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What are my chances in Poland?
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Oztobeyond



Joined: 04 Aug 2015
Posts: 53
Location: Sydney, Australia

PostPosted: Fri Oct 07, 2016 4:56 am    Post subject: What are my chances in Poland? Reply with quote

Hi all,

As a few of you know, as of late I've been scouring my options regarding where I can travel to after I finish up in China in June/July.

My best friend has just moved to Wroclaw, Poland to study and I'm so very determined to find myself there by the middle of next year too.

Personal details:

- 25 year old Australian citizen
- Bachelor of Arts majoring in English and Political Economy (Sydney University - very reputable institution)
- CELTA
- ~ Just under 2 years of teaching experience with the same organisation, consisting of:
* 10 months in Uzbekistan teaching a broad range of subjects in a language school environment (IELTS, Adult general English, teens classes, one-on-ones, business English...)
* 10 months teaching primary school kids in Beijing, China (aged 8/9 years old)

I've been keeping an eye on adverts in Poland, unfortunately they almost always invariably state that applicants must be EU citizens. There must be a way around this. I'm willing to teach in almost any environment (language school, public school, doesn't matter).

So my questions are:
1. How can I make this happen?
2. What can I do while here in China to make my prospects most promising?
3. I'm also open to pursuing further education while in Wroclaw. However, it must be affordable and I must be able to find work to do concurrently.

Thanks,
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sparks



Joined: 20 Feb 2008
Posts: 627

PostPosted: Fri Oct 07, 2016 7:05 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Your chances are very limited. Some schools (mostly those which are outside of cities and a bit dodgy) might be willing to get you a work permit (still possible in Poland but a bit of a pain in the a**) to work here. The other option is marry an EU citizen. As far as near Wroclaw, no idea. I believe that English College in Radom gets work permits for non-EU people. I know this isn't the answer that you are looking for and that you won't want to take my words as the truth, that's up to you.
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Oztobeyond



Joined: 04 Aug 2015
Posts: 53
Location: Sydney, Australia

PostPosted: Fri Oct 07, 2016 9:16 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

sparks wrote:
Your chances are very limited. Some schools (mostly those which are outside of cities and a bit dodgy) might be willing to get you a work permit (still possible in Poland but a bit of a pain in the a**) to work here. The other option is marry an EU citizen. As far as near Wroclaw, no idea. I believe that English College in Radom gets work permits for non-EU people. I know this isn't the answer that you are looking for and that you won't want to take my words as the truth, that's up to you.


No the honest appraisal is good. Thanks. It isn't the answer I'm looking for but it gives me some idea of what I'm up against.

How about study and work? From what I can gather education is quite cheap in Poland. Hopefully the education system is good too. I definitely don't have deep pockets.

Thanks,
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Oztobeyond



Joined: 04 Aug 2015
Posts: 53
Location: Sydney, Australia

PostPosted: Fri Oct 07, 2016 10:36 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

The education is so cheap.

The University of Wroclaw is just 3000 euros per year:

https://international.uni.wroc.pl/en/study-english/tuition-fees

Do you think the education is decent there? It doesn't seem like there's not much to loose to be honest in any case. I believe international students can work in Poland for a maximum of 20 hours per week, is that correct?

Thanks,
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sparks



Joined: 20 Feb 2008
Posts: 627

PostPosted: Fri Oct 07, 2016 2:34 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Certainly, If you can get a residency permit based on studies, that's fine. The degrees offered in English by Polish Universities usually aren't viewed too highly back home but if it's more of a way to stay here, that's fine. I wouldn't worry about the 20 hour/work thing. Your best bet would just be to do private lessons. Check out nativespeaker.com.pl and e-korepetycje.net to post your resume.
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dragonpiwo



Joined: 04 Mar 2013
Posts: 1576
Location: Berlin

PostPosted: Fri Oct 07, 2016 3:14 pm    Post subject: ha Reply with quote

I hope she's worth it. Bring some money. You'll earn naff all in Poland.
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Oztobeyond



Joined: 04 Aug 2015
Posts: 53
Location: Sydney, Australia

PostPosted: Fri Oct 07, 2016 3:28 pm    Post subject: Re: ha Reply with quote

dragonpiwo wrote:
I hope she's worth it. Bring some money. You'll earn naff all in Poland.


Haha. Even doing privates will that be the case?
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Master Shake



Joined: 03 Nov 2006
Posts: 1197
Location: Colorado, USA

PostPosted: Sat Oct 08, 2016 1:58 am    Post subject: Re: ha Reply with quote

Oztobeyond wrote:
dragonpiwo wrote:
I hope she's worth it. Bring some money. You'll earn naff all in Poland.


Haha. Even doing privates will that be the case?
Yes, especially at first. It will take you a while to find your way to the better paying clients. I think you'd be lucky to find privates that are willing to pay you 1zl/1 min. in Wroclaw.

As for the university option: who in Australia will give credence to a degree from a Polish university? This is the million dollar question. A lot of Polish universities have questionable reputations internationally, some with good reason.

If you're coming to Poland for a girl, you're bringing wood to the forest.
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Oztobeyond



Joined: 04 Aug 2015
Posts: 53
Location: Sydney, Australia

PostPosted: Sat Oct 08, 2016 9:30 am    Post subject: Re: ha Reply with quote

Master Shake wrote:
Oztobeyond wrote:
dragonpiwo wrote:
I hope she's worth it. Bring some money. You'll earn naff all in Poland.


Haha. Even doing privates will that be the case?
Yes, especially at first. It will take you a while to find your way to the better paying clients. I think you'd be lucky to find privates that are willing to pay you 1zl/1 min. in Wroclaw.

As for the university option: who in Australia will give credence to a degree from a Polish university? This is the million dollar question. A lot of Polish universities have questionable reputations internationally, some with good reason.

If you're coming to Poland for a girl, you're bringing wood to the forest.


To clear things up - No, I'm not chasing a girl ^_^ . I just really miss my best friend, plus I want to move away from teaching in Asia.

Ok. To be honest I find it hard to believe it's such hard slog teaching English in Poland. Isn't basically half the young population planning to move to the UK, and thus interested in learning English? And it's not exactly a third world country - it's part of the EU and is considered a developed country. It seems strange that things are so difficult there.
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Master Shake



Joined: 03 Nov 2006
Posts: 1197
Location: Colorado, USA

PostPosted: Sat Oct 08, 2016 3:50 pm    Post subject: to clear things up Reply with quote

To clear things up from my end, I never said teaching n in Poland was a hard slog. Just be prepared to work split shifts and earn a subsistence wage for the first year or so. You will earn substantially less that you probably get in China now.

Yes, it's true that there is still demand for English lessons in Poland. You'll be competing with an ever-increasing number of qualified Polish teachers who are driving wages down. Your experience teaching in Asia may not be valued by Polish language schools. Two things you can do to greatly increase your income:

1) Move to Warsaw. There's just so much more work there.
2) Teach kids. The demand for YL teachers is still very high.

Moving to a country to be near a friend...probably something I wouldn't do. If you're interested in Polish/Eastern European history, language and culture, you're going to have a much more enjoyable time than if you're just sticking it out to be near your friend.
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Oztobeyond



Joined: 04 Aug 2015
Posts: 53
Location: Sydney, Australia

PostPosted: Sun Oct 09, 2016 2:10 am    Post subject: Re: to clear things up Reply with quote

Master Shake wrote:
To clear things up from my end, I never said teaching n in Poland was a hard slog. Just be prepared to work split shifts and earn a subsistence wage for the first year or so. You will earn substantially less that you probably get in China now.

Yes, it's true that there is still demand for English lessons in Poland. You'll be competing with an ever-increasing number of qualified Polish teachers who are driving wages down. Your experience teaching in Asia may not be valued by Polish language schools. Two things you can do to greatly increase your income:

1) Move to Warsaw. There's just so much more work there.
2) Teach kids. The demand for YL teachers is still very high.

Moving to a country to be near a friend...probably something I wouldn't do. If you're interested in Polish/Eastern European history, language and culture, you're going to have a much more enjoyable time than if you're just sticking it out to be near your friend.


Thanks for that mate, that assessment is more promising. I am most certainly interested in Polish history and culture. If he were living in an undesirable place I wouldn't go.

I've been renown for a willingness to work long hours my entire working life. It doesn't worry me.

Also my experience in Uzbekistan was quite eastern European. Most students had Russian as their first or second language.

I know there's IH in Wroclaw. I imagine the academic quality and pay is good by local standards. Maybe I'll give them a shot.

I'll work on all of this. I feel optimistic.
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dragonpiwo



Joined: 04 Mar 2013
Posts: 1576
Location: Berlin

PostPosted: Sun Oct 09, 2016 4:28 am    Post subject: IH Reply with quote

IH are just about the lowest payers on the market in Poland.

The thing is, outside Warsaw, the native speaker dog has had his day. Polish teachers, who are well-qualified and speak English fluently, are all over the place. I think the guys who have been there quite a few years already are OK but starting out there? Nightmare financially.

Poland is not cheap.
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Master Shake



Joined: 03 Nov 2006
Posts: 1197
Location: Colorado, USA

PostPosted: Sun Oct 09, 2016 6:11 am    Post subject: Re: IH Reply with quote

dragonpiwo wrote:
IH are just about the lowest payers on the market in Poland.

The thing is, outside Warsaw, the native speaker dog has had his day. Polish teachers, who are well-qualified and speak English fluently, are all over the place. I think the guys who have been there quite a few years already are OK but starting out there? Nightmare financially.

Poland is not cheap.
Now, Poland is still is cheap compared to the U.S. IMHO, but the rest of what he wrote is mostly true.

If your intention is to come here for a year 'for the experience', great! Just be aware that you should bring some savings to fall back on.

If you're thinking longer term in Poland, same as above. I hope you can penetrate the market. IH are pretty dire. Great for professional development, terrible for pay, from what I've heard.
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dragonpiwo



Joined: 04 Mar 2013
Posts: 1576
Location: Berlin

PostPosted: Sun Oct 09, 2016 3:28 pm    Post subject: erm Reply with quote

Food, medicine and beer are cheaper in Poland but what else? Go online and see what you can buy to live in in Florida and then go look at your average Polish city. Then you've got clothes, toiletries, electrical good and so on.

Poland is cheap if you drink in the cheapest places and eat fast food or at home. Relative to salaries it's crazy expensive.
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delphian-domine



Joined: 11 Mar 2011
Posts: 670

PostPosted: Sun Oct 09, 2016 9:44 pm    Post subject: Re: ha Reply with quote

Oztobeyond wrote:
Ok. To be honest I find it hard to believe it's such hard slog teaching English in Poland. Isn't basically half the young population planning to move to the UK, and thus interested in learning English? And it's not exactly a third world country - it's part of the EU and is considered a developed country. It seems strange that things are so difficult there.


OK, let's put it in some real perspective.

- Wrocław is a pretty desirable place to live. It's one of the best Polish cities to live in for young people, and there's a lot of jobs going around for young people. That means that you've got two main problems

1) A lot of competition on the job market
2) High living expenses

1 - because it attracts a lot of young Polish and increasingly international people, people want to live there. Young Poles working in corporate environments don't need English lessons - they've potentially had 12 years of English in school, years of private classes and so on. So - because it's young and vibrant, you also get people wanting to be teachers there. No-one wants to teach in Głogów or Mysłowice, they want to be where the action is (and where they can exist using English only).

2 - because it attracts young people, it also attracts those that have wealthy parents. That drives up living costs dramatically and makes it tough to live.

But because it's a young city that attracts educated Poles, there's not that much demand for English lessons on the level that you're at in your career. I can take one look at your background and tell you that my two best friends there would throw your CV straight in the bin. They have corporate clients that have increasingly sophisticated demands, and there's no way (don't take offence, but it's true) that you could write a comprehensive syllabus and deliver it to the satisfaction of any modern corporation.

OK - now let's look at your profile personally:

Quote:
- 25 year old Australian citizen


1) Lack of life experience. You've got no real experience in the corporate world, and Poland is quite an ageist society. You're not going to be taken seriously at 25.

2) Being Australian is also bad news, as it means you need a work permit for every job. Most employers in major cities aren't going to apply for work permits because there's no point.

Quote:
- Bachelor of Arts majoring in English and Political Economy (Sydney University - very reputable institution)


OK, so you're underqualified by Polish standards. Sydney University might be good, but it has no name value here.

Quote:
- CELTA


Doesn't mean much. Good employers are looking at post-CELTA training and experience.

[quote]- ~ Just under 2 years of teaching experience with the same organisation, consisting of:
* 10 months in Uzbekistan teaching a broad range of subjects in a language school environment (IELTS, Adult general English, teens classes, one-on-ones, business English...)
* 10 months teaching primary school kids in Beijing, China (aged 8/9 years old)

This is the biggest problem: you've been teaching Asians. In Europe, most employers will discount Asian teaching experience because it's simply nothing like European learners. You haven't specialised in one area, so you've a "jack of all trades, master of none" - which is bad news as the money in Poland is in specialist areas.

Now - let's talk about the job market.

1) Language schools

Forget it. A good language school that can offer a full time job in Wrocław will be looking for someone that's simply better than you. You might pick up a full time job with a bad 'method' school, but you cannot live on uncertain hours at 30PLN/hour maximum.

As I said, my friends own schools there, and they're looking at people with an MA+DELTA to deliver very very high quality corporate classes. They can pay in excess of 5-6k a month easily, but you need to have the proven experience and know-how. You don't have it.

Or another way of putting it. The going rate for companies to pay a good corporate training provider is between 120 and 180PLN/hour. Do you think that they're going to pay that for someone who only has CELTA and has spent the last year teaching Chinese kids? Nope. Not gonna happen. They want (and expect) someone who knows exactly how Polish learners learn while being able to deliver high quality, customised courses.

One of my friends has an interview question that roughly goes like this -

"Can you provide me with an example of a typical Polish mistake in - a) vocab, b) grammar and c) pronouncation, and can you explain to me step-by-step how you would effectively correct them and ensure that they eliminate these mistakes."

That's the expectation from good jobs.

2) Private schools

Difficult to break into, as the jobs usually go to those "in the know". There are some terrible employers that will hire you on the basis of a Skype interview, but you'll be running from them within weeks after they screw you over in some way.

3) Kindergartens

Plenty of jobs, but you're going to struggle to take home more than 2000zł/month in them, and it's tough work. The reason there's plenty of jobs is that no idiot is going to work 25+ hours a week in a kindergarten for 15PLN/hour.

If you want to come to Poland, look for a job in a big town about 1-2 hours from Wrocław. You won't earn huge money, but it'll be stable and reliable and you'll have plenty of free time.

BTW - IH in Poland pays garbage. If you want to be a DoS at an IH, go for it (but jobs in WRO go 100% to their graduates of CELTA/DELTA), but expect to be offered 1900-2000 net maximum.
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