Living abroad- Polish in the UK
Youth mobility is a common thing nowadays. People migrate for many reasons, mostly economical ones. Some people criticize it, others would never let anybody take is away from them. To me, personally, it came unexpectedly, and changed my life path more, than I can even describe.
I have moved from Poland to the UK more than three years ago, and even though I will always be Polish, I can’t really see myself moving back. If anyone considers going, I will always say yes. Try it, as this is the best experience you can possibly get. Leaving your comfort zone and going abroad, leaving everything you know behind – this requires courage. Finding yourself independent in different country, with different language and law – this requires patience. But soon you will find out whether it’s for you or not. Some people go back, most of them stay.
From my own experience, I would strongly suggest everybody to really think it through – plan your trip carefully, find a job beforehand, ask and talk to as many people as possible, find out about the reality out there – as it’s not as pink, as everybody tends to think. And most of all, ask yourself why do you want to go in the first place. Remember that things you take for granted in your country might not be that obvious somewhere else. And the family you sometimes moan about, well, won’t really be there next to you, no matter if you want it or not. Although, if you are really sure about it, with the right attitude, I’m sure you can find everything you are looking for. I did. Even though I didn’t really plan it, it turned out to be the best decision I could make. I decided to continue my higher education in England, which made learn things I always want to learn, gave me a feeling of integrity and helped me decide what I want to achieve in my life. Apart from that, it made me meet people, who became my best friends. However, my path in the UK was long, complicated and often tough to walk on. Difficulties with finding a job, which was bit better than a job often offered to foreigners, few racism-related incidents, being away from my family in the times when I needed it the most. I have found my way to tackle them and focus on bright sides, such as great opportunity to grow and learn, with education that I will always benefit from.
Even though I doubt I will come back home, the biggest lesson I learned from moving abroad was becoming European. I feel a part of the entire planet now, not only countries I had a chance to live in. And let me tell you one thing – once you move, you don’t stay in one place forever.
Oliwia Chaladaj, EVS volunteer, Youth association Alfa Albona