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Centre of Migration Research

Aneta Piekut. 2013.

‘You’ve got Starbucks and Coffee Heaven… I Can Do This!’ Spaces of Social Adaptation of Highly Skilled Migrants in Warsaw


Central and Eastern European Migration Review vol. 2, no. 1 | pages: 117-138

Central and Eastern European Migration Review vol. 2, no. 1 | s. 117-138


This article fills a gap in migratory research in Poland by exploring patterns of social adaptation of intra-EU migrants living temporarily (i.e. up to five years) in Poland. The paper explores the spaces of everyday social practices of people of British, French and German nationality that came to work here or followed a family member and uncovers a family and female perspective on social adaptation of highly skilled elite migrants in Warsaw. It presents original empirical material employing creative research techniques gathered in Warsaw. The study reveals that social adaptation of intra-EU highly skilled migrants is spatially selective and expats develop connections with spaces related to their family life reproduction, such as international schools, expatriate associations and places of leisure and consumption. The article argues that more attention should be paid in future research to intra-EU mobility and the gender imbalance in accessing particular local resources, such as the labour market.


highly skilled migration, expatriates, intra-EU mobility, social adaptation, Warsaw, Poland