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Why Polish people decided to move to the UK, and their experiences.


Edward101 1 | 1
16 Sep 2010 #1
I'm a student in my third year doing geography. I've been interested in migration and specifically eastern Europeans moving to the UK since 2004 when several countries joined the EU.

For my dissertation/thesis I am going to be answering the question

Why do eastern Europeans (A8 countries)* migrate to the UK, and what are their experiences in Norfolk compared to London.

*A8 countries being;
Czech Republic
Estonia
Hungary
Latvia
Lithuania
Poland
Slovakia
Slovenia

I live in Norfolk and there has been an increase in eastern Europeans moving to the area for work, mainly working on farms and in factories. I am in the process of writing a questionnaire specifically these people.

Basically I am writing this thread to find out reasons why eastern Europeans move to the UK. I realise this is specifically a Polish forum, but I just need some broad reasons why eastern Europeans choose the UK over other EU countries. For example, the free health service.

I have searched this forum and there seems to be a large amount of members living in London, so I am in the process of writing another questionnaire for eastern Europeans living in London and would be very grateful if some of you would be able to fill it in.

I have just returned from a month travelling around Europe and I spent 4 days in Krakow, which I really enjoyed, I was able to speak to a man doing a free walking tour around Krakow, which I found really helpful and gave me some more reasons why Polish people are moving to the UK that I hadn't previously thought of.

Any replies would be much appreciated, for example the reason you moved to the UK (if you have) or any other reasons you could think of.

Thanks.
THE HITMAN - | 236
16 Sep 2010 #2
MONEY, MONEY, MONEY !!!!!!!!!!
Ksysia 25 | 430
16 Sep 2010 #3
If German frauleins do, why not Polish? :)

Did you ever consider that it's simply how markets work? The bigger market sucks out everything around.
Seanus 15 | 19,706
16 Sep 2010 #4
The Hitman answered with the best reply :) :)
poland_
16 Sep 2010 #5
Edward 101, I am not Polish but live in Poland, it would be very interesting to read what your findings are,please keep us posted on your results.
zetigrek
16 Sep 2010 #6
I live in Poland but I think:

1. money
2. looking for easier life
3. new experience/adventure

GB is specifically consider as very intresting place and many people would like to try live in other country.

In some cases:

4. to study in college/uni
southern 75 | 7,096
16 Sep 2010 #7
Polish people decided to move to UK to enjoy english culture.
Seanus 15 | 19,706
16 Sep 2010 #8
I'm glad I didn't have any coffee in my hands, southern. It really doesn't go far beyond money.
Wroclaw Boy
16 Sep 2010 #9
I think opportunity would be a better description.
Seanus 15 | 19,706
16 Sep 2010 #10
I was gonna say money and opportunity but I wanted to kickstart the thread a bit more :)
welshguyinpola 23 | 463
16 Sep 2010 #11
I'm glad I didn't have any coffee in my hands, southern. It really doesn't go far beyond money.

Really Seanus?? I know ppl who moved to UK 5 yrs ago and now could prob earn just as much money in Pol, if not more, but they said they will never return to Poland. They prefer the British mentality.
Seanus 15 | 19,706
16 Sep 2010 #12
There is escapism too :) :) Many just put their country down and sometimes anything is better than Poland in their eyes. This was a large part of it. Ambivalence tore them.
welshguyinpola 23 | 463
16 Sep 2010 #13
I just couldnt understand them when they told me they have a house and land sitting empty in Poland while they pay rent in the UK. THis particular couple are economists in Poland but in Uk tey pack pot noodles and they love it and all their friends i met said they will never go back to Pol too.
Polonius3 1,000 | 12,448
16 Sep 2010 #14
The UK and Ireland were among the first countries to open their job marekts to the EU newcomers who joined in 2004, and that was the was a major consideration. The second was the English-speaking environment. More younger Poles are learning Englihs at school than German, French, Italian or the Scandinavian tongues. However, had Germany opened its job market in 2004 with no strings attached, probably the brunt of the exodus would have headed for Berlin, Hamburg, Frankfurt, Cologne, etc.
zetigrek
16 Sep 2010 #15
seanus why do you think that poles are not interested in british culture???
convex 20 | 3,978
16 Sep 2010 #16
THis particular couple are economists in Poland

Employed economists, or a couple with a bachelors degree in economics?
zetigrek
16 Sep 2010 #17
even if they were employed economist you can't imagine how little unappropriate money people with a degree in poland earn.
Seanus 15 | 19,706
16 Sep 2010 #18
Some are and some aren't, Zeti. You can't tell me that 1 million people flocked across when the EU floodgates opened purely for cultural enrichment. Money and escapism/opportunity (the flip side) were the main drives.
poland_
16 Sep 2010 #19
The reason Poles went to the UK, is because UK government opened the door. There was very high unemployment in Poland in 2004, and the decision by the British government, to lift transitional restrictions on the free movement of labour between the UK and central European member states of the EU was positive, because of the input from hard-working Poles and other EU nationalities,this movement was highly beneficial to the growing pre-recession British economy. The British under estimated the numbers and had no knowledge of just how industrious the central Europeans are
NorthMancPolak 4 | 648
16 Sep 2010 #20
I have searched this forum and there seems to be a large amount of members living in London

Most of the regulars live in Poland, USA, Canada, Germany, the Netherlands, Ireland and around Manchester, so I'd like to know where you did your "research". On the members list, maybe? Most of those people never post here anyway, so they don't count.

Unless of course, like the BBC, you think that "London" means "England" :p

But they'll have to change their mind when they move to sunny Salford, so I'm changing yours as well. For free! ;) lol
OP Edward101 1 | 1
16 Sep 2010 #21
Thanks everyone for your responses, they're much appreciated.

I definitely will keep you posted, I will post my questionnaire in the coming few days, and will be using this forum frequently.

I've been told there are strict regulations on abortion and contraception in Poland, and the idea of the free contraceptive pill in the U.K draws women in. Could something like this really make women want to leave Poland for the U.K?

More younger Poles are learning Englihs at school than German, French, Italian or the Scandinavian tongues.

I have thought about this, through some background research I found that the average pay migrants get for the type of work they do (farm work, factory work - is this too much of a generalisation?) in the U.K is lower than what they would be paid in Sweden. So is the English language an important factor it being the lingua franca of the world?

Yeah, I looked at the members list, and looked through the threads in this part of the forum. There are 3 threads on the first page specifically about London. I am able to change the question I'm doing, so if I find using London as the comparative city doesn't work out, I can easily change it
poland_
16 Sep 2010 #22
Edward, there is a Tv series about Poles in London called "londynczycy" - which translates to Londoners. They touch on a lot of stories about Poles leaving for the UK. You can probably find it on youtube.

Regarding, your questions it could be one of the many reasons. But the real reason why people leave is very simple - Money.
peter_olsztyn 6 | 1,098
17 Sep 2010 #23
for example the reason you moved to the UK

I visited UK for a while for money, adventure. I was curious to verify my English skills and to see if the fog is really as thick as they say :)
Seanus 15 | 19,706
17 Sep 2010 #25
That's a novel one for the thesis, fog ;) Peter cited fog as the reason :)
Teffle 22 | 1,321
17 Sep 2010 #26
Edward I think you are searching too hard for reasons and grasping at all sorts of tenuous possibilities. As others have said, money is and was by far the biggest motivation together with, as you say, the English language.

You mentioned the abortion issue? Ireland has very strict laws on this but it certainly hasn't stopped Poles coming here so I think you can discount that one.

Not sure about the minimum wage/farm & factory work thing - maybe it's the circles I move in but all the Poles I know are professionals: architects, engineers etc. Not sure how many migrants would actually fall into your category - not as many as might be assumed I'm guessing.
zetigrek
17 Sep 2010 #27
contraception in Poland, and the idea of the free contraceptive pill in the U.K draws women in.

huh?! what??? No absolutely not. Contarception pill not avilaible? No kidding. You just go to a gynaecologist and ask for perscription and it's not expensive. I wouldn't say it could be a reason for emigration.

On abortion is true as in Poland you can have legal abortion unless you are one of those cases:
1. the pregnance is highly risky to health or live for woman
2. there is high risk that baby will be ill
3. the pregnance is a result of a crime (rape, incest relationship, pedophilia)

Oh course there is abortional underground and women have to pay lot of money to get abortion. So the feministic acrivists are advice to go to GB to have legal abortion. But... well we can't call it imigration. It's just a few day trip.
southern 75 | 7,096
17 Sep 2010 #28
Poland will never recover from this massive immigration.
Wroclaw Boy
17 Sep 2010 #29
Contarception pill not avilaible? No kidding. You just go to a gynaecologist and ask for perscription and it's not expensive.

out of curiosity how much is it? I was under the impression around 50 PLN / month, thats expensive for many.
zetigrek
17 Sep 2010 #30
So is the English language an important factor it being the lingua franca of the world?

I think they have travel there when the currency exchange rate was high (in 2004 it was more than 8 zł per 1 pound) and they stay there even though now it's less worthwhile because the only alternative they have is to go back Poland and have no job or work for substantially less money.

My friends live in Sweden and it's not easy to find work if you don't speak Swedish. Actually it's not easy to find work any country in those times so people are not so keen to move.

By the way I have another factor for you:
- people tend to emigrate more in those areas where already live their friends (so they can bed few nights in their friends' houses or ask them to look for job for them). I read an article about Welsh town Wrexham where the greater part (if not all) of Poles is from £ódź. I also heard about some town in Netherlands where most people are from 30 000 citizen town (I don't remember the name) in Poland and those Dutch thinks that it has to be really big city if so many Poles they know comes from there ;D


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