, the people who earn the big bucks speak 'odd' languages like Finnish/Swedish/Norwegian/Hungarian won't earn a packet speaking only English that's for sure.
DominicB - | 2,709
29 Jul 2013 #10
It's true you can make an actual very good living from working in one of these call centers, but you will need to know a specific language.

Or you will need either specialist expertise in some field like computer science, or proven sales experience to make decent money. For an unqualified, uneducated former office worker who only speaks English, a job that pays decent wages is pretty much out of the question.
delphiandomine 88 | 18,331
29 Jul 2013 #11
Why you are misleading this guy?

A decent living by what standard?

Sitting in at nights eating rosol from packets isn't exactly a great living...
Cardno85 31 | 976
29 Jul 2013 #12
Sitting in at nights eating rosol from packets isn't exactly a great living...

True dat! You can put up with it for only so long. Don't get me wrong I always have instant noodles and soups in a cupboard just in case I get up in the middle of the night hungry and there's nothing in the fridge. But I remember when that was all I could really afford and it wasn't good at all!
jon357 72 | 21,312
29 Jul 2013 #13
A decent living by what standard?

Spot on. Some people's idea of a decent living involves constantly skimping.
28 Oct 2013 #14

im moving too! from canada but of polish decent - i speak the language. shoot me an email and tell me how things are going.
Cardno85 31 | 976
28 Oct 2013 #15
How did this get on? Did the OP move in September? Did they get a job? How are they finding it if so?

The thing about being 20 mins from the market square struck me as a big beginner mistake. It's the most expensive area in Kraków to go out. You can get a much better place to stay outside the centre and the public transport is fine and cheap (84PLN for all lines at the moment). You won't be looking at more than 20 mins on the tram/bus to the centre. If you decide to go for the centre then you will be paying over the odds for a flat which may not be that great. Plus if you are a bit out of the town in a block, you can take advantage of fast cable internet and council heating!
OP darkhalls1983 3 | 6
11 Apr 2014 #16
I never actually did move in the end. The redundancy was withdrawn and my job is still secure. I realise it's taken me a long while to reply to this thread - I have literally just come back from Krakow (again) visiting friends.

I fully understand how difficult it would be for me to really live there, earn a decent wage and live comfortably. Even my Polish friends struggle. Its not something I've given up on but at this time I know I need to gain the qualifications and languages that Krakow might actually have a use for.

Maybe I just need to win the lottery ;-)

On a separate note, just out of curiosity - what are the investment prospects like there, for businesses and property?
Dont gag me yo 7 | 156
11 Apr 2014 #17
I dont know about UK but in states the property returns are like 4 to 6% depending on how strong the tenant is as for Poland one can still find 10% return on properties but strong and stable tenant yields are maximum 7.5% which I think is way better.
DominicB - | 2,709
12 Apr 2014 #18
On a separate note, just out of curiosity - what are the investment prospects like there, for businesses and property?

For people who really know exactly what they are doing, are creative, innovative and flexible, have taken the time to research the local market, and have a well-developed network of good contacts and advisers, plenty of solid experience, investment capital, a concrete plan, realistic expectations and enough savings to tide the bad weather until the investment finally pays off, Poland is a great place to invest in. Successful investment takes lots of hard work and sacrifice, constantly over many years. If you snooze, you could lose everything pretty darn quick.

Property is always a high-risk investment, especially for people who don't know what they're doing. That goes double for investing in property in foreign countries. For dilettantes, the lottery is a safer investment.

It would almost certainly be wiser to invest the money in yourself. Think about getting a USEFUL degree or valuable certification that opens higher paid job opportunities to you, and allows you to advance in a career that you enjoy.
OP darkhalls1983 3 | 6
12 Apr 2014 #19
What does Krakow truly need though? Getting some kind of degree to realize a dream of living there is fine, but what is truly required? No point getting a degree in something nobody needs...
DominicB - | 2,709
12 Apr 2014 #20
Limiting your future opportunities to Kraków is a fundamental mistake. Cast your net wider. There are plenty of places on this earth where a well-educated, well-qualified person can make a real difference and find fulfillment.

As for choice of majors, select something that is in real demand and opens up doors of opportunity in very many places. Generally, graduates STEM fields (Science, advanced Technology, Engineering and applied Math) are in demand, as are graduates with certifications in many (but not all) health-related fields. Generally, the more applied math a major requires, the more it is in demand in the real world. The factor that best correlates with job opportunities, job security, future earnings potential, future savings potential is the level of applied math you have. The majors that have the most bang for the buck for now and in the foreseeable future are petroleum engineering, geological engineering, biomedical engineering, financial engineering, financial mathematics, actuarial mathematics and econometrics. Graduates in these fields have high paid jobs waiting for them, and their potential for lifetime earnings is very high.

Majors that are just about useless are generally those that require little applied math, and are popular for that very reason. Because they are popular, there is a glut of graduates in many of these majors. For example, the number of psychology graduates each year exceeds the total number of people working in mental health. Graduates with these majors often work outside of the field they studies, and often are poorly compensated for their work, at least in comparison to STEM majors.

These are the majors to avoid: psychology, sociology, history, anthropology, languages and literature, culture, ethnic studies, gender studies and just about anything that includes "studies" in the name of the major, tourism and recreation, hospitality, law, criminal justice, political science, international relations, journalism, education (except math and science), agriculture, nursing (mostly), business, administration, marketing, art, music, cinema, and performing arts. Some of these may make OK second majors for STEM students, but overall, there is a huge glut of graduates in these fields.

You get the idea: those majors that are considered easy and appeal to the math-shy. Unless they are very talented and go to a top school, graduates in these majors have considerably more difficulty finding well-paid and satisfying jobs than their STEM peers. Even if they're talented, they have to compete with hoards of other grads in these fields for the jobs available.

Also, most STEM majors are not very useful without a graduate degree, especially biology and chemistry. Gone are the days when an undergraduate degree alone was the ticket to success. However, there are some good STEM jobs that can be done without a graduate degree. Medical technologist is one that springs to mind, and nurse anesthetist.

Having said that, never forget that the main reason you go to university is not to acquire knowledge. You can do that just as easily at home on your own. You're there to network, to build a wide net of connections among the faculty, your fellow students and potential future employers, and to become an insider in the field you chose. Never, ever forget that.

Oh, and I forgot to list one of the most useless majors of all: economics. Economics grads are dime a dozen, and about as useful as cockroaches. Unless, of course, they are top students from top schools.
cms 9 | 1,255
13 Apr 2014 #21
Hey I wish someone had told me that when I was 18 - would have spared myself 4 years of boring lectures and avoided a life of penury.
OP darkhalls1983 3 | 6
15 Apr 2014 #22
never forget that the main reason you go to university is not to acquire knowledge.

At 30 years old, I don't think I could ever commit myself back into full time education again. I've been too long working now (left school at 16).

I understand completely what you're saying about everything else though and I fully agree with not focusing solely on just Krakow (or indeed any one place). You're never too old to learn, of course, but I guess I need something I can study towards while still working...
24 Aug 2014 #23
Merged: Moving to Krakow


I'm in process of changing my base to Krakow. Can you please recommend best neighbourhoods to live in Krakow? I'll prefer to live near stare miasto. Any suggestions?



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