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I have to decide between two job offers, Berlin vs Wroclaw

jon357 71 | 20,177
25 Apr 2017 #31
Moving here to Poland was probably the best decision in my life, and I can therefore only recommend it. There are doubtless easier countries to be in (none of them really an option at the time) and there are many many worse places to settle. Both myself and my other half (who I met here) came here from very different countries and the best part of three decades later have never regretted this for even one second.
DominicB - | 2,709
25 Apr 2017 #32
It's not a user friendly kind of place

There is that, that is true, and there is the fact that savings potential is abysmally low (the prime criterion for prospective professionals) and that the quality of courses taught in English is dismal. The fact that the local language is not a "plug and play" language nor is "portable" like major western European languages is another consideration. Low R&D spending is yet another factor.

I also can't figure out why Jon is enthralled by the idea of immigration, especially from the subcontinent or Africa. It's not a magic solution to any of Poland's problems, like the Turkish and Yugoslavian gastarbeiter were for Germany's labor shortage in the 60s. It pains me that Poland has stooped so low as to rip off unsuspecting students from poor countries to raise cash. This scam disgusts me to the core.
jon357 71 | 20,177
25 Apr 2017 #33
savings potentia

I doubt anyone comes here to save large amounts of money (though I know some people who certainly have done well that way, including myself).

In terms of quality of life, it's a great place to be.
DominicB - | 2,709
25 Apr 2017 #34
Moving here to Poland was probably the best decision in my life

A sentiment I share. I had a wonderful time in Poland. But I am highly qualified and experienced, and had cash enough in the bank so that I did not have to worry. I had NO competition while in Poland, and was able to name my price, or afford to be generous, just for fun. And I speak the language, and went to great pains to learn about the culture.

I can therefore only recommend it.

That's a non sequitur. I can recommend it only to a select, and small, subset. For most, it's a lousy option. Especially when so many better options exist. And they do.

Think of the poor Indian student who realizes that he just got suckered into paying his parents' life savings for a degree that will qualify him for washing dishes or cleaning toilets.

Or of the poor Indian engineer who figures out that he is earning a quarter of what his colleagues who "shifted" to richer countries are making, as would he if he had done a proper job search.

I doubt anyone comes here to save large amounts of money

quality of life

For an expat professional, quality of life is virtually synonymous with savings potential. Everything else is window dressing.
jon357 71 | 20,177
25 Apr 2017 #35
cash enough in the bank

There is far more to life than chasing a career or or worrying overly. Didn't you used to give English lessons in Lowicz or Skierniewice. I was almost flat broke and starting anew. I've got professional qualifications though I came here partly because I'd had enough of that field back home and wanted something different. In fact never worked in that exact field in Poland. Nevertheless, materially and in every other sense, things have worked out well.

quality of life is virtually synonymous with savings potential.

The love of money is the root of all evil.
DominicB - | 2,709
25 Apr 2017 #36
There is far more to life than chasing a career or or worrying overly

Those things you are thinking about can only be enjoyed if you are financially secure. The only people who don't worry about money are those who already have enough. And there are very, very few professional expats from the subcontinent that fit into that group. They think about nothing else than advancing their careers and earning well, and ending their stint with money in the bank. They are not interested in Poland because of the "quality of life" while living like a hippie nonsense. Those would be the people who did not bust their a$$es going through engineering school.

The love of money is the root of all evil.

In the real world, the lack of money is the root of all evil. Especially true for working expats with families to raise.
jon357 71 | 20,177
25 Apr 2017 #37
financially secure

Plenty of people manage well. In Europe (where the OP is from), there are state pensions, socialised healthcare etc. Those who don't have that often have family resources.

Presence or absence of a decent socialised economy in ones home country is no reason to come to or not to come to Poland, and often people have a very limited range of choices in life. You may have had a disappointing time in Poland, others have done well here.

hippie nonsense

Oh dear.
Lyzko 33 | 8,120
25 Apr 2017 #38
Knowing Berlin well, Wroclaw not at all, I'd naturally opt hands down for Berlin:-)) Knowing the basics of the language though in either case is an absolute must!
DominicB - | 2,709
26 Apr 2017 #39
Berlin is big and busy. There is little sense of permanence. What you see today might not be there tomorrow. I frequently visited the city, both sides, in the early eighties. When I went back there in 2004 and later, there was little that I recognized except a few landmarks. It really changed a lot. I was a bit disappointed that a lot of the things that I wanted to see again had disappeared without a trace. I guess that's part of life, though.

Wrocław, on the other hand, is one of the most "comfortable" cities that I have ever lived in. It fits like an old shoe, in a good way, and it's really easy to get around with the tram system. You could actually walk anywhere that's worth going to in an hour at most, end to end. It's not easy to get lost. While not a major metropolis like Berlin, it has an interesting and diverse cultural scene that will keep you more than busy, regardless of your tastes. Stand-by tickets for the opera are only 10 PLN. 20 PLN for the best seats. I introduced a lot of students to opera thanks to that. The students add to the atmosphere. That was something that was true in the old West Berlin that I just didn't feel this time around. Although, in the summer, with the students gone, Wrocław can feel a bit deserted. It feels a lot more "genuine" than Kraków, which always seemed a bit fake and staged to me. Wrocław has tourists, but they never overwhelm the native population, even in the town square.

Wrocław is also the most "western" city in Poland. It feels more like western Europe than like Warsaw or Kraków. A couple months after moving there with one of my students, he asked me whether I was going Poland for Christmas before he realized what he said and corrected himself. That's how different it feels from the rest of Poland.

About the only thing that Wrocław lacks, or lacked when I was there, was a direct express train to Prague. Instead, you had to go through Dresden. And a better train connection to Warsaw, although that steadily improved during my stay there. And the gastronomic scene is a bit disappointing for a city of that size. I saw a lot of restaurants come and go during my stay there, including most of my favorites. As a die-hard foodie, I had to do a lot of traveling to Cieszyn, which, for a small town, has an amazing food scene on both sides of the border. Or a lot of my own cooking.
WhirlwindTobias - | 88
26 Apr 2017 #40
It's not a user friendly kind of place (a quality I actually mostly like).

Hear hear!

England was far too easy for me, and having seen the disparity between there and here it's no wonder Brits suffer from so much complacency. I have never cared for higher earnings so I had little incentive to develop myself career-wise.

Dominic; as long as Zamkowe in the Rynek stays open I wouldn't go to any other establishment for food anyway ;)

Great tip on the Opera, I have yet to see a performance in one and I visit Wrocław occasionally. Thanks.
DominicB - | 2,709
26 Apr 2017 #41
Great tip on the Opera

That's not only true for opera, and not only true for Wrocław. Practically every large theater or opera in any city in any country offers standby tickets (except perhaps??? London which has a weird ticket sales system that I never was able to quite figure out). And they are often the best seats, as they belong to holders of season tickets who won't be there that night. Same with film festivals. Some seats are reserved for people with multipasses. If they don't show up on time, they forfeit their seat and it is sold as standby.
jgrabner 1 | 76
26 Apr 2017 #42
As Italian, you will be able to learn German much quicker than Polish and since mastering the local language is key to success, I would recommend Berlin. If you can make like 1500€ net, it would not be a terribly low wage either since the minimum wage in Germany is around 1300€ gross and a lot of Berliners are earning that.
majkel - | 64
26 Apr 2017 #43
4300 net for Poland is not bad, 1350 eur for Berlin is borderline poor.
According to Numbeo:

You'll be better off in Wroclaw. Berlin is also too german ;), although you'll have more possibilities there.
Wroclaw is a great city to live in.

In case you wonder, I'll go for Wroclaw.
Lyzko 33 | 8,120
26 Apr 2017 #44
Just an aside, jgrabner, conversely, a Polish translator colleague remarked that she found Italian much easier to pick up than German, as Italian is primarily a vocalic language, and so is Polish in the sense that it has only open, short vowels compared with German:-)

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