-Where were you born?
I was born in 1985 in Aberdeen, Scotland. Also known as the 'Granite City'!
-In which country and city are you living now?
I've been living in Poznan, Poland since August 2008.
-Are you living alone or with your family?
I'm living with my girlfriend.
-How long have you been living in Poland?
-What is your age?
24, nearly quarter of a century!
-When did you come up with the idea of living in Poland?
I graduated and had little to do, so decided to move abroad. It was a question of boredom with the UK more than anything else - I love travelling and this was a wonderful opportunity.
-Was it hard to get a visa or a work permit?
Many EU citizens in Poland are actually living here illegally - they don't realise that you have to register your address and obtain a permit from the relevant Foreigners office. So yes, it was difficult to legalise my stay here - straight answers are often difficult to obtain and the offices aren't too familiar with EU citizens. This was the motivation behind starting my own business here.
-Was it difficult for you to get medical insurance before you went there or when you first arrived?
I was covered under the UK system (again, another mistake that expats make is assuming that the EHIC card is valid, when in fact it becomes invalid after 6 months out of the UK) for the first 6 months, but now, I have insurance through self employment. The process is quite painless - if you know Polish!
-How do you make your living in Poland? Do you have any type of income generated?
I run my own business, Lindenia - which caters for foreigners in Poland. I also work part time at a language school to keep me in contact with people. Again, finding employment is quite easy in Poland; however, finding good employment is more difficult. It's certainly not a good option for the unmotivated!
-Do you speak Polish and do you think it's important to speak the local language?
I understand written Polish ok, but speaking is a whole different issue. However, it isn't much of a barrier - provided you have someone who understands how things work in Poland. If you don't, I can imagine it being a far more problematic experience.
-Do you miss home and family sometimes?
Not particularly, but I'm Scottish and therefore always a traveller. I miss the range of food available - one notable example is how ethnic cuisine is actually cheaper in Germany than in Poland.
-Do you have other plans for the future?
Right now, I'm concentrating on the business - but at the end of the year, we'll evaluate and see what to do next.
-What about housing, have you bought, or are you renting a home? How much do you pay for it?
I'm fortunate enough not to have to pay rent here!
-What is the cost of living in Poland?
Depends. If you live like a local, you can live easily for around 300 dollars a month. But if you live like an expatriate, then you can easily spend 1000 dollars-plus a month without blinking.
-What do you think about the locals?
Locals are by and far positive people - with the most negative experiences coming in privately owned shops, many of which still have the communist "not my problem" mentality. Tesco is particularly bad for this - which is a culture shock to a Brit!
-What are the positive and negative aspects of living in Poland?
The positive aspects are the people, the cost of living and the opportunities.
The negative aspects are the lack of taking responsibility that some private individuals seem to have.
-Do you have any tips for our readers about living in Poland?
Don't do it unless you are self motivated.