The Czech Republic has been called the heart of Europe and I have found it well deserving of this title. Not only because of its geographical location but also based on its rich history and breathtaking views. Ready to come see for yourself?
Requirements for Youth Mobility Visa in the Czech Republic:
-Between 18 and 35 years old
-No previous youth mobility visa for CR unless you have a different purpose of stay (e.g., school, work)
-Declaration to arrange health insurance
-Return ticket or sufficient financial resources to purchase one
-Proof of financial resources 2,500CAD with a return ticket, 4,000CAD without a return ticket
-Processing fee (150 CAD)
Requirements for teaching in the Czech Republic:
-TEFL or CELTA (can be obtained in CR, check below)
-Bachelor’s degree in any subject
-Criminal record check in CR
-Good health (must pass medical check in CR)
How to get started...
Without a TEFL or CELTA:
There are various options on how to get started in the Czech Republic. If you do not already have your TEFL or CELTA a good option would be to take the course in CR. Once you have completed the course they will assist you in finding a job. Then once a job is secured your employer will work with you to apply for the necessary visa. There are many companies that offer these courses. TEFL Worldwide Prague and The Language House TEFL are two that have been highly recommended by teachers in Prague. The biggest downfall in this option is you need to take the course, find a job, and apply for your visa (from outside of the CR) all within 90 days of arriving in the country.
With a TEFL or CELTA:
If you already have a TEFL or CELTA then you can start looking for a job. If you're confused though as to which certification is right for you, check out this guide to understanding the acronyms. While it is possible to search and apply for jobs from abroad, most workplaces expect to have face to face interviews. For this reason it is easier to find a job once you are already in the country. It might seem daunting to move to a new country before securing a job but the unemployment rate in CR is approximately 2% (June 2018). That is the lowest in all of Europe. Making it relatively easy to find a job here and also turning it into a hotspot for jobseekers from all over the world. Again, once a job is found you will be able to work with your employer to obtain the necessary visa.
I choose to come to CR using a Youth Mobility Visa. This visa is available for Canadians through an agreement between Canada and CR. There may be similar arrangements between CR and your country which would definitely be worth looking into. You should be able to get this information from the Czech Embassy in your country.
For Canadians, all that you need to do is submit the required documents with your application and wait for the visa to be issued. Essentially I needed to prove I had the financial resources to cover my move to CR, and provide some additional forms and declarations. This processing time was about 2-3 months. The great thing about this visa is that it allows you to work and travel freely within the CR for one year. You can have multiple jobs, change jobs, or have no job, all without having to deal with any additional permits or visas.
Finding a Job:
Whichever option works best for you, you might still need to find a job unless you'll be living off savings. The website that I mainly used during my job search was expats.cz. I think that this site is pretty great. You can create an account on it for free to view the job postings and use a one click application by saving your resume and information to your account. There is also an option to post your resume on the website to be viewed by companies looking for employees for a small fee.
You can also find multiple Facebook groups that have job postings for expats in the CR. The postings are constantly looking for English speakers as well as speakers of many other languages. There are teaching opportunities in international schools, private schools, public schools, tutoring for businesses, or private tutoring. Plenty of jobs can be found in the Czech Republic outside of Prague if you are looking to live in small city or town. But these places will most likely have less events and less accessibility for a person who does not speak Czech.
The interview process is very standard, they will want to see that you have the required documents for the position (e.g., degree, TEFL, visa). They may also ask you to create and present a lesson. If this is the case they will either let you know before you go into the interview or they will do the initial interview and then ask you to come back to present the lesson.
Once you have accepted a job offer there are a couple more formalities to complete. You will need to get a criminal record check done within the CR. This involves going to a Czech Point office, most of which are found in the cities major post offices. The check takes approximately 30 minutes to be completed and has a small fee of 100CZK. You will also have to go to the doctor for a medical check which your job should compensated you for (600CZK).
I arrived in October and there were plenty of job postings looking for English speakers. I arranged several interviews after which I was offered multiple positions and took my choice of them. I accepted a position at a private preschool teaching English.
I had very little training at my preschool but it was easy enough to jump right in. My school is great, we often do day trips with the kids and we even have two week-long trips every year. I have a paid summer vacation and flexible holidays throughout the year. I have been very happy with my job since I started and have already decided to extend my time in Prague.
Not only do I really enjoy my job but I am also completely in love with Prague. I believe that CR is one of the best countries in Europe to work as an English teacher. The cost of living in Prague is relatively low for Central Europe. If one is careful with their pay check it should not only be enough to get by, but you should also be able to do some traveling throughout the continent.
Prague is in an optimal position for anyone who wants to do more traveling within central Europe. Another perfectly located city in Central Europe is Budapest. Check out how to teach there as well.
• While finding a job in Prague is relatively painless, finding a flat can be more difficult. If you are like me and many other expats in Prague you will probably want to get a flat share in order to save more money for traveling. In this case I recommend looking at the various Facebook groups for flats in Prague. It is very fast paced, so if you see a post you are interested in write them as soon as possible to arrange a viewing. These posts get so many responses that you may not get a reply from the poster. If they do reply and you arrange a viewing it is likely that they have set up many others so treat the flat viewing like an interview, they are trying to find the best fit for their flat.
• Do come here for the beer. The beer in CR is not only amazing but cheap too. They say that beer is cheaper than water here and that is often the case. You can find beer anywhere that you go. It’s no wonder that the Czech Republic has the highest beer consumption per capita in the world.
• The transportation system in Prague is fantastic. In the city there is the metro, trams and buses. While the metro closes around midnight there are night trams and buses that run all through the night. It is also extremely cheap for transportation here. Within the city it is very convenient to get around. You can easily take a train out of the city to visit some of the amazing sites in the country.
With so many options to get into the country, you're bound to find one that works for you. So why wait? Hop on over and enjoy all that Czech Republic has to offer!