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What are the chances of getting a part-time job for an Egyptian who's coming to study and live in Poland?


ahmed2014 3 | 22
21 Aug 2014 #1
Hi all,

I am an Egyptian male, 32 years old coming to study for my MBA in one of the universities in Katowice. This will be my first time to study abroad and also to come and live in Poland. I work in Human Resources in my home country. I also have experience working and living in London, UK and I have also traveled to the USA and to a few other countries in Europe. Furthermore, I was educated at international schools so naturally I had friends from all over the world including a lot of Europeans and Westerners whom I have known from different parts of my life, and of course I have met some very nice people from Poland (mostly on their vacation in Egypt), but also when I was in London.

Sorry for this long introduction because I don't think many people understand much about Egyptians and especially my circumstances as I am not a typical Egyptian with my background and personality.

Anyway, I just have a couple of questions and it would be great if I can get some responses. First, what are my chances of getting a part-time job or internship while I'm doing my MBA. I would like to gain some experience and add more to my cv even if it is not directly related to Human Resources.

Secondly, what are my chances of finding a job in Katowice or Poland in general after I finish my MBA? Last question, what is living in Poland like? Is it similar to the UK or the USA?-(my sister lived in the USA for 5 years).

I am currently still in my job, but once I finish my MBA after 2 years, I might want to try working in Poland for a year or two before going back to my company in Egypt in order to have some international experience.

Thanks for all your positive replies.

PS. I speak fluent English, Arabic, (some French) and willing to learn Polish of course. I'm open minded and like the western mentality.

Cheers everyone,

Ahmed
Monitor 14 | 1,820
21 Aug 2014 #2
You say that you have lived in UK and still found it to be good idea to do MBA in Poland? Do you have work permit to work in Poland?
Sandie
22 Aug 2014 #3
I don't live in Poland but I would imagine it would be difficult to get a job there if you don't speak Polish. But I'm really not sure. Are you doing your masters through English there?
terri 1 | 1,665
22 Aug 2014 #4
Chances of you getting a part-time job are ABSOLUTELY NIL.
NO ONE can tell you what the job situation will be like in 2 years - I know we're good, but we are not clairvoyants.
DominicB - | 2,709
22 Aug 2014 #5
First, what are my chances of getting a part-time job or internship while I'm doing my MBA.

Pretty much zero. If you are planning to finance your studies in Poland by working, forget about it. Make your plans on the very safe assumption that you won't be able to earn a single penny in Poland.

Secondly, what are my chances of finding a job in Katowice or Poland in general after I finish my MBA?

Not very good. Why would you want to work in Poland, anyway. Unemployment is high, wages are low, and quality of life is poor.

Last question, what is living in Poland like? Is it similar to the UK or the USA?-(my sister lived in the USA for 5 years).

Poland is nothing at all like the UK and the US. Poland is poorer, like Egypt. You should have done your research before signing up for the MBA program. If this is the type of question you are asking, think again before coming to Poland and do your research. Otherwise, you will be in for a nasty surprise.
Monitor 14 | 1,820
22 Aug 2014 #6
Poland is poorer, like Egypt.

They say in TV that some people in Egypt are really poor, like hungry, so maybe Poland is not so extreme, but I would say that Poland is on similar level as Turkey.
IntoTheWild - | 3
22 Aug 2014 #7
Not very good. Why would you want to work in Poland, anyway. Unemployment is high, wages are low, and quality of life is poor.

Poznan - unemployment around 4%, not everything is bad in Poland. I'm pretty sure you can find something with your Arabic language.
Roger5 1 | 1,457
22 Aug 2014 #8
Poland is not so extreme

A good way to assess the state of a country is to simply look at the people on the streets of an average town. Where I live, in the north-east, the people are well-dressed, well-fed and look content. I haven't seen a beggar in my nearest town for years, not even on market day. Poland can hardly be compared to Egypt.
OP ahmed2014 3 | 22
22 Aug 2014 #9
Thanks for your replies everyone,

@ Monitor: Studying in the UK is much more expensive, that's why I chose Poland because it is more affordable and living expenses in Katowice are similar to Cairo.

Regarding the work permit, actually according to the immigration website of Poland "A foreigner entitled to work in Poland without a work permit is a person who:

17.is a student of full-time studies in Poland studying on the basis of a residence permit issued for the purpose of continuing tertiary education in Poland for the full year;"

So if I understood it correct, I assume this means I can get a residence permit while studying and I can work based on this residence permit?
Monitor 14 | 1,820
22 Aug 2014 #10
17.is a student of full-time studies in Poland studying on the basis of a residence permit issued for the purpose of continuing tertiary education in Poland for the full year;"

It seems that you're right and I was telling people wrong before. Point 16 says:

16.is a student of full-time tertiary studies inPoland studying on the basis of a visa in the months of July, August and September - what are full-time studies? ->

so I thought that only work in summer is allowed. Anyway without Polish language you have chance for physical work only, like: cleaning, selling fast food, or working on farm, (if you manage to learn some Polish very fast). For some office job, like call center you would need to be able work full time.

Studying in the UK is much more expensive, that's why I chose Poland because it is more affordable and living expenses in Katowice are similar to Cairo.

But your MBA diploma will be worthless. You will not get employed in Poland without the language and abroad Polish diplomas have no brand.
OP ahmed2014 3 | 22
22 Aug 2014 #11
Just to clarify some points:

@ Sandie: I plan to take Polish courses during my MBA to learn the language. Yes, my studies will be entirely in English.

@ terri: Why is it difficult to get a part-time job as an international student?

@DominicB: I'm not planning to finance my studies by working, I just want to gain some experience to get an idea of the work culture and add something to my cv, etc.

"Not very good. Why would you want to work in Poland, anyway. Unemployment is high, wages are low, and quality of life is poor."

Really? According to my research it is actually a high-income well-developed country, one of the few that did not fall into recession during the famous recession of the EU.

@ IntoTheWild: what about Katowice, any idea what it's like there?

@Roger5: Yes, very true, I agree on that.

Thanks everyone for your replies,

Ahmed
Monitor 14 | 1,820
22 Aug 2014 #12
@ Sandie: I plan to take Polish courses during my MBA to learn the language. Yes, my studies will be entirely in English.

It's not worth it, you will not get managing position as not European anyway and learning language up to working level is min 2 years of very hard studying. It's hard to learn Polish language for somebody out of Slavic language group up to the level useful in professions where speaking is important.

@ terri: Why is it difficult to get a part-time job as an international student?

Not very difficult if the student can learn basic Polish very fast and is ready to work illegally for 1uer per hour on a farm. Minimum salary in Poland is less than 300 eur net. Student without Polish language has no chance for more especially that has no time to work full time.

@DominicB: I'm not planning to finance my studies by working, I just want to gain some experience to get an idea of the work culture and add something to my cv, etc.

It's unlikely that you will get desk job part time without Polish language. Only programmers have some chance.

Really? According to my research it is actually a high-income well-developed country, one of the few that did not fall into recession during the famous recession of the EU.

It's mostly high income, because prices are low, so they mean purchasing power. As you said Katowice is not much more expensive than Cairo. But when it comes to salaries then they're not high. Most of people, many engineers too, earn only 500 eur net. Most of people in smaller cities don't earn more than mentioned minimum salary - 300 eur. Is it interesting salary for foreigners? I don't think so.

Have you seen this map:

en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_European_countries_by_average_wage
terri 1 | 1,665
23 Aug 2014 #13
Question
Do you ACTUALLY have an idea of how AVERAGE WAGE/SALARY works?
Answer
I can tell you straight off-the-cuff that 85% of people earn WELL BELOW the average, 10% earn the average and the rest above average.

Question
Why is it difficult to get a part-time job as an international student?
Answer
The difficulty is that you DO NOT SPEAK Polish. When there are thousands of Polish students looking for the same jobs, which students do you think a Polish employer will want? You could try the corporations to see if they might take on a student with your language abilities. You could DO THIS right now - email them and see for yourself.
OP ahmed2014 3 | 22
23 Aug 2014 #14
@ Monitor: What about part-time jobs within the university? Is this available without Polish language? Or just internships in any multinational/international companies?

"Minimum salary in Poland is less than 300 eur net."

I know, but I also think this largely depends on each industry or sector. For example the average salary for Engineers could be different than the average salary for doctors, HR professionals, teachers, etc. Right? :)

Also, my MBA is 2 years long so I think if I take language courses during that time and live in Poland (interacting with locals), it should give me enough time to master the language, no? :)

"It's mostly high income, because prices are low, so they mean purchasing power."

This is actually a good thing because if the salaries are low than the prices should be low. Likewise, in other countries like Norway, UK, Germany, etc. prices are higher because the salaries are higher.

Anyway, thanks for sharing your thoughts.

By the way someone left a comment earlier and I replied, he said something about "mirroring arab countries so Poland is not a bad option", why are both his comment and my comment deleted? Any idea?

Thanks a lot.

@ Terri, thanks for your thoughts, but I don't know where your source of information comes from. If only a few people are taking higher than average salaries and the majority is taking lower than average salaries, isn't this normal in every country? Should everybody take a salary which is higher than average? If this happens than obviously the AVERAGE will NOT be the AVERAGE anymore. It will be a WRONG average (since average reflects everything below and above it).

Also, about the part-time jobs and language part, true language is very important, but do you think it is the ONLY factor in the equation? What about previous work experience, education, qualifications, attitude, and personal skills? Even if, I'm pretty sure there are some jobs which do not require Polish as English nowadays is the universal language in the entire world.

I don't mean to sound challenging here, but I'm also sharing my thoughts, and anyway thanks for your feedback.
Astoria - | 155
23 Aug 2014 #15
I would say that Poland is on similar level as Turkey.

Using GDP per capita based on purchasing-power-parity, a Pole is 50% richer than a Turk and 3 times richer than an Egyptian. IMF data:

imf.org/external/pubs/ft/weo/2014/01/weodata/weorept.aspx?sy=2014&ey=2014&ssd=1&sort=country&ds=.&br=0&c=964%2C922%2C469%2C174%2C186%2C112&s=PPPPC&grp=0&a=&pr.x=57&pr.y=16
OP ahmed2014 3 | 22
23 Aug 2014 #16
@ Astoria, thanks so much for your reply, this is the kind of information that I prefer to hear. It is more objective and based on actual facts!

I will look at it, and even without looking I think it's true as it agrees with what I already read about Poland.
terri 1 | 1,665
24 Aug 2014 #17
We can all write here till the cows come home, BUT

1. My suggestion is that you contact 'workplaces' which might interest you and find out if they are interested in you and then give us their feedback.

2. I can guarantee you that in 2 years (as a part-time student) you will not even get the basics of the Polish language. When will you have time to learn, as you will be studying and having a part-time job?

3. I agree, that having the ability to speak English plus other languages is a bonus, but the same question applies - if there is a choice between a Pole (with similar experience) speaking English and you - who do you think a Polish employer (who speaks only Polish) will engage?

4. If you wish to try the call-centres or international firms (where English and other languages are spoken) - then DO SO. No one is stopping you from contacting them, even though you may be looking for full-time work in 2 years time. Ask them about the salaries - they will blow your mind.....

5. You are greatly mistaken if you think that 'low wages' mean 'low prices'. The truth is that people have to somehow manage on low wages buying products/goods/services which are sometimes dearer than those in other countries.

6. Having said all the above - the best advice is 'suck it and see' - come back in 2 years and tell us how you are doing.
InWroclaw 89 | 1,915
24 Aug 2014 #18
5. You are greatly mistaken if you think that 'low wages' mean 'low prices'. The truth is that people have to somehow manage on low wages buying products/goods/services which are sometimes dearer than those in other countries. 6. Having said all the above - the best advice is 'suck it and see' - come back in 2 years and tell us how you are doing.

+1 to both of those, especially what's in bold.
OP ahmed2014 3 | 22
24 Aug 2014 #19
Okay okay, thanks for your feedback, we'll see how everything goes.
Monitor 14 | 1,820
25 Aug 2014 #20
For example the average salary for Engineers could be different than the average salary for doctors, HR professionals, teachers, etc. Right? :)

Yes, but it's not a job which student can get. And foreigners mostly need to know Polish language perfect, otherwise will not stand competition of locals.

Also, my MBA is 2 years long so I think if I take language courses during that time and live in Poland (interacting with locals), it should give me enough time to master the language, no? :)

Only to learn basics. In order to get working proficiency you would have to study for 2 years very strong. You won't have time for that when studying and working part time. Even after that you will not be able to work in places, where speaking & writing in Polish is important, because it's quite hard to master Polish, and you won't stand competition for a job with Poles who already know the language perfect.

This is actually a good thing because if the salaries are low than the prices should be low.

But it's mostly services prices what corresponds salary levels. Prices of food, electronics are similar in Germany and Poland although polish wages are few times lower. Before war in Ukraine, rents in biggest cities were higher than in Polish, although salaries few times lower.

By the way someone left a comment earlier and I replied, he said something about "mirroring arab countries so Poland is not a bad option"

it's just racism against Muslim people.

What did you graduate? You seem no to have idea about statistics. Read about difference between median and average.
Here you see how many people earned what in 2010 (gross):



Part time jobs are not desk jobs, but physical one. There knowledge of Polish and physical strength is mostly important. Companies don't employ people for part time desk jobs, because they can employ graduates for minimum salary and full time instead, which is cheaper.

Using GDP per capita based on purchasing-power-parity, a Pole is 50% richer than a Turk and 3 times richer than an Egyptian. IMF data:

Turkey has low average, because eastern parts are less developed and populated. When you look at west coast cities, then it's level of Poland. I was in Bursa myself and can tell from experience. And Numbeo confirms it:

numbeo/cost-of-living/compare_cities.jsp?country1=Poland&country2=Turkey&city1=Poznan&city2=Bursa
szczecinianin 4 | 345
25 Aug 2014 #21
I employed an Egyptian English language teacher, who was doing medical studies. I also employed his sister. Anyone making enquiries about employment in Poland on this forum is inevitably told there isn't any. In reality, it just depends on the employability and skills of the person concerned, and the effort they are prepared to make to find employment.

Knowing Arabic and English well is very useful. You might be able to find work in, for example, a call center, even without knowing Polish.
Monitor 14 | 1,820
25 Aug 2014 #22
@Szczecinianin: but number of jobs for foreigners without good Polish is limited: language teachers, various call center staff, programmers, farm workers, construction, cleaning. There are also managing positions, but they are not advertised and foreigners there are transferred from foreign branches of multinational companies. So it could be quite a big number of foreign employees, because Poland is a big country in European comparison, but with current job market it's very unlikely for a foreigner to work for example in human resources.
Astoria - | 155
26 Aug 2014 #24
Turkey has low average, because eastern parts are less developed and populated.

Same is true of Poland and Germany. GDP PPP is the best way to compare wealth of different countries or regions. Cost of living is meaningless - useful only for tourists. Try comparing real wages of people from Poznan and Bursa. But this is very difficult, so we are left with GDP PPP.

Romania is much poorer than Germany, but Bucharest is as rich as Berlin (same GDP PPP per person). Prague is twice as rich as Berlin.
Monitor 14 | 1,820
26 Aug 2014 #25
Try comparing real wages of people from Poznan and Bursa.

Have you even looked at my link? I guess not otherwise you would not write such comments.
OP ahmed2014 3 | 22
26 Aug 2014 #26
@Monitor, for your own info, I actually studied Statistics in university and it is because of THAT I tell you that I know exactly the meaning of the average and how it is calculated.

Just to illustrate my previous point if: 2 + 3+ 4+1= 10, then the average of all these numbers is?? 10 divided by the 4 digits mentioned here, so the average here is 2.5

I was trying to explain to Terri (and now I'm explaining to you) that of course it's normal that not everyone will take a salary above the average, why?? because if the average is 2.5, say 2.5 K euros, then this means there are people who take salaries below 2.5 K and there are also people taking salaries above 2.5 K, get it? So really you cannot say the situation is difficult because most people take below the average. The average is the average of everyone (above it and below it). If what Terri meant to say was that most people take below the MINIMUM, then that's a completely different story, and I doubt it's true anyway.

As for the median, it is basically the same idea, but instead of adding the sum and dividing it by the number of digits, we just put all the digits in ascending or descending order (ie. 1, 2, 3, 4) so the median here would be?? Actually, the best median is when you have odd numbers of digits, (ie. 1, 2, 3, 4, 5) so the median here would be?? 3 because it is right in the middle! Please don't underestimate my knowledge, obviously you are the one who did not understand what I was trying to say in my reply to Terri.

So back to my main point the average salary for the whole country is simply not enough to judge. Every job has its own average salary, and every position within each job category also has its average salary. For example the average salary for an entry level English teacher is different than the average salary for Senior Teacher, or Teaching Coordinator, etc. etc. Makes sense? Obviously the average for Teachers is different than that for HR, Marketing, Finance, etc. etc. So I think it is better to look at salaries for individual job categories to make a better judgement. Of course that depends on which job category each person wants to work in.

Anyway, regarding your other points, thanks for your input, I will take it into consideration although my main question is about finding a job related to my studies after graduation. I'm not so concerned about part-time jobs during studies (only interested to get an idea, etc.)

And I saw all your links, they give a general idea, but not very specific as I mentioned above.

I'm afraid to tell you Astoria is right with his data. Living costs are only to give you an idea how much money you need to spend. But GDP PPP (Purchasing Power Parity) is what is most important. Why? Because it tells you the Gross Domestic Product (ie. your output in monetary terms) and it relates this to the costs and living expenses. So 1,000 euros could be very good in one country but very bad in another country because the living expenses in one country could be very cheap, but they could be very expensive in the other country. This is what they call PPP (how much stuff can you buy for the same amount of money that you have in different locations).

The only problem I can see with Astoria's data is again within each country there is a lot of variation, as someone mentioned Warsaw is not like Katowice or any other city so again we need to be specific when comparing countries.

Best to compare Cairo to Katowice to Instanbul instead of Egypt to Poland to Turkey.

Cheers,

Ahmed

@szczecinianin

Thanks for your input, it's good to know people like me have some chance even in jobs which are normally done by native English speakers (ie. Americans, Brits, etc.) and good to know at least people are given a fair chance regardless of their nationality. That's how I do it in my job as an HR Recruiter in Egypt.
terri 1 | 1,665
26 Aug 2014 #27
Ahmed2014

I just wonder how many firms would be willing to employ you either on a part-time or a full-time basis?
This is easy enough to establish. Just email them and ask. It is only by this method (and this method only) that you will find out what you can expect in your particular situation.

Like I said before : Suck it and see.

Thank you very much for explaining to me how you calculate an average salary. Once again, I will say this, approximately 75% of people working full-time do not earn the average salary quoted for the whole country.

I can also tell you this: I live in the UK. Every 5 weeks I go to Poland for 3 weeks and then return to the UK for 5 weeks, then go to Poland for 3 weeks, return to the UK for 5 weeks and go to Poland for 3 weeks...... I have been doing this for the last 2 years.

Now - who do you think has a better idea of what is currently going on in Poland, you or me?
Monitor 14 | 1,820
26 Aug 2014 #28
@ahmed2014: Ok apparently I did not understand what you tried to say.
OP ahmed2014 3 | 22
27 Aug 2014 #29
Like I said before, we'll just see how everything goes.

@ Terri obviously you know your country very well, and I wasn't trying to argue with you on anything. Just one question, if 75 % of people are below the average, then where does this average come from?

@ Monitor, I appreciate all your remarks and feedback.

@ Monitor, I'm more than happy to discuss your point of view further in PM (if you want of course).

Cheers
Monitor 14 | 1,820
27 Aug 2014 #30
if 75 % of people are below the average, then where does this average come from?

After you write that again I am quite sure that you don't understand what average is. In most of countries big majority earns less than average and it's completely normal. Or what do you mean by asking where does the average come from? Average is an equation and to give you example (although why would I if you studied statistics):

If 9 out of 10 people earn 1000USD and 10th earn 100 0000 USD then average salary is 10 900 USD. And yet 90% people earn less. This is where the average come from so high. From very high salaries of few percent of population and high salaries of another 10 - 20% of rich.

The salary distribution is right-skewed, therefore more people earn less than the average gross salary.

en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_European_countries_by_average_wage

You really did not know that?


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