Embedded Developer story: My trip to Poland from Vietnam
To most people in my country, going abroad is always a big dream. And I’m not an exception. Living here in the city of Krakow, made to look back on the way which brought me here.
Where everything began?
I always believe I was born with a love for science – a really natural love. I loved math, I loved physics in my schools. I had no doubts or hesitation choosing embedded software engineering as a path for my life’s journey. Having been composing the code passionately, I realized I was like a full-fledged bird, and I wished I could fly further to discover the world. Without procrastination, I planned on finding a job in my dream zone – Europe.
That’s one day of summer 2019, I received an invitation from a lovely HR girl from ALTEN Polska. From here the journey started, officially. We started with greetings to understand each other, began some discussion to get my personal and experience information. We set up several rounds of interviews, they were so kind letting me choose time for the meeting. Going through the interviews with lots of questions, I was in an eager bustle waiting for the result.
Finally, it delighted me so much when I received the information that I passed. With confidence, but I felt so lucky.
The visa process
What continued after that was the procedure for getting a visa. We conducted some meetings to get knowledge of the procedure and what documents we need to prepare. I realized that the mandatory documents for a working visa were not as many and complicated as those for travelling or studying visas. And as a result we didn’t have any significant difficulties.
The most time to spend was just the waiting time for setting up a meeting at the Polish embassy office in HaNoi – the capital of Vietnam. Working on the visa also gave me the chance to visit this beautiful and historic city. Eventually after more than two months from the time we started the visa process, all was done in success.
Flight to Poland and witness of so many cultural differences
My trip to Poland was not my first trip to Europe. I used to visit Germany, France, the Czech Republic. However, my first feeling about Poland was that everything is more quiet and peaceful here, the countryside is more idyllic.
It was easy to recognize this is a kind of … another world compared to my Ho Chi Minh City in Vietnam.
Firstly, the thing easiest to recognize is the weather. The temperature here is like …in the fridge. Being born and living in a tropical country where the temperature hardly went down under 20oC, there is a funny saying that: we have 2 seasons, the hot season, and the …hotter season. Here the thing is exactly the opposite: a cold season and a colder season.
Secondly, nature varies a lot here in different seasons. Daytime is short during winter, the sun is very low at noon and there are almost no leaves on the trees. However, everything changes when it’s summertime. The sun seems to never set and everywhere is covered in green. In Vietnam, the forests may turn grey in the dry season and be back to green in the rainy season, but the daytime keeps quite stable throughout the year.
Thirdly, it is not busy and crowded here. Walking on the roads of Krakow in winter, I used to wonder where everyone has gone? Well, comparing to HCM of course. The roads were quite empty and all houses’ doors were closed, there were no kids playing in their yards. If you have visited Vietnam, you would see that all the roads are full of traffic all the time and people are all over the public places. I’ve noticed that foods are diversified and delicious. Trams and buses can be found in almost every space, from big roads to small alleys, which makes it so convenient to commute and travel.
There are dozens of differences but the above ones are typical and distinct.
Why I’m happy to be here
Being a “tropical guy” from a never-have-snow country, the freezing weather here in Poland at first made me somewhat inconvenienced when I have to wear lots of warm clothes, however, I feel like I have been acclimatizing to it. The nice point is that I have many opportunities to see beautiful snowfalls which have always been in my dreams. Writing about it is kinda cliché here, but remember – I’m from Vietnam. It’s a big deal for me 😊
What I’ve learned so far, choosing ALTEN in Poland was a bull’s-eye. People here are friendly and willing to help. When you change your surroundings, you’re leaving your comfort zone. This is the moment when you are given a chance to boost the professional experience, know-how, and change yourself as a person. Well, staying in a comfort mode, hardly ever give these results.
I always admit to myself that I am an introvert, for that reason I love peaceful places. Maybe that’s why somehow I feel that I’m where I belong?
Dat Nguyen Van Bon
Embedded Software Engineer