Christine Thompson, originally from New Hampshire, has taught EFL for the past 20 years in the Kansai Area of Japan, as well as in the Slovak and Czech Republics. She currently works as Director of Studies for Threshold Training Associates and as Lead Trainer and Career Placement Specialist for TEFL International Prague. Today she gives her take on living and working in Prague.
The variety of work available in Prague, and in the Czech Republic generally, alone makes this a very attractive destination for teachers. In addition to the abundant teaching opportunities in private language schools, there is also a lot of pre-school, public primary and secondary school work as well as teaching in universities, summer-camps and after-school programs. Many teachers teach in-company, or teach exam preparation and soft-skills courses where they can meet and work with interesting professionals from a range of local and multinational industries.
As well as being a destination for more seasoned teachers, Prague is also an ideal place to start one’s teaching career. The teaching community is large, varied and quite supportive. In the local TEFL industry development and net-working opportunities abound.
Acres of green spaces, well-preserved historical architecture and the thriving cultural life make Prague a great city to both live and work in. Its central location also means travel to any of the five countries sharing the Czech border are easily accessible within a matter of hours after leaving Prague’s city centre.
The cost of living, when compared to other European capitals of similar size, is quite low and you can have quite a rich life here on a comparatively small income. The cultural and entertainment offerings are seemingly endless with festivals and events for music, food, beer, film, and theatre taking place almost constantly. This in addition to cornucopia of opera houses, theatres, museums and galleries, and music and sport venues. Then there is the vast selection of restaurants, pubs, bars, side-walk cafes and cinemas. Prague has a thriving ex-pat community offering a wide range of cultural events in a selection of languages.
For those interested in spending time in the great outdoors, there are hiking and biking trails, alpine and cross-country ski runs and lakes for water-sports a plenty. In addition to all this are more urban sports facilities like yoga and dance studios, fitness centres and martial arts studios, as well as football and softball fields and tennis and beach volleyball courts. Several professional sports teams are based in Prague with a host of sporting events for an eclectic range of tastes.
Traditional Czech cuisine is both hearty and plentiful but in the country’s capital, more diverse exotic cuisines also prevail. Choose from vegan burgers and raw cakes to Vietnamese, Middle Eastern, Indian and Mexican delights. The local coffee shops are in a league of their own and the pub and bar scene is not to be missed. Even the ‘bad’ beer in the Czech Republic trumps what you’d be served in most places around the globe. Come to Prague and check out the Czechs!
Threshold Training Associates also use our Jobs Abroad Bulletin sister site to recruit English teachers.