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Teaching jobs for Americans in Wroclaw?


jcarrett 3 | 10
6 Aug 2011 #1
Im coming to Poland (Wroclaw specifically) from the USA at the end of August and do not speak any polish but am hoping to find a job teaching in a language school. I work in a camp in America where i work with many poles that said it will be easy to find a job and people to tutor privately. Is this true?
Dommie B.
6 Aug 2011 #2
It's pure bullshit.

I'm an American teaching in Wrocław, and I've been here for nine years. First of all, getting enough private students to make a living takes a great deal of time and work. Word of mouth is very important, so you have to build up a reputation over several years to get high quality students that are reliable. Not knowing Polish is going to be a major disadvantage.

Your best bet would be to teach in one of the language schools, but there is a major problem for Americans here- work permission. Getting permission for you is a major hassle that few language schools are willing to undertake, unless you are highly qualified and experienced. And then there's the whole rigamarole of getting permission to stay in Poland. It's so much easier for schools to hire someone from the UK or Ireland. Also, because of the financial crisis, schools are hiring fewer native speakers because tehy cost so much. Schools highly prefer teachers who run their own businesses and can work on contract. Traditional full time jobs with guaranteed hours are harder and harder to find in the bigger cities.

The teaching market in Wrocław is pretty much saturated, and there is little room for unqualified newbies. The best jobs at the best schools are already taken by people who are highly qualified and experienced. You might find a job in a Callan method school, but those schools are less reputable and the work is less rewarding.

Competition is high. Foreigners flock to Wrocław because it is such a beautiful city with a very high standard of living and culture, but correspondingly high cost of living, especially if you don't know the language and don't have a circle of friends to help you out. You would be much better off finding a job in some small obscure town, where they're begging for teachers and the cost of living is lower. Check out the ads on the internet and go where the jobs are, instead of going someplace you want and expecting to find a job there. As a guide, you will need to earn at least 2500 PLN per month to make a go of it in Wrocław, and that's pretty no-frills. You can earn that much in smaller towns, and it goes much further.

So, all in all, those Poles you talked to at camp gave you some bum advice. My advice is to avoid the popular cities like Wrocław, Cracow, Poznań, Toruń and Gdańsk, and start out in a small town where there is little competition. Life in a small town can be very nice. I spent four years in a small town before I move to Wrocław, and I had a great time.
OP jcarrett 3 | 10
6 Aug 2011 #3
Well im coming to live in Wroclaw with my fiancee and her parents. Ive done nothing in the way of getting prepared to come over. I plan on studying at WSF starting in October which i have to apply to when i get there. However, my fiancee studies there and talked to the admissions office and they said it would be easy for me to begin studying there.

My future parents-in-laws went to the immigration office and talked to them and talked to one of their friends that own a business and they said it would be easy for me to get a work permit through their friend. Without Polish is there any other jobs that are somewhat easy to attain?

Oh and what were your credentials when coming to Wroclaw? Do you have to be a university graduate or have finished the CELTA course?
Dommie B.
6 Aug 2011 #4
Oh, God! Not another stupid foreigner moving to Poland to be with his Polish girlfriend. We've heard this story thousands of times, and it rarely, if ever, works out.

Here's some good advice: Get your head out of the clouds, kid. There aren't any jobs in Poland that are "easy to obtain", especially for unskilled, inexperienced slackers that don't know the local language. A diploma from WSF is just about worthless, and this girl is going to dump your sweet ass as soon as she figures out you are not a cash cow. Sorry, but that's how it is; Polish women seek a mate that will give them financial security, and if you become a liability, your GF will have no compunctions about giving you the boot.

Forget about this girl, stay in the States and get a real education so that you can get a real job and support yourself and your future family. For the time being, you are unable to support yourself, and finding work in Poland is probably going to be impossible. You're going to end up living as a parasite with your "fiancee's" parents, and they are going to get tired of you pretty darn quick, and she is, too.

Sorry to pee on your campfire, kid, but I've lived in Poland a long time, and I've seen this happen many times, never with a happy ending. I doubt that I'm the first to tell you this; no doubt you've heard it from your folks. Go get a real degree in a real major from a real American university so you can get a real job and have a real life. Otherwise, you going to get a very harsh lesson in the school of hard knocks, and lose a few years of your life and a whole bunch of self-esteem in the process.
Wroclaw 44 | 5,387
6 Aug 2011 #5
Oh and what were your credentials when coming to Wroclaw? Do you have to be a university graduate or have finished the CELTA course?

not in my case.

if u want to get on here don't spend longer than your first weekend trying to get to know the place. get out and meet people, look for work and when you've found it u can relax. think about other work options too.

u will run into problems and often the only way out is to grow some.
delphiandomine 83 | 17,900
6 Aug 2011 #6
Well im coming to live in Wroclaw with my fiancee and her parents.

What are their living conditions? Are they wealthy? Or will you be living in a flat with them?

Ive done nothing in the way of getting prepared to come over.

And what makes you think that you can get a job above those who are prepared, local and know the score?

I plan on studying at WSF starting in October which i have to apply to when i get there. However, my fiancee studies there and talked to the admissions office and they said it would be easy for me to begin studying there.

It's not so easy. For a start - your American diploma will have to be "nostrificated" by the local educational authorities - and this takes time. If they're willing to accept you without this - then the place is a joke and the education is completely worthless. In fact - let me share a little secret with you. These "universities" (actually, they're called "Higher Schools" in Polish, so not proper universities) are nothing but a way for people to defer unemployment. People graduate from them in their thousands, yet no-one will employ them - you need a degree from a public university to get anywhere in Poland.

My future parents-in-laws went to the immigration office and talked to them and talked to one of their friends that own a business and they said it would be easy for me to get a work permit through their friend.

Easy? Not at all - and I have my doubts that "friends of parents" will want to go to the hassle of obtaining one. Incidentally, work permits are only valid for one place of employment - so what use is it?

Without Polish is there any other jobs that are somewhat easy to attain?

None, unless you're willing to work on the black market. I could get you a job paying 800PLN/month in Wroclaw easily if you wanted, without health insurance/social benefits/labour protection/etc.

Oh, God! Not another stupid foreigner moving to Poland to be with his Polish girlfriend. We've heard this story thousands of times, and it rarely, if ever, works out.

My thoughts exactly.

Polish women seek a mate that will give them financial security, and if you become a liability, your GF will have no compunctions about giving you the boot.

Especially as she's studying at a private institution with no hope of a decent job at the end of it. She's not going to be interested in some Callan teacher earning 2500zl maximum a month - she'll want someone that's going somewhere, preferably with a nice flat attached.

Oh and what were your credentials when coming to Wroclaw? Do you have to be a university graduate or have finished the CELTA course?

It's a minimum if you don't have "life experience".

The only people employing those without a degree and/or CELTA are the ones who will employ anyone - and will quite happily fire you in November for trivial things if you cost too much.

(not just me that thinks that he's met a stupid Polish girl working on a camp, proposed to her within weeks and she's already made all sorts of plans for her 'rich' American husband to buy her and her family all sorts of nice things)
rybnik 18 | 1,462
6 Aug 2011 #7
Otherwise, you going to get a very harsh lesson in the school of hard knocks, and lose a few years of your life and a whole bunch of self-esteem in the process.

some of us learn our best lessons by attending this school ;) .....Daj mu spokoj! He's idealistic. Let him follow his muse.
Dommie B.
6 Aug 2011 #8
Oh and what were your credentials when coming to Wroclaw? Do you have to be a university graduate or have finished the CELTA course?

I had a doctorate in clinical microbiology with a very strong language background, 19 years experience as a scientific translator, and 9 years experience teaching undergraduate and nursing school courses.

I took a four week TEFL course when I got to Poland, mostly as a formality to make the paperwork easier.

Do you have to have a degree and CELTA? Yes, or an equivalent certificate, if you want to teach in a reputable school and earn decent money. No, if you're satisfied teaching in a s hit school for peanuts.

WSF is a total waste of time and money. One of my former students went there, and regretted it. She wasted two years of her life getting a certificate that is completely useless on the job market.
plgrl
6 Aug 2011 #9
WSF is a total waste of time and money. One of my former students went there, and regretted it. She wasted two years of her life getting a certificate that is completely useless on the job market.

Wyższa Szkoła Fizjoterapii or Wyższa Szkoła Filologiczna? I haven't heard never before about none of these schools but I'm not from Wrocław. Just googled the acronim out of curiosity and it seems there are two higher schools sharing that acronim.
Dommie B.
6 Aug 2011 #10
Wyższa Szkoła Fizjoterapii or Wyższa Szkoła Filologiczna?

I was assuming Filologiczna. Didn't know about the other one.

Daj mu spokoj! He's idealistic. Let him follow his muse.

They never listen, anyway. I don't expect him to see reason. Until it's too late, that is. Give him a few months of living in close quarters with his "future MIL". That will set him straight.
delphiandomine 83 | 17,900
6 Aug 2011 #11
Give him a few months of living in close quarters with his "future MIL".

Yep, and then he'll get busted for being here illegally (because the parents friends couldn't be bothered to sort him out with the work permit after realising what it involves) and that'll be another one ranting on these forums about how terrible Poland is.

Is this true?

No.

And you've got 90 days in Poland to obtain a residence permit, or you must leave. The punishment if you're caught is an instant 1 year ban from the entire Schengen territory (25 countries and counting...), along with a permanent record that will always count against you in future if you want to enter the zone.
OP jcarrett 3 | 10
6 Aug 2011 #12
Ive been to Wroclaw two times already and first of all my girlfriend is not polish, or a stupid polish as you said. Second of all, why do you live in Poland if you hate Polish people so much and stereotype them so quickly. You obviously have a horrible life if your sitting on polish forums all day talking **** about people. I know its not gonna be easy but beginnings are never easy and i never expected to be making alot at the beginning because my fiancee's parents are going to help me out, but i was hoping to get some help in starting off. Im sorry im not as worried about money as much as other people, i just want to be able to obtain a decent paying job later down the road.
grubas 12 | 1,391
6 Aug 2011 #13
Don't listen to the haters man and give it a shot.You can always go back to US if things won't work out.
Parastie - | 4
6 Aug 2011 #14
I have to agree and disagree with Dommie B. here. This is my 6th year in Poland, I live in Lodz and study at the university there. I recently got married to my Polish girlfriend and I'm working on how to work here.

1. Get married. You've got 90 days to figure this out, and it's not going to be easy. The instructions on the US Embassy webpage are correct! You'll need to start as soon as you get here (unless you marry in the before you get here). Once married, it's easier to stay. You'll get a 2 year temporary residency card that allows you to work. It's what I now have. After 2 years, you get a 5 year then a permanent.

2. Learn Polish. Rosetta stone is a joke, you'll need to start learn Polish immediately. Sadly, there are few schools to teach you and any of the good ones are horribly expensive. I highly recommend picking up the book, "Learn Polish in 4 weeks" (even though it's impossible) to get a good grip of how to the language works, even if you're not actually speaking it. Stop speaking English as soon as you can, and learn Polish. It'll be a huge huge help.

3. Pay. You're not going to really get much pay. You'll be lucky to make 1/10th of what you'll make in the US. If Wroclaw, that's not going to be enough to live on. If you were in a small town (or even a crappy city like Lodz) it might be enough, but not in Wroclaw. As Dommie B. says, going for the language route is probably not your best option. What other skills do you have?

I hope some of that helps you out. I really like Poland, and I'm guessing Dommie does as well or he wouldn't be here either. Technical and more scientifically orientated jobs are the best paying (sadly not medicine), but you'll need to know Polish very well. Good luck!
delphiandomine 83 | 17,900
6 Aug 2011 #15
Ive been to Wroclaw two times already and first of all my girlfriend is not polish, or a stupid polish as you said.

Isn't she?

So, why is she getting you to come to Poland, despite the fact that you're young, unqualified and very likely to end up working as nothing more than a disposable slave in Poland?

If she had your best interests in heart, she'd tell you to go to college in the United States and get a degree that's actually worth something, rather than a worthless piece of paper from a "Higher School" in a poor EU country.

Second of all, why do you live in Poland if you hate Polish people so much and stereotype them so quickly.

We know the type, because we live here. I've seen several examples myself of where foreign guys have came here, full of optimism - only to get beaten down repeatedly and end up leaving because they simply can't make ends meet. We also know what Polish families (especially mothers in law) are like - overbearing would be the magic word.

You obviously have a horrible life if your sitting on polish forums all day talking **** about people.

It's a nice distraction while my brain rots from endless Polish educational psycho-babble. Deadlines, deadlines...sigh.

I know its not gonna be easy but beginnings are never easy and i never expected to be making alot at the beginning because my fiancee's parents are going to help me out

Trust me, and I mean this - do not rely on them. They may help you in the beginning, but when they start to expect you to do things such as have a nice family dinner while you're absolutely shattered during a split-shift from hell (for instance, 7am-10am, then 3pm to 9pm) - you'll soon see the ugly side. It'll be great in the beginning, sure - but what are you gonna do when they expect you to start looking after their daughter properly?

but i was hoping to get some help in starting off.

The best help you can get is from yourself - stay in the US and get a degree there. I mean it - a Polish degree from a dodgy private university simply won't do anything for you in the long run - in Poland or abroad. The employment situation post-degree for graduates of private universities is dire - for instance, a degree from this WSF place won't be regarded as 'good' by anyone in Poland or elsewhere.

Im sorry im not as worried about money as much as other people

You might not be now, but what about later? Wroclaw's not a cheap place for property at all - do you really see yourself living with her parents for several years, or living in a cramped flat with other people when you could be living in a decent sized property in the US?

i just want to be able to obtain a decent paying job later down the road.

Listen to what Dommie says. What he (I assume he?) says is so, so true - plenty have done the same as you, and plenty have failed. If you really want to move here, then find a job in a small town where they'll treat you like a king - there's plenty of those jobs about.

How old are you, kid? Poland has huge problems with reverse ageism - anyone under the age of 25 or so will be seen immediately as "young" and treated as such.

her father is a mechanic and he mother works as an accountant. Their not rich but they make enough money to live a comfortable life in the center of wroclaw (near rynek) and they are always helping people financially. Her mother has a very good relationship with her boss and he gets work permits for her family when they come to wroclaw to work, so she said i should be able to get the work permit quite easily

The work permit is an irrelevance - it's only valid for one job - as the employer applies for the work permit, not the employee. You'll have to get a work permit for every single job - and the amount of schools that will hire non-EU citizens is decreasing and decreasing.

As for them living in the centre of Wroclaw - that means you'll be living in a flat with them? Trust me - that's not going to be a nice living arrangement. It's a recipe for disaster - what if you have an argument with them? What are you going to do when your attitudes clash (as they will?).
OP jcarrett 3 | 10
6 Aug 2011 #16
ive completed two years at eastern michigan university in secondary education-mathematics and physics. I earned high honors and was on the math team where i excelled. Ive completed most math classes because i went through multivariable calculus when i was in high school, however im having trouble getting my college transcripts bc my college is not paid off yet and there is a hold right now on my account
delphiandomine 83 | 17,900
6 Aug 2011 #17
Jeez, man - stay in college there. If you finish secondary education in mathematics and physics, you might actually be able to find a good job here after finishing. There are plenty of international schools around (not just in Poland, but also in other countries around) - and it's not going to be easy for them to find a native with qualifications in that, especially physics.

But be warned - it's not your college transcripts that matter, but your high school transcripts. And Poland, unfortunately, has a very complicated process when it comes to recognising US diplomas for university (or "higher school") entry.
OP jcarrett 3 | 10
6 Aug 2011 #18
they actually dont speak english and i dont speak polish so we have to talk through my fiancee
delphiandomine 83 | 17,900
6 Aug 2011 #19
Trust me - stay in school.

I know she's probably amazing and great in bed and so on - but it's going to be hard here for you if you don't have "the papers". The fact that they don't speak English will make it even tougher for you - how can you explain to them, for instance, that you need to be left alone because you're tired and don't want to sit talking to them into the night?

I know Wroclaw a bit, and I can tell you that there are a lot of people who think like you - and many of them go home with their fingers burnt. It's a tough country to adjust to, especially with the horrific Polish habit of telling you what you want to hear and then not actually doing what they're supposed to do.
Dommie B.
6 Aug 2011 #20
Jeez, man - stay in college there.

I agree. Do everything in your power to finish that degree, and get a masters. That's a very saleable degree that's relatively portable. A thousand times better than a certificate from a third rate Polish school like WSF.

Marriage can wait. School is more important in your life right now. Once you get your masters, you will easily find a good job in Wrocław, or anywhere else for that matter. Qualified math and physics teachers are in great demand everywhere.

Do your best to get started again this semester. Be a man and finish what you've started so that you can take care of yourself. Sponging off the future inlaws is not cool. From what it looks like, they are not in any position to help you in a realistic fashion anyway. You'd be doing them, your GF and yourself a great favor by finishing your masters in the States before you move to Poland and get married.
rybnik 18 | 1,462
6 Aug 2011 #21
ive completed two years at eastern michigan university in secondary education-mathematics and physics. I earned high honors and was on the math team where i excelled

Are you kidding? You're halfway there! Why don't you find a way to finish college, get your degree THEN go to Poland? You'll be in a slightly better position IMHO.
delphiandomine 83 | 17,900
6 Aug 2011 #22
You'll be in a slightly better position IMHO.

Slightly? He'll be in a fantastic position - he could walk into a job in the UK for instance, and I'm sure there's a total lack of qualified native speakers of English maths/physics teachers in international schools throughout the world.
rybnik 18 | 1,462
6 Aug 2011 #23
There you go Jcarrett! ARE YOU LISTENING?.......GET YOUR DEGREE!
Dommie B.
6 Aug 2011 #24
ARE YOU LISTENING?.......GET YOUR DEGREE!

Don't be a fool! Stay in school!
JonnyM 11 | 2,621
6 Aug 2011 #25
There you go Jcarrett! ARE YOU LISTENING?.......GET YOUR DEGREE!

Yes. Then the world will be your oyster. If you don't get it you will regret it later at a point in your life when you have far fewer choices and far harder decisions.
Dommie B.
6 Aug 2011 #26
If you can't start up again at EMU this semester, spend the year working in the States to earn enough money to start up again next year. Work overtime or two jobs, and get a weekend job as well. You're not going to earn anything in Poland, just dig yourself deeper into a hole you won't be able to crawl out of. If you can't live without her, why don't you bring GF to the States so she can earn and go to a real school, too? She's wasting her time at WSF if she wants to be a teacher. Like someone else said, she's basically deferring unemployment for the time being.
rybnik 18 | 1,462
7 Aug 2011 #27
As I was feeding my dogs I thought of you Jcarrett. Not so much you but of your GF and her family. How could they be ok with you dropping your studies like that and entering into this vulnerable realtionship in Wroclaw....As a father of two, one of whom is nearing college-age I have to say this (and then I'll shut up for good): Wake up kid! They don't have your best interests at heart. How could they. Just stop and think about what you are being asked to do. From where I sit it stinks. I can't beleive I'm getting upset over this. Anyway, just finish your studies (i'm betting you're not Jewish or Asian). What a waste!....I'm done
gazzaroon - | 36
8 Aug 2011 #28
As I mentioned to you on Facebook Jeremy, the only way it seems you will know what is reality is by trying it yourself. However, if you were a wise man you would listen to the advice everyone has given you and take some time to really think about what YOU want. Don't think about your GF or her parents, but think about where you want your life to go, where do you want to be in 10 years time?

Wroclaw is a hard city to get started in especially if you don't have a teaching qualification. In fact, native speakers have a bad name here in Wroclaw as many have come and gone and caused all sorts of problems for those of us who want to stay and build something here. I personally have had problems with employing native speakers and now don't as it's simply too much hassle - and I am a native speaker!!

I don't agree with the rhetoric about WSF, as in Poland you simply need a piece of paper to prove that you can do what you say you can do. They are rarely checked and rarely even considered.

My advice: take some time to think about your future and where you want to go in your life. Education is the key to life, sadly. So really take some time to see if you could possibly finish your studies in the US in some way and then move to Wroclaw. Don't miss an opportunity to fulfil your career dream for a quick easy fix solution is all I am saying.

Good luck in whatever you choose to do.

p.s. If you want to get to know some foreigners if you do arrive in Wroclaw, come along to the International Friends of Wroclaw [facebook.com/pages/International-Friends-of-Wroclaw-IFW/168197799862135] on a wednesday morning from 10.30am - 12.30. It's a social club more than anything else.
Dommie B.
8 Aug 2011 #29
International Friends of Wroclaw

I'd like to meet you guys. Where do you meet? I don't use facebook.

Also, I run an English conversation group every Thursday from 18:00 to 21:00. During the summer, we meet at pręgierz. Basically, I put the participants in pairs and they go off to have a conversation for 45 minutes, after which they come back and get a new partner. Everyone's invited, as long as they can carry on a conversation in English.
gazzaroon - | 36
8 Aug 2011 #30
We have a place at 44a pilsudskiego street. But the entrance is via Plac Generała Tadeusza Kościuszki. If you would like to meet other foreigners it's a great place to come visit.


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