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Is there a healthy expats scene in Poland? (drinks, food, golf, etc.)


delphiandomine 85 | 18,270
24 Oct 2012 #61
If you want the real expat scene try Osiedle Konstancja. It is a gated community next to the American school.

Horror among horrors! I can just imagine the kind of people that reside there...

Only going by what I've seen in a few visits to Warsaw, but the thought of living somewhere without trams/metro/railway sounds like a nightmare. I got stuck in several horrific jams there :/
Barney 14 | 1,472
24 Oct 2012 #62
Certainly at least middle and more usually upper income.

The distinction is usually understood to be a class based thing.
sobieski 107 | 2,128
24 Oct 2012 #63
Yes. That's where I live now, in Żoliborz Oficerskie. It's a lovely area but property is very much at a premium here

I live in Bielany, not so far from you, and I think it is also a good bet. Very green, all shops nearby and I think easier to park your car (unless in daytime when half of Białołęka treats it as P+R. And by metro you are in 15 minutes in the city centre.

Houses are very hard to buy here, very few on the market and they fetch unbelievable prices.
jon357 63 | 15,214
24 Oct 2012 #64
Houses are very hard to buy here, very few on the market and they fetch unbelievable prices.

That seems to be a Warsaw thing - houses a relatively rare partly because so many people have a flat he and a house elsewhere. But there are plenty of nice family-sized flats, some with gardens (though flats with gardens are also at a premium).

The distinction is usually understood to be a class based thing

My experience of expat communities in the Middle East (Qatar, Saudi, Kuwait, Libya) is that it's all about money. All other distinctions are secondary.
sobieski 107 | 2,128
24 Oct 2012 #65
The parents of a friend of my step-daughter live out there and they like it a lot. However, as you get further north, the place becomes less desirable.

Kiełpin is nice, the same goes for Dziekanów Lesny
poland_
24 Oct 2012 #66
Houses are very hard to buy here, very few on the market and they fetch unbelievable prices.

But there are plenty of nice family-sized flats, some with gardens (though flats with gardens are also at a premium).

The main problem with Warsaw is the sellers, not what is available on the market. It is all about Polish mentality of greed, the sellers are unable to understand the difference between unmodernized house and apartment. Just because an apartment sells for 15,000 PLN per m2 the house owner believes their place to be worth the same price per m2 irrespective of standard and quality. There are plenty of houses available in all areas of Warsaw, its the price which is wrong as soon as the seller drops the price to acceptable value it is sold
pip 10 | 1,661
24 Oct 2012 #67
pip: If you want the real expat scene try Osiedle Konstancja. It is a gated community next to the American school.

Horror among horrors! I can just imagine the kind of people that reside there...

The expats are truly nice- the Poles are nouveau riche and are obnoxious. (but not all)

For some people living in close to proximity to others in a similar situation can be comforting.

I wouldn't live in Konstancja- but my daughters have friends that do---and some things are really great- there is a sense of community, it is easy to get to know your neighbours and there are kids everywhere. Even something silly as halloween- my kids go trick or treating there, which may seem silly, but we do this in Canada and halloween is semi celebrated here- except the trick or treating, so while we are living here at least they can have the experience. There is also a preschool there- which is super convenient.
delphiandomine 85 | 18,270
24 Oct 2012 #68
It is all about Polish mentality of greed, the sellers are unable to understand the difference between unmodernized house and apartment. Just because an apartment sells for 15,000 PLN per m2 the house owner believes their place to be worth the same price per m2 irrespective of standard and quality.

I'd go further and say that 90% of people selling property in Poland are greedy idiots.

I remember seeing one place when I was looking to buy - it was the very definition of "greedy idiot seller" - she had obviously been left the flat and had no clue about the value of it, and she wanted around a 20% premium on the going rate of flats in the area despite not actually being equipped at all beyond the very basics. Then there are the idiots who want to sell a property - but then it turns out they only own 1/3rd of it and there are other family members who want as much cash as possible.
pip 10 | 1,661
24 Oct 2012 #69
absolutely. I know this from experience. I lived in on osiedle that was wood frame construction and lost a lot of value after the major boom. there were about 8 houses for sale that were for sale for about 5 years. We put ours on the market at a fair price, after doing major renos, and we sold it in 3 months.

the residential market in Poland is a clusterfcuk. This includes agents and sellers. it is a joke.
Harry
24 Oct 2012 #70
the thought of living somewhere without trams/metro/railway sounds like a nightmare. I got stuck in several horrific jams there :/

It is starting to get very slightly better thanks to bus lanes being introduced and sometimes even enforced. But I very certainly wouldn't want to live anywhere that there isn't tram or / and (preferably) metro. Warsaw just won the title of most congested city in Europe (for the third year in a row) and thing are now even worse thanks to the metro-line fucck-ups.

My experience of expat communities in the Middle East (Qatar, Saudi, Kuwait, Libya) is that it's all about money. All other distinctions are secondary.

Yep, same here. I know many very solidly working class expats here.
sobieski 107 | 2,128
24 Oct 2012 #71
The main problem with Warsaw is the sellers, not what is available on the market.

Well here in Bielany - I do not know about other parts of Warsaw - it is specific. Bielany is a pre-war district. Part of it houses (all of them pre-war) existing here mostly have big gardens and are situated on smaller streets - some of them on the last gas-lighted streets in Warsaw (and together with its cobblestones quite romantic). But houses tend to stay "within the family". That means, not sold to outsiders. If for example babcia dies and her house "is free" it will stay in her family. Rarely you see houses sold here on the real estate market. I know of one which is for sale already for a year (close to Metro Stare Bielany) but that is an exception. Maybe for its astronomical price (1,4 million PLN)

Rest is divided in apartments in kamienice from 50's (like ours), and since the construction of the metro, new apartment blocks near Metro Młociny.
poland_
24 Oct 2012 #72
some of them on the last gas-lighted streets in Warsaw (and together with its cobblestones quite romantic).

I had an apartment on ul Grębałowska opposite the gas light street which we sold in 2008, stary bielany is no different to the rest of Warsaw. I would not go as hard as Delph, although clusterfcuk is good.

They are a complete joke.
Grzegorz_ 51 | 6,163
24 Oct 2012 #73
The 'PF expats' thing is a term primarily used by you.

So you say I invented it ? Or maybe you called yourself like that because it is yes yes as classy ?
pip 10 | 1,661
24 Oct 2012 #74
can we not start this again.

an expat is here temporarily for work. an immigrant is meant to be permanent.....but not 100%...because, well, many Poles do immigrate- but they often come back. An expat can become an immigrant once they have citizenship- this is the key.

for example. I am an expat right now. I have a permanent residency card....not so permanent because it expires in 2 years. Once it expires I will apply for citizenship. When this happens I will be considered an immigrant. But at this moment I am still an expat.
Polanglik 11 | 303
24 Oct 2012 #75
Warsaw just won the title of most congested city in Europe (for the third year in a row)

Warsaw may be one of the most congested cities , but according to another survey it is the 19th most prosperous city :o)

I have also been looking at buying a house somewhere in the Wilanow area, within easy access to British School as that's where we'd be sending our kids if our planned move to Warsaw goes ahead next summer.

Saw one house ...... detached which was priced at a ridiculous 4.5 million złoty; okay it was 680 m2 but for a house that size I'd have expected a larger plot.

When I was viewing this house I looked over at the houses in the neighbourhood and recognised Lawendowe Ogrody a development I had viewed on my previous visit .... garage linked semi-detached properties of 344m2 on plots of 600-810m2 - these properties are available at 1.9million to 2.2million złoty, but I got the impression 20-30% could be knocked off that asking price.

On my last visit I also saw a few other semi-detached properties in Zawady area, 1.5million złoty , and 1.95 million złoty (2.3million in a finished state) but again I'm sure a good discount could be negotiated.

We'll probably buy ourselves an apartment first, and then look around for a house once we have more time to explore the area and get a good feel of the place; I agree that buying in close proximity to metro stations, tram/bus stops is essential. I like the Powisle area, and I know Nowe Powisle (Menolly) has only a few apartments left, but prices there are in the region of 16,000 -18,000 zloty/m2. Closeby are the Solec 24 Apartments but I have to check the prices on my next visit ( around 12,000 złoty/m2 I think), but both these developments will be close to a planned metro station, and a good base to start looking, as well as a good investment for the future.

At the moment we're trying to sell a property in London, and once that is sold I'll be able to spend some more time in Warsaw looking for property.

It's interesting to hear the different views and opinions of living in Poland, and if I have any interesting comments/observations then I'll join in :o)
pip 10 | 1,661
24 Oct 2012 #76
On my last visit I also saw a few other semi-detached properties in Zawady area, 1.5million złoty , and 1.95 million złoty (2.3million in a finished state) but again I'm sure a good discount could be negotiated.

I like Zawady- but only to rent- not to buy. It is very close to the levy's of the Wisla- this would be an area that could get flooded. The other thing is the mosquitoes. Loads of them. That said, Zawady is quite nice and has loads of really nice houses.

I also like Powsin- both sides of it. Sadyba could be an option for you- either side is nice, ul. Okrezna has the pre ww1 cobble stone road and many nice houses.

we own a house in this part of Warsaw, if you want more specific information you can send me a private message. I have a few friends with children at the British school as well as the other private schools- so I can also relay the info I have picked up from them as well.
Grzegorz_ 51 | 6,163
24 Oct 2012 #77
many Poles do immigrate- but they often come back.

So they are expats then ?
pip 10 | 1,661
24 Oct 2012 #78
what would you call the millions that have gone to the U.K. for work? Expats? I don't think so. They work at below minimum wage. An expat is usually hired from their home country to work for a period of time, with no intent on immigrating to the host country.

why oh why are we doing this again?
poland_
25 Oct 2012 #79
easy access to British School as that's where we'd be sending our kids if our planned move to Warsaw goes ahead next summer.

. I like the Powisle area,

I have experience of the BS as one one my children is currently there. Depending on the age of your children and your chosen educational plan, I would not restrict yourself only to the BS, which most of the community consider to be a language school or the best IB program in Warsaw. If you are only in Warsaw for a few years and you are English speaking, I would agree Nord Anglia is the best option, Although if you are deciding on a permanent residency in Poland, there are equally as good options, especially if the fees are out of your own pocket.
The Shadow 3 | 86
25 Oct 2012 #80
Hello all. I'm a British guy looking to move to Warsaw in January Is there a healthy expat scene? Drinks, food, golf etc.? Many thanks.

You can rely on co-workers and/or pubs for making friends. You will certainly find lots of Polish friends with whom to practice your English. You have been given directions down a few of these avenues already. They were not roads I wanted to travel . I found my social circle within a group centred on playing role games. This is a close-knit group of about 50 men and women from a variety of backgrounds ranging from student to executive management - more heavily weighted towards working professionals in their mid-thirties. Many have kids (one of whom, the student, plays with us). There is a LinkedIn group for those with a LinkedIn profile to business network (gamification is a new buzzword connected to our games) and there is a Facebook group promoting the more social aspects of our group: facebook.com/#!/groups/114651881879023/

It is fun, relaxed and let's you see beyond the persona projected by the stranger you meet.

We play a game in each other's homes that challenges its players to overcome stressful situations as a team using nothing more than language. The group is comprised of expats from around the world and there are several games going simultaneously. Their thematic settings follow literary genres like Lovecraftian investigative horror, Heinleinian science fiction, Tolkien medieval fantasy, or hard-boiled detective in a Mickey Spillane vein. Players play as major characters in these spontaneous collaborative stories and have to deal with a story unfolding around them. Listening to people express how they deal with situations is a fair representation of how they think as well as their system of values. It is the best short cut to actually getting to know someone I have found as a foreigner. I am an introvert and rather discriminating with people I let into my life so this works well for me.

Using the group as a springboard of people who have interacted together lets ad hoc get-togethers happen. People holiday together, go to watch films, visit museums, throw parties or whatever. There is also a group for the spouses of the 50 game players - usually they go shopping or lend each other books or do informal charity work. There is a great variety within a large group as you can imagine. As always, there are people in a group you will like more than others. The purpose of role-playing is to find those people faster than by hanging out with co-workers or visiting Patrick's Pub.

My game is full at the moment but the group continues to grow and there may be other players who will start new games. You'll just have to throw your hat into the ring if you're interested. I can certainly say there is a very healthy expat community here.


  • Why Just Hang Out When You Can Get To Know People?
poland_
25 Oct 2012 #81
easy access to British School as that's where we'd be sending our kids if our planned move to Warsaw goes ahead next summer.

. I like the Powisle area,

Limanowskiego is easy access in the mornings from Powisle, Dąbrowskiego will not be. if you are buying in Powisle I suggest you look at apartments which are in the catchment area for Batory school this will be the best investment for that area.
delphiandomine 85 | 18,270
25 Oct 2012 #82
I have experience of the BS as one one my children is currently there.

Out of interest, what's your opinion of the place?

One issue I've heard about these international schools in Poland in general is that there are many non-native children attending - is this the same with the one there? The other thing that I dislike (on a professional level) is the use of Polish teachers in these schools - I see the British School has only native teachers, but many others have Polish teachers doing the bulk of the work in many cases. I'm also not convinced it's good to have a mix of American and British teachers (like the British School has).

(and - a question - do you know if all the male primary school teachers wear suits to work?)
Polanglik 11 | 303
25 Oct 2012 #83
Limanowskiego is easy access in the mornings from Powisle

That's where the kids will be going ..... they're really excited about moving to Poland.

Depending on the age of your children and your chosen educational plan, I would not restrict yourself only to the BS, which most of the community consider to be a language school or the best IB program in Warsaw. If you are only in Warsaw for a few years and you are English speaking, I would agree Nord Anglia is the best option,

We have two children ... oldest is 10yrs and the youngest just turned 9yrs a few days ago; they understand Polish but don't speak it very well, but that should improve in Poland. We also looked at the American School, but as both kids have been in the British education system we think it best for them to continue down that route - the facilities at the American School looked great, probably better than at Brit School.

My wife is a native Pole, whilst I was born in England but speak both English and Polish fluently.

Apartment will be temporary, until we buy a house around Wilanow area - I know there's no metro in Wilanow but it's a nice area which we know quite well as we had friends who lived there for a number of years.
poland_
25 Oct 2012 #84
what would you call the millions that have gone to the U.K. for work? Expats? I don't think so

They work at below minimum wage.

This the reason they are ' economic migrants'

The vast majority of western europeans in Poland are former expats or wealthy immigrants who sold up in their home country and moved to Poland for a better/easier life.There are also transient ' English teachers' here who view Poland as a stop off point.

Although according to recent news there are a new wave of economic migrant about to hit Poland from the PIGS.Recent sightings from our man in Poznan 'Delph' say they have already landed and are under cutting the locals, the wonders of free movement in the E.U.
delphiandomine 85 | 18,270
25 Oct 2012 #85
Recent sightings from our man in Poznan 'Delph' say they have already landed and are under cutting the locals, the wonders of free movement in the E.U.

What's actually interesting is the increasing numbers from South America - I've run into one particular idiot a few days ago who thinks that he can stay here as long as he wants and teach classes without paying any taxes. They don't have freedom of movement, yet Poland appears to be totally incapable of actually catching them.

The vast majority of western europeans in Poland are former expats or wealthy immigrants who sold up in their home country and moved to Poland for a better/easier life.There are also transient ' English teachers' here who view Poland as a stop off point.

And you've got some like me, who came for some adventure originally and ended up living a better life in the process. Only problem now is transferring qualifications and experience, the EU isn't a single market in some respects :/ Still, can't complain at what Poland gave me the chance to do.
poland_
25 Oct 2012 #86
Out of interest, what's your opinion of the place?

There is limited options in Warsaw as previously pointed out by Polanglik it is either BS or AS. My opinion is as I previously mentioned BS is a very good language school and the best IB program in Poland. As for the culture it is truly international and the teachers do a very good job under the circumstances.

One issue I've heard about these international schools in Poland in general is that there are many non-native children attending - is this the same with the one there?

The mix is predominantly Polish as you would expect although many nations are represented, I have the breakdown somewhere if I can find it I will send it to you.

I'm also not convinced it's good to have a mix of American and British teachers (like the British School has).

It is maybe the Scottish and Welsh dialect which is a little difficult to understand at this one..

(and - a question - do you know if all the male primary school teachers wear suits to work?)

The dress code of the teachers is never an issue, it is the dress code of some of the students.
delphiandomine 85 | 18,270
25 Oct 2012 #87
As for the culture it is truly international and the teachers do a very good job under the circumstances.

I'd love to see how it works in practice one day - I really should write to them and ask if I can spend a day there sometime. I must admit - I am not fond at all of sending native English children to such a school, simply because of the language issues - small children might easily have issues as a result. Older children, not really - but I would have serious concerns about the 'playground' influence on younger children.

The mix is predominantly Polish as you would expect although many nations are represented, I have the breakdown somewhere if I can find it I will send it to you.

That's surprising - I would've thought that it would have been mainly foreigners with a handful of Poles in there. Yes, would be appreciated if you find it :)

It is maybe the Scottish and Welsh dialect which is a little difficult to understand at this one..

Such accents shouldn't be anywhere near a school if you ask me ;)

The dress code of the teachers is never an issue, it is the dress code of some of the students.

Ah, you see - the reason I ask is because of my own 'dress code'. I wear whatever I want to work - I spend so much time playing games and frequently getting covered in mud/grass/sand that it just wouldn't be practical to even consider wearing nice clothes to work. The thought of a teacher for primary school wearing a suit seems - to me - madness.

As for the children - does the school not have a uniform?
poland_
25 Oct 2012 #88
Apartment will be temporary

I consider this company budner.pl to be one of the best developers in Warsaw they are honest and fair, which is very hard to find in Warsaw, if you contact them they will inform you about their current and forthcoming projects.

Good luck with selling your house and the move to WAW.

As for the children - does the school not have a uniform?

Yes

That's surprising - I would've thought that it would have been mainly foreigners with a handful of Poles in there. Yes, would be appreciated if you find it :)

Poles I would guess are 55-60%

I'd love to see how it works in practice one day - I really should write to them and ask if I can spend a day there sometime.

Why not just give them a call the headmaster is English. I am sure they are always looking to network into other cities, it is ' a for profit' business. If my memory seves me well there was an indian fella advertising the BS Poznan a coupe of years ago - do you recall.
pip 10 | 1,661
25 Oct 2012 #89
I would never send my kids to the American school. The amount of money that flows through there is staggering. They have claimed charity status so they don't pay taxes. They also get grants. This is why their facilities are top notch. I have a friend who used to work in the accounting department there- she pulled her kids out after seeing what went on with the books.

the fees are close to 60,000 pln per year and there is no Polish aspect of the curriculum which is funny because more than half are Poles.
croggers 7 | 109
25 Oct 2012 #90
I know some British/American people who send their kids to such schools in Poland. What's the point? If at least one parents first language is English why would you even consider sending them to such a place, surely they'll grow up fluent anyway? Got a 5 year old daughter who is fluent in both Polish and English.

Before any of the usual suspects jump in and say 'its not a school just for English/American kids' I do know that, I'm only asking the question of sending those kids, and of course I'm assuming said kids are bilingual in Polish and English already.


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