Living in another country, learning new language, new customs. Find out how Izzat our Process Automation Specialist talks about his life in Poland.
What were your thoughts on Poland before moving there and how does that compare to how you see it now?
To be completely honest, at first, I had no thoughts; all I worried about was my studies and whether or not I should continue my degree there. However, after a few years, I can say that choosing to begin a new path here was not a bad decision at all. I appreciate every opportunity I’ve had over the years, studying and working.
Polish language is always a big challenge for foreigners. What is your experience?
I attended an intensive Polish language course for foreigners for 1.5 years, I was participating daily for around 8 hours. I finished the course with a B1 certificate in 2018, however, I believe my current proficiency level is between B2-C1.
Although it’s clear that I still struggle with the language and encounter new challenges every day, at least I’ve crossed the barrier separating me from the language itself.
Any tips for others?
Although extremely challenging, learning this language is not impossible. To ensure success, practice speaking with others every day. The Exchange Languages group on Facebook is something that I highly recommend because the people there are quite helpful.
Any funny stories you have associated with the Polish language?
I was always mixing between (dzień dobry) and (dziękuję), once I wanted to thank my teacher and I told her “dzień dobry bardzo”, she took a while to realize what was happening.
It was so hard to pronounce “Szczęśliwego Nowego Roku” by the end of each year, but still, the worst whenever the sz, cz or rz are meeting in the same word.
How did your family and friends react to your move to Poland?
They always want me around them, but in the end, they realized that this is the place I wanted to improve myself in, so wherever I’m happy, they are happy too. They haven’t visited me yet, they have the rule, if you want to see us, so come back and visit us, so I do it every year.
What do you miss most about your country?
In particular, this is a common answer for all expats here, always good food and good winter weather „definitely not as cold as in Poland”, and above all definitely family.
What do you like about Poland?
I like nature itself, it’s really varied and rich, many attractive places to discover here, you can move to a city around the mountain and high places, then you go to another city where’s the sea appears and around its forests.
Do you have a favorite dish you can tell us about?
My favourite is Pierogi Ruskie, I also like other like: zupa grzybowa, pomidorowa, placki ziemniaczane and more. I am more in love with Polish sweets such as: szarlotka and sernik, but unfortunately, I could not manage the żurek or barszcz at all.
What Polish customs are either incomprehensible or surprising to you?
Asking the guest to take the shoes off, was a real surprise, maybe because in my home country we consider it a shame if you asked your guest to do it.
The breakfast, lunch and dinner time as well, there’s at least 2 to 3h differences between us.
Also about having the drying rack with wet clothes inside the bathroom or in the living room, I started doing the same anyways.
One more thing, I don’t know why they keep the lights of the car on during the day, I know it’s something related to the law, but I’m always wondering why.
Can you tell us about a few of your favorite places in Poland?
I lived in Krakow for a quite long time, so I would say it’s my favorite place, the mountains around Krakow are really worth visiting, specially Zakopane, it’s a piece of heaven I guess. There are also those artificial plateaus “kopce” where you can enjoy the view of the city between the forests.
I would say that Poland is a very good place where you can find a chance to start and grow your career, it’s a really friendly place for foreigners. The people here are friendly and helpful and this is always visible whenever you seek help from anyone on the street or somewhere to go.