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Came here for Split’s beauty, stayed because she fell in love with this city!

Nikolina Kukoč

Nikolina Kukoč


If you ask Ewa why she came to Split, she will immediately give you this simple and straightforward answer: “Just because of the sun, the sea, and Split’s beauty!” Together with her partner Bartosz, she moved to Split in September 2020 from Poznań, Poland and is now one of Split’s many internationals.

Ewa is also quick to point out all that she loves about Split, its people, and her life here: “I love nature of any kind, especially the nature that surrounds Split – particularly the sea that I was missing at my hometown in Poland. I also find it calming to find stone everywhere here.

I love that the city is clean and safe!

The people here are open, friendly, and very helpful. And they have style! I still keep admiring various individuals while out and about in the city. And I adore that you can drink one single cup of coffee for hours! That’s an impressive skill!”

When we talked about her making the decision to move here from Poland, Ewa quickly told us how it all came together while we strolled through the tiny streets of Varoš, one of Split’s oldest neighborhoods: “Bartosz and I were discussing other countries that are warmer than Poland, but it turned into a quick decision in favor of Croatia. We were also thinking about moving to Rijeka, but then we discovered Split and that was it – the decision was made!”

And they for sure did not regret it, because Ewa immediately listed the reasons that make her stay in Split and call this city her home: “I fell in love with this city! For me, it’s a perfect mix of social life in a bigger city and nature where you can relax.”

Speaking of relaxing, we were curious about Ewa’s point of view of Split’s pomalo lifestyle and the benefits this has on the overall quality of life: “I’m definitely more relaxed and I’ve slowed down. No more rushing!

Even if you want to, the Dalmatian lifestyle won’t let you.

It doesn’t matter in the end as I’m not being lazy – I just found the right work-life balance that keeps me going. I’m being effective but also having time for being relaxed and doing something not work-related every afternoon.”

Ewa says her transition to life in Split went very smoothly, dare to say perfectly. However, like many internationals who came to our city, Ewa has her own tips and tricks that helped her figure out life here that she shared with us in the hopes of easing the way for others who might consider moving to Split: “Smile a lot and learn a couple of Croatian words – people here are very helpful and open, especially if you put in just a little bit of effort.”

We were also curious if she had any tips for us who live here as we could definitely be instrumental in helping out newcomers: “The only thing I would change relates to the governmental institutions, as I have no ‘complaints’ when it comes to my fellow citizens who were born here. It would be nice if more employees of various governmental institutions, who work with internationals on a daily basis, spoke English, and not only Croatian.

From my experience, even answering emails written in English takes longer than the ones written in Croatian, as I’ve tried it both ways!”

We have heard this mentioned from other internationals before and we sincerely hope things do change for the better when it comes to this particular issue. In the meantime, we will keep trying to aid our international neighbors in any way we can. That is one of the reasons we compiled a short guide to life in Split and other information about life here in the first place.

Ewa was resourceful when finding this information back when she came here and she says it was not too difficult for her: “The internet was my friend in this aspect. I also joined various expat groups on Facebook and asked any questions I had there. And I connected with the local tech community, as well.”

It’s no wonder Ewa was curious about all things tech in Split when we consider what she does for a living: “For seven years I worked for a Polish FMCG company, with the last three years spent in the IT Department as a Service Management Consultant. I was also responsible for providing new solutions in the IT Management area.

When I came to Split the way I work changed slightly.

I started working more efficiently and have become more flexible.

If there is a slower day, I have no regrets if I go to the city for a cup of coffee, but if there’s more work to be done I also don’t mind working longer hours. The only thing I kind of struggled with after switching to being fully remote is the lack of that social aspect of work. I really missed my team and coworkers sometimes. I always tried to turn my camera on every time and keep chatting with them, and not only about work-related topics. However, it’s not the same, especially after being accustomed to seeing them every day for the last seven years.”

It is true remote work brought along many benefits, but as with all things in life, there are some downsides to it, as well, and Ewa rightfully pointed them out. We are wired to crave companionship, and Zoom calls can only do so much.

That’s why Ewa is excited about the upcoming year and a job change that comes with a fully remote team.

One thing is certain, she is no stranger to changes and adaptability in the work environment: “Change is no stranger to me when it comes to work, as I did completely change my professional path. I have a degree in Accountancy and Economics. I just took my chance while transitioning to IT and told my employer he can give me three months to allow me to learn all the basics I needed to know and I will give 200% of me to my work because working in IT was always a dream of mine and I recognize that this is my chance to do so. And then he hired me and I did as I said!”

We admit that is quite a feat, to pull off something like that! And Ewa agrees:

“It is true – I had to learn a lot!

Starting from the whole IT slang, onwards. But I didn’t let that stop me. I kept learning from various sources, adapting what I learned to fit the needs of the company I was working for. There was a lot of trust from my employer during this phase that I was grateful for.

In the beginning, whenever anyone came to me with an issue that needed to be resolved, I ended up Googling it to understand the question first, but once I understood the problem well, I always found a solution. Even in the instances when Google did not provide me with a direction or help. Then I was truly on my own and had to figure it out myself.

But those were the moments I learned the most!”

We wrapped our little stroll through Varoš and the accompanying chat with Ewa at the Vidilica viewpoint. We are glad we got this opportunity to learn another story of someone who came to Split and ended up loving this city as their own. We wish Ewa lots of success in all her endeavors in the future, as well as many more sunny days spent in Split!

Photos by: Bruno Dubravec


About author:

Nikolina Kukoč

Researching is woven into my DNA, but I am a musician at heart. Interested in too many things and always curious. Forever in love with Split and enchanted by people who teach me new things. When I am not creating content about Split's tech community, you will find me in singing rehearsals, somewhere in nature, in the theater, or with my head stuck in a book. I do my best to live by the verse from the opera "Fedora" by Umberto Giordano: "Love forbids you not to love."

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