The seeds of Warsaw were sowed as far back as the ninth century, and since then the city has been reincarnated numerous times. This has been due in large part to conflicts and wars in and surrounding Warsaw, and it was most recently leveled by the Nazis at the end of World War II. However, always rising from the ashes and rebuilding, these rebirths have earned Warsaw the moniker of Phoenix City, and it would be an exceptionally appropriate city for interns looking to start fresh, too. So, intern in Warsaw and Warsee what it’s all about!
What you need to know more about interning abroad in Warsaw, Poland
Like many other European cities touched (and destroyed) by war, Warsaw, Poland is a smorgasbord of architectural styles, creating an eccentric smattering of edifices you must see to believe. A major city in Poland, and Europe as a whole, there is a large range of fields for international interns in Warsaw, with the added benefit of affordability. You can’t go wrong with the Paris of the East!
Popular types of internships in Warsaw. Warsaw offers a unique foundation for internships in international relations and political science & politics. With the invasion of Poland in 1939, the Second World War began, and Warsaw itself was the site of many monumental moments in geopolitical history. As the capital of Poland, Warsaw is also home to many Polish political institutions, such as Parliament and the Supreme Court.
Warsaw is not only the political center of Poland, but the business center as well. The city is home to the Warsaw Stock Exchange, and headquarters for many Polish and international companies, too. For those well-versed in profit margins, and supply and demand, internships in business and economics are available.
Short term internships and summer internships vs. long-term internships in Warsaw. For those who have a little bit of down time before the true job hunt starts (perhaps the summer before or after your senior year of college), or for people looking to fill a gap in their resume, short term and summer internships are a must! On the other hand, long term internships in Warsaw will foster advanced Polish skills (and maybe even additional languages depending on your field), and could even possibly have a job offer waiting at the finish line.
Unpaid vs. paid internships in Warsaw. Paid internships have their first advantage in their name, but a paycheck is not the only reason why they’re awesome. They will most likely offer greater responsibilities for interns, and often times conclude in a job offer. Don’t count out unpaid internships in Warsaw, though. They are generally more common and less competitive than their paid counterparts, but that doesn’t mean they shouldn’t be taken seriously. They’re ideal for people who want more experience to bulk up their resumes with, but who may not have some of the prerequisites for paid internships (like language skills, for example).
Life Abroad in Warsaw for Interns
Imagine living in Europe. Do you see pictures of expensive flats, posh restaurants, and pricey designer labels dancing in your head like wildly unattainable sugarplums? Such is not the case in Warsaw! While the glitz does exist in Warsaw (like every major European city) it is on the more affordable end of the cost of living spectrum—great news for paid and unpaid interns alike! Warsaw, Poland is one of the most livable cities in Central and Eastern Europe, and no, there’s no catch.
Interning in Warsaw will usually include living in private apartments, or alongside other interns in dorm-style housing, depending on the program. Meals generally aren’t included in these living situations, but interns will love venturing out into the city to try the savory, salty delicacies of Poland, like kielbasa, pierogies, and many soups, breads, and cheeses.
Public transportation is extensive in Warsaw, and comes in the form of buses, trains, and trams. The city is also quite walkable for those who want to slow down and soak up all that Warsaw has to offer at their own pace. Make sure to take a stroll around Lazienki Park, too—it’s positively stunning.
In case you needed another reason to intern abroad in Warsaw, nightlife in the city is said to be as good as that in Prague, if not better. Don’t bite off more than you can chew, though (or pour more than you can drink). Vodka is the Varsovian drink of choice, and never sipped.
GoAbroad’s Inside Scoop for International Interns in Warsaw
Interns should note the conservative culture in Warsaw (due in part to the large Catholic population), and act accordingly. Varsovians are known to be generally quite hospitable, but certain minority travelers should exercise extra caution and avoid people or situations that feel questionable. All travelers should avoid nationalist demonstrations that have been popping up recently (but that are in no way indicative of general Varsovian sentiment!).
Work culture in Poland is very similar to that of the United States and other Western countries. Hours are generally the same, as is the work ethic, so internships in Warsaw may feel familiar to some. Culture shock is still a possibility, but interns don’t have to be worried about a long adjustment period at all—you’ll feel right at home in no time!
This city is characterized by a complex, compelling past, and a flourishing, fascinating present. Interning abroad in Warsaw will leave you wanting moresaw!
Want to learn more? Read our comprehensive guide on interning abroad in Poland!