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Is moving from Moscow to Wroclaw worth it? (.NET software developer)

eltrance 1 | 7
26 Aug 2015 #1

I'm experienced enterprise software developer (.NET). 29 years old. I've been offered a position in big international financial company in their Wroclaw office. They offer 9751 zloty net. What can I afford for this money ? Is it worth it? I'll live alone
jon357 74 | 21,900
26 Aug 2015 #2
You'll find that Wroclaw is a very different animal to Moscow. It's a nice city to live in and that is a very good salary for there. For 2500-3000 you can find a high quality flat in a very good location. For 2000 you can certainly find somewhere very decent.

You're also near several European capitals for weekends away, and if you're single and 29 you will like Wroclaw ;-)
Roger5 1 | 1,449
26 Aug 2015 #3
And you won't have to worry about the police robbing you.
OP eltrance 1 | 7
26 Aug 2015 #4
Thanks for response, Jon !

How life differs in Poland from Eastern Europe and Western Europe ?

Forgot to mention - I'm native Russian and I was born in Moscow. My favourite country is Spain
jon357 74 | 21,900
26 Aug 2015 #5
A lot depends on where you are. Eastern Poland is very much Eastern Europe - you would find a lot in common, and in Wroclaw, many people have family roots in Lviv, somewhere between Eastern Europe and Central Europe in feel. Culturally, Poland is somewhere between eastern and western. The food is closer to Eastern Europe, vodka is drunk (though not so much as in Russia and not as much as a few years ago) yet the bars, shops etc could be in Germany, and Wroclaw (the former Breslau) has a real German look.

Prices of things are far lower than in central Moscow but more expensive than in the Russian provinces. You'll notice a smaller difference between rich and poor - there are not the same extremes as in Russia. Bars and nightlife tend to be very safe, and Wroclaw (from the point of view of an ordinary resident) is Mafia-free.

Dealing with bureaucracy is easier than people tell me it is in Russia and Ukraine, but sometimes frustrating for someone from Britain or Ireland. Poles tend not to be as friendly to strangers as the British or French (or the Russians) however this is changing a bit.

The nightlife round the Rynek in Wroclaw is something you will enjoy if you like Spain. There's more joie de vivre than, say, Germany, however it isn't Malaga or Barcelona ;-)
26 Aug 2015 #6
I'm very curious to know why you would come to Poland. For someone as highly skilled as you are, its probably better to seek opportunities in Western countries. Try Sweden, Finland, Germany, French, etc.. There's a reason smart Polish people often go West (higher wages!).
OP eltrance 1 | 7
26 Aug 2015 #7
CMC, I've just got an offer and I'm thinking about it.

I dont like Moscow and really want to live in Spain, Italy, Thailand or Bali. But developer's salary doesnt look nice there.

Also I dont like property prices (including rent prices) in Moscow. Its overpriced and bad quality. I looked in Wroclaw's sites with rental properties and they're superior to what I can have in Moscow for these prices

France taxes are too high.

I thought about Germany, but I heard its too restrictive. Too many rules :)

I dont want to move to Scandinavia. I think its too expensive and I'm tired of cold and lack of sun :)
26 Aug 2015 #8
Ok. Duly noted. But still...Poland??! Really?? This will be the typical response you will get from a Pole. Get ready for it! Once you live here for a while you will understand what they are talking about. There are plenty of nicer places than Polska. Wroclaw is okay, but there are nicer cities elsewhere.

If I were in your position, I wouldn't even consider this offer since the pay is so low and the location is in an average country. 3000 usd per month isn't too good. :/

Moreover, the costs of consumer goods are surprisingly higher than in the West. You will be earning polish wages and paying Scandinavian prices..ouch!

By the way, the weather isn't great here too. It gets grey and dull for 6 months of the year. Combined that with the grey and dull appearance of the polish people, you might go mad.
OP eltrance 1 | 7
26 Aug 2015 #9
CMC, but with current economical crisis in Russia its extremely difficult to find job with salary $3000. You'll hardly get $2000. Russian currency drops now.

Are Germany or Netherlands so better ?
mafketis 36 | 10,829
26 Aug 2015 #10
IME they have the downsides of Poland (dreary weather a lot of the time though I don't imagine Moscow is much better) for somewhat better financial rewards and far worse socially. The big complaint of people living in places like the Netherlands is that it's very hard to get into a social circle (that isn't a bunch of dreary whining expats). It's a little better in Germany.

Linguistically, Polish will be very easy (IME Russian speakers can become fluent in a few months) while German will be harder if you don't already know it. Germans take a dim view of longterm residents who don't learn the language while the Netherlands make it difficult to learn and use the language (and then at some point turn against you for not knowing it).

Politics is a big issue. Most Polish people have no use for the Russian state or Russian politics (for very good reasons). On the other hand, many Poles like a lot of aspects of Russian culture so many people will be happy to make an exception of you as a 'good' Russian (unless you're a big Putin supporter).
OP eltrance 1 | 7
26 Aug 2015 #11
I'm not 'Put(in)reotic'
26 Aug 2015 #12
Yes. Any western country would be better. A software Developer can earn 4 or 5 times more in the West. In the US, Software Developers earn around 10,000 usd a month. Similar salaries can be found in W. Europe. The standard of living is so much better.

Plus, the people are more educated and open to foreigners. In Poland, you will face anti-Russian sentiment.

Try Sweden or Finland. I've lived in these places before. They are truly beautiful places with the highest standard of living in the world. And in Finland there are lots of Russians there. Helsinki is an awesome city with a nice mix of Nordic and Russian influence. If you insist on a warm country, try Australia or New Zealand.

This is 2015, the world is wide open for talented people like you. Go to where the money, innovation, and cutting-knowledge are. These three factors are unfortunately not in Poland.
OP eltrance 1 | 7
26 Aug 2015 #13
I know that USA is the best for developers, but income and expenses structure are so different between Europe and USA. You cant compare them directly.In USA I would move only to Miami, Florida or California. I'm really afraid of expenses (especially medical) in this country
26 Aug 2015 #14
I understand. Medical care is expensive, although your company would probably pay for that.

Anyways, try other countries then. Sweden has affordable high quality medical care. Australia has a good one. Why are you so vehement about going to Polska? Low wages, depressed people, high prices, crappy weather...

Keep sending out CVs and keeping looking. Don't be hasty with this decision. It can costs you later in life.
Marsupial - | 881
26 Aug 2015 #15
Moscow is colder on avarage by several deg c and has more exreme range of temparatures. So you will be warm in wroclaw by your standards. With the new temperatures you may be hot. Going to the west is not like going to poland. The salary thete may be low world wide standard wise but for that salary you will live there very well and save or much better than that. The language will feel like an old shoe in six months removing all barriers socially and otherwise for sure. Poland is a free country with the polish freedom mindset, I had a russian friend who told me this is what he liked the most. He also got married. Tylko 1500km do domu.
28 Aug 2015 #16
Priviet !
Just come here. you will love it.
can you believe that this city is made for bicycles, not for cars ? :-PP
with 9,000 PLN you will have great life. I may tell you that I'm 32, I dont own house, i rent a good quality room, and 3k PLN is enough for me. well - 4k pln would be better of course...but I'm OK

anyway. you can find nice one bedroom flat for 1,500 pln including if you will live wisely, you can save around 1k-1,2K EUR per month and still have fun.
OP eltrance 1 | 7
28 Aug 2015 #17
All right! Thank you all for responses!

I decided not to move because of job. I will continue working on my business. Then I'll move anywhere I want
28 Aug 2015 #18
Great decision! You've just improved the fortunes of you and your future family.

By the way, you can come as a tourist and enjoy the city anyway. Good luck!
OP eltrance 1 | 7
29 Aug 2015 #19
Thanks again ! Hope I'll be able to achieve my goals and travel soon
mcrpolak 6 | 36
26 Oct 2015 #20
Do not hesitate with 9.5k net each month in Wroclaw, you will have a very nice life.

Plus Wroclaw is an incredible city, where people are more open than many doom and bloomers on here will admit.
Dusha - | 6
14 Nov 2015 #21
Hi all,

I'm also facing the similar question.
I'm holding a senior IT position in Moscow (international company) and have got an offer to relocate to Warsaw on a new role.
While it is a small step higher in the company hierarchy, looking at job descriptions it looks more like a lateral move for me.
I'm offered 21500 PLN/month gross which I believe (reading this forum) is very good for Poland and others may only dream of such offers....

BUT, in Moscow I'm now getting comparable salary (14500PLN net, it was almost 19K PLN net a year ago, before the oil prices went down and national currency has devaluated by 80% to EUR over last 16 months).

Also we have to consider that for the first 3-5 years we will have new expenses introduced (private kindergarden with english, babysitting expenses, apartment/house rental). So we will be definitely having less savings comparing to what we are saving now (we have our own apartment, parents are helping with the children)

The offer is a local contract without end-date which means that I have to consider a permanent relocation rather than a mid-long term international assignment. Certainly, I can go further or return back ... if I'll get another promo or if I'll quit the company. The offer does not consider relocation back to home location.

I have a family with a wife and 2 children (3 months and 4.5 years old)
Wife is a senior scientist with PhD in Chemistry but she is working mostly from home over last 3 years (and was planning the same in a next 2 or 3 years)

Her income is small but for people in science the priorities are much different from ordinary people :) She is working on a vaccine development project in collaboration with US partners from Harvard medical school (Harvard university)

I want to accept the offer while my wife is very opposite to this and this is driving me mad. Maybe you can comment on the pros and cons below as this might help to find some arguments towards GO or NO-GO decision for our family?

PL vs. RU (Warsaw vs. Moscow)
+ better quality of life. However we have to understand that Poland is more a 'rural' country, we should not expect the diversity offered by Moscow in Warsaw. However, this is not among our priorities in life. We do not eat in the restaurants, we are not shopping-fans. Bars and clubs are also something heterogeneous for our life style. Among priorities are safety, privacy, education, predictability and stability.

+ stable environment. I believe this is more or less true for any EU country and Poland does not seem to be an exception. We are tired of never ending economic and political shocks in Russia and I'm really seeking for something more quite and predictable in mid to long-term.

+ career aspirations. This is definitely one of the drivers to accept the offer.
+ EU perspectives for children. In 5 years (if no further international moves and nothing 'bad' happens) we can get a permanent EU residence card (which allows free travel across EU without limits and employment in other EU-states with certain limitations). After another 3 years we can apply to PL citizenship.

At the end this might introduce more opportunities to our children

- There is a feeling that poles do not really like or welcome russians. I can't judge much on that one as you have to spend months there to realize if this is the case or not.

- social integration. While language should not be an issue, I'm not sure how people in Poland are 'open' and frienfly with foreigners.
- There is 'no way back' if it will not work out (we will find it impossible to integrate or to consider spending rest of our life in PL). The only way out would be getting home and searching for a new job.

- Old parents we have in Russia. However, I do believe, that after 3-4 years we will have enough opportunities for finding a workaround (e.g. transfer them to PL)

- my wife will not be able to continue her scientific research from PL. And this is 15 years of her life.

On top of that, I'm not really sure if Poland as a host country will in fact introduce more opportunities for our children in comparison with Russia/Moscow. As I can see from many comments, the wages are very low and if you really want something above average, you have anyway to consider building career outside of Poland (my example is an exception as I'm not a youngster to start the career in PL).

Your kind comments are welcome!
14 Nov 2015 #22
Hi Dusha,

You shouldn't feel concerned about Polish people being rude with foreigners in general or with Russians in particular. That's going to be fine.

Reading your post, it seems that you're thinking about screwing your wife's research for a "lateral" move. Or did I misunderstand?

My advice: give some time to the wife so that she can finish her current research and make contacts abroad. She'll be thankful for that and will happily follow you when you find another job in a few years ;)

Dusha - | 6
14 Nov 2015 #23
Hi Niko,

it's not that much forward as you've mentioned.
True, scientific research will be something not really feasible to continue in PL (I'm talking now about specific project and not in general about working in science).

But the priorities are now much shifted to family and children and last 4 years my wife has spent mostly at home (this was her own decision, I was not pushing her to that by any means).

She is still prepearing scientific publications, coordinating the research activities remotely and preparing / submitting funding requests.
While we've got a newborn in August, this will continue to stay the same way for at least another 3 years. So it's not on the agenda for the next 3 years anyway as she can continue the same way from Warsaw as well.

Unfortunately, scientific research projects are not something with defined start and end dates. The process is diverse as the results of the experiments can't be predicted. It may take another 5 years, or 10 years, or 15... nobody can say this for sure.

Yes, when looking at R&R in JD it is more a lateral move, but this is still a step forward with international career as this kind of opportunities is not something a man can expect in everydays life (company covers all relocation expenses, incl. personal belongings, provides good package and highly competitive salary for the specific location). At least this is not the case for non-EU nationals.

I have to be clear - career was never a priority for me and I'm personally very 'hard on move'. The drivers are different.

I'm much more concerned about security, stability and social environment for my family (this was all mentioned in the pros above).
My wife is feeling herself perfectly 'at home', but this is mainly driven by the fact that she is now 99% focused on our children and interaction with a 'big world' is limited to the chats with the friends on playgrounds and in the parks around. While I'm completely taking care of everything else at the moment and trying to put down all negative around to minimum.

If I only could be sure in the economical/political/security stability in Moscow for the next several years - I would have never started this topic....
15 Nov 2015 #24
Not sure your problem is really connected with Poland.
Would your wife be more keen to move to, say, Berlin?
InPolska 10 | 1,818
15 Nov 2015 #25
Yes, better Berlin than ... Wroclaw ;). I know a lot of people from Moscow who think that Warsaw is a big village so Wroclaw....????!!!! ;). Not only Berlin is bigger in size, but also offers more in everything and also (very important) people in Berlin are more open and usually very open.
Dusha - | 6
15 Nov 2015 #26
Hi Niko,
the one problem/concern which is specifically related with Poland is about attitude of the locals towards immigrants and Russians in particular.
And if the children in the school will (or will not) be facing any kind of discrimination from other polish natives in the class/school (once they will know the one of the classmates is definitely NOT polish, judging by his/her name).

How open are polish people to 'accept' the (slavic) immigrants and treat them as equals?

The other concerns are mostly comon for any kind of international relocation, not specifically to Poland.

Hi InPolska,
I'm not OP. I was offered with a position in Warsaw, not in Wroclaw.
InPolska 10 | 1,818
15 Nov 2015 #27
@Dusha! True re Russians in Poland vs. in Berlin. Berlin is considered and is a broad minded city as multicultural so easier for foreigners.
15 Nov 2015 #28
I don't think there's going to be any integration problem. Your kids are young enough to quickly catch up with the Polish language and feel comfortable in their classroom.

I suppose in this regard your situation could be similar to a polish family from Warsaw moving to Moscow!
Dusha - | 6
15 Nov 2015 #29
vs. in Berlin

I'm not a freelancer and thus not flexible in offers I (can) get.
Berlin is not smth. I can choose from (unless I'll be searching for something on the open market).

The choice is fairly stratight-forward:
Promo + generous package (PL-wide) + Warsaw + local contract (no simple way to return)
stay as-is in Moscow with a hope of smth. 'better' appears in future (which may not, or situation in RU may start geting even worse than now)

And yes, my wife would be more keen to relocate to DE as she is half-german, we have our relatives living in Germany and we both can speak German to a certain extent :)

But as I have mentioned, I do not have this kind of flexibility and going for an open search is not smth. I'm considering at the moment (as I'm happy with my current role, employer and reward provided)

At the same time, Warsaw is a good option from geographical standpoint. 1200km to Moscow / 1200 km to relatives in DE / proximity of many other locations across EU for a short-term get-outs.
delphiandomine 88 | 18,177
15 Nov 2015 #30
Would your wife be more keen to move to, say, Berlin?

Berlin's a waste of time : economically, it's dead.

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