Moving to Poland from the US

US to Poland – Why I moved

About seven years ago I moved from the US to Poland. Many people could not believe it. I moved from Boston’s Beacon Hill to Kraków, Poland.  Do not get me wrong, I am a patriot. I love America but that does not mean I have to limit my life experiences.

Since pictures speak louder than words, I took these photos today just walking around my house.  They are nothing special but gives you a real idea what life is like in Poland and why I would want to move from the US.

Poland is so beautiful it is not hard to move from the US to Poland

My grandparents came from Poland many years ago. I have always had an interest in Poland and Polish history from afar. After taking several trips to Poland I decided to study the Polish language in Kraków for a few months. But why did I move? I meet the girl who was to be my future wife. It was my destiny.

We would not have stayed if I did not love Polska.

Hard working Polish workers making Poland greater everyday

Why I moved to Poland and stayed

  • The USA is about 200% to 300% more expensive than Poland for the same exact things.
  • People are very humble and sincere, churches everywhere and people take family and church seriously.
  • It is the center of Europe and from Poland you can go anywhere in a short distance. I often go to Lviv, Vienna , Africa, Greece or the Northern countries with ease.
  • A new experience.
  • Poland has great food, if you love Polish cooking and fresh home cooked meals, you will love Poland. Fresh food in Poland tastes nothing like these large farm grown produce in the United States.
  • Interesting history and culture and art.
  • Countless other reasons I moved from the US to Poland.

Poland gets better everyday

About five years ago people use to say Polish people complain a lot. I do not think that is the case much anymore. Poles are pretty optimistic and every year the economy is getting better and better. Life is pretty good in Poland.  Life is real in Poland, not some something that comes in a package and is heated in a microwave.  People enjoy their lives with 8 weeks of family vacations a year.

You will feel no deprivation of consumer goods as Poland has huge shopping malls like or as nice than the USA

The people here have a strong sense of family and values.  I think in innocence and values it was like America in the early 1960s.  I hope it does not change too much.

Window shopping is always fun on the largest open square in all of Europe.

What about consumer goods when moving to Poland?

You can get anything you want in Poland and usually at a better price and quality. Many things are still made in Poland and most thins come with a two year EU warranty.

Modern Polish trams move people in Poland around their ancient cities.

Basically you have a USA lifestyle that is more interesting, mentally stimulating, 1/2 to 1/3 the price more peaceful, no guns and few violent crimes, free education to the University level and health care. Polish weather is better than the UK or Ireland or many northern countries but not as hot as Spain or Italy. But that is what vacation is for and I enjoy the four seasons in Poland. It is like living in New England.
Poland has mountains and the sea as well as lakes and ancient forests all very beautiful.

I am thinking of moving from the center of Kraków to a wooden house in the Polish countryside.

I have my apartment set up like I did when I lived in the USA. It is large and furnished with Ikea, high-speed Internet.  No standard of living difference.
I have no idea why the expensive USA is still the ideal to live in when the world now is global.

Gothic buildings are everywhere in Poland.

If you need advice on moving to Poland from the USA or Canada or from where ever you live, leave a comment. If you need to know about work in Poland or a visa or citizenship I will answer the best I can.

A Polish church on my street

If you need travel advice, or any ideas about moving to Poland again just write a comment and I will answer the best I can.

556 Replies to “Moving to Poland from the US”

  1. Hi..I love your site here .I am moving to Ruda Slaska in Oct.I met a sweet Polish lady two years ago and I moved to Spain to be with her. The economy was so bad we decided to shut down our business and move back to her home town in southern Poland. I have a question….we are both divorced and wanted to get married in a Catholic Church…she tells me that it is not allowed in Poland once divorced.Is this true?? Than you. Ted in New Orleans

    1. No true. If you have been married in the church you can get remarried with an annulment. The church is a universal church, not special rules in Poland. But you need to get annulled or you will have to get a civil marriage or another form of Christian marriage.

  2. Hi

    I am considering a move to Poland. I am a 40 year old female fully bi-lingual, professional – project management and marketing and communications background across sectors. Does a female of a certain age get shelved in Poland? What are the job opportunities for someone highly representative and professional who speaks both languages fluently? and has Polish citizenship? I have worked in Poland in the early 90’s teaching English and business English but have not worked there since….Currently residing in Australia.

    Would be very grateful for your feedback.

    Many thanks

    1. Age is not a factor, but what does count is either your blood connection to the country, such as if you have Polish roots. Or some employer will hire and sponsor you for a visa. I think you can get a visa if you have qualifications. Poland has changed a lot since you were here. Needless to say, it is a great place to live.

      1. Mark –

        Hi. Tim from Chicago here. I am interested in moving to Poland – Krakow in particular. Just wondering if your email address is still active and you could perhaps answer some questions via email. I am trying to get the company I work for to let me work remote from there – they are not sure just yet. Regardless – I have some general questions about finances, medical insurance, visas, etc. Where to start, how long the process may take, … I have a friend there – she was born and raised in Krakow (she’s actually going to visit me in Chicago after Christmas for several days). My grandparents were born in Poland and came to the US in the early 1900’s. I have some relatives there still and I am in process on contacting them. Just looking for information now basically so I can put a plan together and get the ball rolling. Any assistance will be greatly appreciated. Thanks.

        Tim

        1. Yes just write me under my contact page, I will do the best I can to answer you questions about Poland and Krakow.

  3. Hi, how did you organize shipping your belongings to Poland? I am a citizen, so that’s not the problem- but I’ve been researching getting all of my stuff from Boston to Wroclaw and it’s really complicated! Could you give an overview of the process of getting all of your things from the US to Poland? And is it as expensive as I fear? 🙂

    Thanks for any help!

    1. Good question. In every region there is a Polish community which knows the way to ship things cheapest. Since my folks lived in Connecticut I used to ship from New Britain or Hartford. There are two Polish shippers. It is very cheap, and easy. They rarely if ever check customs. Customs if you are worried about a delay. I have only had custom issues with Fedx and The postal service for example. Of course you can expect it to take 6 to 8 weeks with these shipping services to Poland.
      I guess my question is how long are you going to be in Poland?
      Me I basically came to Poland with one bag. Anything you need you can buy in Poland. Moving is liberating (and stressful) as you throw out stuff that you do not need.
      In Salem, Massachusetts there is a large Polish community and in Brookline and Brighton etc there are Russians. Both of them will have shipping points. A big over sized box should be about 25 dollars to ship from the USA to Poland.
      Let me know if you have any questions. Again, I bought all new stuff when I moved to Poland. Ikea furniture and a Grundig flat screen TV etc, sorry to say I feel like I am in America, but only 1/2 the cost of living.

  4. Hey loved your page. Im a medical student who is moving to Lublin to study medicine: I want a to experience a more global education. I have a few concerns and would love to hear your advice. One I speak barely any Polish, let alone have any Polish roots, so I am a little worried if I will be able to feel “at home” for my studies? Also, how is the street fashion? Im trying to buy clothes for the various seasons..is it better i just buy clothes there? Also, my mum and pop want to know what they should bring(clothes, etc)as they come over for a week in Fall? Finally, im a vegetarian! Haha, am i setting myself up for a major dissapointment? Thank you in advance =)

    1. You will be 100% OK. In fact people will like you and want to speak English with you. Lublin is a very nice town. It has a small old town and a shopping center. Its very nice, but it is not NYC or London, just a small peaceful city with many beautiful girls, by they way. Its very western and modern so fashion is wear what you like and if you are a vegetarian, no problem. I have many Polish vegetarian friends. There is an endless supply of quality fresh cheap carrot juice for example in the shops. If there is an Alma in Lublin, shop there for food, its like Whole foods in the USA.

  5. I am moving to Poland for about 5 years for my husbands work. Do you know how long it will take for us to get visa’s?

    1. If your husband has sponsorship from a company you do not have to worry. They will give him a temporary visa then a full visa. It will take 3 months and 6 months respectively. Just a guess as you know for sure.
      Poland is a great place to live. What city will you be in?

  6. Hi,
    I am moving to Poland. I would like to take some stuff from my house plus my car a small truck. I need advice please. I’m looking for a company that could move my belongings along with my car for affordable price. I’m a single mother and realy need to move out in the easiest fastest cheapest way possible.
    I appreciate your help and time.
    thank you very much.

    1. What brings you to Poland? How long will you love here in Poland? It depends where you live now and how much stuff you have and how valuable it is. For example, if you are moving to Poland for good, and your furniture is just OK, why not sell it and buy IKEA things? If you have more soft items like clothes, get rid of all your old junk feng shui your life.
      Then there are many companies that will move you depending where you are in the USA. If it is for work, you will get a tax allowance for the move from your US taxes.
      Your truck you can move for a little more than 1,000 USD. You will have to change a few things like the lights in the back when you get here but no problem. I do not think you have to pay taxes or anything on it as it is yours.
      So my question is how much stuff do you have to move and what will be your situation in Poland?

  7. Thanks for contacting me so fast. Well I currently live in florida. Besides my car I only have a queen bad and 3 small cabinets and stroller. Other stuff would probably fit in to 4 boxes size of a washing machine.
    I am moving there for good. I would like to know a good company that can transport all of my stuff for an affordable price. I did look for one but the cost they would give me just for taking a car was about $3000. I can’t afford it.
    I can pick the car up from any city in Poland. Whatever makes it less expensive. If You have a contact info to such company I would really appreciate your help.
    thank you.

    1. Well from Florida, I do not know any, my parents send me things from time to time but when they are in Connecticut, I do not know if I have ever received anything from Florida. I think there are some shippers but fewer, they have to ship it to somewhere else first. So I do not know any off hand. The Bed, you can get a 250 (depending on the currency) dollars Hagalund in Ikea in Poland is brand new and a is a sofa and a double bed. I mean I did not hull my bed to Poland, you can give it away or sell it as I do not know if it would be worth shipping.
      Personal things you can put in boxes for sure.
      Car, I have herd it will be about 3000 pln, not dollars. I think you have to keep shopping around, try some Polish websites if you speak Polish, which I think you do.
      I am sorry things did not work out in the USA. The USA has many nice things, weather and economy, but Poland is a great place to raise a child. It has free education at the University level, low crime, pretty peaceful, big family support, medical care for kids, languages and culture etc, so there are pluses and minuses.

      I am sorry I can not recommend someone in Florida as a shipper.

      Starting a new life is stressful but also has positives.

    2. Just FYI, you must keep searching for shipping costs. You can pay for by-sea shipping (to Gdansk usually) – you essnetially rent a container or split with others. When I priced this out, they quoted me around 1500$. And the same cost for my car. If you’re moving a car, I would recommend just packing your stuff into your car. and getting rid of the big items like the mattress and bed frame. You can buy really nice stuff for less in Poland.

      My question: I’m really concerned about finding work. My husband is from Poland, has now has dual-citizenship. I only have US citizenship. I have a MA in Art History, and a BA in Religion. But I would love to teach English. The problem is that I have no idea how to find a job there?

      We are flexible where we move, we’re considering at Krakow (my favourite city), Poznan, Wroclaw, Warsaw, and Gdansk.
      Thanks!
      Emily

      1. Well economics is a large part of life and what we do and how we spend out time earning money – in Poland and the USA is important.
        Resources to check are goldenline.pl and Gumtree of course. You can also get your CV together and start with a head hunter now. They are really looking for someone like you, educated and speaks English. I think job recruiters are the best way to go. Get a visa by the way it makes like easier of course as everything is about your PESEL and NIP. Many people work on a cash basis of course but it is recommended to get the paper work flowing.
        Also consider starting your own business. The EU will give you all kind of money for any idea. All you need is a plan and I can put you in contact at the place I work for people who do things like that.
        I guess my first step would be to browse Gumtree and send your resume to job placement firms in Poland. Of course Warsaw has almost zero unemployment but it is not as charming as other cities some people say, but the airport is good for travel. But all cities have good transport. So do you like mountains live in Krakow, the sea, live in the north (its colder) – city life Warsaw, somewhere like the other cities are even more livable in some ways because they are not as popular.
        If you are an American you will never have to worry about work. Why? You can teach English as a native speaker in any school or private lessons. Do not let people take advantage of you, I would set a minimum price of 50 Złoty an hour. Some people charge 100 or more for business English.
        You can work at a call center, one of my friends does. Many foreign companies in Poland also you can work at. You can translate Polish to English. You are a native speaker so you can use a translate tool to get it close and then with your native speaking brain get it sounding great for companies.
        I used to sell things in the market even, when you unplug from the USA it is amazing the jobs you can find off the beaten path.
        Some people like to work with kids, since you are a native speaker you will have many offers. It does not matter art or whatever.
        Best city? I am partial towards Krakow, where I live, but get in a green area as there are more and more cars and it is in a valley.
        But all cities are nice and you will travel all over Europe. Some people I know work in Berlin and Vienna even for the weekend and commute back to Poland and have five days off. So you are it will be an adventure.
        Thanks for the information and ideas about shipping. Let me know if you have any questions general or specific about Poland or any city.

    3. Does not make any sense to bring car to Poland anymore. It is just not worth it.

  8. Thanks again.
    It’s so nice of you to spend your time to try to help others.

    I am from Poland and I am happy to be able to live there again.
    You choose a very beautiful city. Krakow is close to my favorite part of my country – gory – mountains.
    Hopefully you can make your wish happen and move in to the Goralska chata.

    My Regards

    1. The mountains in Poland are great. One of the nice things about Krakow is it is so close to the mountains. It is really beautiful up there and radically different from Florida.
      I love the sea also, but the Polish sea is warm enough to swim only about 4 months out of the year.
      So if I have to choose I choose the mountains. Krakow is a great city. Everyday, I step outside my door and there are a 100 things to do. It is very hard to get board here.

  9. Hello.
    You seem so helpful in all of your comments. I was wondering if you could help me.
    I am thinking about moving to Poland in about a year. My boyfriend will be moving back and I would like to go with him. We won’t be getting married. Is it possible for me to move there and then find a job or do I need to find a job and then get sponsored for a visa? Also, I’m am a credentialed English Literature teacher so I have no idea what kind of job I could find.

    1. Sure you can find a job and get a work visa. I think it is the best route for you. I would for sure apply in advance as if you go to Poland without a visa you will have only a 90 day trip. Also be aware that some school’s really take advantage of native speakers right off the boat. So shop around if you are considering this.

      1. For those of us who have no major technical skills, or degrees, what kind of jobs could we find? Are there many we could find in advance?

        The reason I ask is because a good friend of mine from the US (we both are US citizens) recently accepted a job in Warsaw teaching English. She would like for me to come and experience Poland and Europe with her. I currently have anywhere from 3-5 months from the time of this post to get everything I need together for the move. She will be moving in less than three weeks, so I’ll be joining her after she has spent quite some time there.

        I’m essentially lost at where to begin to look for jobs, and what I need to do to move other than get a passport and a visa. Any help would be greatly appreciated!

        1. If you are a native speaker in Englsh that is your best line of pursuit for income, that is teach English as a native speaker. It would also help if you learned some Polish before you moved to Warsaw. You can try looking on gumtree for jobs. This is what I would advise. However, the main thing is your visa of course.
          Many Americans want to live in the EU, but it becomes a short trip unless their visa is in order. I guess my first question is do you have any Polish roots?

          1. Thanks for the quick reply!

            I assumed that being a native speaker of English would be my main “trade” in Poland. My family has lived in Texas since the 1850s. We are originally from Switzerland. I really have no intention in staying Poland permanently, but perhaps for a year or two. My friend (who has roots in the UK–not Poland) and I are planning on visiting a few other countries as well.

            I have already gathered many resources on learning the language (your site included), and I will begin to look on Gumtree for jobs. I’m hoping there are plenty available and close to where she will be staying. Once she finds an apartment, I will probably be back for more information. : )

  10. Hello there…i am so glad i found your post…i am 25 and learning the polish language…with some thanks to you!! i have always dreamed of moving to poland because i just do not like the states all that much because of many reasons i do not need to share…it is time to get out and live in another amazing part of the world…i am so ready…my question is, i know i have a polish last name and some polish blood, but i do not know this family directly or even if they are still alive…would i have to trace that blood line back to be able to get citizenship, or would i have to marry a polish girl…also i saw that you said if you have certain qualifications you may be able to move and i would be interested to find out what those were. I appreciate your time and like everyone else on this site, am awaiting for the arrival of your flashcards…if you get a second to respond that would be great, if not i understand…have fun out there, maybe one day we will meet!!!

    1. To get a Polish greencard you need to get documents and paper. You need to show proof somehow you are Polish. If you can do this you will get a green card and citizenship. You need to build a case. I love living in Poland. It has been my home now for seven years and I do not see that changing soon.

  11. I read from one of your comments that to eventually get a full visa you must be sponsored by an employer or have Polish roots. My question is exactly what type of roots? Do you have to have family currently there or just proof of you blood line?

    1. All you need is proof of bloodline. I had living family here but that did not matter. You need to be Polish to live in Poland, even if you and your parents where born in the USA.

  12. Hello,

    I am from India thinking to come to Poland for my higher studies(MBA) from west Pomeranian business school,Szczecin. Let me know how is this school for doing MBA, apart from that I have option for UK (University of Ulster)and what are the job prospects after completion of course and during studies, means will I get easily,the part time job during studies and full time after completion. let me know your advice which will help me to choose, should i come to Poland or go to UK. I will really be thankful to you.

    regards
    sagar

    1. It all depends. Poland is cheaper, I do not know how much income you will have from back home. Many Indians go to Ukraine because it is cheap. But if you can afford the UK go there maybe. UK is more English (I image a native langauage for you or strong second) and maybe this goes further when looking for a job. In the UK the jobs are better pay. In Poland, the cost is cheaper.
      If you study IT in Poland you can get a very good job. It all depends what you study. I think the UK is a richer country. Poland is more for people that have a connection to Poland. The weather is the same as the UK (but it is an island), the girls are much more beautful in Poland. But the language is hard if you do not speak Polish. But many people speak English.
      What are you thinking of doing with your life?

  13. Namaste,
    Thank you for your response,
    Can you tell me about the west Pomeranian business school and the city Szczecin, is part time job is easily available there or not, I m thinking to do MBA from there, and after completion of my MBA how is the scope of job and if i will get a job than how much minimum pay i will get give these details also.and tell me about PR, is that possible to get easily or not..

    I also have a option for France and Czech republic, and UK as I told you, and about funds, that I have 6 lakhs in Indian rupees, in that budget I have to do MBA.

    1. I do not know this school, but as you know Szczecin is near Germany, it is a very nice city. I guess my question is do you speak Polish and have a work visa. If yes, I think no problem with skills, but no, you could teach English if you are a native speaker or at least good.
      I corrected your comments by the way for grammar and removed chat style.
      You have an MBA and want to live in Poland you will make, lets say 700 usd a month, but teaching English without an MBA you can make the same. If you have good specific skills like IT you can make 3000 USD a month. But with experience even more.

      Lets say your 6 lakhs means 12,000 usd over two years. I can not image you would survive on 6,000 usd a year, but maybe. In Poland people do, but it is not a high life. Does that include education costs or just food and rent?

      West you will always make more money, but the cost is higher. I mean lets say you were in the UK, if you can get a job you are all set, but if not your funds will go fast unless you live a very basic life.

  14. Hi, I’m from Szczecin, so I can tell you a little about the job opportunities here. I doubt that you would find a part time job if you don’t speak Polish. like Mark said – you could teach English if you are a native speaker and you would earn probably around the amount that Mark gave while still studying, but I don’t think that you would get a job in IT for $3000 – that’s a “Warsaw” pay perhaps, here you would get maybe 2000. I also agree with Mark that surviving on $6 000 a year is next to impossible, especially if you don’t own a flat and have to rent it.

    1. 6,000 USD in 2003 was do able in Poland. I remember back then I was one of the richer guys on the tram. Now there are many wealthy people in Krakow and the cities of Poland and prices have increased.
      6k Usd a year will be really hard, unless you live in a student dorm and eat Potatoes and nothing else.
      I guess I have a rosy picture of Poland because I live in foofy international Krakow as an American, mind you.
      Krakow and it is an IT hub, and many people I know work for foreigner companies and they pay 10k pln a month. But those guys are really smart and with years of experience.
      To find a job other than teaching in Poland if you do not speak Polish will be hard, especially with some many educated Poles who really want to make something.
      Thank you for the input. Poland for me is a great place. But I speak Polish, I have citizenship, I have IT skills and other skills, but for someone to survive in cold, dark Poland you have to have some more money behind you to have a lifestyle. So What Kasia said, it will be very hard for you here.

  15. I am interested in moving to Poland and am looking for some advice. I am 40 years old and have a family. I have attended college but do not have a degree. I do however work in the IT field. I have over 15 years experience in the IT field, mostly UNIX engineering, architecture and support. I am also very experienced in Wintel support as well, mostly for CAD and High End Visualization environments. You mentioned that it was easier to get a Visa if you have Polish roots. My grandparents came to the US from Poland in the early 1900’s, before Poland’s second republic (1918). I am not sure if that is an issue, since Poland was not really Poland during that period.

    Can you give me advice on what steps I need to take to make this move happen? (i.e. advice on finding a job, areas I should be looking at for IT opportunities, how to go about getting a Visa…etc.) FYI…I speak very little Polish, just some basic words and phrases that were always said in our. I do know how to read Polish and pronounce words correctly. Thanks in advance for any advice you can provide.

    1. If you have Polish roots than you can get a greencard. However, it is not just a matter of picking on up. You need to go to the Polish embassy or contact them and apply. You need to build a very detailed case. This means you need to get as many original marriage, birth and other documents as possible and prove your Polishness. I did so can you. It takes time and work, but it is worth it. They will give you a temporary visa while your case is being reviewed. They will guide you.

      About jobs you can teach English as a back up, but if you have concrete skills you can start a CV on Goldenline.pl. Next you can start applying to companies directly. I think getting hired by an American company with a base in Poland is the best route.
      Poland for me is like a paradise for various reason. Food, cost, culture, I love travel and nature.
      Most guys I know come with no money and teach. But if you have a family and want a life like in the USA it will take work to get established. But once you are set up it will be worth it, but do not expect Hawaii, more like Montreal.

  16. Mark,

    I am thinking moving back to Poland from USA with my wife. Can you tell me how much money per month we will need in order to live comfortable renting an apartment in Krakow or Wroclaw.

    1. It all depends what you are use to. But we pay 1000 pln per month for 70 meters which is modern and new and high ceilings in the old town. So that is 350 dollars a month. But I think rents have gone up so add 50% maybe to that.
      Food, can be very cheap if you shop at Auchen and buy local things. But if you must have whole foods type products like French goat cheese, which I like myself it will be similar price to the USA. So in dollars you need to spend for you and your wife 300 to 700 dollars a month depending on how you live, on food.
      Utilities is lets say a couple of hundred dollars.
      Medical is free.
      I think you need 1000 dollars a month to live a nice life in Poland a month. If you use public transport etc.
      If you want to have a very good life, double that.
      If you want a fat American middle class life with a car etc 3,000 usd.
      So I wrote a post on the cost of living in Poland but have been thinking it is changing fast as Poland becomes close to the Euro zone.
      I love Poland but moving from the US to Poland is not what it use to be in terms of cost savings.
      In fact if you move from Poland to the US, a state like NC where things are cheap, it might even be cheaper or the same price.
      Poland is Europe and Europe is changing very fast.

  17. Mark,

    You said that to have a very good life in Poland we will need 2,000 usd. I understand the cost of housing and food, this may be to some extend fixed, but how about the entertainment like movie theater, concerts, restaurants, maybe Baltic Sea or mountain resort a couple of times a year.
    Can you also expend a little what you mean by fat American middle class life, since this is a big difference between 1,000 for a nice living and 3,000 usd.
    You also said that the Poland and Europe is changing very fast. Are the changes positive or negative financially for the people? Is cost of living increasing dramatically, what is the average inflation per year, etc?

    Thank you.

    1. Movies are 6 pln to rent, you can go to markets and buy them now for 5 pln these are first rate movies in the theater on DVD. I am not recommending it, just some people do. A movie ticket is 15 to 20 pln in the city.
      Restaurants are cheaper than the USA. A meal for two is 50 pln.
      I take vacations to the Baltic, Greece, the mountains, everywhere. I am a cheap guy and pay like 1300 pln a person for a two week vacation somewhere warm. It all depends on what concerts and how you live. Most people where download movies and go on vacation to somewhere warm twice a year and take many holidays.
      Medical care is basically free. It is a fraction of the USA. In the USA a family will pay 15,000 dollars a year or more. This is crazy.
      Everything else is about the same. I think in Poland I eat really good food, not American junk. I am sorry. I eat quality stuff growth local and there is a big difference. Most people here cook at home and do not go out.
      I rarely eat out. Why when I have a Polish wife who makes better meals than any cook?
      I do like travel and there are many cheap vacations. A two week vacation for a family will be 1000 usd on the cheap end to as much as you want to pay on the high. The 1000 will include everything from air to meals and hotels but you need to get super last minute otherwise you pay double.
      Triada has a site for this.
      We walk a lot and there is great nature. That is all free. From Krakow it is 15 pln to the mountains. Then all day hiking and a hotel is cheap, we also like Slovakia for hot spring etc.
      It is all good here.
      We thought of moving back but the USA health care is out of the question. What do you get in the USA for the high cost? 30 years ago you got income and cash. Now it is the same as comparing Europe to America, similar but different worlds. Europe has more culture and more interesting, America has great nature, one language, and jobs.

    2. Ask as many questions as you like and if you have specific costs I can tell you to the penny.

  18. I hope you do not mind me asking, but if it is so good in Poland, why you were thinking on moving back to USA. Since my plan is to move to Poland to retire, this may not be financially possible for us to move back to USA.

    1. America has nicer weather, but it is easier to live in Poland.
      In my opinion 50k in the USA is a basic life, and 100k is a nice life. That means you have to really bust your butt in the USA. If you have kids education and retirement savings and health care make the 100k a year more realistic.
      In Poland, University education and Health Care are free and you get a pittance for retirement, but something.
      So to achieve the same level of life in the USA I have here, I need to make over 100k. Which I can do and I did, but you have to sacrifice your life and there are no guarantees in the USA economy any more. You lose your job its game over.
      Now of course it is apples and oranges as everything is different.
      In Poland people care about money, but more people are poor or middle class, so if you do not have two SUVs in the driveway of your over sized house, no one cares.
      Also Poland is a country of faith and no matter what people say, it does matter. Believers are not as materialistic as non-believers. I think in the USA people have faith but it is different. In Poland it is no shame to be poor. In America not keeping up with the Jones is noted by most and it is looked down on like why can you not make it?
      I was thinking of moving from Poland to the USA because of the weather. The weather in Poland is like New England. If you like colorful autumn and cool summers it is great. But the winter you just survive. Once you get past winter in Poland, Polish weather is great. But the winter is very hard. I do not like it.
      The only solution is taking one or two tropical vacations in the winter or fall and you will not feel it. I did that in the past, but not this year as we are saving.
      So Poland it is easier to live except for the winter.
      In America it is easier to get a basic job and survive, but if you have a family, they will not have as good a life as the European experience. You need to be a mover and a shaker in corporate America to have a life in America. I could do that but choose not to. Corporate America is mostly fake, everyone out for themselves, and you work very long hours.
      I prefer to do my own thing in Poland and have a rich cultural life and time with my family, which is very important. My family and faith are everything.
      If I were to move from Poland to the USA I would move to sunny Florida or Hawaii or North Carolina. But I think I will just build a house in Poland and vacation there instead.
      Ask as many questions as you want, I do not know if I have all the answers but moving to Poland from the USA is a big deal.

  19. Hi Mark,

    Like your site. I found it with the Google search “visiting krakow come to Lviv”.

    I’m an American from Worcester, MA with Polish-Ukrainian roots. I’ve been in Lviv more than two years (speak Ukrainian and Russian, which help me understand Polish a bit). I came here for a fastlane private equity job…lost that job with the start of the crisis, but stayed after meeting a girl and liking the place.

    A lot of people in Lviv would love to see the tourism business follow the Krakow model, which could drive economic development. (Lviv is a rising IT outsourcing center already.)

    Any thoughts on what it would take to get more Western travelers to Krakow to add a sidetrip to Lviv?

    Is more info about Lviv necessary? Better tourism companies? Your thoughts?

    Most visitors to Lviv are student/backpacker types, or Poles, who don’t have a language barrier.

    My parents,who are not savy travelers, took the Lviv-Krakow train this summer with no problems.

    Are existing transport links enough to get more visitors like my parents to visit Lviv by way of Krakow?

    A new airport terminal is scheduled to open in Lviv in November 2011, but people in Lviv are afraid that the Ukrainian oligarch that controls the airline market (and has stifled Wizz Air) will not permit low-cost carriers like EasyJet and RyanAir to enter the market. That would be a pity.

    Your thoughts on Krakow to Lviv would be appreciated.

    Best,
    Tim

    1. Great comment as I love both Krakow and Lviv. I think there is already a lot of travel between the cities. However, with 2012 football matches it will increase. Also they are planning a highway, a real one between the two cities. Also a high speed train in the far future, more like 2025. So it will slowly improve. I think infrastructure will get more people over like better roads or rail, but in the short term more marketing to Western Europeans and Americans. Poles already go to Lviv or prefer a western country as Lviv and Krakow are similar. If you lived in Boston a trip to Providence is nice but to Paris is more interesting. The metaphor applies to Krakow to Lviv.
      Ukrainians and Poles love to complain about the system, maybe there is truth to this, but the reality nothing can stop progress in the long run.
      It is very interesting you live in Lviv and like me am Polish and Ukrainian from New England.

  20. If you are not of Polish heritage, is it possible to retire and live in Poland on my government pension?

    1. You would have to figure out a way to get visa. If there is a will there is a way. I think it is possible, I just do not know it. Marriage, and student and work visa are common ways, as well as maybe starting a business. If you are European no problem of course, as Poland is EU.

  21. Very interesting site. But few questions remain; for example how to get the residency status if you are not a Polish citizen, do you need a Polish ID card – “dowod osibisty” , can you work, or what do you need to be able to work,. Thank You for comments
    roman

    1. Just like in any other country you need to apply for a visa. It could be a green card or a work visa or a student visa. You have to have some reason you are moving to Poland.
      If this was not the case half the world would want to move to Poland as it is so nice, except for the winter of course.

  22. Mark,
    I’m considering moving to Poland for 6 months to a year. I’m a Polish citizen by birth – been in the US for 28 years and am about 75% fluent in Polish.

    My problem is that my passport has expired. Is it better for me to just get it renewed in Poland? What steps would I take so I can board a plane to Poland without getting the passport renewed in the US?

    Thanks!

    1. Fly to Poland on your US passport and renew it in an Urząd in Poland. But make sure you have all the birth documents etc. You can get them in the city you were born. I love living in Poland and visiting for 6 months is a very good idea, especially not in the winter.

  23. Thanks for your quick reply. I should have mentioned that I’m not a US citizen. I just have a green card.

    I also wanted to ask if you knew of any incentives the Polish government is offering for returning and settling back in Poland.

    1. Repatriation is a very positive thing for Poland as it brings new fresh ideas into Poland by Polish people. If you have Polish roots they will give you a green card, and a warm welcome (I know you have citizenship anyway). However, you will have no special treatment other than your English language skills. They should encourage more people to come back to Poland as the population is on the decline like the rest of Europe.
      Why did you not just get US citizenship? I think after 3 years you can convert your green card to citizenship.

  24. Wassup Mark,

    Just to let you know I love your posts and the great advice you have been giving and wish the best for you

    I’m from Connecticut and joined the Marines 4 years ago straight out of high school. I have a extremely x10 very good chance of going to Warsaw for a year this year due to my security job. The only slight small problem is I’m Hispanic and I just want to ask if I might stand out like a sword thumb since of my brown crispy goldish color. I don’t know if it’s a good thing or a bad thing and maybe the women won’t mind the brown color at all. I can’t wait to experience the cultural of Poland and it has been a dream for me to go visit such a beautiful country. So far I have been to Iraq, Kuwait, Burundi, and Japan which are great countries but I think this will top it all off :).

    Thanks Mark
    Later dude

    1. You have zero to no chance of having any problem in Poland. First Polish people are nice peaceful people. Second, Spain is in the EU and Poles like Spanish people and many marry them. They are catholic like the Poles and it is a warm country and up and coming like Poland. Further, you are American and will be seen like that and Poles like Americans as they have the same ideals.
      Write me if you have any questions, if you make it to Warsaw I think you will have a very rich experience.

  25. My husband and I are thinking about moving to Poland, he was born and raised outside of Krakow and is a former member of the military there, estranged from his sister for 31 years. We are so excited about moving there but need more info on apartments for rent, visas and such. We are planning on taking early retirement and living a simple, quiet life in Krakow. I want my husband to get reaquainted with his family there. I look forward to hearing from you. Thank you for providing this information for anyone to use.

    1. Do you want to live in the center of Krakow,outside in the village or on the edge of Krakow? I would consider somewhere near green parks or has some air because Krakow is polluted as it is a valley. I think you can try gumtree Krakow. Read my lips, the Real Estate in Krakow is overprices and in disequilibrium. There is a huge opportunity to negotiate. I personally would go to some farmer outside of Krakow and offer him money for a field and build my own house. It is close to Krakow (a city which I love) but in a green peaceful place. Or try Salwator area of Krakow depending on your budget. If your husband is Polish you are all set. Just get a visa from the office or foreigners affairs.

    2. Please ask any questions you like as I really love living in Poland.

  26. Hello,

    I’m trying to move to Poland from the USA to be with a girl I met and I’m trying to figure out the best way to stay there long-term. I’m self-employed and make my income online, so Poland shouldn’t be a problem for me to keep working. Will a visa be necessary for this or will I be able to apply as a resident in Poland because I will be doing business there and bringing money into the country? If a visa is necessary, is there an insurance company you would recommend I buy from? I’m in fine health and I remember the last time I applied for insurance being a nightmare with the paperwork, so I just want the simplest option possible. I believe the insurance is a requirement for the visa and I have to apply in the USA first before leaving.

    1. Hi Ross,
      I know many people in your situation. Think of Poland the same as the USA. Many people want to get in, even if they have the financial means, can not.Why? Immigration laws. Can you imagine if everyone with income was allowed to live in the USA? Well the same applies to the EU. I do not mean to be rude at all. I am with you 100%. I just want people to hear the bad news first, that it is just as easy as someone getting a visa to the USA.
      Well, there are a few options. You can get a work visa sponsored by a company or a student visa if you are a full time student.
      If you are self employed you can set up a company that should only take a day. You will have to pay ZUS which will pay for your medical. This is about 250 USD a month. But I do not know if they will give you a visa unless you are employing people etc.

      You can use Hestia or Medicover or Luxmed. Many options from basic coverage to private hospitals. They are all competitively priced for the options you get. Do not worry Polish medical care is very good.

      But the bottom line I doubt they will give you a visa any more than every person from Asia, Africa, the Middle East, South America or Europe can move to the USA and live because they will set up a company, unless you can show you will really add value, in which case I think you can.

      If you have Polish roots or are engaged to be married this makes it easier.

      You can also consult a lawyer in Poland regarding these things, but I would start with the Polish embassy in the USA and ask them what status you might get. I think if you are not a student or do not have a work contract you will have to fly back and forth.
      I love living in Poland and I think it is great you are dating someone from here. I am not being negative, it is just a hard question. Please ask me any question you want.

  27. My name is Jeered, I am a 17 year old, about to graduate high school in the U.S. would I have to save up heckuh money before i move there. or can I survive for about a year on 50,000 USD, long enough for me to find a decent job. I plan to move there wen I’m 19 at the least. I need to know tho so I can be well prepared.. can u just give me a brief description as to how much things like apartment rent, cable, internet, and phone cost. What cell providers do they have there? Thank you very much, you can comment your reply.

    1. Check my post on the cost of Poland and you will have more detail. But you can survive on 5,000 dollars a year but 10,000 dollars is better. If you have a work visa you can find a job no problem, but if you have no visa except a US passport, you can only stay for 3 months.
      Everything is about the price of the USA, except cheaper by lets say 1/3. But if you work you do not need medical and if you are a Polish citizen you do not need to pay for University and most Poles get help from their parents so either though is not as rich as the USA, I see many people here live well.
      Rent lets say 400 dollars
      Cable 20 dollars
      Internet high speed 28 dollars
      Cell phone unlimited calls 18 dollars
      Food 1/2 price if you eat Polish food same price if you need American packaged food.
      Heating in the winter 200 dollars.
      If you give me a specific price I can tell you exactly the cost in Poland.

  28. Thanks for your information. I’ve been doing more research since I posted here. Actually it looks like I may not have to apply for a visa. As I understand it, I can apply for a residency permit instead. The nature of my work (I make online videos, some of which have millions of views) I believe should fulfill scenario #3 on their list.

    udsc.gov.pl/Residence,permit,for,a,specified,period,of,time,271.html

    Do you or anyone you know have more information about the residence permit procedure? Besides general paperwork (birth certificate, proof of income, insurance papers), I’m trying to determine if there’s anything else that HAS to be done here before I leave.

    Thanks again for your help.

    1. Ross I hear you as I work as a consultant and make money online also. So I have a degree of freedom like you.
      Depending on where you go it will be a different office. For example, if you are coming to Kraków go here: malopolska.uw.gov.pl/default.aspx?page=Foreigners
      you need to explore this site.

      Anything you do can be done from Poland. I got my birth certificate sent here. You can work with the US embassy and they can get letters etc you might need that you are a good citizen etc.
      Everything you can do, you can do in Poland. Which city are you moving to?
      If you want you can send me an e-mail I can check your website, I am curious.
      The main thing is if there is a will there is a way. Believe me.
      When you get here do not worry about insurance the first day. You can pay cash for medical treatment it is a fraction of that which it is in the USA. You can have an operation for a couple hundred dollars.
      You need to get yourself to an office dla cudzoziemców. They will guide you and they speak English. Explain your situation and they can help. It is a government office and believe it or not they are friendly.

  29. Hello fellow Bostonian. I have been here in Krakow for almost a year and a half and really do like it, it is very similar to Boston.

    I really like your site and will keep checkin in. The travel tips are really useful.:)

    G

    1. We have to connect if you have FB. I love Boston and Krakow. They are similar in that they are historic cities rather than NYC and Warsaw that is big and business like.

  30. Hello, I’m Polish and I live in Gliwice. I have been in Krakow it’s beautiful place in Poland. I recommend a trip to Lichen for you. There is a beautiful basilica. I’m very glad what you wrote about my country. I always interesting why people want to move form US to Poland, but now I can write why 🙂
    I really want to visit your country one day it will be a great adventure for me.
    Sorry for my mistakes 🙂

    1. Poland and the USA share a lot in common. Both are committed to democracy (constitution) as Poland was Europe’s first and the US was America’s first. Both countries are committed to free market and ideals. Both have beautiful nature. So it is both an adventure when an American comes to Poland but also not too foreign of a place. I am sure Poles feel the same way when they move to the USA.

  31. Hi there. I am moving to Poland later this year for one or two years to care for one of my elders, living in Bochenski. My concern is, I am German! I lived in the U.S. off and on because of my parents, I have lived here now 9 years. Where I lived in Germany the Polish were not treated kindly so I am worried perhaps it will be the same, I will be treated badly? I am so nervous.

    1. You should have no problem in Poland. Germans and Poles have had a long history of good and bad relations. But these were always politicians and not people. Governments are more often than not representative of people. I live here and most people I know have a curiosity about Germany and many people speak the language. It is Poland’s largest trading partner.
      Young people are peace and love.

  32. Hey Mark,

    I have a Polish relative (she’s 83) who’s moving back there from Chicago in 30 years. She is retiring and I want to know if you’ve heard of any services that ship things for free (apparently, in Poland there are services that do that for you) because of her one-way and final ticket home.

    Have you heard of this, or do you know of any info I can find out about this?

    Thanks!

    1. I can not imagine anything like that but if this is, let me know. I mean I ship things to Poland and to the US all the time, but I pay for this. It is not expensive, a big box is like 25 dollars. I think you can ship most of her things to Poland excluding furniture for under 1000 dollars.
      I might be moving to the USA at least part time, and we will ship our whole flat excluding things like our bed for under 1000 dollars to the USA. We will keep things in Poland as we would like to live in Poland and the USA. It is the dream. Live in both countries not one or the other.
      If she is older I can understand that she would want to be in her own country for retirement. Poland is a beautiful place.

      1. Great site! What service would you recommend for shipping household goods from East Coast USA to Poland? Thanks!

        1. It depends where you live, for example if live in CT, there are companies in New Britain, CT and Hartford, in Boston there are companies in Brookline at these Russian stores. In Western, MA there is a company called Polonez., NYC they are all over the place. Let me know the city you will be shipping from in the USA and I could give you a better idea.

  33. Best and most inexpensive way to ship your things to Poland would be to use a US based Polish company. For instance Doma Export. They are in New Jersey but I’m sure they can arrange something if you are from a different state. domaexport.com
    I know lots of people who have used them

    1. Agreed Polish shippers are the cheapest if you are moving to Poland. Do not even consider things like UPS or the post office. It might take longer as it goes by ship, but who cares it gets there.

  34. Hello, Thank you for such an optimistic post. I am polish and I lived in US for the last 7 years. It’s hard for me to see Poland the way you do maybe because I struggle every day to pay the rent, buy food or even nice, casual clothes. I am a student and I miss America a lot. It might sound weird but I miss this optimistic attitude toward people . I miss ” hi, how are you” at the shopping mall. And finally I miss cheap coffee at Starbucks. I am glad to be back because of great food, family etc. but I miss American sense o humor, jokes created by Bill Maher or Letterman. Here I do have to enjoy ” Marcin Daniec show” or ” Herbatka u Tadka” by Tadeusz Drozd.
    This is my opinion slightly different than yours. Anyway, thanks for this blog. Take care
    truly sincere
    Paulina

    1. Be the change you want to see in the world. I am very friendly at the malls in Poland and speak slangy informal Polish to people while shopping with a smile. I behave no different in Poland than the USA.
      I have found all the cool things the USA has in Poland via Amazon, e-bay, malls etc. You need to set up your life in a way that is fun for you.
      With the Internet I read the US Internet and listen to NPR. I have satellite TV so I watch HBO and Fox in English as well as a score of other station. If you want Netflix you can even get that in Poland some people say.
      I shop at the same malls and clothing store and even go to Starbucks in Poland.
      No difference.
      We have Auchen and the USA has Walmart. Same prices.
      There is almost no difference in terms of the positive things.
      After seven years in Poland I ironically might move to the USA. Why? Mostly so my child can learn English and we can be near my parents and we might go to Florida where the weather is warm. But most likely I will live the dream. That is I will be in Florida in the winter and Poland in the summer.
      If you are a student, know times are changing and I understand what you are saying. But times are changing.
      The main difference economically is the rate of pay, but if you start your own business you can make as much money as you want in Poland. Let me know what you think of my reply. I think you have to rediscover Poland a little bit and see you have Starbucks as well as netflix and many cheap last minute vacations to sunny places.

  35. Hi Mark,

    Any advice on moving to Poland from the US (Things you wish you knew prior)? I am a fellow New Englander preparing to move to Lodz, I have dual citizenship, but with Italy and US rather than Poland. I enjoy reading your articles and comments, its good to see positive things being written about Poland, all to often people do not understand that Poland is an incredible country (and not part of some USSR that doesn’t exist!)
    Great posts, keep them coming!
    -Anthony

    1. Yes, if you want to save money, shop at Auchen or Biedronka or Alma if you want to spend. Use Gumtree to search for flats but negotiate or use a realtor like Technocasa. Go to Slovakia hot spring to relax. Buy 15 minute tram passes to save money instead of a one way ticket if Lodz has these. You can buy everything you need from UK ebay or Amazon that you can not get in Poland. If you get HBO and satallite you can change the channel to English (many people do not know this). Also people tell me a VPN tunnel for netflix is nice. I like IKEA for cheap furniture. Join a gym as there are many cold days in Poland and take vitamin D as there is no much sunlight. Take trains to the East like Crimea like Yalta but buy the tickets in Lviv not Poland. If is like 1/10th the price. Beaware customer service is not like the US, always keep a receipt and be prepared to talk to the manager. Drink lots of fresh carrot juice, much cheaper than the USA. If you take vacations to Greece etc, get the last day fares which can be like 1300 pln for two week on an Island. Learn Polish by talking to many Polish girls. Go to church even if you do not in the USA, it is a different experience. Travel to the Baltic and see Poland as much as you can. Use an Internet bank like Mbank to save money on banking. People often go to a market called Giłda, check into it.Buy plants to clean the air of your flat. Talk to as many Polish girls as you can if you are single.

      Where are you from? What brings you to Poland? What will you do here?

  36. I’m a 20 year old registered nurse. My grandfather was born in Poland and immigrated here when he was small with his family. Does that qualify me to apply for citizenship in Poland? I really want to move to Europe. The USA doesn’t quite do it for me.
    Thanks,
    Audrey

    1. You would be able to get a Polish greencard no problem. Just get all the documents together at and fill out the application. Citizenship will depend on what year your grandfather was born and other factors, but you would get it eventually if you lived here.

  37. Hi, I was searching the net about neuter nouns and came across your site. I’m also an American of Polish descent living in Poland. We moved here in 2007 and live in Poznań.

    1. HI David, your blog looks nice. How do you like living in Poland?

      1. Hi Mark,
        My wife and I both love living in Poland and have no plans on moving back to the U.S. Language is not the problem it was the first year and we are making progress with it. I have a lot of family nearby and new friends since we moved here. We have a nice flat on the outskirts of Poznań and like where we live. The only thing we miss is our kids and grandchildren.

        1. I use Skype with video to communicate with my family. Further, I go there and they come here, although not too often. The world is getting smaller these days of course.
          I love Poland and living in Poland. One idea is if I can afford it is have a presence in both places. I am not sure if I can do this but we will see. My brother lived in London for about 20 years and is now, mostly in Florida but has a flat in London and really lives in some sense both places. So the dream as I call it is to have a foot on both sides of the Atlantic.

  38. I am married to a Polish national and have 2 children. I am Polish but born in US and have had it with the US and am now seriously considering alternative locations to call home. Since my wife has family in Poland this has become a serious contender. I work in the medical industry (device and pharmaceuticals) and am considered an expert on US regulations and was wondering what the conditions were in this area? Are there medical device and pharma companies in Poland and is this an area of expansion where someone like myself might do well? Thank you for your feedback.

    1. I can highly recommend Poland without reservation. Poland is a growing country with good morals. Granted not every Polish person is good, but the society here is very sweet and kind. Also it is the center of Europe and you can travel to the Greek Islands or Russia or the UK pretty easy or spend summers in Sweden.
      There is nothing that we have in the USA that we do not have in Poland. We have T.J.Maxx and TGI Fridays and Joes is you get home sick. You have watch Netflix and basically live an American lifestyle in Europe if that is what you want.
      However, you get the added benefit of Europe and the great country of Poland. Too many intangibles to list.
      My only warning is the weather is not a nice as the USA. It is like living in New England. So if you are from a sunny state you need to take vacations.
      Your area of focus has great opportunity and you might be able to make more in a developing market than an overly competitive shrinking pie like the US economy.

  39. I have been reading your site and enjoy it very much. I am in the process of obtaining my Polish passport so I will soon be organizing my move to Poland for good. I have studied there and speak very fluently. Would you be able to provide some information on international movers. I know that shopping around is essential to get the best price. I have begun that process. Would you have any company names to pint me in the right direction?
    Since I will be a Polish citizen, I also understand that I would not have to pay customs fees. Is that true?
    I am looking forward to my big move. You are so right, once you see this beautiful country, you never want to leave.
    Thank you for your site and information.

    1. Yes Poland is great. I guess my first question is how much and what kind of things do you want to ship? Your car and house hold things? Or small items that can be send by ship or mail?
      If you have a lot you can rent a container. This can include your art and furniture etc. It is the best way on a container ship.
      Small items by mail. USPS
      Polamer
      Ja Wa Agency
      Poland Parcel llc
      Poloenz Parcel Service
      Are a few. If you live in CT for example a number of places in New Britain or Hartford. I guess it depends where you are.
      Let me know what you are thinking.

      Remember most things can be bought in Poland and brand new. But if you do not want to do that you can ship it with a score of Polish companies? Are you in Florida or up north or the west coast?

  40. I am 63 and retired. My income is about 1500 dollars a month is it feasible to move there? What are the visa requirement to move. I am of Polish decent and could use all the help you can give me.

    1. $1,500 is fine if you are used to that lifestyle in the USA. As prices are approaching US prices be aware it could be good to have a COLA clause in your retirement savings. It all depends how you want to live. Poland is in transition between being poor Poland and a rich EU country. So in 20 years do not expect Poland to be the same.
      As someone who grow up in Poland, 4.000 pln a month is a nice salary today. But if you are used to an American lifestyle then it might not be.
      http://www.numbeo.com/cost-of-living/ Try to use this to calculate your cost in your target city.
      Do not get me wrong, you could be OK, I just want you to set expectations realistically.
      The visa part is easy, just apply for this at the Polish embassy, that is a visa based on Jus sanguinis. You basically have to prove everything and that is it.
      Let me know if you have any other questions.

  41. I am planning on moving my family to Krakow from Atlanta. I am going to study medicine at Jagiellonian University. My wife is a British citizen, but my kids and I are american citizens. Would you advise us getting visas at the consulate here, or waiting until I get there. If you have any general tips on moving there I would appreciate it.

    Thanks, Mitch

    1. Either way you will be OK, but I highly recommend you start the process now. You will need all kinds of paper like orignal brith certificate which you can order online from your state to financial documents to prove you can support yourself. No stress, it is easy to get, but it is easier if you get your all your balls lined up before you fly to Poland.
      You will love Jagiellonian university. I think highly of Polish doctors. Polish people like to complain sometimes about doctors just like we do in the USA, but it is an interesting course of study with many foreigners and especially Norweigns.
      You will love your experience in Krakow. Use GumTree to find things to buy and sell. When are your moving?

  42. I am a high school student who very interested in leaving the USA.

    I live in the southern part of America and I will be attending a college that offers a year of study in Poland. This does not seem to cost much plus what I want to major in is taught in English. What a big plus. I am Polish but I do not know the language I am a few years removed from being Full Polish. I do enjoy listening to music in Polish. But what I would like to ask is will I be alright?

    I want to be a medical student. Will I still have that opportunity there? How will I be able to work? Is the general cost of living that low still? College will be my test run of going there. If I like it which I’m sure I will I would just like to know how long it takes to move there? And last question are there people willing to teach Polish to me while I am living there?

    Sorry so many questions

    1. Basically to all your questions yes. I would recommend you come and live in Poland. You can teach English or find a job as you are a native speaker in English if you need to.

      Polish medical school has many foreigners and it is a fraction of the price of the USA. Lets say your living expenses are 5,000 dollars living frugal a year and cost of school might be for one year 4,000 dollars. These are just ball park figures of cost. So for 10k a year for like 5 years. But if you are a Polish citizen it is free, but there are books and expenses.

      All this can be covered with a loan, grant or teaching English. I think if you are a Polish citizen they will pay for basically everything. I need to write a more detailed post on costs in Poland.

      Once you have a medical degree here you have to pass exams of course to practice medicine in the EU or the USA. They are separate tests. However, you could practice either place.

      Polish is a hard language, but you can learn it like I did. If I can do it so can you. Many of my friends speak it better than I even as in recent years I have been busy with my IT work. I need to start reading Polish literature to take it to the next level.

      Learning Polish is simply studying and if you live here you will pick it up I am writing a program of learning Polish with music by the way but this will be after my flashcards.

      I would start learning Polish words with flashcards. Only after a vocabulary of a few thousand words (Or hundred at least) many really start to focus on the grammar. But Polish grammar is hard and if you do everything at once, from grammar, pronunciation to words, than you might become frustrated. Focus on abstract words if you are ambiguous as the concrete nouns you will learn anyway.

      When you say you are Polish does that mean you are a citizen or have a blood connection to the country?

      Please ask as many questions as you like the more specific, the more specific my answers can be.

      1. Thank you for replying so fast and I have a blood connection, but I’m hoping after college I could try to become a citizen

        Do you know some names of medical schools there?

        1. I would recommend http://www.medschool.cm-uj.krakow.pl/ it is the famous Jagiellonian University Medical College. I would start now with the citizenship work if you are serious. I would not delay, start the paper work now so you do not have to worry about it latter.

  43. I mainly trade the European Capital markets session and the crazy 1am-11am schedule is wearing on me, much like the overly self important American population. I came across your blog and would like to hear any advice you have to give. I’m excited about the move, as, I have no kids or wife. Any suggestions you have are greatly appreciated.

    1. Life in Poland is great, I can assure you. It is cheaper, better for trading hours, you can do everything online. I also trade stocks and other securities I love having the jump on the US stock market. What you need to do understand what your visa status is. Are you coming to start a business or are you getting a visa based on Polish ancestry?
      I highly recommend Poland and can guide you any way possible but I need to know what your visa status if any would be so I can guide you.

      About trading, it is a great place to trade because of the hours, and you can get high speed Internet and really focus on your work.

      1. My husband’s grandparents came to the USA from Krakow, Poland. He still has family there, please let me know what steps we must take to start this transition? We have no idea where to begin, and we will probably sell our belongings and buy new. Thanks for any advice. Kelly

        1. Step one is to make sure you have a conception about how to get a visa. That if you have Polish blood, get all your ducks in line to start to prove it, or it will be a short trip. However, in Krakow it is pretty easy as the records are all there. I think you can do it when you get here.
          Step two is to buy a plane ticket. I recommend kayak.com You can fly to Krakow with one or two stops though Germany or Ireland for example. From the airport they have rail to the center city.

          Step three is to sell all your things via craigslist in the USA. This is easy. Put the cash in your US bank account and notify your American credit card company you will live abroad. Taxes are filed like normal with your foreign address, but you need to file US taxes. If your US banks and other organizations connected to money do not accept foreign addresses, given them a friend or families address and use the Polish address as a mailing address only.
          You can start a Polish bank account once you are here. I recommend mbank, its a low cost Internet bank with English support.

          Step four is start looking for a flat on Gumtree in Poland. Use a translate tool if you do not know Polish. Sit on this website and if you can not do it via e-mail, stay at a youth hostel for a few months if you have to. Humble yourself until you are set up. Many of my friends do this. Once you are set with where, then go to Ikea and get furniture and make it feel very much at home. Do not cheap out. My friends that cheap out feel alone and depressed during the dark Polish winters. You want to make it feel really like home. Trips to Ikea will help.
          If you want to get a driver’s license you can, just take the written test in English and give them your US drivers license.

          The main thing is to sign any contract with any company like electric or cable or rent a flat you need a PESEL number. You need a visa. You can for the short term work something out in cash but to get plugged into the system you need a visa. Once this is achieve life in Poland or moving to Poland is easy.

          Krakow is very well set up for foreigners. There is an office for foreign affairs.This office will guide you in your citizenship or visa quest.

          If you have any questions please ask as moving to Poland is a major step in your life but very doable and certainly rewarding.

  44. I am Polish and I’ve been living in the States for the past 8 years (I am US citizen).In my opinion Poland is so much more expensive than USA. It is very nice out there but the cost of living it’s much higher than anywhere else in Europe. Here, in the States more people can afford to travel and whatever else they want, even though they work either as a nanny or a contractor. When I gvisit Poland I am always surprised how Poles can live with such small earnings and expensive prices of basically everything.

  45. I am a US citizen, but thinking of moving to Poland in a few years.
    I work as a nurse, and I don’t have any relatives in Poland.
    I would like to live as a US citizen in Poland, but not sure what kind of Visa I need to have? – I also need to know what jobs are there for me and how to apply for a contract job in Poland while still in the US?
    Please, help me with this question.
    PS. The house on the above photo ( KrakoW, country ) – how much is in the US dollars?
    Thanks.
    Nataliy.

    1. Moving to Poland on a work visa or educational visa or Polish roots
      You will need some type of visa. Do you have any Polish root what so ever? If you do than it is basically no problem. You can get a visa based on your grandparents or whatever the case might be.
      Your name is Nataliy so maybe you are Slavic? Can you research this or tell me?
      If not the best type of visa is a work or educational visa.
      Being in the medical field you could apply for a job not as a normal nurse, as Poland has many. I mean you could get a job, but I think you should use some imagination and put a spin on it. That is, work with a nursing school or something that conveys American nursing techniques.
      Of course you can teach english and medical english. This you can make a lot of money teaching to doctors and nurses. A lot of money in Polish Złoty. Further if you work for a school they can sponsor you for a visa, or a pharmaceutical company.

      Let me know more information so I can guide you better. What are you thinking? I need more details to be able to tell you what options you have to relocate to Poland.

      Finding a home in Poland
      The house above lets say it is 1,500 square feet, would be about 80, 000 dollars brand new depending on how you build it. That is if you build it with countryside people. If you just want to write out a check it would cost more.

      You can build a small one like that, say 700 square feet for 30,000 dollars. But this is a nice little cottage, maybe even with a loft but not a lot of space by american standards. On the other hand my apartment in Krakow is that size and we have three people living there and I think it is big. So it is all relative.

      appartements in the city are nice but small just like in the USA. I prefer countryside living over city living. There are great train lines, despite Polish people complaining. Every small hamlet is connected with public transport unlike in the USA where you need a car.

      Also if you drive in the USA, no problem to get a driver’s license in Poland, you can switch it with a written test in English. But you need a visa to do anything from set up a bank account to sign a work contract.

      Now if the above are right outside Krakow or Warsaw times the price by two or three as land could cost 300,000 dollars in a nice area. Poland is EU and not poor Poland like it use to be.

      Poland is a great place to relocate and move to. I can not think of a better place in the world, except for maybe the weather of course. But then you can take vacations to the Greek Islands and such three times a year and you are all set. It is living in New England. If you like New England you will like Poland.

  46. My husband is of Polish decent. We want to move our family from Texas to Poland sometime in the next 2-3 years. We are Western horse Trainers. I know that Western horses are becoming more popular in Europe. Any advice on particular areas of Poland we should look into moving with our professions in mind? Also is it easier to get a visa looking to start a new business in Poland or to have a job already lined up? We are currently self employed,but I know that may change when we move.

    My 4 children are currently home schooled. Will this be a problem in Poland? Or is there an English speaking school they could attend? I am not sure how fluent everyone’s Polish will be at the time of moving.

    Thank you in advance for your help and advice. I have enjoyed reading your comments so far.

    Jenn

    1. Polish people are crazy about horses. Can you buy some Polish horse magazines? This will give you a lot of information. Try to find these online or at Empik online or Merlin.pl online.This is my advice about horses and Poland – also look online for what others do using a translate tool if needed.

      “Gałkowo Sharp Cup” Karolina Ferenstein Kraśko organizes this and it is a famous – read up on this and maybe even make contracts with the people invloved. This has been on for ten years now. Maybe even make a trip to Poland to tour things like this connected to equistrian events.

      Karolina Wajda- her parents are famous -Andrzej Wajda and Beata Tyszkiewicz, she started the first in Poland Akademię Sztuki Jeżdzieckiej and she she is a promotor of Baroque style “Barokowa Szkoła Jazdy”. She organizes shows and events all around Poland.

      In Warsaw they have a derby, called Derby Warszawskie. Służewiec Derby in Warsaw (Derby Warszawskie) since XIX century.

      Poland has amazing breed beyond the US Morgans and quarter houses. I could ramble all day about this.

      More about horse training in Poland,it is a major horse country as you know and has a great tradition and exports houses around the world as well asa domestic market. There are many horse schools and riding centers around most cities and the new aristocrats and even me like riding there.
      I mean as Poles gain wealth they are going back to their roots and this includes riding and horses.
      You could also market this to western Europeans on eco vacations. I think, you could also do treks and rides across green areas in Poland. As a businessman I think there are an infinite number of interactions you could market this idea of horse in a good way that would make you very rich. I am not just saying that. I really like horses and would like to do a horse vaction myself.
      Eco tourism in Europe is big as well as horses. You could also score contracts with horse breeders from other countries or work with draft house breeding etc. It does not matter, if you have the knowledge of such things and interest and some capital to bring your dreams to reality you will do very well in Poland.

      I think the south of Poland, but really all over is the place to check out. Małopolksa and the south, or the east for cheap land. I guess it depends on what you are thinking and how you see this.

      English speaking schools are not problem, there are International schools all over Poland and in the public schools they even have some English only schools.
      I think you will have an adventure. Start the process of visa today for repatriation of a Polish person with descent to get a green card by contacting the Polish
      embassy. That is my advice. If you have any other questions pleases ask about Poland and horses.

  47. Mark, thank you for sharing you time and information with so many of us. My question is quite simple, but let me precede it with a brief background. I was born and raised in NE part of Poland. In 1974 my parents and my two brothers emigrated to USA, where it became home. My wife and I had a chance (in more then 30 yrs) to vacation in Poland this summer and we fell in love with it. We are considering to retire there but would like to do more research about this option first. One of the consideration that is in the center of my question to you is this, we would like to buy a retirement and or an investment property in the east to north/east part of Poland but we would like to get financing for it in plns from a bank there. What do you think of this idea, and how do we begin learning more about it. We both are just entering our 50’s with all kids out of the house and minds full of dreams. Thanks for your time and consideration.

    1. To answer your question, I decided to change it into a post on my blog as it got so long. So the answer is yes you can get a mortgage but your need to go to the right place and get a larger down payment. See my post for two places I recommend.

  48. Thank you for you answer to my credit to foreigners question. We will use your answer as a starting point in learning more about this issue. I do have an unrelated question that has a theme all of its own, what does the concept “nieruchomości” in real state mean. Any information related to this, especially how it relates to foreigners and their interest in a current real estate market would be greatly appreciated. Thank you, Tom.

    1. Nieruchomości literally means ‘something that does not move’ – Ruch means to move, Nie menas no. It is a very good question as it is a crazy looking word.

  49. I was more wondering if you knew how the concept of “nieruchomosc” is applied in realstate. For example: “sprzedaz niruchomasci”, “kupno ziemi, dzialki niruchomosci”, etc. This is of interest to me because of my previous experience with buying and selling realstate. I think I understand this concept and I just need make sure that I’m on the right track. I’m fluent in both the written and spoken Polish so the meaning of the word is and was not an issue. It was this knowledge, of the word meant,however, that caused my lack of understanding of what it refereed to in realstate. Any info would be greatly appreciated, thanks.

    1. So please forgive me if I ask for clarification. Do you want to know how people sell real estate, buy land and plots and lots in the suburbs and the city? If you are asking this, it is pretty much the same as in the USA with the differences in the details.

  50. Thanks for being patient with me, let me take another run at this. When I browse thru a Polish realstate sites I have no problem understanding comments that are phrased like “sprzedam dzialke, wynajme mjeszkanie, itd. Where I blank out is when the the phrase “sprzedaz niruchomosci” is used…what does that phrase mean, or refer to? What are some examples of “nieruchomosci”? Is it fair to assume that this term references a sale where such sale sat on the market beyond a set time thus earning the status of “stale” or “niruchomosc”? Thanks again.

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