Poland is one of the largest countries in the European Union and has continued on its steady path to becoming a regional power ever since the fall of communism in 1989. One of the few countries in Europe to escape the shocks of the 2008 recession, Poland attracts an increasing amount of foreign investment, and as such there are many fruitful internships in Poland throughout the country. Beyond its imposing workforce, however, Poland is a great place to intern abroad because of a tolerant, hospitable, and artistically rich culture, which foreigners from everywhere easily come to love.
Warsaw is Poland’s capital and largest city, as well as one of the most influential cultural, political, and economic hubs of Central Europe. An increasingly popular tourist destination and globally interconnected city, internships in Warsaw offer international interns an enriching experience in a city with fascinating historical roots and increasingly bright modern prospects. Nicknamed the “phoenix city”’ because it has survived so many wars and occupations throughout its history, there is no shortage of intrigue in the resilient city of Warsaw to keep you endlessly enveloped in your surroundings.
Krakow is another popular destination for internships in Poland, and can be viewed as the sort of cultural counterpart to Warsaw’s central economic and political importance. With its founding dated all the way back to the seventh century, Krakow has progressed through a long and fascinating history while flourishing as the artistic, academic, and cultural capital of the Polish region. Krakow also boasts an impressive amount of gothic, baroque, and renaissance architecture – its historic city center was actually one of the very first places to earn recognition as a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
Warsaw and Krakow are undoubtedly Poland’s two most influential and popular cities, but it is possible to land internships in Poland in a variety of other locations as well. Lodz, Wroclaw, and Lublin are examples of potential landing spots for interns who want an alternative experience interning in Poland in a smaller city environment. Take your time to research thoroughly what location feels like the best fit for your internship abroad in Poland.
Internships in Poland
Poland has bounced back from the Soviet era more efficiently than most Eastern European countries, and today it is possible to find internship opportunities in Poland in most fields of the nation’s advanced economy. Furthermore, with one of the highest GDP growth rates on the continent, Poland is not only a stable but thriving place to land an internship abroad in many professional fields.
The country’s largest industries are in communications and the production of commodities such as electronics, transport equipment, and medicines. You will by no means be limited to these areas when looking for an internship in Poland, however. There an increasing amount of large corporations sprouting up as Poland continues to grow economically, which means there are also an increasing amount of internship opportunities in a wide diversity of sectors.
Although Polish is the national language, Poland has one of the highest rates of English proficiency in the second language world. This means that you will be able to get by in everyday life okay without speaking the local language, but in a business setting the lack of adeptness in Polish may become problematic. Fear not - there are international programs which offer internships in Poland for non-Polish speakers; therefore, if you have no interest in learning the language, then it is still possible to intern abroad in Poland.
Salary & Costs
It is possible to find a paying internship in Poland, although most positions are compensated for in other ways, such as with room and board. Poland is a fairly inexpensive country by European standards, so you will be able to get by without spending nearly as much money as in, say, France or Italy. However, because Poland’s economy is surging, the low costs of living may not last for long. Additionally, prices will be higher in the bigger cities, such as Warsaw and Krakow, than in the rest of the country.
Accommodation & Visas
Interning abroad in Poland you will be provide with a variety of housing options. Your employer or internship program provider might help set you up with an apartment or connect you with other international or local interns to approach for accommodation sharing. Additionally, some internship programs may offer the opportunity for interns to stay in a homestay, which is a great way to interact intimately with a Polish host family. Housing depends largely on your personal preference, so communicate with your program early on about what you want out of your living situation.
If you are coming from outside of Europe, you will also likely need a visa, especially if you plan on interning in Poland for more than three months. The visa situation may become trickier if you are working at a paid internship in Poland, as your employer may have to endorse your application. You can learn more about Poland’s visa policy toward your home country by consulting GoAbroad’s Embassy Directory.
Benefits & Challenges
Poland is not only a fun and culturally rich country to intern abroad in, but it is an emerging power in Central Europe and has one of the fastest growing economies on the continent. With a tumultuous history that has seen the country waged war on and divided continuously, the Polish people have proven tremendously resilient and today stand as global leaders in our modern age. An internship in Poland will not only step your game up above the rest professionally, but prove to be the adventure of a lifetime in one of Europe’s greatest countries.