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Possibly moving to Warsaw- husband offered a job in Warsaw

heatherhopkins 1 | 4
12 Jan 2013 #1
Hello everybody. I am new to this forum but I am interested in learning from all of you. I am a U.S. citizen, currently living in California. My husband has been offered a job in Warsaw and we are trying to decide if it is the right move for us. If any of you can answer some questions or give advice it would be greatly appreciated.

- He's got a job and the job will take care of visas, moving, etc. How hard will it be for me to get a job? I am a graphic designer and marketing professional, but I used to be a teacher and do still hold a certification to teach in California, so I would be willing to explore that route as well.

-If I do explore English teaching, do any of you know if any extra certification is required, or will a foreign credential to teach suffice?

-What is it like in Warsaw? Any general advice/impressions are much appreciated!

I know it will be a huge change for both of us if we decide to move to Warsaw, but I am excited about the possibilities.
pip 10 | 1,659
12 Jan 2013 #2
Warsaw is a great place to live, I have lived here for a total of 11 years. Try to find something in the international schools first. There is the American School, the British school and the International European school that are the best ones. The French school is also good.

I would stay away from the private language schools - the competition to work there is a bit higher and most often the hours are not that great.
12 Jan 2013 #3
but I used to be a teacher

Hi Heather,

Firstly I would start by saying Pip will give you very good feedback as fellow north American she has first hand knowledge about life in Poland/Warszawa.

I can give you a lead to a kindrgarten/School which has been established for a couple of years and now they seem to have a strong client base I know they are looking to add a native head teacher to their staff and the salary is around 4,000 PLN per month. Maybe Pip could answer one question for you - If you are the spouse of foreign worker are you fully entitled to work in Poland or do you need to be sponsored by a company. I would guess its the latter although I am not 100% sure. For your information the school is in Nowy Wilanow.

Good luck with the move if you decide push forward.
OP heatherhopkins 1 | 4
12 Jan 2013 #4
Thank you to both of you! I'm not sure about the work status yet as it is early and we are looking at everything, crunching numbers, etc. but I think I would probably need to be sponsored by the hiring organization.
pip 10 | 1,659
12 Jan 2013 #5

good point, I always forget the legality of expats because I am married to a Pole.

I think she does need to be sponsored by a company or something similar- she needs the work permit.

Another alternative is doing freelance design work via computer.

Do ask what schools offer with regards to work permits. Some schools may find your offer interesting because you will already be living in the country as opposed to hiring from abroad.
OP heatherhopkins 1 | 4
12 Jan 2013 #6
I did think of freelance design work, which might be easier. I do some freelance now but not enough to transition to full time (currently I'm an in house designer in San Diego, CA), but I do know some websites for freelancers I could register with that are mostly US based, so I wouldn't have issues with legal work authorization there.

I will check out the schools as well and see if there are any good prospects.
13 Jan 2013 #7
I did think of freelance design work, which might be easier.

Legally if you are living and working in Poland for more than 180 days a year you are obliged to register for tax in Poland.
smurf 39 | 1,979
13 Jan 2013 #8
Heather don't bother teaching, set up an account on shutterstock, design graphics and get paid in dollars while living in Poland, you'll earn far more than teaching.

But get started before you come so that your portfolio is already up and running.
Set up yourself as being self-employed in Poland and you'll have to pay your own tax and Zus.....but the good thing is you'll only have to pay a small amount of 'artist's tax' and also the vast majority of freelance design websites pay tax in their home country, i.e shutterstock

I've know two people doing this here and they earn from 7,000-10,000zl per month, but they have huge portfolios on the sites, so get started :)
bullfrog 6 | 602
13 Jan 2013 #9
Warsaw is a great place to live, I have lived here for a total of 11 years.

Well, that's true, but it does take time ... Warsaw is probably the least "pretty" among big cities in Poland (Krakow, Wroclaw, Gdansk.) so it's rarely love at first sight but rather fondness growing over time. Plus remember, the climate is quite dissimilar to the one in San Diego, especially at this time of year (not that much of an issue for Pip I suppose considering she comes from Canada)
13 Jan 2013 #10
Well, that's true, but it does take time

There are generally two types of expat those that fight it and those who run with it, the ones who run with it will of course survive.
bullfrog 6 | 602
13 Jan 2013 #11
When I compare based on the people I know (I spent 5 years in Warsaw, after having worked 5 years in Paris and 8 years London and before Z├╝rich currently ), my experience is that's a bit more difficult in Warsaw (doesn't apply to me , I have a Polish spouse and am of the 2nd type!)
pip 10 | 1,659
13 Jan 2013 #12
Warsaw is an ugly city, there is no way around it, but once you appreciate the battles it has gone through, only then you can understand why the people here are the way they are and the construction and infrastructure is such a clusterfcuk.
13 Jan 2013 #14
Warsaw is an ugly city, there is no way around it,

I do appreciate Warsaw when I m away fro the city,especially overseas. Its a very easy city and the people in Warsaw are very easy going especially when you are not Polish.
OP heatherhopkins 1 | 4
13 Jan 2013 #15
Thanks for the advice, everybody. I'll check out shutterstock. I'm also registered on elance so that should help as well, but I do need to build a bigger portfolio than I currently have because most of the stuff I do now is just corporate for my job. I'm definitely interested in seeing what kind of adventure Warsaw has in store for me, and just a little bit scared about how cold it's going to get!
pip 10 | 1,659
13 Jan 2013 #16
cold is all relative. I was in Canada for xmas--we had -30 C with the windchill, here so far I think the coldest we have had in Warsaw was -13. That is downright balmy. I might even put on my winter jacket.
BartekN - | 2
14 Jan 2013 #17
I work as a freelance interpreter in Warsaw so if there's anything I can do for you please let me know. If you have any questions I'd love to help you out, please go ahead and drop me a line at b_nowicki AT

It's around freezing point right now, not bad at all ;)

smurf 39 | 1,979
14 Jan 2013 #18
I'm also registered on elance

No point in workin on elance, you'll always be underbid by some whizkid in India who'll do the work for pittance

Re: cold, yea don't come near here in winter, my first winter I turned into a full-blown alco, we had snow for nearly three months, I was never so depressed in my life, but then spring and summer came and made up for it...I'm not used to four season, where I'm from it's either raining or raining more heavily.

Best of luck
Harry's mama
14 Jan 2013 #19
Are you a sworn translator from English to polish or ice versa?i can use your services if they cheap and affordable.
BartekN - | 2
14 Jan 2013 #20
I am an interpreter not a translator, I do not work with documents. I do conference and community interpreting either consecutive or simultaneous (in a booth).

Please send a PM or email if interested.

OP heatherhopkins 1 | 4
14 Jan 2013 #21
haha it looks like I'll need a thicker winter coat!

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