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Students' life

First month in the Czech republic: 10 steps to make your life easier

Collecting documents for a visa, choosing a university, changing the usual scenery, parting with close people – emigration to study always involves a number of difficulties. Once you find yourself in a new place, you just want to breathe in and relax. However, there is a number of tasks that should be solved immediately after the move to make life easier in the future. 

Students of preparatory Czech language courses are in an advantageous position in relation to the rest of the young emigrants, because the courses usually have a supervisor. You can come and just ask him all the questions. He can tell you how to find a doctor or buy a metro ticket, help you with the necessary paperwork, and advise you where to find a good cafe in the city. 

However, it is important for every student to be independent and know what the necessary steps to take.

Step 1

Register with the foreign police. You have to do this within three days after your arrival in the Czech Republic to provide the state authorities with information about your place of residence. Sometimes the host party does this for the guest: for example, when you stay in a hotel, it is the hotel administration that submits the documents to the appropriate authorities.    

Step 2 

Connect your cell phone and Internet service. You can do this in the nearest shopping center. You can find high-quality communications and good rates at T-Mobile and Vodafone. If you rent an apartment and need to deal with the Internet on your own, you can go to the company O2. The contract is usually signed for two years; if you move, you can register the Internet connection at the new place.

Step 3

Get a transport pass. Buying a student card for a month is much more profitable than buying a ticket every time. An important point: “stowaways” in the Czech Republic are actively fined. To apply for a transport pass in Prague, you must submit an online application at app.pidlitacka.cz. The card will be sent to your specified mailing address or you can pick it up in person. Travel coupons for a month or more can also be purchased online – through the mobile app Lítačka or on the website www.pidlitacka.cz/home.   

Step 4

Find out everything you need to know about the university you plan to attend and proceed with the paperwork. This is especially true for people who decide to try their luck at several universities at once. Dates of application and entrance exams, as well as the package of documents to be submitted may differ. So that you do not have to frantically search for an interpreter or a list of questions for the exam at the last moment, start preparing slowly and in advance.

Step 5

Open an account in a Czech bank. It will be necessary at least for visa extension, as one of the necessary documents is a confirmation from the bank that there is a certain amount in your account. In addition, a sсholarship will be transferred to this account. Mobile and Internet is also convenient to pay by wire transfer.    

Step 6

Download apps that can help with everyday life. 

Some of them are:

  • Uber, Bolt – cabs.  
  • PID Lítačka – buying a pass, calculating travel time in Prague.
  • IDOS, Jízdnířády – travel planning in Czech Republic and Europe (train, bus, etc.)
  • Mapy.cz – maps, which have an offline version. If you download the map of the desired city or region to your phone in advance, you will not get lost, even if you suddenly find yourself offline. 
  • DameJídlo – food delivery from catering establishments. 
  • Pilulka – delivery of medicines, cosmetics and household chemicals 
  • Rohlík, Košík – delivery of food and essentials (including goods for pets and children). 
  • Alza – purchase of appliances and household goods.
  • Vinted – sale and exchange of all kinds of things. If they are in good condition and the price is not decisive for you, you can sell them in just a few hours.  
  • Zásilkovna is a postal service, which is rapidly overtaking the state Czech Post. If you need to quickly and cheaply send some thing to a friend in the Czech Republic, then Zásilkovna is the most appropriate option. You don’t even have to waste time waiting in lines.

Step 7

Check in with your therapist or at least find the contact of your nearest doctor. The catch is this: when you feel good, you don’t want to think about illness. The logic: “If I feel bad, then I’ll find the right phone number,” may end up visiting a paid doctor or hospital, which is not accepted by your insurance. And then the treatment will cost several zeros. So it’s better to find out in advance where the doctor who can see you for free is located, or at least register with the nearest physician. With a temperature of 39 it will be much harder to do.   

Step 8

Look around your neighborhood and make a list of places you want to go. 

Carve out time for a walk in good weather and find:

  • ATM. Sometimes you may need cash. 
  • Gym and park. The most useful rest during the exam session is sleep and exercise. And to repeat the material, basking in the sun in the parks of Czech cities, is more pleasant than at home.
  • The nearest cafe with good Wi-Fi. It will come in handy in case the Internet connection is cut off in your phone/home, or if you just want to change the study environment. 
  • Library. An ideal place if you need to concentrate and study in silence without distractions.
  • Pharmacy. See “Step 7” about checking in with your doctor. 
  • Vietnamese store. They are usually open longer than others in the Czech Republic, and you can buy there almost everything, from bread and milk to mops and gift bags.
  • Supermarket. It is better to replenish the fridge there, not at the Vietnamese place. The choice is bigger. 

Step 9

Find contacts of good beauty salons. The easiest way to find a hairdresser, manicure and pedicure and other services is through Instagram.

Step 10

Make a raid on IKEA. Moving to the Czech Republic, involves a lot of questions on the arrangement of everyday life. Whether you live in a dormitory or rent an apartment, you can find all the things you need at “student” prices in IKEA.       

May your life in the Czech Republic be the best you can get!

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Alexandra Baranova 21 October 2021