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Why is Poland so popular for expats?

Poland Weekly+ asked expats’ opinions about Poland through contacts with verified accounts on social media. The most common response was “safety.”

Poland is becoming an increasingly preferred country for expats. Since it became a member of the European Union in 2004, the country’s increasing economic integration and compliance with EU standards have made it more attractive every year. 

What do these immigrants think about Poland? What do they see as Poland’s advantages and disadvantages? Do they want to live here for many years or do they plan to settle in another country? We sought answers to these questions through the contacts made by Poland Weekly+ on social media!

The word that expats most used to describe Poland was “safety.” The security, cleanliness, orderliness and beauty of cities were also up there.

“No country is currently safer, cleaner, stronger or with better prospects. Some Polish citizens won’t agree, but most who don’t think so have never left Poland and can’t really make a fair comparison. I have literally lived on every continent throughout my life and I will never leave Poland,” said a middle-aged woman who studied and lived in South Africa for a long time.

“I like Poland. It has a low crime rate, most people speak English, not a lot of random migrants, clean roads, infrastructure is good but still cheap, good food, and a big country with a lot of resources. Housing costs have shot up lately, but other than that everything looks good. I am here though due to the war in Ukraine, sort of a refugee myself,” said one lady. 

“I think Poland is very safe, with lots of opportunities for young people and students, and it’s very student-friendly, for example students under 26 don’t pay tax, and on graduation your diploma is your work permit. Other than that it is easy to get around by public transport, lots of beautiful places to visit, and overall a nice place to be, I would consider staying here long term,” said a young Asian man. 

On the other hand, he complained about the public bureaucracy: “However, for me the only obstacle is the Urzad in Wroclaw, it’s absolutely horrible!” he added.

“Poland is the safest country in Europe. Polish culture and people are super. Also, Poland has beautiful cities like Gdansk and Wroclaw. There are more opportunities to grow here career-wise and personality-wise. Polish trains are quick, efficient, and clean,” said a young expat from India.

“I’ve been in Tricity since December 2022 and this time has allowed me to observe certain things. I like the Tricity, mixing the old town and tourism – as I was used to seeing in my Italian region of origin – and they are strong on hospitality, including if you’re a resident. The public transport is the best I have seen in several countries I have lived in. The people are reserved in the sense that no-one will bother you here, but if it looks like you’re not busy they can try to engage in conversation and be friendly. I appreciate that.”

“One lovely point about Poland for me is that the sweets are amazing and with a huge range of options. This is really unbelievable, and some chocolate brands can easily beat the Swiss chocolates as more tasty. Other than the short days in winter, I think one disadvantage seems to be the growing inflation.”

“I would like to improve my neighbourhood relationship with celebrations, since here there is enough snow to do amazing things at Christmas. I would love to have that kind of community meeting outside with any amateur musician, hot chocolate and panettone pieces, and maybe a fire outside or Christmas tree. I’m Italian and empathy, sentimentalism, drama and this human interaction is super nice. Other than this, people are nice and anyone can find nice things, places and people. Was a huge pleasure to find out here that Poland is much more than the poor propaganda we receive in our countries,” said a young Italian lady.

“I live neither in the capital nor in a tourist region: in ordinary central Poland. I could never have imagined moving to Poland without a family connection. And of course: I understand EU pensioners who spend their foreign pension in Poland benefit from the higher purchasing power here. I didn’t set up a Polish subsidiary because the weather is not so friendly in winter and the language is not so easy to learn.  I think there are more interesting countries from a financial point of view. On the other hand, if you are looking for a country where family ties are relatively strong, neighbors still help each other and it is relatively safe to move around a big city after midnight, you can be very happy in Poland. Everyone goes through different phases in their professional life. For me, Poland is more of a destination for those who want to settle down a little and who perhaps already have some money saved up. Regardless of which country you decide to emigrate to, I think the most important thing is that you are attracted to your new home country and don’t just emigrate to another country because you are unhappy in your current home country,” said a middle-aged German man.

Expats who needed to take a Trans-Atlantic flight to reach Poland or people who said goodbye to their EU passports after Brexit drew attention to Poland’s location, law, and EU standards. 

“Well of course it depends on what country you come from, but coming from the United States, I find Poland to be incredibly supportive of families with young children – maternity leave, affordable childcare, and playgrounds all around. I wish that it was easier to find children’s clothes in thrift stores because I usually have to dig through big bins. One of my dreams is to open a thrift store for children’s items,” said one American.

“When I came in 2019, Poland had a very large tech industry with many jobs and emerging talent, the economy was good, inflation was low and prices were cheaper than in the UK. Currently on a 10-year residence permit and after that will go for citizenship so I won’t be leaving. In 2016, when the Brexit Referendum was held, I had already decided I would leave for Europe,” said a young Brit.

“Safer, cleaner, cultural richness, location in Europe, low cost, good healthcare, good education, family values…” opined a middle-aged American man.

Some expats praised Polish culture, social life, and people.

“Simply for the people! They are hard to love but their strength, courage, and stubborn adherence to their culture make the Poles nearly indestructible!” said an elderly American man.

“Because of the people! Polish people are so nice and also the social life here is good,” said a young man from Pakistan.

Some expats spoke of the challenges of Poland in an entertaining way: 

“Wanted to suffer learning a language!” 

“Easy mode in England was boring!” 

“Definitely not for the climate!”

Erol Dzhelik
Erol Dzhelik
I think we can overcome global challenges with mutual understanding, international cooperation and diplomacy. We offer you this insight at Poland Weekly.
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