The Czech Republic is a country consisting of Bohemia, Moravia and Czech Silesia with a population of just over 10 million. In the period between the two world wars it was one of the richest and most democratic countries in Europe, but unfortunately the long communist interlude brought the country to its knees, which is slowly recovering after the fall of the Berlin Wall. Prague is one of themost visited city in Europe. Currently many foreigners are living in the Czech Republic. There is no sea, but there are lakes and mountains and some really charming landscapes.
The infrastructure system is good (and still being rebuilt after its decline during the Soviet era). Its location in the heart of Central Europe allows you to reach many European cities in just a few hours by car, train or bus. The whole country is served by fast, cheap and clean public transport, so you do not need a car for your travels.
Everywhere in the Czech Republic there is an intense cultural life. There are many museums and galleries, plus many theaters, open-air museums, science centers, etc.
Health care is free, but outside the major cities the quality is rapidly declining. In the major centers, however, public health care is at an excellent level, and the training of young doctors and nurses is exceptionally good.
Education is free and of a good standard. There are also private schools, but they tend to be smaller and are not generally regarded by Czechs as equivalent to private schools.
People are generally quite cold and distant, I would almost say unfriendly. Those who have lived abroad are generally much friendlier and more willing to help people with language problems. Everyone minds their own business, respects the privacy of others, and is suspicious of anyone they do not know. This is also because there are still few people who are used to traveling and are therefore unwilling to accept immigrants.
One thing to appreciate immediately is the feeling of freedom. The Czech Republic is a place where you can live and let live. There is a kind of personal freedom where everyone can do whatever they want and no one cares. Unless you hurt others. The Czech Republic is called an island of freedom in Europe. Here, “What is not forbidden is allowed,” and you can basically do whatever you want as long as you do not hurt anyone. People tend to live together in peace, tolerance and freedom.
However, it must be said that xenophobia is increasing, people complain about the phenomenon of immigration. They’re afraid of illegal immigrants (of which there are very few) and are very suspicious of people whose religion is Islam. Therefore, non-Caucasian people are generally viewed with suspicion and treated differently.
Many claim that “everyone speaks English” in the Czech Republic. However, this is not true at all. When we are in the tourist areas, most people speak English. But as soon as we leave the big cities, hardly anyone speaks English. Czech is a very difficult language to learn unless you already know other Slavic languages, and even if you try to communicate in Czech, unfortunately the locals do not bother to speak slower or use simpler words.
The climate, of course, is not the country’s strong point either. Winter can be very long and depressing, but when spring and summer come, it is really very nice.
The cost of living is not high, but on the other hand, salary levels are also generally low. The cost of services and prices in general are increasing, but are offset by the increase in wages. The main problem is the housing market, especially in Prague, where prices for apartments are more or less the same as in other major European capitals. The real estate market is also extremely competitive, and often owners do not rent to foreigners.
Speaking of labor, being a small post-communist country, the economy is quite small, and people are still used to relatively low wages. This means that you should be prepared to get significantly less than in other Western European countries. On the other hand, the cost of living is also much lower than in these countries. In general, the Czech Republic has a low unemployment rate, but wages and job opportunities decrease rapidly as one moves away from the larger cities.
The sectors that offer more job opportunities for those who are not familiar with the Czech language are:
- Call center sector,there are many BPO companies here that also have offers for native English speakers
- IT sector, ithere are many multinational companies and local start-ups
- Service sector, in Prague and all major tourist cities there are thousands of cafes, bars, restaurants, etc., but it will be difficult to get a job without knowing the language. Once you learn the basics of the language, it will not be difficult to find a job
Living and working in the Czech Republic, pros and cons
Living in the Czech Republic, Pros
- Acceptable bureaucracy
- High quality medical care
- Security and personal freedom
- Low cost of living
Living in the Czech Republic, cons
- Social integration, Czechs generally dislike and despise foreigners
- Gray and rainy weather most of the year
- Difficult language to learn
- Low salaries
Living and working in the Czech Republic, conclusion
In the Czech Republic there is no great social disparity between people. According to the World Peace Index, the country ranks seventh among the most peaceful countries. The crime rate is low and there are very few dangerous areas.
The unemployment rate is extremely low, but incomes are lower than in other developed countries. This is compensated by relatively low prices, although prices for consumer goods are rising rapidly.
In summary, I would say that the Czech Republic could be a great place for those who are looking for a quiet and relaxed life, but some interesting job opportunities (with the exception of the IT sector) are very hard to find.