Spotlight on the Committee – Interview with Leonie Mueller

What’s your story?

I was born in South Africa and spent an idyllic childhood in many cities there. After completing Nursing Studies, I went to England, via Israel, where I hoped to study further. I got side-tracked, in a good way, working for an international non-profit organisation and met my German-born husband. We have four growing children and my hubby has a company in Mielec, two hours from Kraków. I love to read, write, sing and dance. I also love people and different languages and cultures.

What brought you to Kraków?

I guess it was our children. We moved to Poland nearly four years ago and I started off home-schooling our children. But they didn’t love it and begged to be in a school environment. We found an international school in Kraków that seemed to line up with our own ideas about education most, and decided to attempt a part-time schooling solution. It lasted one day before we decided to move to Kraków! That was two years ago and, though life is crazy and complicated, we haven’t regretted the decision as our children have made wonderful friends and I have discovered the joys of expat living and IWAK.

What was the biggest challenge in adjusting to your new life here?

I have typically favoured village life over living in the city. So I have been pleasantly surprised by how easy the transition to life here has been. I really appreciate the public transport and the expat community. What has been more of a challenge is the simple logistics of operating in a foreign language in some settings. And the medical system, though very good, is hard to navigate!

What do you like most about living in Kraków?

I love the variety on offer here. From restaurants, to parks, to lovely scenery a short drive away. Kraków is very well connected with flights and the fast train to Warsaw means there are even more options of fun places to go. This is the first time I have been part of an expat community, though I left my home country 25 years ago! So I am enjoying the many offers to meet with people from different cultures who are all in similar situations as expats.

How do you contribute to IWAK?

That’s a good question! I am new on the Committee, so I guess we will find out in time whether my contribution is positive 🙂 I have admired the energy and enthusiasm of the Committee for the past few years, and the way in which they put their ideas into action to offer us a wonderful experience in terms of networking. It has added to my quality of life and I wanted to contribute to this for other people. My official role is Communications, so I use words to paint pictures of events, meetings etc. I am also just launching a new group: the Book Swap Group. I love reading and it is often hard to come by English books in different countries, so it seemed a good fit.

















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