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Work in Prague

Still a Great Place to Live

Teaching jobs are still plentiful in Prague and throughout the Czech Republic in high schools, private language centers, and, more rarely, universities. Qualified native-speaking language teachers are difficult to find. The demand for teachers will become even more intense now that a new Czech residency law has taken effect. Applicants for residency permits (or long-term visas) now must apply through a Czech embassy or consulate outside Czech territory.

In the past, the easiest way to find a job in Prague has been simply to come and hit the pavement. The new regulations, passed to bring Czech law into line with EU legislation, will make things much more complicated for long-term visitors. Expect the processing to take much longer than the usual two to three months for both the combined work and residency permits. According to sources at the U.S. Embassy in Prague, the strict new visa regulations may be lightened a bit in 2001. The new law has caused considerable criticism and officials seem ready to negotiate on at least the types of documentation needed to receive the long-term visa. Stay tuned to the embassy website for new information.

However, a prospective expat shouldn’t be discouraged. Native English speakers are still in high demand in Prague, and not just in the education sector. The best jobs outside of teaching usually require some knowledge of Czech, but, despite Czech’s reputed difficulty, it can be learned. The majority of good teaching jobs require at least a bachelor’s degree and either teaching experience or a TEFL certificate.

A good place for non-Czech speakers to start the job hunt is The Prague Post, www.praguepost.cz. Both The Prague Post and The Prague Business Journal, www.pbj.cz, publish an annual “Book of Lists,” which can be a very helpful resource in locating real estate agencies for the dreaded apartment hunt (in Prague decent and affordable housing can be more difficult to find than work) as well as schools, personnel services, and government and trade organizations.

An individual earning a median local income can expect to pay half his or her salary in living expenses. In- and out-of-country travel by bus is still very reasonable, and, thanks to Prague’s central European location, many off-the-beaten path destinations are fairly close by.

Despite the increase in costs and complications, Prague is still a great place to live. It’s beautiful, exciting, still affordable, and becoming more cosmopolitan every day.

For more detailed information and an explanation of the required documents and how to get them, check the following Czech government website.

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