The Oxford TEFL Blog

Top tips for starting a new life in Prague

Karin Krummenacher is our Trinity CertTESOL course coordinator in our Prague centre. Along with the help of our Prague Trinity CertTESOL trainees this month, Karin has put together some top tips for starting a new life in Prague. Find out what they are here!

There are plenty of reasons why so many dream of relocating to the Czech Republic. Whether it is to broaden your horizons during a year of English teaching abroad, to start a completely new life and get out of the rat race or just to follow the temptation of overwhelmingly beautiful architecture, culture and the cheap cost of living (not to mention  the affordable but delicious beer!) Many fail to make it happen, however. Having met thousands of expats I’ve never heard of anyone who made the step and regretted it. It’s an adventure you will tell your grandchildren about and won’t forget for the rest of your life, so be brave and get yourself out there!

Prague river

To make your start in Prague easier, our current Trinity CertTESOL group and I brainstormed the top tips for starting a new life in Prague. Here you go!

Before you leave home:

  • Make sure you get in touch with your bank and phone provider. Check if your bank charges a reasonable amount for international transactions so that you can access your funds in the first couple of weeks before you’ve set up your account in Prague without losing a fortune on banking fees.With your phone provider, check if your phone is unlocked so you can use it overseas or bring a cheap old phone to use with a Czech SIM. This will help you to stay in touch with everyone right from the start.
  • Buy adapters for your electronics. It’s much easier to do this in your home country than to find the right ones abroad.
  • Travel light: It makes more sense (and is probably cheaper) to buy your winter coat here once you need it rather than bringing one when you move here in July. Vice versa for your summer stuff.
  • Buy a Czech phrase book. Locals really appreciate your attempts at speaking Czech, even if it’s just a “Hello” (Dobrý den) and “Do you speak English?” (Mluvíteanglicky?) or “Thanks” (Díky). You’ll get bonus points for trying and set yourself apart from the often clueless tourists.
TEFL course Prague

Our Trinity CertTESOL group this month

Once you get here:

  • Prague is a vibrant city with a population of 1.2 million people but reasonably small and extremely walkable. Put your comfortable shoes on and walk on cobblestones that have seen history. If you get tired, make use of the super efficient and reliable 24/7 public transport. A monthly pass to access all of it is only 20ish USD and gets you everywhere in no time.
  • While it’s great if you learn some Czech phrases and use them, don’t be afraid to ask people if they speak English. Usually they do and are happy to practice with you. Although locals can seem a bit distant at first they warm up quickly!
  • Take a sec and be proud of your accomplishments. You just moved to a foreign country! You were brave and made a big step! Well done!
  • At the same time: Make sure to respect the locals and their customs. You’re part of this city now. For example: Stand on the right and walk on the left on the endless escalators that lead to Prague’s marvellous underground metro system. Also: Learn how to tip. The waiting staff here doesn’t live off their tips, so you don’t have to tip “American” amounts but if you were happy with the service you still want to round the sum up to the next 20 crowns (USD 1). Just wait for the waiter to come by, you give him the money and while doing so, tell him the total sum of what you want to pay before he’s starting to count out your change.
  • Join a sports club! There are plenty of teams playing football (the European and the American version), basketball, cricket, rugby and baseball. No matter whether your amateur or close to pro it’s a great way to meet new people and stay active! 
  • Join Facebook groups! A lot of stuff here happens on Facebook. Here are some of the most popular groups:

Crowdsauce – for any kind of question you ever had

Expats.cz – for all your expatty needs

Oxford TEFL Prague Teachers – network with alumnis

Thanks for your input, August 2016 trainees! Join these beautiful people and start your adventure abroad today by applying here. Join the Trinity CertTESOL course in Prague starting on October 10th 2016 and save €200 on your course fees (paying €1200, regular price €1400). Email Karin at tesol@oxfordtefl.cz for more information.

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