The Land of One Hundred Spires. The Golden City. Prague has a few nicknames, but they’re all well-deserved. Prague is one of those places that you can see in photos and think, “Yeah, that place looks nice.” And then...you SEE Prague IN PERSON. Photos never really seem to do Prague justice.
Aside from the aesthetic beauty of Prague, here are a few reasons why you should earn TEFL certification in the Czech Republic:
It is affordable.
Generally, the cost of living in the Czech Republic is comparatively lower than what you’re (probably) used to dealing with in your home country. To give some perspective, a centrally located flat is easy to find for anywhere between $300 and $500 per person. If you’re coming from cities like New York, San Francisco, or Chicago, this will certainly seem like a steal.
Similarly, the cost of a TEFL course in the Czech Republic is really a great value when you consider what you’ll actually be getting for your money. Many TEFL courses in the Czech Republic are an all-inclusive kind of thing. Aside from live teaching with real students and in-class training, methodology courses, and workshops, TEFL trainees also often get access to a network of graduates (local and abroad), invitations to social events, job assistance, access to a visa service (sometimes at an additional cost), and a general safety net of like-minded individuals who can give support when needed.
There are minimal safety concerns.
The Czech Republic is a small(ish) country with just over 10 million inhabitants. Prague has the highest population in the country, but that certainly doesn’t mean that it is a dangerous city. Perhaps surprisingly, the Czech capital is a very safe city with the most frequent crime being pickpocketing, which is notorious throughout high tourism areas in Europe.
Of course there are always certain areas that locals would advise avoiding, but all in all, even as a foreigner, you can walk around with relative ease. Even as a female, you can walk through the streets at night and feel safe. There are numerous police stations and the central streets are patrolled regularly. Exercising proper caution is of course advised, but there’s really no need to be afraid of earning TEFL certification in the Czech Republic.
There is a prominent film culture.
Aside from Czech productions, quite a few foreign film production companies travel to the Czech Republic for filming every year. Whether it be using a Czech castle as a backdrop or the streets of Prague, this country is conveniently accessible to international film crews. Seeing a film set is a reasonably frequent occurrence in the Czech Republic, so one shouldn’t be surprised if the streets are closed for a big budget production at any time of the year.
What, you don’t believe me? Tom Cruise, Kate Beckinsale, Hugh Jackman, Tom Hardy, Hugh Laurie, and Jean Reno are just a few names I can drop; yes, they’ve all filmed here! Have you seen Amadeus, XxX, Mission Impossible 1, Mission Impossible 5, Casino Royale, The Prestige, or The Bourne Identity? Guess what, you’ve already seen the Czech Republic and you didn’t even know it!
The architecture is fascinating.
There’s absolutely no question that the Czech Republic is one of the coolest places to check out a wide range of architectural styles. Although the Czech Republic is a young country, these lands are certainly not. The diversity of architecture style in the Czech Republic is a photographer’s dream. Spanning centuries, seeing art nouveau, gothic, and Romanesque (just to name a few) styles all within meters of each other is, well, awesome.
Would you like to climb a tower...or seven? Sure, you can do that. Do you like old libraries? Sure, that can be arranged. Churches and cathedrals? No problem. Want to see a castle? The Prague Castle is the largest medieval castle in the world and it sports some of the best views of town. You can walk around the grounds of the castle for free and it’s easily accessible by tram or by foot. Definitely a day trip to consider while earning TEFL certification in Prague.
It is easy to get around the country, and the rest of Europe.
If you have any nerves about using public transportation, don’t. Going from city to city is relatively easy to do and the schedules are all posted online. Tickets can even be purchased electronically, too. If you’re interested in fast trains, there’s a super fast one (Pendolino) that races through the Czech Republic and a ticket is only a few hundred Crowns.
The Czech Republic is smack in the middle of Europe. Want to get to London? Paris? Madrid? Helsinki? Athens? No problem. Just hop on a plane and you can get there in just a few short hours. Most likely you’ll wait longer at the airport than the actual time you’ll spend flying. Additionally, there are some super cheap airfares available, so keeping abreast of deals can save you money and get you to all the cool places that you’re dying to see.
If you’d like to travel within the Czech Republic, the smaller size of the country is an advantage. Financially, it’s quite easy (and fast) to get around within the borders of the country. It’s just a few hours to any location, which means a fun day trip or even a weekend getaway is always nearby. Being able to wake up in the morning, have a coffee, get on a train, and visit a 600 year old castle, stop for a few beers at a local brewery, and be home by dinner is a great perk of living in the Czech Republic.
Within Prague there is an amazing public transportation system that is incredibly user friendly. Learning how to read the tram/bus/metro timetable takes no time at all, and with only three metro lines in town (and three transfer stations), it’s nearly impossible to get totally lost. Never fear, even if you DO get lost there are several smartphone apps that can save the day. Oh, and by the way, the monthly cost for a Prague area transportation card is about $25. Pretty good deal, isn’t it?
The beer (and food) is to die for.
Speaking of breweries, this place is KNOWN for beer. In short, it’s a beer drinker’s paradise. Saying that Czech beer is cheaper than water is a bit like a broken record, but it bears repeating. The stuff is inexpensive and GOOD; I mean, REALLY good. Tank beer is a big thing in the Czech Republic so if you’re a fan of fresh beer, you’ll be in heaven. There’s no shortage of pubs in the Czech Republic, so if you’re in need of a quick one, turn left or turn right and head for the nearest beer sign.
There are quite a few beer tours available and they’re all really interesting. Even if you’re not particularly interested in this type of tour, the process and production is cool to see in person. Going to a brewery is a easy day trip and when it’s coupled with some “education” and libation it’s a win-win.
Czech food pairs really well with beer (menus even suggest foods to GO WITH beer). Pickled cheese, beer cheese, sausages, and other such goodies are commonplace in the Czech Republic, so belly up to the bar and place your order!
The culture is enchanting and plentiful.
If opera, drama, or the ballet is your thing, there’s plenty to see and do in the Czech Republic. Classical music performances abound, and if you wait til the last minute, you might be able to get a discounted ticket. There are also loads of clubs for rock, jazz, and other genres of music scattered throughout the country, so whatever your preference, there’s a good chance that something will suit your fancy.
There are a lot of art galleries around too, so if you’d like a way to spend a free afternoon see if you can find some works by David Cerny. If nothing else, you can simply walk around Old Town or the Charles Bridge and catch some of the buskers. More interested in museums? There are plenty of museums to visit all over the country. Whether you’re interested in art, musical instruments, coffee, or technical objects, there’s a museum to tickle your fancy in the Czech Republic.
Everywhere is picture perfect.
All of the reasons above are just some of the reasons why the Czech Republic is a photographers paradise. Rain or shine, hot or cold, it’s nearly impossible to take a bad photo in this part of Europe. You can Instagram and Tweet your way through liters of beer, kilos of klobasa, and a seemingly endless supply of ornate and beautiful architecture. Rev up your social media accounts and dust off your lenses, the Czech Republic is waiting!
So, you want to take a TEFL course in the Czech Republic yet? Why not!? Easier said than done, right? There are loads of reasons why it’s advantageous and highly recommended for anyone to take TEFL training courses in the Czech Republic. Between the relatively small size, the culture, transportation, food, architecture, safety, affordability, and the overall grandeur of the place, you’ve just got to book your ticket ASAP. The place can suck you in and make you fall in love. Believe me, your initial year-long plan will fly by and you’ll find yourself spoiled by it all.
This article was contributed by The Language House TEFL, a company that provides TEFL training courses in Prague, Czech Republic.