1 August 2016

Anda Alexandra Rosiek - Expat in Krakow, Poland

Anda Alexandra Rosiek - Expat in Krakow, Poland

Anda Alexandra Rosiek is a 28-year-old Information Security Analyst who lives in Krakow, one of the largest cities in Poland. She originally was born and raised in Lasi, Romania prior to relocating to Poland when she was offered a transfer from the corporation that she was working for. “I knew I had to say yes,” she said. “Better to do the things than to regret and ask yourself what might have happened.”

Mrs. Rosiek has been living in Poland for more than 3 years now with her Polish husband. She cites that her most difficult experience that she ever had while living in Poland involved learning the language. “When in school I studied Latin and German. Romanian language is a Latin language so it is easy for us to understand Spanish, Italian and French. Polish was unlike any language I ever heard,” she explained. “It took me a while to figure out when a sentence started and when it finished...then I would figure out where a word started and when it ended. It was a great success when I eventually learned some words and I could understand a full sentence,” she said. Mrs. Rosiek mentioned she also struggles with feelings of missing family and friends back home. “It would take a long flight (make that actually 3 flights to get to Lasi) or a very long drive (over 15 hours straight drive) to see them,” she said.

Having to communicate in another language can be difficult for many expatriates, but it’s a skill that can come in handy when relocating overseas. Not only will it be easier to communicate your needs and wants but being familiar with the local language spoken may make it easier to find a job abroad. Those who are interested in learning the local language may want to learn more about different language-learning opportunities available, and one way to learn the local language is by seeking out clubs and associations which can give expats the chance to meet locals and practice their language skills. 

Find out more about Anda Alexandra Rosiek’s experiences in Poland in her full interview below.

Q: Where are you originally from?

A: I am born and raised in Romania, in a lovely city called Iasi. It is a cultural type of city, with lovely parks and big universities. It is one of the largest cities in Romania and it is also known as the Cultural Capital. It also hold the oldest Theater in the country (You can read more about it here: http://twistedredladybug.blogspot.com/2013/08/a-pearl-recovered.html).

Q: What made you move out of your home country?

A: I was in a need for a change... I was not looking for a new job actively but when I was offered a transfer from Romania to Poland - inside the same corporation I was working for - I knew I had to say yes. Better to do the things than to regret and ask yourself what might have happened.

Q: How did you come to choose this new country of residence?

A: Poland choose me and I did not choose Poland. The friends I made here asked me to visit for a few days and I fell in love with Krakow. It just felt like home and I was feeling very sad when I left. Then a week later, my ex-Team Leader from here asked me if I wanted a transfer. She was wonderful for giving me this opportunity!

Q: How long have you been living in Poland?

A: I have been living in Poland, in Krakow, for more than 3 years now and counting...

Q: What has been the most difficult experience you've had when you were new in Poland?

A: Oh, for sure that would be the language! When in school I studied Latin and German. Romanian language is a Latin language so it is easy for us to understand Spanish, Italian and French. Polish was unlike any language I ever heard. It took me a while to figure out when a sentence started and when it finished... then I would figure out where a word started and when it ended. It was a great success when I eventually learned some words and I could understand a full sentence

Q: Would you say that formalities like getting visas or work permits and international health insurance was particularly difficult in Poland? What was your experience with these?

A: Well, considering that we are part of the European Union and the fact that we have free borders, I did not need a work permit. I had a transfer inside the company, inside the corporation I was working in, from Romania to Poland. But not the normal type... I had to quit my job in Romania and start from scratch here, when it comes to experience. I don't regret it a bit, though

Q: Are you living alone or with your family?

A: I am living with my Polish husband, that I have met here while working inside the corporation. We were both on the same project; same position but I do miss my family from home - my dear Mum, my awesome Granny and my kick-arse bigger sister.

Q: Was it easy making friends and meeting people? Do you mainly socialize with other expats in Poland? How did you manage to find a social circle in Poland?

A: It is quite hard but I feel the Romanian community here growing. For example, this year on the 2nd of November we have the first round of presidential elections. Until now, people could vote only in Warsaw. This year there are 3 centers: Warsaw, Poznan and Krakow. I also see movements and changes in the groups and events in the market - especially on Facebook. I have friends mainly from the corporate environment that came as I did from Romania to Poland. It is nice and refreshing to hear your own language live once in a while. My husband even knows a Romanian poem for children and it always makes me smile

Q: What are the best things to do in the area? Anything to recommend to future expats?

A: I think these links to some articles on my blog might help. Places to eat, drink and have fun include the Cupcake Corner Bakery  for coffee/tea & muffins/cupcakes/ice-cream. Visit Bona - Ksiaszka i kawa for awesome books and amazing coffee/hot choco/organic tea, you can find more HERE, HERE, HERE, HERE, HERE, HERE. Visit Babcia Malina for traditional food, just how a granny would make it - More here: 1, 2, 3-under the fish-eye lens. Go to Pod Wawelem for awesome and cheap beer and amazingly good food in gigantic sizes! For frequent travelers in/out of Krakow, visit the Restauracja Palce Lizac which is located next to the Galeria Krakowska and the main train/bus station it is the perfect place to drop by and fill up your stomach. You have awesome/tasty food at small/reasonable prices.

Q: How does the cost of living in Poland compare to your home?

A: The prices are pretty much the same and even the currency is similar: 1 Polish Zloty = 0.9 Romanian RON. I don't actually drink coffee but I can tell you about cappuccino that is more or less about 10-15 zloty (or less, around 8 zloty if you know the language and go to the small coffee shops - much more cozy).  For meals in inexpensive restaurants, I love Babcia Malina and in Krakow they have 3 restaurants - the traditional cream soup with eggs and sausage and potatoes inside is only 7.5 zloty and the portion of pierogi (dumplings) are around 15 zloty. A meal in an expensive restaurant has double the above prices, but again I know some really nice and fancy places that are not extremely expensive, but you need to have a local with you. I don’t smoke, so I don’t know how much a pack of cigarettes costs, and Polish people are much more into vodka and beer than in wine. The cheapest beer should be around 7 zloty and if you are in a central pub it can get to 15 zloty.

 

Q: How do you find the local culture and people in your host country?

A: I love that people in Poland are warm and inviting. If they see that you are trying to speak their language - and they all know how hard it is and they respect that - they will be even more open

Q: What do you think are the positive and negative sides of living in Poland?

A: Positive: a lot of new places to see and things to experience.

Negative: missing my family, terribly! as it would take a long flight (make that actually 3 flights to get to Iasi) or a very long drive (over 15 hours straight drive).

Q: Do you miss home and family sometimes?

A: Oh, of course I do! I never lie, so I can tell you that I miss them everyday. I don't get to talk to them on a daily basis but I text them and Facebook them and sometimes even write to them letters and send them postcards... I'm old-fashioned, what can I say?!

Q: How do you cope with homesickness?

A: I call them and talk to them when I can + I meet with my Romanian friends here  

 

Q: Do you have plans to move to a different country or back home in the future?

A: Not right now but we always love to keep our options open - never say never

Q: What has been the hardest aspect to your expat experience so far?

A: Missing the family... Sometimes you have that odd feeling that a part of you is missing, just because you left it there with your Mum/Granny/Sister/Dad. I always believed that home is where your heart is and if your heart is in a million places that does not mean that your heart is shattered, that only means you heart is growing in order to reach all the corners where your beloved ones are.

Q: What tips can you give other expats living in that country?

A: Get in touch with the Facebook groups of expats, join the meetings, be open and make friends. If you are working in a corporation for sure there are others like you. Keep your eyes and ears open and don't be afraid to ask questions. Go to a Language school and take immediate lessons - they will come very much in handy!

Q: Do you have favourite websites or blogs about your host country?

A: You may like the foreigners community in Poland group -https://www.facebook.com/ForeignersInPoland?ref=ts&fref=ts or the official Fan Page of Link to Poland. In English: www.linktopoland.com/en Po polsku: www.linktopoland.com.