General answer to this question is: Icelanders don’t know much about Poland and Polish people. They’re aware of how our language sounds like, they know that Poles come to work here and also that many of us learn the Icelandic language.

The older generations know basic knowledge about Poland. Because many of them study history of Europe in school, or have lived at that time, they know what was happening in Poland after II WW and possess memories of first Poles coming to Iceland or from working with them.

Younger people often have Polish colleagues in schools or their neighborhoods. Polish kids speak Icelandic and sometimes share some information with people around them.

Generally speaking, Icelanders gain their knowledge about Poland from Polish people but their opinion is created by the parts of Polonia here they encounter. Most Icelanders think high of Poles, as hard-working and dedicated types. Many also knew, know or worked with Polish people and having asked them about the experience I would get the answer: Polish people are working and not problematic.

Some Icelanders do claim Polish people struggle with the language and that some seem angry when working, especially in customer service related jobs.

However, except for that, I haven’t heard any bad opinion about Polish people among Icelanders. General feelings are positive and forward looking to new Poles moving to Iceland.

Mikołaj Końko (program roczny na Islandii 2017/18)