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Tips for surviving your move to Poland

Moving to Poland it’s easy, all you need is a good reason and a plane ticket. Well, sometimes you require a visa, too.

But, with great decisions come great responsibilities, so even if entering Polish soil can be easy, starting the process of actual living could be full of misunderstandings. Be prepared to lose your naivety in a spiral of bureaucracy and hard grammar rules.

In the meanwhile, follow these tips:

Learn polish before the moving (and keep learning after)

Polish is not the hardest language in the world as some people claim, but its grammar is extremely intricate and full of exceptions. This factor, plus a good command of English among young polish people, could discourage you from learning the language. But keep in mind that when you move to a different country, you are all alone. In most of the cases, nobody will be there helping with renting a room or buying something in a store. Don’t expect to find always somebody able or willing to speak English.

You are an adult, now! So don’t be lazy, and go to polish class.

You don’t need to live near the city centre

Houses in city centres are old, cold (have you ever experienced polish winter?), crazily expensive and overpopulated. Most of the expats keep renting in the city centre because “you have everything close and it’s a safe part of the city”. Well, polish public transport are efficient, and Poland has one of the lowest crime rate in Europe. So be open for a change, and try a residential neighbourhood.

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Polish winter in Cracow

More than 1000pln for a room is a scam

Media included. Many expats believe that renting price is similar or equal to their home countries, so they are willing to pay up to 2000 pln (500 euros) for a room. In a country where basic income is 2500pln, you can understand how five hundred euro can be really a lot of money. So repeat to yourself, before contacting that landlord: the price range for a room in a big city goes from 700pln to 1000pln.

Ps. Stay away from Facebook rental groups, they are full of scams. Check offers on websites like Olx or Gumtree.

Get a Pesel number and register your residence.

If you have followed my advice and you have rent from an honest landlord, you should have a rental contract. Well, go to the tax office and register your residence. If you skip this part you cannot obtain an identification number, or PESEL, useful for all the bureaucracy and tax purposes. Plus, in some cities like Cracow residency can give you access to discounted public transports card.

So, now that you have handled all the bureaucratic, boring paperwork, a whole new experience is waiting for you. So take a breath, and enjoy the view.

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Cracow, Vistula river

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