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Trainee Stories – Matt

We ask one of our current trainees, Matt, a few questions about his experience during the course.

Where are you from and why did you choose the Czech Republic?

I was born in Massachusetts, USA and raised in Maryland, just outside of Washington, DC. I chose to move to the Czech Republic after I gained my Irish citizenship (via ancestry) and graduated from college. I worked for 2 years after graduation to build enough of a financial cushion to be able to move comfortably. The historic architecture, cuisine, and nightlife are only a few things that guided me to Prague.

What do you think of Prague?

I’ve loved Prague so far. It’s been 4 weeks since my arrival and it is everything that I imagined and more. The public transportation system is extremely easy to handle, and the cost of living is still quite low, as long as you are outside the city center. The beer is unbelievable, and if you haven’t tried Czech guláš (goulash) you have yet to experience life. It is helpful to have some Czech friends early on, though, as the best local banks and institutions operate solely in Czech.

How are you finding the course so far?

It’s intensive, but it’s exactly what I’ve needed to get back into the flow of teaching. The days are long and information jam-packed, but the course will get you to where you need to be in terms of content and test your endurance as an educator. I am enjoying it so far and can see many positives in their training methodology.

What has surprised you so far (either course related or Prague related)? 

What has surprised me most is Czech people’s willingness to have patience with expats learning Czech. As long as you come across as genuinely attempting to learn the language, improve, and be respectful, most Czechs will be impressed and want to help you out. Be careful with switching between English and Czech too frequently within a single conversation. It can be exhausting for them: pick a language and stick to it.

What are your plans for after the course?

I have an English teaching job lined up that I found through Facebook. If you are planning on moving to Prague, I suggest you join as many “expat living in Prague” type Facebook groups as possible, and become active in them. It is a tremendous networking resource and you may be shocked by the number of people willing to help new residents. Anyway, I’m going to be teaching in a small Democratic school in Prague 3, which I hope to work at for at least a few years. Depending on my workload and development as an educator, I would also like to teach private lessons, as well as work on a volunteer basis.

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