The last two decades have seen a strong bond form between Ireland and Poland. It started with an influx of Poles into Ireland throughout the boom years, and it has since grown into mutual admiration. You can now find Polish fruit and vegetable stores scattered throughout the country and with the Polish people endearing themselves to the locals, Poland seems a much closer than it did a generation ago. As a result, there are many Irish people who are upping sticks and moving to Poland.
But What is It Really like Moving to Poland from Ireland?
Well, the first big shock that any Irish person will probably encounter is the cost of living. It is pretty cheap, and the health care system is very good. However, despite those two major pluses, you should not expect to fall in love with the country right away. In fact, plenty of people who visit Poland for the first time have a dismal first impression, but it is a place that will grow on you quickly.
The major adjustments that you have to make when you move to Poland have to do with their culture. The Polish are more reserved than us Irish. Now, I am not saying that they are not welcoming and friendly, it is just that they do not smile and talk to strangers as much as us Irish like to do. They are very family-centered, and the Catholic church is particularly conservative. The attitude that is taken towards jaywalking is a very good indication of how our two cultures are different. In Ireland, nobody cares if you walk on the road and dodge in and out of cards, but if you are caught doing that in Poland, then you will receive a fine if the police see you do it.
Moving to Poland from Ireland – Key Differences
If you are thinking of moving to Poland from Ireland and you are of working age, then you really do need to start brushing up on your Polish skills. Poland is not a country where you can get by with English alone as there are many who do not speak it very well. So, unless you are going there to teach English or some other job where English is a requirement, you will need to have a good understanding of the language. The competition for jobs in Poland is very strong, so I recommend that you have a job lined up before you head on over there.
Any move to another country will come with its own pleasant surprises. If you think that you will encounter nothing by old Soviet-era architecture, then you will be in for a nice surprise. You will encounter plenty of colourful and charming building as well as some designs that will leave you in awe. Oh, and they have some of the best sausages that I have ever tasted. However, if you are a vegan, there is a decent vegan scene too, so you have nothing to worry about.
When you can, you should try to pay using the exact money. Using a big pill to pay for a loaf of bread or something is something that will definitely not win you any friends in Poland. Like I said above, the cost of living is cheap here, so you will not need a large bill to buy some milk anyway.
What to Take with You
If you have any Polish neighbours in Ireland, then you might have realised just how much better they can cope with cold weather than us Irish can. This should give you a very good idea as to what winter is like in Poland. However, Poland is a huge country, and there are actually two different climate zones. It is warmer in the south, and very cold close to the mountains. So, when you go to Poland, take all of your winter gear with you, and buy some more once you get there.
You will be glad to hear though that they do have a summer in Poland too – definitely more than what we get here in Ireland. It is not rare to get temperatures in the mid-20s during the summer months. Therefore, you can take your summer clothes with you too.
Whatever you decide to take with you, it is important that you plan ahead as this will give you some peace of mind.