Why did you choose Prague? What did you know about Prague before coming here?
A few years ago, I read a fantasy series that partially took place in Prague. I remember being enchanted by the whimsical setting as the author described a skyline of spires and tucked away pubs that used to be war bunkers. I didn’t know much about the city in real life – only that the beer was cheaper than water—but I wanted to find out just how much of a fairy tale it really was.
What made you want to change your life and take a TEFL program in a foreign country?
I had plans to start graduate school in the fall of 2019, but things didn’t exactly work out the way I had hoped. As a backup plan, I knew I wanted to live abroad and I stumbled across the opportunity to work as an English teacher in Prague. I found the idea to be intriguing at first, but eventually, everything just aligned and I ended up booking a one-way ticket.
Were you afraid to take a step into the unknown and move to a different country/start a new career? Did you have any doubts? What helped you overcome your fears?
I was actually less terrified than I expected to be when I first arrived in Prague. The nice thing about the TEFL course is that it doesn’t really give you any spare time to be homesick, as there’s so much to do and learn from the moment the classes begin. I was able to meet new people right away and we were all sharing this experience in a way that made me feel very supported.
How was your first month in Prague? What was positive? What was challenging?
The first month flew by before I could even fully process it. The weekdays were full of TEFL studies and lesson planning, and the weekends were spent cramming for lessons and staying out too late in the pubs. I felt like I was constantly meeting people and tried to use any free time I had to explore the city.
What were the best and worst moments of your TEFL course?
I would definitely say that the best part of my TEFL course was how supportive the class was. We were all incredibly different people, but we always made a point to help one another through the entire process of exams, lesson planning, and de-stressing after a long week. As far as the worst moments go, I can really only recall one instance after my very first practice lesson that did not go at all how I had hoped it would. But I was able to take the constructive feedback I was given and improve with each new lesson.
Did your expectations from the course differ from the actual reality of it? Did you think it would be easier or harder?
Before I signed up, I read that the course was very intense and demanding. I can strongly confirm this to be true, and I remember the deep sense of relief I felt once we made it through to the end. It definitely requires you to really commit your time and energy to those four weeks. It is in no way a course you can just breeze through.
What do you like the most about life in Prague/the Czech Republic/Europe?
I love that Prague makes the rest of Europe so easily accessible, as it has often been called the heart of the continent. I’ve been able to travel to many new destinations both in and out of the Czech Republic, and I also love that I can meet people from so many different corners of the world. It is also worth noting that Prague is a very affordable city that is walkable, full of nature, and has some of the best public transportation in Europe.
In what aspect did your life change the most?
I think the main change is the extreme growth in my cultural perspective, especially when it comes to language. I’ve had some very humbling moments as a native English speaker and it has helped me see language and communication from new perspectives. I also think I’ve grown more adaptable and resilient as the time has gone by and I have a better idea of what I want out of life moving forward.
If you had a chance to go back in time, would you come to Prague again? Is there something you would do differently?
I have no doubt that I would come to Prague again. If I could do anything differently, I think I would have tried to start learning Czech a lot earlier.
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