"Wroclaw — the Polish Silicon Valley": Life Hacks and Impressions of Moving to Poland
What are PESEL and Meldunek? How much does it cost to play sports? What kind of entertainment is available? EPAM Java Script developer Andrey Shelengovskiy spoke about his relocation to Poland especially for Anywhere Club, and shares some of the things that he learned below.
— I had a desire to live abroad for a long time. Just over a year ago, I moved to Poland under the relocation program from EPAM Anywhere. I had two cities to choose from: Wroclaw and Krakow. Since I always considered Krakow to be more touristy, my choice was Wroclaw. It is not a very large city – it has a population of about 600,000 people according to official figures, and more than a million according to unofficial ones. There are many educational institutions here, so you can feel a seasonal migration. With the beginning of the school year, you can find yourself spending hours in traffic jams.
PESEL and Meldunek
— The PESEL is a personal identification number assigned to Polish citizens and certain foreign citizens, and a Meldunek is a registered residence address. It's not hard to get either of them. For the Meldunek, you need to sign a lease for an apartment. Then you simply fill out an application in the local government office (Urząd) of your district. The application is in Polish, but there is dubbing into English, so it is not a problem. When you draw up a Meldunek, they will provide you with a PESEL if you don’t have one. If you do not want to register your address, but are just going to get a PESEL, there is a procedure for that. You fill out the questionnaire, and indicate that you want to receive PESEL for tax purposes. Previously, registration was mandatory in order to apply for a residence card. If I'm not mistaken, it is no longer required as of the beginning of this year. In principle, any foreign citizen must register in Poland after 30 days, but I haven't heard of anyone following this requirement.
There is also something known as a Trusted Profile (Profil Zaufany). This is a free tool that allows you to verify your identity online to deal with government agencies. To get it, you register on the site, go to the Urząd, verify your profile, and then resolve your issues, such as ordering certificates and statements, dealing with health information online, etc.
Apartment and internet
— A one-bedroom apartment outside the center of Wroclaw costs about $600, which includes utility bills (water, electricity) and the deduction for the owners. I pay for the Internet separately from my rent, it costs $12-13 per month. The quality of the Internet in Poland, however, leaves much to be desired. I live in a young “up and coming” area, that has a lot of construction work going on, so something often breaks and causes the Internet to disappear altogether for a period of time. With mobile communications, it’s the same story. I often hear complaints that people can't get through to me. Although the Internet and mobile communications are quite cheap here — for $7 I have 30 GB of traffic, unlimited calls, SMS, and 4 GB in roaming throughout Europe - this does not mean that you will be in touch all the time.
Some resources that you can use for your property search include:
A useful life hack: if you choose Orange Flex as a mobile operator, you can connect a Polish number even before arriving in the country via the Internet (using e-sim). You can choose a number, a tariff plan for yourself, and even share traffic with friends.
Language and medicine
— Of course, you need to learn Polish — I think you should at least know some of the language out of respect for the country where you live. A month after moving here, I began to understand what people around were saying. It is still difficult to speak for myself, because there is no one to practice with on a regular basis. I have a few Polish speakers that I know, but more chances to speak the language casually would definitely be helpful. It may be easier for Belarusians to understand the Polish language, since it is like Belarusian, except the stress always falls on the penultimate syllable. In general, young people speak English well, and older people do not speak it quite as well, but Google Translate can help.
If it becomes necessary to visit a doctor, it would be better to be prepared to explain what hurts you in English. Although you can find a Russian-speaking doctor.
In addition to state health insurance, you can also purchase commercial insurance. This costs about $50 per month and allows you to be served in a private medical center. People say that service in public clinics is not good enough. I decided not to find out.
— There is certainly plenty of entertainment. You can watch movies in their original language and thereby practice English. I also go to the gym. It's not cheap — $400 a month for three sessions a week with a trainer. I’ve heard that there is a card — Multisport – that costs about $50 and allows you unlimited access to gyms and pools that participate in the plan associated with the card. Definitely something to consider. In addition, there is always travel. We must not forget that Poland is advantageously located — Germany and the Czech Republic are nearby, and there are many low-cost flights available from the local airport. I’m greedy — I want to go everywhere and see everything. So, my expenses for entertainment are impressive.
Other things to do in Wroclaw include:
— You can work in Poland as an employee (like me) or for yourself. There are two options for self-employment here:
- be an individual entrepreneur and open your own business — but this option is not available to all foreigners; or
- create an account in a business incubator — which offers a number of privileges, such as reduced tax rates.
— Wroclaw is something like Silicon Valley in Poland. There are many product companies and development centers here. You can see the offices of famous companies such as Ryanair, plus Belarusian and Ukrainian outsourcers have begun to catch up, including: iTechArt, Luxsoft, and others.
So far, I like everything about Poland. There are definitely more pluses than minuses. I’ll share a list of useful applications with you:
- UrbanCard — to pay for public transport.
- Nasz Wrocław — a virtual city dweller card with discounts (and even free tickets) for visiting local entertainment.
- Jakdojade — application for planning public transport routes.
- Orlen Pay, Orlen Vitay, Lotos Pay&Go — to pay for fuel at gas stations directly from the application.
- E-toll — to pay for toll sections of roads A4 and A2 (in Orlen Pay — purchase of electronic tickets for travel on toll roads is available, but E-toll tracks and writes off payment for the actually traveled sections).
We invite you to discuss relocation to Poland in the Discord channel.
- How to Ask for a Raise or PromotionWork09 Dec 2022
- How to Effectively Give Feedback?Work18 Nov 2022
- Effectively Launching as a Junior: an Expert's ViewWork23 Nov 2022
- How Do You Draw Positive Attention to Yourself?Work23 Dec 2022
- What to Do to Get into IT TodayWork12 Dec 2022
- How to Learn EnglishLearn04 Aug 2022
- Juniors Are Needed for CompaniesWork22 Dec 2022
- Who Can You Become in IT?Work13 Dec 2022
- What Is Mentoring in IT and How Does It Help You Master the Profession?Learn27 Dec 2022
- Teamwork: 5 Factors of Effective InteractionWork03 Jan 2023
- Business Analyst in IT: What You Need to Know and DoLearn14 Nov 2022
- 10 Things Beginner Startups Don't Need to DoLearn05 Jan 2023
- What You Need to Know to Relocate to SerbiaRelocate26 May 2022
- How to Learn Ruby on Your OwnLearn25 Nov 2022
- English Through Music: Learn and Have FunLearn04 Nov 2022
- What Does a Botanist Do in IT?Work04 Nov 2022
- Soft Skills Are 85% of a Person’s Success in a ProfessionWork29 Dec 2022
- Trends in IT Company EventsCommunity30 Nov 2022
- How to Compose a ResumeWork16 Aug 2022
- How to Manage Interview AnxietyWork12 Oct 2022
- "Where Else but Spain?" — the Experience of MovingRelocate06 Dec 2022
- IT Language of the TesterLearn09 Jan 2023
- The Brain-Up Project is Looking for VolunteersVolunteer11 Aug 2022
- Relocation to TurkeyRelocate31 Aug 2022
- The Easiest Programming Languages to LearnLearn07 Sep 2022
- How to Become a DevOpsLearn06 Oct 2022
- “Forget About Impostor Syndrome”Community18 Oct 2022
- 8 Reasons to Move to KrakowRelocate26 Oct 2022
- How to Become a Tester in three weeksWork19 May 2022
- The Reality and Myths of Life in TurkeyRelocate19 May 2022
- IT Beard Talks About Anywhere Club IT CommunityCommunity19 May 2022
- What Should a Beginner Automation QA Engineer LearnLearn29 Sep 2022
- Project Manager Responsibilities: Tasks and Skills vs RealityWork31 Oct 2022
- Home for Every IT Professional in the WorldCommunity19 May 2022
- Living in Serbia — Pros and ConsRelocate16 Jun 2022
- Relocation to GeorgiaRelocate20 Sep 2022
- 3 Ways to Find Your Dream JobWork24 Nov 2022
- Sent out 500 Resumes and Moved to UzbekistanWork28 Nov 2022
- 5 Common Questions about RelocationRelocate19 May 2022
- Relocation is Like the First Child's BirthRelocate23 May 2022
- To Learn How to Write Code, You Have to Write CodeWork24 May 2022
- Lithuania: Features and Life HacksRelocate10 Oct 2022
- 3 Facilitation Case Studies: Better and Worse ScenariosWork31 Oct 2022
- How Does a Junior Get Their First Job in Singapore?Work22 Nov 2022
- Android: What Should Beginners and Professionals DoLearn09 Jun 2022
- What Are Some of the Unusual Jobs in ITWork21 Jun 2022
- The Psychological Trauma of EmigrantsRelocate28 Jun 2022
- How to Avoid Burnout And Stay Productive in 2022Work06 Jul 2022
- What is Data ScienceWork09 Aug 2022
- Why Time Management Doesn't WorkLearn19 Sep 2022
- 5 Myths About IT: True or FalseWork19 May 2022
- What to Read and Watch for a Novice Java EngineerLearn19 May 2022
- How to Start an IT Career in TestingWork01 Jun 2022
- Tips for Relocating to SerbiaRelocate02 Jun 2022
- Best Countries to Relocate for IT SpecialistsRelocate06 Jun 2022
- How Do Expatriates Live in UzbekistanRelocate15 Jun 2022
- What Is a Vocation, and Does It Exist in 2022Work20 Jun 2022
- How to Support Someone Who Is StressedCommunity23 Jun 2022
- 6 Stereotypes About Life in HungaryRelocate30 Jun 2022
- What Impresses in MontenegroRelocate18 Aug 2022
- Where to Make Friends With BlockchainLearn25 Aug 2022
- Doctor in ITWork24 Aug 2022
- How to Become an HR ManagerWork05 Sep 2022
- Top iOS Developer ResourcesLearn12 Sep 2022
- 7 Soft Skills for DevelopersWork27 Sep 2022
- Features of Life in GermanyRelocate05 Oct 2022
- Facilitation: How to Conduct It EffectivelyWork17 Oct 2022
- Life in Italy: What You Need to PrepareRelocate19 Oct 2022
- 10 Ways to Stay on Top of IT TrendsLearn25 Oct 2022
- An 8-month Journey to Front-EndWork04 Jul 2022
- The Joys And Challenges of Relocation to HungaryRelocate11 Jul 2022
- Where is Python Used And Why Should You Study It in 2022Learn13 Jul 2022
- From Travel Agent to a Tester in ITWork20 Jul 2022
- The Real Story of a Radical Change in ProfessionWork18 Jul 2022
- Top 5 Startup Books to Read in 2022Learn27 Jul 2022
- Family Traumas in EmigrationRelocate03 Aug 2022
- What Do You Need to Know About the South of SpainRelocate22 Aug 2022
- Pros and Cons of Life in MontenegroRelocate08 Sep 2022
- Why Do Job Applicants Lie in Interviews?Work12 Jan 2023
- The Incredible Success Story of a Switcher in ITWork17 Jan 2023
- Tips from a Career ConsultantWork20 Jan 2023
- IT Language of the Business AnalystLearn23 Jan 2023
- "By the Time They Come Back with an Offer, You Сan Give Birth"Work27 Jan 2023
- How to Become a Backend DeveloperLearn31 Jan 2023
- How can a programmer without work experience find a jobWork01 Feb 2023