Here, in this corner of the world, things have looked up for expats, particularly for that of students like yours truly. According to the Krakow Post President Komorowski’s signing a new immigration law will ease the process for students and non-EU nationals to live and work in Poland for 1-3 years.
English is the hottest language in demand in the IT and BPO (Business-Processing Outsourcing) sectors. Additionally, Krakow has repeatedly been considered one of the most attractive and desirable cities to invest in in FDI. The national average salary is roughly between 3800-4100 zlotych, or about 1200-1300 dollars a month. A colleague once got a job offer for 4500 zlotych a month which is roughly 1500 USD/month or 1100 euros a month.
For the longest time, I used to feel that Poland was the “promised land” as it once was to Askhenazic Jews once upon a time. In fact, Casimir the Great bestowed many privileges on Krakow’s Jews and even invited more to settle from Western Europe where they were being persecuted during the Crusades and following Spanish Inquisition. Additionally, Poland, if not Krakow is one of the most educated and cultured places per capita I’ve encountered here in Europe. In 2000, Krakow was Europe’s “capital of culture” and in two year’s time, Wroclaw, the capital of Silesia, will hold the title.
Krakow is also very much a student city. It is home to roughly 100,000 students and one of Central and Eastern Europe’s oldest universities, Jagiellonian. I believe that only Prague’s Charles University is older.
The city population is just under 800,000 and yet the compact walkable center evokes a charming “small town” feel.
When I graduate this year, I shall miss Krakow dearly. There is no other city in the world I’d want to spend a spring in.