Spotlight On The Czech Republic
The home of beer. A language which produces a tongue twister like this: strc prst skrz krk. The home of Skoda, which means “damage”, even in that language. Even the unrest sounds nice: the Velvet Revolution. What’s not to love?
The Czech Republic, specifically Prague, has been something of a mecca for travelers and expats alike for the last fifteen years or so. Well-preserved historic buildings and nearly all the West has to offer at rather reasonable prices.
TEFL International, along with a plethora of others, offers one-month intensive TEFL training in Prague. Teachers at Dave’s ESL Café warn that while language schools abound in Prague, so do newly trained EFL teachers; many schools capitalize on this and offer only a bare-bones hourly salary involving split shifts and lots of travel between in-company teaching sites. One way around this is to find work in other cities like Brno or Plzen, but for those with endless affinity for Prague…there is no substitute.
“Czech” out some Bootsnall travel stories to see if it might be for you: Get the low-down on several of the main cities in the Czech Republic in Day Trips From Prague (by Bootsnall Intern Tom Barry), and empathize through Daniel Villiers experience trying to communicate with some strangers at a pub as well as with his Czech girlfriend’s French-speaking mother. Finally, sign up for a 12-step program of Czech drinking etiquette (with Tom Barry as your mentor).
Czech arts abound too: if you happen to be in New York, you might make a show of Vaclav Havel’s theatre of the absurd, if you’re not there’s always Milan Kundera, or Prague, by Arthur Phillips, which is actually about some expats in Budapest (which I should point out is in Hungary, not the Czech Republic at all). A large number of films are filmed in the Czech Republic, including Everything is Illuminated and not surprisingly Czech films Kolya, Divided We Fall and Czech Dream.
Stay tuned to the TEFL Logue for an interview with an EFL teacher in Prague, and for more info on this geographic area, try the TEFL Logue Overview on Working In Europe or the Finding A Job Table Of Contents.