Moving to the UK from Poland wasn’t easy for Marta and her family. The hardest thing was the language barrier as English was not a language she knew. Through volunteering at DIWC, she found a way to overcome this and learn English, which helped her to settle into the community and make friends.
Finding the language barrier the hardest thing to overcome to settling in the UK
“I grew up in my family home in Warsaw, Poland. I am the only child in my family. I moved to Dundee in 2005. My husband got a job here so we made the hard decision to migrate.
Now, I have been married for 25 years. I have 2 children. My daughter is 25 years old and my son is 18. I met my husband in high school. I have known him my whole life. We studied and worked together.
I have visited the UK during holidays and have an idea of what life would be like here. However, when I moved here I find the language to be very difficult. Russian was my first language in high school. I had to learn English to be able to adapt. To overcome my language barrier I started learning English in DIWC.
How volunteering helped with my language skills
I believe that volunteering is a good way to improve my language skills. I spend time chatting with people from different nationalities for few hours a week. This really helped me with my English. It is important to take small steps and give yourself small goals to achieve.
I have been in the UK for 10 years now and I like it here. People are very open and welcoming. But I do miss my family and it is hard for them as I am the only child. Whenever I have the time I fly to Poland to meet them. I also miss my city Warsaw. It is a very beautiful place. Now the city has changed, new buildings and shops all around.
Looking to the future
I completed my diploma in technology and worked in a factory in Warsaw for 22 years. But I always knew that I want to work with children. Luckily for me, DIWC have enabled me to do that. It has done everything for me. This centre is like my second family. I started learning here. I completed my NPA course and got a job here with the mobile creche.
Now that my children are grown up I have more freedom and time for myself. I am looking forward to trying new things, maybe find a full-time job and improve my skills. I will continue working with children and want to improve my qualifications. I also enjoy painting during my free time and will do more of this now.”
Marta Wlodarczyk #womenofdundee