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Students' life

I am moving to the Czech Republic! What shall I expect?

So you have decided to move to the Czech Republic. Alexandra Baranova, the GoStudy blog writer, talks about what to expect when you move.

The Czech Republic is not a big country. It is known for its medieval castles, Baroque and Gothic architecture, mountains, woods, lakes, tiny villages and big cities.

Czechs; who are they?

The Czechs are generally friendly and tolerant towards foreigners, especially when the foreigners respect the local ways and do their best to blend in.

The Czechs are relaxed and calm by nature, so you if like a good drama, then you should probably reconsider your choice of the country and travel to the Mediterranean region instead.

The Czechs are very family oriented. In summer they go to the seaside (usually in Croatia); in winter they go to the mountains; for weekends the Czechs go camping or walking in the countryside.

A lot of Czechs have summer cottages where they go for their holidays. Many people also have gardens where they grow their own vegetables.

Let’s do sports!

The Czech Republic is a paradise for those who a) love traveling and b) love sports and active lifestyle.

Thanks to its favourable geographic location, the Czech Republic is a good starting point for cheap car or bus trips across Europe. A two-hour road trip and you are in another country. If you already have a Czech visa, then there won’t be any problems relating to any additional documents that may be required.

The Czechs are big fans of sports; they play football, they cycle, roller skate and play ice hockey from a young age. If you ever happen to chat to a Czech friend of yours about ice skating, he will probably say that he is not very good at it. However, if you do end up on the ice rink together it will soon become clear that ‘not very good’ means being able to perform an almost perfect loop jump without any practice.

There are plenty of opportunities for sports in the Czech Republic. This country is a real paradise for hiking, mountaineering, camping, cycling and so on. The only thing missing is no access to the sea, but it there are lots of wonderful lakes, such as in the Lipno resort area.

If you are a fan of an active lifestyle, then your adaptation here will be smooth.

Dinner is served!

A good meal in the Czech Republic is always a hearty one: beef goulash with dumplings, toasted duck or pork with dumplings and sauerkraut, thick soup with bread, vanilla ice cream with hot raspberry dressing. Traditional Czech cuisine will leave you feeling happy and full.

Beer in the Czech Republic is an iconic and highly valued component of the country and national pride.

If you are into healthy eating though, don’t be afraid to come here as vegetarianism, veganism and raw food diet are becoming increasingly popular.

Don’t throw money down the drain

Living in the Czech Republic is not expensive comparing to, say, living in the Scandinavian countries, in the UK or in Switzerland. CZK 30,000-40,000 per month will be enough money for you to comfortable in a rented apartment in the capital. The amount can differ depending in the location. The individual comfort is obviously determined by your own living standards and preferences.

The Czechs are economical, even frugal. If they can spend less, they will spend less. When it comes to spending money, they prefer to invest in experiences, sports and traveling. Spending money on expensive clothes, going for spa treatments or expensive dinners in exclusive restaurants is not a typical Czech thing to do.

Students and working class

A good command of the Czech language is essential for successful learning and career. If you know a couple of other languages, including English, you will have more career opportunities.

The Czechs believe that a higher education is not a goal in itself. It’s common practice for school graduates to go abroad for a year or two to improve their English and decide what they want to do in life.

You shouldn’t expect a red carpet and hundreds of job offers straight after the graduation; some employers may prefer to employ Czech nationals. In order to succeed, you should strive to be better than others, especially if you want to get a job in a prestigious company.

Summary

Of course, everyone is different. Some of the Czech lifestyle peculiarities won’t be a problem in your everyday life. Just be aware that the first year of living in a foreign county may be emotional. It gets easier with time!

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Alina Baeva 30 December 2020