Teaching English in Prague mini-guide (video): teaching jobs, accommodation, visas
We're going to be talking about working, teaching English in the Czech Republic, specifically Prague, the capital city of the Czech Republic.
Teaching English abroad. It's one of the most fun citing and rewarding jobs out there. But choosing what country to teach in is really complicated sometimes. And it's a difficult decision to make. I have to think about visas and resident's permits and where you're going to live. And you have to do all of that may be in the language you don't speak. So it can be really overwhelming.
But hopefully, this video will help you make your decision a little bit easier. We're going to be talking about working, teaching English in the Czech Republic, specifically Prague, the capital city of the Czech Republic. So if you want to know what it's like working in Prague as an English teacher, keep on watching.
The Czech Republic is a small landlocked country and central Europe. Not Eastern Europe, Central Europe - don't make that mistake. And it's the capital city is Prague. When I'm talking in this video, I'm mostly speaking about Prague because it is the capital city. That's where you will find most of the English teaching opportunities.
And Prague is a really great city to live in. It's very easy. It's very foreign-friendly. And while it's great for everyone to live and work, it's especially good for people who want to work as an English teacher in Europe, but don't have EU citizenship or an EU passport. It can be really difficult sometimes to find a teaching job in Europe, because if you don't have EU citizenship or an EU passport. It means your work will have to sponsor you. You need to get a work visa that that workplace will then sponsor you for. That's not something you really have to worry about in the Czech Republic. And I will talk about that more later in the video.
Living in Prague as an English Teacher
Another great thing about Prague is that it's an incredibly affordable city, especially considering it's the capital city. Compared to other capital cities and, more Western European countries, you're really not going to be spending as much as you would in say, Paris or Madrid. You get a lot of bang for your buck. When it comes to eating out, shopping for groceries, shopping for clothes, you won't be spending that much money.
One of the only drawbacks, that thing that might cost a little bit more than you would expect is accommodation because Prague is trying to increase its international standing. It's attracting a lot of workers right now, other Czech people who are looking for more opportunities in the big city, as well as foreigners who are looking for work and some of the big multinational companies that have set up their, Eastern or Western headquarters in Prague.
For that reason, the demand for accommodation is higher than the actual accommodation that is around. That being said, if you live in shared accommodation, a house or an apartment and you are renting the room, that will run you from about $350 us to about $500 per month. That might be far cheaper than what you would find in a place like Paris but it is still a bit pricey. If you want to live alone, that will be, a bit more expensive, obviously for a studio or a small apartment that will be anywhere from $500 on up to $1000.
You can find cheaper options than this, but it will require a lot of groundwork and you may even want to hire an agency. Agencies take a fee to help you find your accommodation, but they're also really useful and helpful. They'll find a landlord or they work with landlords who I don't mind hosting people who are not EU. Because you have to get a special visa. And that requires your landlord or to sign off on it.
How do you get a teaching job in Prague?
Like most teaching jobs abroad, the best way to do it is to hop online and do a search for schools that are looking for English teachers. So we'll leave a few links. And the description to help you out on your search, but that's really the best way to do it is to look online and then apply to schools that seem interesting to you.
There is no shortage of language schools in Prague. They teach English as well as other languages. So, if you are multilingual or bilingual, you'll have a real leg up. If you can teach more than one right language, they also will, I'll take non-native speakers to teach English. So if you have a near-fluent level of English, you are perfectly capable of working at a language school in Prague.
Best practices to get a job in Prague is to apply online.
Once you've made contact with a language school, the usual process is they will ask you for a quick interview, kind of tit, just get an understanding and an idea of why you want to be a teacher. Why you want to work in Prague after that, you will probably do a mock lesson online. They might give you a grammar point or a conversation goal that they want you to focus on. You will create a lesson and then you'll speak to the member of their staff as if they were a student.
And that's just to measure, how you went are in the classroom, how you interact with people. So even if you don't have any teaching experience, they want to see that you're able to learn.
You don't have to have a TEFL or a CELTA or language certifications to work at a language school in Prague. But of course it doesn't hurt. The more experience you have, the more likely you are to get a job.
That being said, there are lots of language schools that actually offer TEFL courses for new teachers. These are one to three-month courses that you take at the language school, and when you're done and you've graduated. You then work at the language school, teaching their students.
Getting a visa to the Czech Republic
Let's talk about everyone's favorite subject, getting your visa, getting her visa can be really complicated. There's a lot of bureaucracy. There's a lot of red tape. But you do need a visa to legally live and work in the Czech Republic. Let's talk about how you get one.
As I mentioned before, it can be very difficult to work in Europe if you're not an EU citizen or don't have an EU passport, but in the Czech Republic, there's a magical freelance visa. Now the freelance visa is a really great option. It's not tied to any particular work or even any particular field. So you are a freelancer. That means that you have the flexibility to work, where you want however many hours you want.
Freelance visa for an English teacher in Prague
Not all jobs will accept a freelance visa. However, most teaching jobs, if not all teaching jobs probably we'll accept the freelance visa. The great thing about this visa is you can also apply when you arrive in Prague or in Europe. There are so many people who want to get this visa, it's recommended that you don't actually apply in Prague.
There are lots of countries that border Prague, including Germany and Poland. It's suggested that you go to one of the big cities in Germany or Poland that have an embassy or consulate, associated with the Czech Republic, and apply for your visa. Because the visa is not tied to a particular workplace, you don't need to get a job offer before you start applying for your visa. So as soon as you hit the ground in Prague, you can start the paperwork to apply for your visa. Even if you don't have a job already lined up.
What do you need to apply for the visa?
It's pretty standard. If you've applied to get your visa in any other European country, you know, the drill, but here's what you'll need.
- Copies of your passport
- Signed and notarized copy of your lease agreement from your landlord
- Bank statement ($5000)
As I mentioned before, sometimes landlords don't want to do this kind of visa because you technically work from home. Most people don't work from home, and as an English teacher, it's not likely that you'll have students in and out of your apartment all day. But because you're on a freelance visa, that is a possibility that's legal and lots of times landlords don't want to deal with the hassle of that. You'll also need a bank statement, proving that you have at least $5,000 in a bank account that you have access to. So it should have your name on it. You'll also need the report of your criminal background to apply for your freelance visa.
Fortunately, this is something that can also be done once you are in Prague. You'll just have to visit the consulate or embassy of your home country. It costs about $50 for the US. Technically you need a background check from every country that you've lived in for more than six months in the past three years. If you've lived in another country, let's say for a year, you should also get a criminal background check from that country. If there is an external visa, so it's not present in your, passport, you might be able to get around this rule, but it is technically something that you need to have to get your freelance visa.
How long does it take to get your visa?
So since most people usually apply, once they've already arrived in Paris, it takes about three to four months to get your visa. And that's why it's recommended that you go to a different country and apply there to kind of expedite the process. That being said, it can still take a really long time. You want to have your documents ready when you get to Prague as soon as possible because for most people you're only allowed in the country for three months without some kind of visa or documentation.
Pros and cons of teaching English in Prague
Thankfully there are more pros than cons. It's a beautiful and historic city. There's great architecture. It's the home of Kafka. There's a great literary and art history, associated with the city, and with the country. There are castles, but it's also so very international and very modern. So you get the best of both worlds. There's also a thriving international ex-pat community. So you can connect with people from your home country. You can meet new people from all over the world. It's great to grab a Pivo or a beer with them.
While Prague is an inexpensive city to live in. And, it's not really a place where you're going to be able to save a lot of money while teaching.
You can have multiple jobs, of course, but it's not really a savings kind of city. I would also suggest that you come with a fair amount of money with you so that you can pay for some of these upfront costs. Paying an agency to help you with your visa paying agencies, to help you find accommodation. putting down a deposit on apartments, things like this, there's a lot of upfront costs and it's just not a city where you'll be able to save.
You can live very comfortably on an English teacher's salary, but don't expect to go home with a fat savings account. So that's everything about Prague.
I hope this was useful for you, and I hope it makes your decision of where to teach English a little bit easier.