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As seen in Transitions Abroad Magazine January/February 2005
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Teaching English in the Czech Republic

For Job Opportunities Explore the Country

By Meredith Fox

I had heard some horror stories about teaching in the Czech Republic, but it seems that many of those people were not prepared or encountered corrupt, poorly managed schools. Try to talk to teachers at the school where you are considering teaching and find out what the environment is like and what resources will be available to you.

One of the most important things to do is to figure out where you want to live. If you're a cosmopolitan person, and nothing but a city will do, then teach in Prague. But if you're more flexible, it might be worth it to try a smaller city, such as Liberec, Olomouc, Brno, or Pilsen. Any place that has a university will offer a chance to interact with younger people and offer more diverse entertainment options. Understand that the living conditions are generally far from luxurious and that smaller towns may not be overly welcoming to foreigners. Try to research or visit the places where you are offered a job before making your decision.

I worked at a university, which provided me with a steady paycheck, insurance, paid vacation, and teacher housing. The university also helped me get all of the documents I needed for a visa, which isn't easy when you are applying from outside the Czech Republic.

When you're looking at a job, inquire about housing, because apartments can be very expensive if they are not provided or subsidized by the school.

For extra travel money, I taught part-time at a private school. There were several that hired teachers on a freelance basis. I also taught private lessons by the hour. I had no problem finding private students, and even turned down a few opportunities to teach. The best way to find them was to put the word out among other English teachers, the university, and private schools.

For More Information:

A great site to start learning about the Czech Republic is www.myczechrepublic.com. It has active message boards, language tools, detailed information about food, culture, and all other essentials for planning a trip.

See TransitionsAbroad.com's section on teaching English in the Czech Republic for information on teaching in both the Czech and Slovak Republics.

MEREDITH FOX is currently working in Washington, DC while pursuing a master's degree in International Training and Education at American University. She has taught English in the Czech Republic and Mexico and studied in Spain and Brazil.

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