Expat life can be tricky. You have to deal with a lot of tough stuff that you normally wouldn’t. Language barriers, obtaining residence permits, trouble meeting friends, lack of familial support, cultural misunderstandings. Phew! That’s a lot for us expats to handle. So, how can you survive all that? Read on to find out.
Finding a job in Poland as a foreigner might seem like a challenge, but there are more and more opportunities for us expats as Poland becomes more and more open. If you’re a native English speaker, working as an English teacher is an obvious choice, but there are plenty of other opportunities out there in various positions for foreigners, you just have to know where to look for them. In this post, I’ll give you my tips for finding a job in Poland as a foreigner.
My baby is two months old and he has already had the pleasure of visiting Urząd Wojewódzki in Katowice (twice), ZUS, Urząd Miasta in Gliwice and Tarnowskie Góry, and now the American Consulate in Kraków to get his American citizenship. Luckily for him, he has dual citizenship, so he won’t have to go through the hell I’ve had to go through being an immigrant.
If your baby is lucky enough to be born with parents from two different countries, they can generally have citizenship in both, depending on the laws in those places. In America, you’re considered a citizen if either you were born in America or your parents are citizens. In Poland, your parents have to be citizens in order to have citizenship. So that means if two Americans have a baby in Poland, their baby will only have American citizenship. So how can you obtain American citizenship for your baby if you’re American and he or she was born in Poland? Well, just a few rather simple procedures.
I’m happy to announce that as of June 4, 2017, I’m a mom! I gave birth to my baby boy at my local hospital in Gliwice, Poland. I chose the hospital based on location as it was the closest to my house, but I’d also heard good things. Frankly, I wasn’t disappointed with the stay. On the contrary, I was pleasantly surprised. My stay lasted 5 days due to the fact that I had to be induced. Interestingly, the standards varied depending on the floor you were on – the postpartum floor being the nicest. Here’s a list of the advantages and disadvantages of giving birth in a Polish hospital.
Being with someone from another country is often an adventure and sometimes a challenge. Which is it more of? Well, that’s hard to say. Have you ever been in a relationship with someone from a different culture than you? Then you get it. If not, it’s hard to imagine. Here are what I think are the upsides and downsides and how to manage them.
Making plans to move to Poland? Are you in the “oh fuck, now what?” stage? Or perhaps you’ve already hopped down the rabbit hole and you’re struggling a bit with how to get around or where to find certain things. Knowing a few basic bits of info like what I’ve listed here can make transitioning to Poland much more comfortable. You’ll feel like an honorary Pole in no time.
After 6 years in Poland, I’m realizing more and more that I couldn’t really stop the Polonization process even if I wanted to. The effects are already deeply ingrained and having a tiny half-Pole growing inside me probably only exacerbates it. Want to know whether you too have been Polonized? Here are some of the tell-tale symptoms to look out for:
I just hit my 6th year anniversary at the dead end of December and it making me feel strange and a little old. This number of years is starting to sound like a lot. Not just a couple, not just something short-term, but it’s starting to feel truly permanent. People ask me if I’m ever going to move back to the States and I’m starting to think I won’t, at least not in the foreseeable future. But one weird thing is that I can’t imagine myself as an old person in Poland. As a young person it seems like an adventure and as an old person it seems like a sham. Is that weird? Anyway, here are 6 things that these 6 short, fast, where-the-hell-did-the-time-go years have taught me.
I had a busy holiday season to say the least. My parents visited for 10 days, then I had a day visit from a WorldTeach (the program I came to Poland with originally) friend who was passing through Gliwice, then 1 week with my best friend Laura and her husband. It was my friends’ first time in Poland and we had an amazing time with them. They love food so we tried to center their trip around that but also visiting must-see sites in Poland. Are you expecting visitors in Poland? Here are some interesting things they might enjoy doing.
I guess when we decided to build/buy a house in Poland, we didn’t realize exactly what we were getting into. We bought a house in the raw developer’s state so stan surowy zamknięty. What that means is that the house was built, there were walls, windows and such but nothing else. That sounds pretty easy, right? I mean the hard part was done wasn’t it? Hah or so we thought.