H o w

How to live in
Poland – guide
Foundation for Promotion of Entrepreneurship Łódź 2014
Compiled by:
Magdalena Ratajska
Michał Długosz
ul. Piotrkowska 86, 90-103 Łódź
telephone +48 42 630 36 67
fax +48 42 632 90 89
e-mail: [email protected]
Foundation for Promotion of Entrepreneurship Łódź 2014
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Table of Contents
FIRST STEPS IN POLAND ..................................................................................... 5
Why Poland? ......................................................................................................................................... 6
Tourism ............................................................................................................................................... 11
Transport ............................................................................................................................................. 12
Accommodation ................................................................................................................................ 13
Offices ................................................................................................................................................. 14
Health care .......................................................................................................................................... 15
Food .................................................................................................................................................... 17
Leisure ............................................................................................................................................... 19
HOW TO FIND A JOB IN POLAND?...................................................................... 20
The Application Letter ......................................................................................................................... 20
The Curriculum Vitae .......................................................................................................................... 20
The Application Procedure .................................................................................................................. 21
Job market in Poland .......................................................................................................................... 22
Retirement........................................................................................................................................... 30
TO LIVE IN POLAND ............................................................................................ 32
Permit for settlement in Poland ........................................................................................................... 32
Money ................................................................................................................................................. 33
Dealing with taxes in Poland .......................................................................................................... 34
Banks .................................................................................................................................................. 37
Shops .................................................................................................................................................. 37
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How to speak in Polish ........................................................................................................................ 38
BIBLIOGRAPHY ................................................................................................... 41
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First steps in Poland
Main cities
Łódź, Kraków, Wrocław, Poznań, Gdańsk, Szczecin, Bydgoszcz,
Katowice, Lublin
Parliamentary democracy. The legislative power is exercised by a
two-chamber Parliament (Sejm – 460 members of the parliament,
Political system Senat – 100 senators), executive power by the Council of
Ministers and the President, and the judicial power by courts of
The administrative division of Poland since 1999 has been based
on three levels of subdivision. The territory of Poland is divided
into gminas, poviats and voivodships. Poland is divided into 2 479
poviats and
Kujawsko-Pomorskie, Lubelskie, Lubuskie, Łódzkie, Małopolskie,
Mazowieckie, Opolskie, Podkarpackie, Podlaskie, Pomorskie,
Śląskie, Świętokrzyskie,
Warmińsko-Mazurskie, Wielkopolskie, Zachodniopomorskie).
Poland is located in Central Europe on the Baltic Sea. To the east
it borders on Russia, Lithuania, Belarus and Ukraine,
to the south – on Slovakia and the Czech Republic and to the
west – on Germany.
312,683 km²
38 million
Moderate. Average temperature in summer oscillates between
16.5°C and 20°C and in the winter between -6°C and 0°C, the
hottest month – July, the coldest month – January.
Catholicism – 95%, Orthodox Church – 1.5%, Protestantism – 1%
and others.
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Poland is almost entirely a homogenous country. Poles represent
Ethnic groups
ca. 97% of the population. The largest national minorities:
Germans, Ukrainians and Belarusians.
1 Zloty = ca. 0.24 Euro
Emergency and
997 – Police, 998 – Fire brigade, 999 – Rescue service, General
emergency phone number – 112 (calls are free of charge)
1 January – New Year, 6 January – Epiphany, Easter (moveable
feast), 1 May – International Workers’ Day, 3 May – May 3rd
Constitution Day, Corpus Christi (moveable feast), 15 August –
Assumption Day, 1 November – All Saints’ Day, 11 November –
Independence Day, 25 and 26 December – Christmas1
Why Poland?
Poland in unusual country. It has an attractive location and a lot of wonderful
opportunities. Nice people will help you, even though they sometimes can’t speak
English. We have many universities which enable you to get great knowledge. One of
our biggest advantages is stable market. During crisis Poland has improved its
economic situation thanks to law which takes care of our citizens. In this country
there is a lot of possibilities which haven’t been exerted yet. It makes Poland so
interesting for foreign investors. New international contracts enable us to create
various workplaces. Moreover, you can find a lot of amazing places, so every trip will
be an original adventure.
History of our country is really long. It starts in 966 with adoption of Christianity. Then
an exciting story starts, however it would take too long to describe it. We want to
acknowledge you with it in a little bit different way. We commend you a short film
which you can find on youtube.com named “History of Poland”. It shows long ages of
Living and working conditions in Poland, May 2012, Eures
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history in a few minutes. It is entertaining, interesting and cleverly made. It takes only
while to watch it, but it will explain a lot about Polish people, their traditions and their
Here are important links:
There are many beautiful places in Poland. Tourism is a strongly developing sector of
economy. You have a lot of opportunities. Beaches, cliffs and Kashubian folklore.
Thousands of lakes hidden deep within forests, watched over by the towers of
Teutonic fortresses. The domes of eastern churches scattered throughout the
mountainsides. Poland is a fascinating jigsaw puzzle, composed of colourful regional
The beaches, cliffs and resorts of West Pomerania occupy a strip of the Baltic coast
from the island of Wolin up to Kołobrzeg. This region also contains the Drawskie lake
In East Pomerania, you will find Poland’s largest shifting sand dunes (in the Słowinski
National Park), the country’s longest peninsula (that of Hel) and the largest cluster of
yew trees in Europe (in the Tucholskie Woods). All this is spiced with the folklore of
Kashubia and Kujawy and reminders of the Mennonite culture in Żuławy.
Mazury is a land not only of 4,000 bright blue lakes, but also of natural forests and
rivers which provide excellent conditions for canoeing. Tourists are attracted here by
the Trail of the Great Lakes and the unique Ostrodzko-Elblaski canal, as well as the
nearby Teutonic castles and Prussian forest lodges.
Lost in the extreme north-east of Poland is the region of Suwalki, which enchants
visitors with the charm of its glacier-shaped landscape and the rich culture from the
Polish, Russian and Lithuanian border areas.
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Across the middle of Poland lie the following regions: Wielkopolska, the cradle of the
Polish state; next to it are the green lands of Lubuskie; the flat level plains of
Mazovia; the region of Lodz; and Podlaskie, a land of wild nature, multicultural border
towns and villages with beautiful eastern churches.
Silesia, which occupies south-west Poland, is divided into Lower Silesia, with its
capital in Wroclaw, and Upper Silesia, centred on Katowice. Although this is a heavily
industrial area, there is no shortage of places of valued natural beauty, such as the
Lower Silesian Woods, the Sudeten mountains, Beskid Śląski and Beskid Żywiecki.
A region particularly generously endowed by nature is Malopolska. The mountain
ranges of the Beskids and the area of Jura Krakowsko-Czestochowska, with its many
forts from the era of the Piast dynasty, border the historic towns of the Lublin region,
the industrial wonders of Swietokrzyskie and areas of natural interest such as the
loessial Roztocze and the marshy Polesie.
Podhale, the cradle of Polish highland culture, stretches from the Tatra mountains to
Orawa and Spisz. Its capital is Zakopane. Podkarpacie is best known for the Beskid
Niski and Bieszczady mountains, in which there are scattered wooden Orthodox
churches, reminders of the Lemki and Bojki who once lived here.
Gigantic metropolis, historic towns and villages of sentimental charm for which
poems and songs have been written. Poland officially has a total of 887 towns. The
largest is Warsaw.
 Warsaw covers an area of 517.24 square kilometers (199.96 square miles)
 It has a population of 1.7 million
 8,3 million tourists visited Warsaw in 2011 (2,8 million were foreign tourists)
 32 450 beds (235 facilities)
 63 museums
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 76 parks
 28 cinemas
 56 theaters and musical establishments
 24 tram lines
 249 bus lines
 3288 rooms inside the Palace of Culture and Science
 275 km of bike trails2
It is Polish capital city situated close to Vistula river. You can find there the most
important offices in Poland for example parliament, or castle of old polish kings. After
The Second World War it was completely destroyed. Very few buildings have
survived. However now Warsaw is strongly developed city what was impacted by
countless amount of investments. It is very interesting in context of work. You are
able to find job in field you like the most.
Moving on to tourism we have to note Royal Castle with beautiful interior. The next is
The Centre of Science Kopernik. It provides you unrepeatable possibility to carry on
your own experiments. If you are a fan of architecture we can advert you Łazienki
Królewskie Park-Palace Complex. Established in the 17th century, the landscape
gardens feature many interesting architectural monuments, the most important of
which include the Palace on the Island built for King Stanislaw August Poniatowski –
Poland’s last monarch.3 However the obligatory point of your trip must be Old Town.
You will be amazed and surprised because of old townhouses and the sign of cityWarsaw Mermaid.
Kraków, the historic capital of the kings who resided at the Wawel castle, is today
Poland’s cultural and entertainment centre – it contains one quarter of the country’s
museums. The city’s bars and restaurants are too numerous to count.
In Wrocław, apart from the historic buildings of Ostrów Tumski, the Church of St
Elizabeth and the Leopoldyńska Hall, you can also see the post-modernist Hall of the
City of Warsaw, Warsaw by numbers, www.um.warszawa.pl/en/articles/warsaw-numbers
City of Warsaw, Top 10 www.warsawtour.pl/en/tourist-attractions/top-10-3930.html
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Century, a reinforced concrete structure which was the most contemporary building
of its time.
Kazimierz Dolny, a town beloved by artists on the Vistula river. Sandomierz, with its
numerous monuments standing above a maze of cellars carved out of the rock.
Suwałki, with a street lined with buildings from the time of the Congress Kingdom.
The military town of Borne Sulinowo, which for 40 years was not shown on any Polish
Then there is Płock, with its Romanesque cathedral and castle on the high banks of
the Vistula, and Pultusk, with the longest marketplace in Europe. Next we have
Biecz, an architectural miracle dating back 400 years, built from the profits of the
local trade in Hungarian wine. Finally, there is Chelmno, an exemplary Teutonic
Order town, which has retained its medieval layout and has not been disfigured by
modern architecture and is also a Mecca for lovers (relics of St. Valentine can be
found there).
and ethnic
719 000 in 2012
Zloty  1€ = approx. 4,2 PLN (Polish Zloty).
Almost 85% of Polish population belong to the Catholic Church,
however, rates of religious observance are lower, at 51% of Polish
In the nineteenth century, the economy of Lodz was focused on the
textile industry and it was the reason for the city called the “Polish
Manchester”, but the textile industry declined in 1990 due to collapse
of trade with Eastern markets (Russia).
Recently, a lot of foreign companies have opened offices in Łódź. The
city's policies have attracted almost 1,000 foreign investors and it
was one of the factors that made decrease the unemployment rate in
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Łódź. Sectors of Business Process Outsourcing (BPO), manufacture
of domestic appliances and logistics are rapidly growing here. The
city is an important academic centre. There are 6 state owned and 15
private universities. The main three are: The University of Lodz, The
Lodz University of Technology and The Medical University of Lodz.
The population of students counts approximately 100 thousand
Lodz Special Economic Zone (www.sse.lodz.pl) is one of the fastest
developing economic areas in Poland. It provides its investors with a
wide investment offer, comprehensive handling of investment
processes and an opportunity of obtaining significant tax exemptions.
Some trade fairs are organised in new conferences and exhibition
centre by the local specialised companies (International Lodz Fairs
www.ckw-mtl.pl, Expo-Lodz Ltd www.expo-lodz.pl, and Interserwis
This is a city where you will find our foundation. It is on the Piotrkowska street, which
is the most beautiful and representative place in whole Łódź. You will find there a
huge amount of townhouses built during secession and small bars where you can
spend amazing time with your friends. Moreover there are various shops offering you
competitive prices. The next advantage is possibility of trying the most popular dishes
around our region. However if you are a fan of oriental kitchen you won’t be
disappointed. During last few years there came into being many restaurants with
foreign cuisine.
Moving on the second famous place in our city is Poznański’s Palace. Izrael
Poznański was an important entrepreneur which had a huge factory compound. After
“Manufaktura”. Nowadays it is one of the most recognisable building in Łódź. Inside
there are shops of best known designers and fashionable cafes. Modern design
connected with old style created an interesting effect. Special departments with sofas
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and benches gives an opportunity to relax after long shopping. However it is not the
only one thing of Izrael which was transformed. His palace is a parade of artistry.
Rooms and a hall were composed in such way to keep your mind. Now in this
building takes place Museum of City Łódź. But Poznański wasn’t the only one
manufacturer on the territory of this city. There were also Scheibler and Geyer. First
of them left enormous district “Księży Młyn”. Its advantage is unchanged appearance
which takes you to the nineteenth century. Geyer had
“Biała Fabryka” on the
Piotrkowska street mentioned earlier. It was built in classical style. After restoration it
is even prettier. Now there are organised weddings, concerts, symposiums and even
fashion shows.
On the other hand we also have different side of Łódź. It is part of this city where
during Second World War was ghetto. Its territory was located centrally. Strongly
connected with it is cemetery for Jewish citizens. Beautiful monuments and small
Karol Scheibler's chapel are worth your attention.
First of all you should acquaint with names of streets an main points in the city. There
are two options available. The first is going out with new friends or colleagues, who
can show you the most important places in your city and will teach you how to use
public transport. The second way is planning a small trip. Before you go out, you
should read some information online. It will help you to avoid troubles connected with
loosing way. In your plans, you can include using trams, trains or buses. It enables
you to know which means of transport you should choose to go to particular place. If
you want to travel by bus or tram you need a ticket. Usually you can purchase them
in bus or tram. The other way is buying them in kiosks or small shops.
There is one type of ticket for trams and buses. You can buy them in kiosks “Ruch” or
in small shops. The second option is purchasing it inside the means of transport.
Sometimes you will be able to use ticket machine, but usually you will have to ask the
driver. There are a few kinds of tickets. They depend on your age (for adult or
student-only if you have your student ID card) or on the time you are going to travel
(20, 40 min). Trams and buses travel approximately between early morning hours
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and 11 p.m. If you want to check the route you have to look at timetable, available on
bus stops and online.
To travel by train you should check their departures and arrivals. Full timetable you
will find on http://www.rozklad-pkp.pl/bin/query.exe/pn. To get more information about
types of trains and prices you should check www.pkp.pl.
If you want to take a taxi you have to catch or call it. There are numerous numbers
which you will come across online. The cost of travel depends on a company and the
We have one major national airline - LOT Polish Airlines. www.lot.com. On the
website, you will find available destinations and ticket prices. Moreover, there are
numerous airlines available, including cheap ones like Ryanair or Wizzair. Every
major city has its own, regional airport. The biggest are: Chopin Airport in Warsaw,
Kraków Airport in Cracow, Ławica in Poznan.
There are times when you can feel the speed and drive really fast - we talk about
motorways of course, however to make sure you don't go too far with your
imagination, here are the speed limits on various types of roads:
130 kph - motorways
110 kph - dual carriageways
90 kph - main roads in urban areas
50 kph -built up areas
Note: in Poland there are many speed cameras and they are often in places where
you would not expect them to be.
Well, that's basically it. That should be all you need to know before you hit the Polish
roads. We wish you all safe trips - especially during your journeys in our beautiful
country. Take care of yourself!
You have several options of accommodation.
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You can:
1. rent a room or a house.
2. buy a flat or a house.
3. live in a residence hall
4. live in your friend’s house
5. live in a hotel
The best choice is renting a house or flat . If you have someone, who will share a
room or flat, you can cut costs. Moreover it is safer. To rent a flat you should find
suitable place and talk with the owner. During conversation you will have to represent
yourself as a good and calm person. It will spread that getting a flat will be much
more easier. You should be prepared for it that older people usually don’t speak
English, however, you can ask your friends or colleagues for help. Remember to ask
for making two versions of your contract. Then you will be sure what you sign. Prices
depends on many factors. It can be place, size of flat, furniture or mood of the owner.
If you want to get the best proposition you should visit a lot of places and also read
some information in the Internet.
More information on www.rightmove.co.uk/overseas-property/in-Poland.html
You can look for a flat on your own or ask for help broker. He will tell you which
house to choose and how to write a contract. www.transport.gov.pl If you come to
Poland because of studies you should coordinate this question with your university.
In case of buying your own house you have to know that when you are from EU then
you don’t have to seek permit for purchasing it.
When you need accommodation it is connected with staying here for a long time. If
you live out of hotel or a place which was you given from some institution then you
have a duty to register your stay. You have to do it before the fourth day of being in
You can sort out the most important issues in offices. Usually you will have to be very
patient. You should remember about taking all documents with you. It will save your
time. Sometimes there is a situation where you will have troubles with language
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barrier. The problem is, that not everyone can speak English. To avoid it you can ask
for help your friend or colleague.
District office
(Urząd Gminy)
Here you can fix all issues
connected with living In some
city. For example book in,
City Office
register your car or report new
(Urząd miasta)
economic activity.
Department for
It is a place where you can
foreigner’s causes
legalize your stay in our
(Wydział do spraw
country or get the permit for
work. You will be able to read
about them in the next
Health care
When you stay abroad you have to be prepared for some special cases. I mean
emergencies. They don’t occur very often but it is important to have special insurance
which enables you to stay in hospital. You won’t have to pay for stay, what could
affect your savings. Here you are given a few pieces of advice which concern such
cases: http://www.foreignersinpoland.com
Compulsory health insurance
You automatically obtain health insurance under the following conditions:
1. Being employed in Poland - if you're legally employed the employer is obliged to
notify the National Insurance Service (ZUS) that he is proud to have you in their
company. Then, your employer's responsibility is to pay a monthly contribution to the
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Polish National Health Fund (NFZ). From now on, you can visit all the health care
providers contracted to the NFZ. If you're self-employed you have to pay a
contribution by yourself (it is a part of ZUS that you should pay every month).
National insurance is valid in case of long stay in other situation you will need only
EHIC (European Health Insurance Card).
2. You're a family member of the insured - family of a member who could benefit from
health care services on the same basis as the insured, are:
- wife or husband
- child under the age of 18 or under the age of 26 in they continue their education or
with no age limit (if a child holds a judgement of severe disability)
- parents and grandparents – if they stay in the same household as the insured
3. Refugees (refugee status must be considered in Poland) and foreigners under the
subsidiary protection and integration program in consultation with the county family
assistance centre.
4. Unemployed - registered at the employment office (insurance may be extended to
family members of the registered unemployed, if they are not insured).
5. Children attending school - in the care provided by the school, even if their parents
stay in Poland is not legal.
Public Health Service in Poland
Let's say that you are sick or in pain, or you think that it would be a good idea to take
some standard medical procedure. To see the doctor in Poland and use the public
health service you need to have an insurance. Once you are insured, things get
pretty easy for you. However, there are two very important things you need to know
straight away.
Rule number one – remember, that in case of things mentioned in the beginning of
this part, first, you have to do is to go and see your family doctor. In Poland to see the
specialist you need to have a referral.
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Rule number two – if you are bleeding heavily, you suffer from a bone fracture, burn
or frostbite – don't wait! Call 112 or go to the closest emergency room and get help.
If you feel that you're more „rule number one type of person”, first you have to locate
the clinic closest to the place you live. When you're done, you simply register yourself
by giving all the information about yourself to the polite lady or gentleman working in
the clinic by putting it on the registration form. Of course, you will be asked about the
medical insurance. Don't worry! If you have one, the only thing you need to do is to
bring your ID to the clinic. Congratulations! You have found yourself a clinic where
you can talk about all your health problems.
Now, the procedure is simple. You describe the nature of your problem to the doctor
and if necessary you will get the referral to the specialist or for some kind of special
examinations like x-ray. Of course, you don't have to wait for the referral, unless you
want to pay some money for visiting a specialist or getting the examinations (but then
you should be reading about private health service). After you're finished – you take
the results back to the family doctor and see what happens. Oh, and don't worry
about the medications. You will get the prescription if necessary. Unfortunately,
unlike the public health service, its private counterpart isn't for free. In most of the
private clinics you have to pay for things like consultations or examinations. A good
side is definitely the fact that you don't have to queue up and the entire place isn't
usually as crowded as in public clinics or hospitals. What is more, the medical
equipment is of the highest quality. The bad thing about using the private health
service is that you have to pay for it.
When you change country you also change culture. It is connected witch many
things, especially food. We want to give you a piece of advice what to try and what to
avoid. You can find numerous restaurants in Poland. They offer many different kinds
of cuisine. First of all you should try our national dishes like:
First of all we will focus on the most famous polish dish- pierogi. It seems like they
are better known around the world than location of Poland itself (they are stuffed
dumplings). Pierogi are served in a variety of flavours thanks to different kinds of
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filling inside the dough. The most common are the ones with cabbage & mushroom,
meat and potato & white cheese filling. Pierogi are also stuffed with any kind of fruit,
served with sugar and cream. It is no exaggeration to say that when it comes to
pierogi the sky is the limit. In some modern restaurants you can eat various kinds of
pierogi which are filled with truffles or caviar. It is just up to you which ones you are
going to try.
In Poland, traditionally, soup is served as a first dish before the main course. Polish
soups are very filling and substantial so you can easily have them on their own and
feel full most of the day. We suggest you definitely try żurek - a popular sour soup
with pieces of sausage, potatoes and eggs served in a bread bowl that you can eat
as well. It doesn’t get more environmentally friendly than that!
Another interesting soup is barsh, soup made from beetroots. There are a few
different types of barsh, but the most popular are two types: betroot soup as a bullion
and barsh with plenty of vegetables, potatoes and beans. Both are delicious and very
healthy. If you want to, you can try to cook one at home. Finding recipes in the
internet is very easy.
One of the most surprising dishes for foreigners is bigos (hunter's stew). Depending
on the region different vegetables are added, sometimes wine. It should be cooked
for hours and it tastes even better the next day. Some really old recipes suggest to
cook it for 7 days before eating. The idea of bigos may sound pretty off, but any Pole
will tell you that it is extremely delicious and I think you should take it under
Another interesting dish is called gołąbki. Literally the name means pigeons but don't
worry, it doesn't have any pigeon in it! Gołąbki (pronounced ɡɔˈwɔmpki) are made
with pork or beef mince and rice wrapped in cabbage leaves. The are served with
potatoes and a tomato sauce. There are a few vegetarian variations of this dish that
use bulgur and wild mushroom or potatoes and white cheese instead of meat. The
most typical Sunday dinner consists of a pork chop (called schabowy), potatoes and
some salad. It is great because making pork chops requires hitting the meat hard and
that allows polish people to get rid of all the anger and do some exercise at the same
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There are many ways of exploring other countries, but one of the most pleasant way
is to eat the traditional food. You can try to make dishes we described at home with
our recipes section or go out and enjoy what restaurants have to offer. One thing we
can tell you for sure, Polish cuisine doesn’t seem very special but when you try it you
can't get enough.4
When you will get used to new environment it will come time to go out. You have
many opportunities. First of all you can go to a restaurant as well as to a club. Clubs
are open from 10 p.m. to the morning. Before you will invite one you have to check if
music played there is good for you. Usually information about it is admitted on
websites. Having fun with friends will calm you and give power to work or study.
Focusing on Łódź we can propose you various places. The most popular is
Manufaktura where you may eat, do shopping or go to the cinema. On the
Piotrkowska Street you will find museums connected with history of our city.
Moreover you are also able to travel by bike. It can be an amazing activity which will
acknowledge you with new area. The next possibility is visiting zoo or botanical
garden. You can walk there and admire nature. It is appropriate place for children
who will be impressed by animals and beautiful garden with huge amount of varieties
of tulip. Further example is Palmiarnia with exotic plants.
In different cities you will find another interesting opportunities. It depends on you
how you will manage your time. Partying, walking or sightseeing will help you to
extract special moments and accustom to our country. Nice and friendly people will
guide you what to do and where to go.
Polish traditional food, www.foreignersinpoland.com/, Data of access 14-02-14
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How to find a job in Poland?
If you are young, clever, educated and responsible worker you should start looking
for a job in Poland. It is not so difficult but you have to want it badly. No one will come
to you with an offer. You are the only person who can impact on your job situation.
First of all you have to write a few documents. These are:
The Application Letter
In general, a letter of application should create enough interest to make the potential
employer want to look at your application in details and hopefully invite you for an
interview. Your application letter, however, should not provide too much information
about experience and qualifications; this will be provided in your résumé.
A Polish cover letter is an integral part of your job application. Refer to the job
advertisement in case you respond to it. The application letter is short (maximum one
page) and usually typed. The style is formal without being too persistent. If possible,
write a letter in both Polish and English. The cover letter should refer to your present
and future plans, showing your ambitions. At the top left corner you start with your
name, address and telephone number. At the top right corner, you write the city and
a current date. Try to address your cover letter to a single person, and place the
name of this person with company name and address below. Application forms are
used more often, especially by foreign and international companies which recruit
The Curriculum Vitae
The key focus of your CV should be to persuade the employer to invite you for an
interview. Therefore, your CV is a marketing tool, which should be adapted to the
market in which you intend to use it. The Polish CV should be in reverse
chronological order and have a clear layout, preferably typed on a maximum of two
pages. You can also choose to write a functional CV. You should describe your level
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of verbal and written knowledge of languages. Mention your computer skills as well.
Use headings like ''education'', ''work experience'', ''qualifications'', ''positions of
responsibility'' and ''interests and hobbies''. You can decide to include the names of
two referees as well. It's becoming more popular to apply for a job via the internet. Be
aware of the fact that an electronic CV does not always look the same as the
standard one.
The Application Procedure
In Poland, bring references and copies of diplomas to the application interview. Try to
establish your social and transferable skills in the interview. Always look interested
and ask questions. Try to provide examples to prove your achievements. You can
ask for clarification if you don’t understand the question were asked. The most
important thing is avoiding criticizing former employers. You should also remember
not going over the top. The Poles like you to stay calm and expect you to stick to the
Public Employment Services (mainly the poviat labour offices). In order to take
advantage of all the offer job advertisements available data poviat labour office, you
have to be registered with it as a job-seeker or an unemployed. Registration will
provide access to “closed” job offers, i.e. the ones where the employer’s details are
known to the office only and the ones that are not made available on the
advertisement board or in the office’s information system. In order to register, you
need the following documents:
1) the identity card or another identification document along with a certified registered
address of residence,
2) a diploma, school graduation certificate, school certificates or a certificates of
completion of a course or training,
3) employment records for the entire employment period,
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4) all the other documents necessary to determine the rights, if any. Should an EU
citizen decide not to register with a labour office, they might decide to browse job
offers that are generally available at the labour office, including the websites of public
employment services: www.psz.praca.gov.pl.
• non-public employment agencies
All non-public employment agencies should be entered in the register of entities
that operate employment agencies, which is confirmed by a certificate issued by the
marshal of a voivodship. A list of agencies can be found on the
website of the informational webpage of labour offices: www.psz.praca.gov.pl tab:
„Rejestr agencji zatrudnienia” (Register of Employment Agencies). This list is
also available at the poviat labour office, voivodship labour office or at the Information
and Career Planning Centers.6
Job market in Poland
What are my chances of getting a job?
Poland is a gateway to Eastern Europe, opening up new markets and offering
opportunities not only for its citizens, but also for other EU newcomers.
Typical problems encountered: Unemployment amongst young people is a
serious problem in Polish society. Finding a job directly after graduation is not
easy. A lot of graduates, even from the best universities, have difficulties in
finding a good job. Graduates have to work part-time or temporarily and do not
have a strong chance to start a career in finance, banking or accountancy
sectors. A lot of Polish graduates come to the UK to work in pubs or
restaurants, as they get a better salary.
How to improve your chances: Polish graduates are usually a bit older than
those in the UK and are 24 or 25 when they begin to work. Many undertake a
Masters after completing an initial degree. To improve your chances of getting
a good job, try to improve your qualifications and experience. There is work for
“Living and working conditions in Poland”, Eures, 2012.
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people with knowledge of foreign languages, logistics, direct marketing,
telecommunications and/or computer science, particularly for specialists able
to program networks. The employers in this sector are willing to recruit anyone
regardless of nationality. There are opportunities for senior level people with
foreign language, equipped with IT skills and an understanding of EU
Language requirements: Polish is spoken by 98% of the population. English
and German are the most commonly spoken foreign languages, although
neither language is by any means commonly spoken or understood. English is
spoken more among business, professional and academic communities and
the younger generation. German is spoken more by the older generation.7
Where can I work?
Major industries: beverages, food processing, chemicals, banking, construction and
telecommunication services.
Recent growth areas: IT, finance, business services, management, transportation
services, education, banking and tourism.
Industries in decline: agriculture, mining, textiles and metalwork.
Shortage occupations: native English speakers, sales representatives and skilled
Major companies: Opel Polska, Poznan Volkswagen, GlaxoSmithKline Poland,
Toyota Polska, CitiGroup Polska, Novartis, ING Bank Slaski, Nordea Bank Polska
and Fiat Poland.
Search for more companies: The Eurograduate - The European Graduate Career
Guide website has a list of international companies with links to Poland. Kompass is
a worldwide business directory searchable by country and product/service. The list of
members on the British Polish Chamber of Commerce website is useful for
speculative applications.
Poland: Job market,
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Major cities: Warsaw (capital and the largest city), Krakow (second largest), Łódź,
Wroclaw Gdansk and Poznan
What is it like working in Poland?
Average working hours: Working hours should not exceed eight hours per day, or
an average of 40 hours per five-day working week. Official working hours are
from 8am to 4pm, Monday to Friday, however many international companies that
employ foreign staff work 9am to 5pm.
Holidays: Employees who have worked for a year or more are entitled to at least
20 days paid annual leave.
Average graduate starting salary: The graduate starting salary is PLN 20003000zł per month. The amount of money is dependable on region.
Tax rates: Poland's taxation of an individual's income is progressive. The 2008
personal income tax (PIT) rate is between 18 and 32%. Personal income tax is
paid both by Poland’s citizens and by foreigners. A foreign resident who is
employed in Poland pays tax only on income earned in Poland.
Working practices and customs: Punctuality is vital for establishing your
reliability. Women are strongly represented in the labour market. It is customary
for a Western businessman to kiss the hand of a female Polish colleague.
Maintain direct eye contact during conversation. Periods of silence during
conversations are not unusual. Do not try to fill the silence with unnecessary talk.
Avoid conversations of politics and money. In most Polish companies (excluding
banks and consulting firms), executives wear casual and conservative clothes. If
you work in an international company, you will need to wear a business suit.
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Unemployment in Poland
We should take into consideration that it is crisis now. However our country during
this time period was in very good condition. Many people kept their jobs and other
found new ones very quickly. We are also multicultural country. You can meet here
people from Ukraine, and other western countries. It gives you a chance to know
other cultures and get amazing experience which will help you in the future.
As the job market is competitive and youth employment is relatively high, work
experience could give your CV the boost it needs to help you stand out from the
Internships and summer work placements for students can also be arranged by:
AIESEC UK - for students and recent graduates;
Data gained from
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IAESTE UK - for science, engineering and applied arts students.
Many international companies based in the country, such as Poznan Volkswagen,
GlaxoSmithKline Poland, Nordea Bank Polska, Toyota Polska, ING Bank Slaski and
CitiGroup Polska, may offer internships, so check out their individual websites.
Volunteering in Poland
Another way to improve your employability in the eyes of prospective employers is to
spend time volunteering in Poland.
The European Voluntary Service (EVS) is a programme, funded by the European
Commission, that gives 18 to 30-year-olds the chance to volunteer for up to 12
months in a number of European and non-European countries.
Opportunities vary from placements concerned with sport and culture to others
focused on social care and the environment. Travel, accommodation, food and
insurance are covered by a European grant for successful applicants, who also get
given a personal allowance each month.
Another organization that may have volunteering opportunities available is
Volunteers for Peace. For more information, visit Volunteers for Peace - Volunteer
You may also be able to arrange to volunteer by sending speculative applications to
organizations in the sector in which you wish to work. Make sure you thoroughly
research all volunteering opportunities available and always check the terms and
conditions before committing yourself to a scheme.
Language requirements: Polish is spoken by the vast majority of the population, so
proficiency may well be a pre-requisite for many jobs. However, English is spoken
among some academic, business and professional communities, as well as the
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younger generation, an, d some employers may prioritize your skills over your
knowledge of Polish.9
Websites with jobs
All of this websites are in English. You shouldn’t have any troubles with finding
appropriate job for you. However you can also look for work on your own. It is more
demanding but sometimes more profitable, too.
How to check if the employer really exists?
online.com.pl ). If the employing entity is a Polish employment agency, the data can
be found in the National Register of Employment Agencies (www.kraz.praca.gov.pl
).10 What documents confirm the fact of performing work, when by the fault of the
employer one does not have a signed contract of employment? Employment contract
is to be concluded in writing. If an employment contract has not been concluded in
writing prior to the start of work, the employer must - no later than on the day of
Work experience and internships n Poland, Volunteering in Poland www.prospects.ac.uk/work_in_poland.htm,
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commencement of work by the employee - confirm in writing the details concerning
the type of contract and its terms and conditions.
In the case where the contract was signed, but has not been given to the employee,
the employee may apply to the Labour Court to prove the existence of an
employment relationship, or to prove that the employee actually has worked at a
particular place of employment. As relevant evidence may be considered such
documents as, for example, working documents signed by the employee, e-mails
sent from the workplace mailbox, phone calls, witness statements, etc.
If case of the contract not being signed by the employer, and the remuneration not
being paid, you can pursue the matter, in addition to the common courts, also by
contacting the district labour inspector. District labour inspectors do not deal with
complaints arising out of civil law contracts, however. Such complaints can be dealt
with only by the courts.11
Regular employment contracts (umowa o pracę)
Those contracts are regulated by the Labour Code. When you sign one of them you
are entitled to paid holidays, maternity and childcare leave, severance pay in the
event of collective redundancies and the dole lasting 6 months after leaving your
work. As well if you are planning to take mortgage you would be considered a person
with stable income in a bank. Although for the employers this is the most expensive
contract so it is not so easy to get it. There are a few types of regular contracts:
1. For a trial period (contract for a trial period of no more than three months).
2. For a fixed period (a third subsequent fixed-term contract is signed, it is deemed to
have become an indefinite term contract).
3. For the time of completion of a specified task.
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4. For an indefinite period.
5. To replace an employee - in the event of his or her justified absence from work;
the employer can hire another worker under a fixed term employment contract for the
period of absence.
Civil law contracts
Those contracts are regulated by the Civil Code, which differ from the above mainly
in that they specify a piece of work to be done within a defined period of time, quite
often without setting working hours; the most popular ones, among many other, are
the following two
1. Umowa zlecenie concluded for performance of a specified activity They do not
impose daily or weekly time limits for performing the work, do not necessitate the
payment of overtime, do not require the creation of internal rules of employment, and
do not give the mandatory social protection.
2. Umowa o dzieło concluded for achievement of a specific result. Contracts to
perform a specified task or work are frequently concluded because they are not
subject to social security contributions. However, if a firm concludes a contract to
perform a specific task or work with an employee, it is obliged to pay social security
contributions just as in the case of a contract of employment.
Ways of ending a work relationship
An employment contract can be dissolved:
1. With the agreement of the parties.
2. By one of the parties giving notice (employer or employee) with a notice period.
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3. By one of the parties giving notice without a notice period.
A contract concluded for a fixed term or for the time it takes to complete a specific
task is dissolved at the end of the term or when the task is completed (although it
can, in certain circumstances, be dissolved earlier).
Pension insurance
Pension insurance is an insurance provided in the event of inability to work because
of old age. Persons who pay premiums, ensure their income at the moment of
stopping professional work, after achieving pensionable age. The reform of the
pension system entered into force on 1 January 1999. It introduced a three-pillar
Pillar I is governed by the public institution - Social Insurance Company (ZUS),
Pillar II is governed by private institutions - open pension funds (OFE) – An open
pension fund is a legal person whose aim is to collect funds from insurance
premiums and invest them on the financial market. Those funds are designated for
pensions for the open pension fund's members when they reach pensionable age.
Pillar III, voluntary, which is to ensure extra benefits for additional premiums, is
occupational pension schemes (PPE) and individual retirement accounts (IKE).
From 1 May 2011 until 31 December 2016, the Social Insurance Company forwards
part of the pension insurance premium to the open pension fund selected by the
insured person, in the amount of:
2.3% of the basis of the assessment of the amount of the pension insurance
premium due for the period from the date of entry into force of the Act until 31
December 2012;
2.8% of the basis of the assessment of the amount of the pension insurance
premium due for the period from 1 January 2013 until 31 December 2013;
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3.1% of the basis of the assessment of the amount of the pension insurance
premium due for the period from 1 January 2014 until 31 December 2014;
3.3% of the basis of the amount assessment of the of the pension insurance
premium due for the period from 1 January 2015 until 31 December 2016.
The account of the insured person at the Social Insurance Company includes a subaccount where information is recorded on the valorised amount of paid premiums to
Pillar II from the part of the premium not forwarded currently to open pension funds,
together with the recovered interest on arrears for those premiums. The division of
the premium between the pension fund which is at the Social Insurance Company’s
disposal and an open pension fund is obligatory for insured persons born after 31
December 1968. Insured persons born after 31 December 1948 and before 1
January 1969 could join a selected open pension fund until 31 December 1999.
Persons born before 1 January 1949 could not and still cannot join an open pension
fund, their whole premium is forwarded to the Social Insurance Fund.
The pension premium is financed equally by the employer and the insured person,
but the whole premium paid to the open pension fund is from the part paid by the
insured person. The employer is responsible for paying premiums to the Social
Insurance Company.
The pension system is based on the tight connection between the amount of the
benefit and the amount of the actually paid premium. The basis for calculating the
Pension is granted to women who are at least 60, and men who are at least 65.
There is no minimum insurance period required for granting the pension.
Decisions about granting pensions are made by the Social Insurance Company's
bodies which are of proper jurisdiction due to the place of living of the person who is
applying for the benefit. The proceedings for granting pensions start after submitting
the application by an applicant.12
Retirement, www.eures.praca.gov.pl/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=84&Itemid=119, 14-02-
To live in Poland
Permit for settlement in Poland
A foreigner who stays in Poland without breaks for at least five years on the basis of
a visa or temporary residence permit can apply to the relevant voivodship for a
settlement permit, popularly known as "permanent residence cards." A similar
application can be presented by a foreigner living in Poland at least for three years,
as long as he or she came to Poland as a part of family emigration.
A foreigner has to fulfil all the remaining conditions " with no exceptions " as follows:
Demonstrate the existence of permanent family or economic attachment with the
country of stay;
He or she has ensured residence and living conditions.
This means that he or she has to justify to an authority issuing the permits that his or
her income and owned property will be sufficient to cover the costs of living and
treatment of him or herself and family, supported by them and will not use means of
social aid. An applicant has to demonstrate that he or she has a place to live in
Poland and will present a legal title to this place (e.g. deed of property, membership
of a housing development, rental agreement).
A settlement permit is valid indeterminately. Such a permit will also be granted to a
child of a foreigner who has been born on the territory of Poland, if a foreigner has a
valid settlement permit for a the territory of Poland.
A foreigner applying for permanent residence card is obliged to put forward an
application for permission to settle in Poland, four photographs, a confirmation of his
or her address, documents confirming an unbroken five- year period of living in
Poland, documents confirming owned diplomas and professional qualifications and a
Foundation for Promotion of Entrepreneurship Łódź 2014
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CV. He or she must also document his or her income and the proof of financial
means sufficient to cover costs of living.13
Polish currency is “zloty” which has sign PLN. Here you have exchange rate, were you
can compare the value of it:
Data from 14-02-201414
Honestly you don’t have to know it. More important for you is how much can you buy
using this money.
Permissions, en.poland.gov.pl/Permissions,7250.html, 14-02-2014
Top PLN exchange rates, www.xe.com/currency/pln-polish-zloty, 14-02-2014
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Diagrams from: www.numbeo.com/cost-of-living/country_result.jsp?country=Poland
Dealing with taxes in Poland
As a consequence of registering your own company in Poland you will get your brand
new NIP number. From now on this number will be used for your tax identification.
But before that happens you need to decide which tax suits you the best. Once you
choose one form of taxing it is quite tricky to change it and as well it may influence
your profits in a big way.
General tax
In this case there are two main tax scales and you automatically get classified under
one when you set-up a company. The classification depends on the annual income of
your business. If you get less than 85 528 PLN you will have to pay 18% tax, and
when you exceed this amount you have to pay 32%. If your business is not getting on
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well and you just earned not more than 3091 PLN you don't have to pay tax but you
still have to fill out and deliver your tax declaration to the tax office. The big
advantage of the general tax is that you can use tax benefits and pay less.
Linear tax.
This type of tax means you always pay 19% no matter what the level of your annual
income is. In other words no matter how much you get the tax stays the same. In this
case you are not allowed to use the tax benefits.
Flat rate.
Flat rate means that you pay for the income no matter how high the costs of it were.
What is more, it is available only for a specified range of business activities. The
good thing is that you don't have to bother yourself with all the accounting stuff as
you only have to run the magic book of income which is much easier to do and much
cheaper if you hire an accountant to take care of your tax. The bad thing is that even
if the costs of income surpass the income itself – you still have to pay the flat rate.
Here are the exemplary flat rates and the types of business activities that are allowed
to choose this form of tax.
20% - income from the provision of free or specialized professions like doctors, legal
translators, dentists
17,5% - income from the provision of specified immaterial services like car renting,
parking service
8,5% - income from the provision of specified services like running a kindergarten
(we know you want to do it!)
5,5% - manufacturing and construction activities
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For the full list of flat rates and the types of business entitled to this form of tax you
should contact your local Revenue Office.
Tax card
Ability to account on the basis of the tax card is designed for taxpayers engaged in
very specific types of business. To qualify for this group have yet to meet certain
1. You cannot use third-party services (with the exception of professional services
such as an accounting office)
2. You cannot employ people on casual work contracts (umowa zlecenie) or a
contract (umowa o dzieło) for work activities that are work-related to the activities
conducted by you (you can hire people on a contract of employment, but to the limits
attributable for your activity)
3. Your spouse can not run a business in the same range as you (you can hire them
though if they're still within the employment limit for your activity)
The rate of the flat tax rate depends on:
1. The nature and scope of the operation
2. Number of employees
3. The number of inhabitants of the place, in which you decide to open the business
PIT Declaration
Choosing the tax form is not the last thing to do. While running a business, even
when you're self-employed, you need to pay the regular contributions to the tax
office. Don't forget about that as the revenue office won't do it for you and they won't
set the amount of such contributions. You need to do it all by yourself! You have to
options to choose from right now:
1. Calculate the amount of the contribution by yourself by summing the level of
income and costs and then calculating the profit which is the base of the amount of
this contribution.
2. Leave it to the well-trained and professional accountant who will do all the job for
you leaving your mind free of all the tax problems.
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Nowadays almost everyone keeps their money in banks. It is important for us to keep
money fluency. There is no problem with paying by credit card or take cash from cash
machine. Earlier you can see the exchange rate which will help you to plan your
spending. In Poland there are a lot of commercial banks so probably you will be able
to find yours. Stuff there shouldn’t have any troubles with English so you can ask
about everything. However if you have any other questions we send you to
We live in the world which is covered by globalization. Probably there is no difference
between you country and Poland. Here you can find
 supermarkets,
 shopping centres
 local shops
 markets
Supermarkets work between 10 an 22 as same as shopping malls. Smaller shops are
If you want to buy vegetables you should go to small local shop or market. It gives
you certainty that product will be fresh and healthy. To purchase furniture you can go
to bigger supermarkets. In most of shops you will be able to pay by credit card, but
not everywhere. Because of that, you ought to be sure you have at least small
amount of money at hand.
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Polish dictionary
How to speak in Polish
Hello (formal)
Dzień dobry (Jeyn Dob-ry)
Hello (informal)
Cześć (Tch-esh-ch)
How are you?
Jak się masz? (Yahk sheng mah-sh)
Fine, thank you
Dziękuję, dobrze. (Jenkoo-yeng dob-zhe)
What is your name?
Jak masz na imię? (yahk mah-sh nah eem-ye)
Note: meaning in Polish 'What is your given name?' (not a surname)
My name is ______ .
Nazywam się ______. (Nah-zivam sheng ____)
Proszę' (PRO-she)
Thank you.
Dziękuję. (Jenkoo-yeah)
You're welcome (formal)
Proszę (PRO-she)
You're welcome (informal)
Nie ma za co (nye ma za tso)
Tak (tahk)
Nie (nye)
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Excuse me (for getting attention)
Przepraszam. (pshe-pra-sham)
I'm sorry.
Przepraszam. (pshe-pra-sham)
Goodbye (formal)
Do widzenia (do vee-dze-nya)
Goodbye (informal)
pa (pah)
I can't speak Polish [well].
Nie mówię [dobrze] po polsku. (nye moo-vye [dob-zhe] po pol-skoo)
Do you speak English?
Czy mówisz po angielsku? (chi moo-vish po ang-gyel-skoo?)
Is there someone here who speaks English?
Czy ktoś tu mówi po angielsku? (tch-y ktosh too moo-vee po ang-yel-skoo)
Pomocy! (po-mo-tsy)
or Ratunku! (ra-toon-koo)
Good night
Dobranoc. (doh-brah-nots)
I don't understand
Nie rozumiem (Nyeh roh-zoom-yem)
Where is the toilet?
Gdzie jest toaleta? (g-jeh yest twa-leta)
Talking to somebody
Can you help me?
Czy może mi pan m / pani f pomóc? (Tchih MO-zheh mee pahn / PAH-nee POH-
Leave me alone.
Zostaw mnie. (Zostaff mnieh)
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I'll call the police.
As in summoning - Zawołam policję! (ZAH-voh-wam poh-litz-yeh) As in using a
phone - Zadzwonię na policję (ZAH-dzvohn-yeh nah poh-litz-yeh)
Policja! (po-litz-yah)
Stop the thief!
Zatrzymać złodzieja! (zah-tschy-matz zwoh-TZIEH-yah)
I need your help.
Potrzebuję pomocy. (poh-tscheh-BOO-yeh poh-moh-tsi)
It's an emergency.
To nagła potrzeba (toh NAH-gwah poh-CHEh-bah) (has a slight "rushing to toilet"
flavour, as it literally means "it’s a sudden need")
To pilne ("toh pee-lneh") (literally it "it's urgent") - good in "please, hurry up" context
To find more go to http://wikitravel.org/en/Polish_phrasebook
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1. Foreigners in Poland- www.foreignersinpoland.com/, 14-02-2014
2. Prospects the UK’s official graduate careers website
www.prospects.ac.uk/work_in_poland.htm, 14-02-2014
3. Migrant info www.migrant.info.pl/working-in-poland.html, 14-02-2014
4. Eures Polska Sieć Europejskich Ofert Pracy
d=119, 14-02-2014
5. Numebo, Costs of living in Poland, www.numbeo.com/cost-ofliving/country_result.jsp?country=Poland, February 2014
6. Poland’s official travel website www.poland.travel/en/cities-towns/, 14-02-2014