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Best cities in Poland for international students to live and work

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Many cities in Poland have it all, but some stand out more than others when it comes to job opportunities. Source: Wojtek Radwanski/AFP

Are you an international student who’s looking to carve yourself an international career? Why not consider working in Poland?

In recent years, there have been a rising number of people moving to Poland for work. Quoting preliminary findings from a study by Statistics Poland (GUS), a government agency, Notes from Poland said over two million foreigners were living in Poland, making up around 5% of the country’s population at the end of 2019.

They add that Poland’s labour ministry data showed that in 2019 there was a further 35% increase in the number of work permits issued to immigrants from outside the EU. It’s worth noting that precise figures for the overall number of immigrants in the country have been hard to come by, but these data suggest a somewhat positive sentiment towards Poland for work opportunities.

Meanwhile, the London School of Economics notes that in 2020, Poland’s GDP contracted by “only” 3.5%, significantly less than the OECD average of 5.5%. This was a stark contrast to the UK, where the figure stood at 9.9%. They note that while unemployment rates have soared across Europe, the official Polish figures have hardly budged, and are the lowest in the EU according to the latest Eurostat figures.

The Polish economy was also performing well before the pandemic struck.

An increasing number of work permits being issued to migrants aside, Poland is rich in history, steeped with centuries of culture and tradition that makes the country appealing for those without Polish roots to settle in the country for job opportunities.  

Coupled with the fact that the cost of living in Poland is cheaper than other countries in the EU, in addition to being home to a wealth of natural beauty that makes outdoor adventures ideal for the adventurer at heart, many cities have it all.

Here are three cities that make working in Poland a thing you won’t regret:

Wrocław 

There are many reasons why Wrocław was awarded the title of one of the best destinations in Europe in 2018. Here, architectural wonders, rivers, and more have dubbed it “the Venice of the North”. 

There are numerous entertainment centres, bars, and clubs where people can let off some steam after a busy day. The city also has a well-developed network of public transport. 

The city has a transportation system that connects it with the rest of Poland and neighbouring countries including Germany and the Czech Republic. 

The city itself is crawling with opportunities. Many multinationals have set up shop here such as IBM, Nokia, Credit Suisse, Volvo Group, DataArt, Google, McKinsey & Company, Dolby, and HP Inc. 

Poznań 

Situated in western Poland on the Warta River, Poznań is commonly known as the economically developed region of Wielkopolska voivodeship. It is also a beautiful city that is very rich in history, offering its residents both a small-town feel and a vibrant, metropolitan city life.

Here, weekends can be spent exploring countless museums, art galleries, and theatres. By night, restaurants, bars, and pubs abound for night-owls. It is also strategically located — Berlin is only a two-and-a-half hour drive away. 

Poznań has been described as a business-friendly city. It is home to leading companies such as Roche, Amazon, Unilever, Volkswagen, and more.

Kraków

One word to describe the city of Kraków? Majestic. Situated on the famous River Vistula,  it is one of the oldest cities in Poland, overflowing with historic architecture, art, culture, and more. While historic, it is also vibrant. Its large market square, filled streets, and entertainment offerings have made it a crowd favourite. 

To get around, trams, buses, and taxis abound. Accessibility makes it convenient for residents to explore beautiful parks and enjoy delectable cuisines.

Those on the lookout for a rewarding job in Poland would be happy to know that amongst its largest organisations are Cisco Systems, Shell, IBM, Motorola Solutions, HSBC Holdings, Google, Nokia, Accenture, Heineken, Uber, and Philip Morris International.