Hello and welcome to your work placement abroad in Poland! An internship in Poland is an opportunity to discover one of the largest countries in Europe, with an absolutely huge capital, Warsaw. It’s really very big: once, in Poland, I had an appointment with a school in Warsaw, and I actually drove through a forest on the bus to get to my destination… I really thought I’d made a mistake and changed town, but nope. In fact, Warsaw is 5 times bigger than Paris! In fact, if you’d like a little feedback, you can find it directly on our website. Poland is a country that has been marked by its history, particularly by the Second World War: the country was repeatedly bombed, and the old cities of Krakow and Warsaw were razed to the ground, but the Poles rebuilt them identically: it’s very beautiful. This Central European country is well worth a visit, despite some recent political setbacks: since the PIS came to power, the rights of certain minorities have been restricted, and even abortion rights have been heavily impacted. Despite this situation, Warsaw is doing well, and has declared itself a Free City alongside Bratislava, Prague and Budapest, to counter the rise of extremes in their respective countries. Here’s an overview of everything you need to know before going on a work placement in Poland!
The budget for your work placement in Poland
Excellent point, it’s not expensive. In summer, as in winter, the cost of living is much lower than in France: you’ll be able to treat yourself and travel all over the country. We advise you to budget €600 to €700 a month to include rent in Poland, food and travel. When it comes to accommodation, you can rent a studio flat in the centre of Warsaw, for example, or take a room with a host family, or even join an ERASMUS flat-sharing scheme. Poland takes in no fewer than 14,000 ERASMUS students every year, and there are plenty of flat-sharing arrangements: as well as sharing costs, it’s a great way to make a group of friends quickly, and set off to discover the country! Because, even if you’re doing a work placement abroad, you should make the most of it by getting out and about, visiting places and enjoying yourself! Otherwise, you might as well stay in France and binge-watch Netflix under the duvet.
When it comes to food, whether you eat in a restaurant or a supermarket, it’s around 50% cheaper, so there’s plenty to keep you happy. What’s more, Poland has a very varied and excellent gastronomy; you can find out more about it in our blog post “Culinary specialities in Poland”. Even Georgia – another International Horizons destination, and it’s absolutely incredible, you can check out our feedback, the country really is magical – claims credit for the dish.
Transport is very affordable in Poland: local buses, national buses, trains; or even ferries, if you want to visit the Baltic countries or Scandinavia! But that’s the subject of another blog: I’m Poland, where can I travel during my work placement abroad? There’s lots to do, and it’s often very accessible. If you’re going to Poland, you must of course visit Auschwitz: there are organised tours, and it’s a really poignant and undoubtedly important thing to do. What’s more, if you haven’t seen them, I suggest you watch the films “Write to Exist” or “The Wave”, which are very topical and put history into context: they’re very educational.
The minimum wage in Poland is around 650 euros, so you can imagine that on a French salary, you’re pretty much the country’s oil king!
What you need to know
Before your work placement in Poland, note that this is one of Europe’s largest countries. You can visit the countryside as well as modern, old and port cities. Warsaw has a mixture of high-rise buildings and old buildings: the architecture is truly original, with medieval buildings, highly innovative buildings and entire districts dating from the Soviet era. Krakow has a splendid old town: and it’s actually my favourite city in Poland, the people are very pleasant, it’s quite open – unlike other cities – in my opinion, it’s the most western, in terms of lifestyle, of all the Polish cities. It’s capitals in general that benefit from this aura, but in Poland I found Krakow much more welcoming than Warsaw. Gdansk is a great port city, full of colour, just waiting for you! We can advise you on the best ways to discover this country!
On the other hand, I’m obliged to mention it, but Poland does have a few drawbacks; in particular, every year on 11.11, it’s the bank holidays and it’s a real parade of violence, with some people even wearing Nazi costumes. If you’re a person of colour, I’d strongly advise against doing an internship in Poland: there’s a lot of racism. The population, as a whole, still has a lot of progress to make to become a tolerant nation; I invite you to read this article: “Can you be black and Polish” to understand a little better the country’s situation with regard to people of colour and immigration.
And I’d give the same advice to people who feel part of the LGBT community. Poland is certainly the most homophobic country in the European Union, and yet Latvia is already very strong on the subject. But since the PIS came to power, regressive laws have been passed, and it’s not a good idea not to be heterosexual in Poland: a hundred or so towns have declared themselves anti-LGBT zones, to the point of refusing to accept officials who are openly homosexual. The weight of the Church is still very strong in Poland, and Polish society is progressing very slowly, dragged back by hate speech. Yet the Pope reminds us in numerous speeches that God loves each of his children. But traditions take a long time to change.
Your work placement in Poland
With International Horizons, internships abroad are all tailor-made. Poland has a varied economy, and like Estonia and France, it’s a start-up paradise with massive investment from Google! It’s also architecture, tourism, catering, transport, agriculture, the port … you can do it all for your work placement in Poland. The economy is growing very fast and is expanding everywhere.
Give us your CV in English: from the first interview, if necessary, we’ll improve your CV to give you every chance of getting your international placement! As with any internship project abroad, you’ll have to make some compromises; in fact, a project is a combination of many things to which you’ll have to pay a great deal of attention, in particular :
- Your school’s educational expectations: because it’s important to respect them, this is what will enable you to defend your placement in Lithuania through an oral exam and validate your placement period abroad.
- Your desires: what skills you want to work on, in what context, through what types of assignments
- Your language level: if you already speak good English, your assignments will necessarily be more complex and richer than those of someone with a lesser command of the language. Your assignments need to be adapted to enable you to progress and have fun during your placement abroad, and above all not be depressed because you find your placement too hard.
- The country: Poland is a great place to visit, despite the restrictive laws; there are parliamentary elections coming up: maybe the PIS will finally get the spanking it’s been waiting for!
Do you want to do your work placement in Poland? Or are you still hesitating about another destination? All you have to do is contact us, and you’ll soon be able to take off for Poland, in the direction of the international experience: the team is here to advise you, and there’s absolutely no obligation, so don’t hesitate to ask all the questions you want, so that you can make the right decision, and build a good. internship experience in Europe. All you have to do is register, it’s free and there’s no obligation.
For more general questions, visit the International Horizons Internships Abroad FAQ.