The Internet is full of colorful descriptions of the beauty of the capital of the Czech Republic, epithets about its architectural splendor and tourist attractiveness. You’ve probably already heard the words “city of a thousand spires”, “city of red tiles “and “fabulous Prague”. Every year, many tourists come here from all over the world, international students study here, sketches of cinema masterpieces and history are created. However, what is Prague?
Today, the capital is home to about 1,300,000 people, mostly Czechs, but also representatives of other nations: Vietnamese, Russian and Ukrainian communities are the largest in the country, in addition, you can meet Chinese, Germans and sometimes Austrians, Hungarians, Serbs, and the Czech Republic is becoming increasingly popular with the Japanese. The Slovak population is almost completely lost among the Czech population, but this is only from the point of view of foreigners. Historically, the city formed the Jewish district of Josefov. However, the share of other ethnic groups is no more than 5% of the Czech. The number of foreign students who choose to study in Prague is steadily growing, now it is about 43 thousand people who study in Czech for free.
Benefits of studying in Prague
Summarizing the above features of Prague life, we can highlight the following advantages of this city for the student:
Travel privileges. For three months of using any transport, you pay less than 15 euros! (if you are studying at a state University and are between 18 and 26 years old).
Many acceptable accommodation options. Prague is the center of University life in the country, so the dormitories are scattered throughout the city from the residential areas to the very center. Most often, students live in the residence of their University, but if necessary, you can settle at another Institute.
In addition, many foreigners, after studying for some time and meeting new friends, gather and rent an apartment near the center. The option of student apartments is very popular among the Czechs themselves, although this option is more expensive and difficult for foreigners.
Medicine. In the Czech Republic, much attention is paid to health care, hospitals and clinics have all the necessary specialists. However, most often people turn to doctors in private practice. All of them have state accreditation, pass the necessary checks, and their visits are covered by insurance. On average, a General insurance policy will cost 40 euros per month. When applying for a student visa, you will be required to provide a Czech company policy for at least six months.
Employment opportunity. Among Czech students, the so-called brigády is widespread – they are temporary summer part-time work, which also often happens during the rest of the year after school. Foreigners studying at Czech universities are also allowed to work up to 20 a week, and it is not difficult to find employment in Prague on comfortable terms.
Due to its small population, Prague is a fairly comfortable, quiet city, which, however, will not make you bored for a minute. A typical day here starts at 7-8 o’clock in the morning, cafes, shops, and other organizations begin their work quite early and close around 8 PM. Only večerka works around the clock, which is usually kept by Vietnamese people who like to work a lot and for a long time. Albert, Billa, Tesco and Kaufland chain stores are very popular in the country, their prices do not differ much from each other and each of them provides discount coupons. The most profitable way to get it is to hand over glass bottles to special devices that are installed on almost every trading floor. In the Czech Republic, as in many EU countries, the eco-theme is developed, the cost of a glass bottle is indicated in the receipt separately, so if you hand it over for secondary use, you will get the money back.
Global fast-food chains are certainly also common, but Czechs prefer to visit restaurants that are most often called hospoda. These places resemble an English pub, where you can have a hearty lunch during the day (because the portions, for example, in Ferdinanda are simply gigantic), and in the evening try real, authentic Czech beer, which you can’t even find in duty-free. Also, every year more and more citizens become adherents of a healthy lifestyle, so interesting healthy lifestyle places are opening up.
Prague has been actively developing the metro network for more than 100 years, and the city is also famous for its tram routes that pass by the main attractions. The development of bus lines is also not far behind – at the moment there are more than 100 of them. It often jokes about Czech public transport drivers that in their previous lives they were formula 1 drivers because the probability that transport will arrive off schedule is almost zero. At the same time, the trip will be comfortable, on modern, air-conditioned buses and trams. The most exciting thing is to go to the end of the car, stand at the huge rear window (and in the case of a new tram, you can sit) and admire the paving stones running away from under the rails, changing views of Baroque balustrades and architectural monuments.
The Prague metro closes quite early – at 12 a.m, and in the evening trains run every 10 minutes. However, the website of the General transport system of the city will definitely tell you the most convenient way and places for transfers and will indicate exactly to the minute when and where you need to be to get to the desired point on time. Night buses and trams run through Prague in the late hours.
As for tickets, they are of several types: for 30 minutes, for 90 minutes, for a day, for 3 days, and then for a period from a month to a year. A student discount ticket is purchased a minimum for months and costs approximately 120 CZK (4,5 EUR). Any type of travel card is valid in the metro, on land transport, and even on the funicular and small water ferry that runs along the Vltava river near Visegrad.