The Czech Republic is a small country with just over 10 million inhabitants located in the heart of Europe. From its medieval founding as the Kingdom of Bohemia to its centuries spent under the Austrian Empire to its most recent tension-fraught rule under the Soviet Union, the Czech people have shown tremendous resilience throughout history and today enjoy life in one of the most stable and peaceful countries in the world. Volunteering in the Czech Republic is a terrific opportunity to experience this great land and culture while giving back.
Prague is the capital of the Czech Republic. It is not only by far the largest city in the country, but also a major cultural, economic, and artistic center for all of Europe. From some of the continent’s most stunning architecture and historical attractions to the rebellious undertones which pulsate through the city’s infamous nightlife, Prague is a fun and exciting city for volunteers from all over the world to volunteer their time in. The beer is not so bad, either.
Volunteer work in Prague places volunteers in the country’s only major global city, but there are a variety of other smaller metropolitan areas which can offer the chance to volunteer in the Czech Republic in a more quaint and authentically Czech environment. Brno and Ostrava, the Czech Republic’s second and third largest cities, are each fascinating places to live and will give individuals who volunteer in the Czech Republic true insight into the local culture. Be mindful though that the further you move away from Prague, the less people you will find speaking English in the Czech Republic!
Some volunteer programs in the Czech Republic also place prospective volunteers in villages or smaller rural areas in the countryside, depending on the project. Research carefully where you want to volunteer in the Czech Republic, and base your decision on which location seems like it can provide the most rewarding opportunities in your interest areas and the greatest personal development.
Projects & Placements
The Czech Republic is one of the most fully developed countries to emerge from behind the Iron Curtain. Czech inhabitants enjoy a high quality of life, good economic performance, and a stable governmental system. But this is speaking only in terms of broad reaching averages. Like in every country, there are large underserved populations which fall between the cracks, and this is where volunteers can step in to lessen the gap.
Volunteer placements in the Czech Republic in the areas of childcare and education are very popular in both urban and rural locations, particularly in the fields of teaching English and working in youth development. Volunteering at a local community center, as a camp counselor, or at a local orphanage are all fantastic ways to make a positive impact on the lives of locals in your new home. The Czech Republic is ranked as the fifth most environmentally conscious nation in the world, so you will find plenty of opportunities to volunteer in habitat and wildlife preservation projects across the country as well.
Many volunteer programs in the Czech Republic also feature the opportunity for outside excursions and culturally immersive opportunities, giving you the chance to have some fun on top of your hard work. You do not typically have to speak Czech to volunteer in the Czech Republic, leaving the door open to anyone who is interested in lending a helping hand.
Costs & Affordability
The Czech Republic is a reasonably priced country, though you will find that costs of living can prove significantly higher in the big cities (Prague especially). As a volunteer in the Czech Republic, it is likely that your program fees will cover most of the everyday costs, such as housing and meals, so the payment you make upfront will by far be the largest expense you incur. Fundraising with family and friends is a good way to go about working toward your monetary goal for volunteering abroad, check out FundmyTravel to get started.
Accommodation & Visas
Most volunteer programs in the Czech Republic will set you up either in group housing or with a homestay. Homestays are a very popular option because they allow volunteers to really immerse in Czech culture while creating lifetime bonds with a host family (the home-cooked meals are an extra bonus). Different programs will offer different accommodation opportunities, so check out what is available and decide carefully which seems like the best fit for you.
You will only need a visa to volunteer abroad in the Czech Republic if you plan on staying for longer than the 90 day time period allotted for tourists (citizens of the EU will not need one regardless). If you do plan on volunteering in the Czech Republic for more than three months then consult your program on the best way to obtain the appropriate visa you will need, and also check out GoAbroad’s Embassy Directory for more specifics on the Czech Visa policy toward your home country.
Benefits & Challenges
Volunteering abroad in the Czech Republic can be a once in a lifetime opportunity to fully experience one of Europe’s most intriguing countries while leaving behind a positive impact on local communities. From the cobblestone streets and sweeping gothic architecture of Prague to the diverse Central European landscape, including four national parks, the Czech Republic offers a wealth of beauty and culture to be explored for volunteers from all over the world.