Come for the internship, stay for the pilsners. Sitting centrally in the heart of the European continent, the Czech Republic has had a long history of Eastern and Western influence, independent disposition, and world-class breweries. Today it is a highly developed nation which escaped Soviet dominance opting for a quick rise to its own prosperity. Holding on to an Eastern European aesthetic and offering an exciting change of pace from the Western half of the continent, internships in the Czech Republic provide individuals with an enriching stepping stone to an international career.
You will find that most international internships in the Czech Republic are located in the thriving capital city of Prague. A city renowned for its architectural beauty, living history, and impassioned nightlife, Prague is also home to most of the Czech Republic’s preeminent companies and research institutions. It is currently listed as an alpha global city, making it one of the most internationally connected metros in the world. And its appeal goes far beyond business - a calm, collected everyday veneer hardly masks the rebellious undertones which make Prague a lively and exciting place to live for any intern abroad in the Czech Republic.
As a fairly small country with only ten million inhabitants, it is rarer to find available internships in the Czech Republic outside of its central international hub of Prague. However smaller cities, such as Brno, Breclav, and Ostrava, all are potential areas of placement depending on your internship field. These much smaller destinations may offer a less touristy, more authentic Czech feel about them too - but do not be surprised when less people are willing or able to speak English!
Prague is a home to many international businesses, making the city an ideal internship destination for those interested in such fields as Media, Marketing, and Communications. A perk of internship placements in the latter fields is that English tends to be the language of international business, so prospective interns need not be able to speak Czech (though it’s always nice to learn a bit to show you are making an effort).
Prague is also an artistically rich city, making internships in the fields of Art, Architecture, and Graphic Design quite popular as well. There are a plethora of national museums and theaters in addition to a thriving underground counterculture, making the capital city a premier destination for all sorts of artsy types. Outside of Prague, you will find similar internship opportunities in business, engineering, and arts.
The balmy summer weather makes this the most popular season for interning abroad in the Czech Republic, but many internships are made available year round and last longer than just a few months. Research the programs you are interested in and plan accordingly knowing that winters can be cold, snowy, and gray. If you don’t mind winter weather than interning in the Czech Republic can be equally enjoyable and beautiful when laden with snow rather than sunshine.
Salary & Costs
The Czech Republic is cheaper than most Western European countries, yet more expensive than most Eastern European countries; probably what you would expect from Central Europe. The Czech national currency is the crown (CZK), and prices are quite reasonable throughout the country, but generally will be more expensive if you live and intern in Prague.
Depending on your field of placement, internships can be paid or unpaid in the Czech Republic. Your odds of receiving a regular salary tend to increase with the profitability of the industry. However many internships in the Czech Republic will also compensate interns with room and board, helping to make your stay affordable.
Accommodations & Visas
During your internship in the Czech Republic you may want to consider either independent living arrangements or a homestay. Many intern abroad programs will help arrange accommodation to make your planning and adjusting a bit easier. Homestays are a great way to have an intimate experience with Czech Culture, by allowing you to become part of a family and enjoy regular home cooked meals (as opposed to buying sausage or wienerschnitzel from the same street vendor everyday). Apartment living is a good way to lead a more autonomous lifestyle, and often internship providers will help to hook you up with roommates. Types of available housing vary from region to region of the country, and options tend to be cheaper away from city centers, as you’d expect.
If you are planning to live and work in the Czech Republic for more than 90 days, or if you are to be employed in a paid internship, then you will likely need to apply for a worker’s visa. Your internship provider will often guide you through the process of attaining the appropriate visa. To find out more information on visa requirements, find a Czech embassy or consulate in your home country in GoAbroad’s Embassy Directory.
Benefits & Challenges
Interning abroad in the Czech Republic offers the unique opportunity for adventurous individuals to enjoy the strong infrastructure and global connectivity of a European country along with the distinct architecture and rich culture of the region. A historically fascinating, scenically beautiful, and flat-out fun place to live, the Czech Republic should be a target destination for any intern abroad. It is a country full of life and ripe with unique internship opportunities to begin an international career in whatever your field of interest may be.