abroad · Backpacking · Czech Republic · Destination Unknown · Europe · Expat · immigrant · language · Long term travel · polyglot · Prague · Uncategorized

4 Useful Things Living in Prague as an English Speaker

1. Navigating the Posta (Post Office)
Here is a really helpful guide I frequently used for reference whenever I needed to send a package or a postcard. Keep in mind things like Customs, so even sending an 11×14 package envelope was around 854CZK (35$). Also, make sure you have a translation app on you that works without WiFi, just in case if the teller doesn’t or won’t speak English.
2. Exercising
Be prepared to pay a little more, in some cases, to have availability of English speaking staff. I spent time at Karma Yoga, which always had helpful staff and they have 89CZK specials for certain classes in English (usually early or late in the day, you can find out more on their website). I also spent time at Kosa Gym Kickboxing Club, and I highly recommend them. They also offer one free session, and drop in fees are 200CZK.
3. Art classes

There are a few Ateliers in Prague which also have English speaking staff available to you. I went to a Figure Drawing studio at this Atelier, and I went back a few times (when my budget and schedule allowed). It meets Tuesdays and Thursdays, and a drop in fee is roughly 400CZK (17$). They also have other courses(Portraits, Graphic work etc.), a mini art store in the actual studio, and offer summer/children’s classes as well.
There is also a once a month Figure drawing meet up at Prague College, details can be found here.
Another Atelier is with Štěpán Beránek, a really good figurative sculptor who offers sculpture and figure drawing courses. Unfortunately, I never made enough money to afford one of his figurative courses.

4. Foreign Language Lessons
Ah yes, it’s quite likely that if you’re here you want to capitalize on this time by learning a new language. Well, if you want to learn Czech, you’re in luck! Some language schools offer free Czech lessons to their English teachers, these are usually 90 minute lessons once a week and at two levels (beginner/elementary and Intermediate). If you want to take lessons, there are a couple of good schools in Prague that specialize in just Czech (Czech for Foreigners and Czech Courses Prague), and then you can always search ads on Expats.cz for individual instructors.
However, if you want to learn a different language and your first language isn’t Czech, you’re going to have a harder time. All language courses available for semesters, will be from a Czech L1 (native language) to whatever language. There are no English, Spanish etc. options if that’s [English] your native language. Depending on the language, you might be able to find an instructor for 300CZK+ per 60 minutes once a week, on websites like Expats.cz or through Facebook groups.  But, it’s actually a lot more difficult than you might think in the beginning. I couldn’t find an English to German, German teacher and the only time I found someone who offered it was less than a few weeks before I was about to leave.

What are your experiences learning languages in Europe? Have you gone in as a native speaker of ‘X’ and been unable to learn the language you wanted? Or did you have a positive experience finding a teacher?
I’m currently in Austin, TX and i’m hoping to take German lessons through the German-Texan Heritage Society.


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