It was quite a surreal moment when I first clicked the payment button for this cause back in April 2018. Within five minutes, I had paid my deposit and received a confirmation email congratulating me on beginning my adventure, this had no initial impact on me however, I still had six months before I would leave. After the payment I did what I believe a lot of people would do after making such a decision, I put the kettle on and sat down to watch mindless TV for the next few hours, that was, until the first email.
As the time gradually drained away, the communication between myself and Live TEFL grew, with their coordinator Anna helping me every step of the way. This included finding a place for me to stay, a place I would later reside for more than six months hopefully to the pleasure and not dismay of my landlady. My fears all allayed, and everything helped set up for me.
The realisation hits you the most as the impact from the plane does when it first lands at Vaclav airport and comes to a screeching halt as if to say “yep, this is real mate”. As you can most likely tell from my spelling and lingo, I come from the small unassuming island most of the world calls Britain, but a lot of us there stubbornly call it the UK. This was one of the initial apprehensive parts of my trip, how do Czechs see Brits now? Will I be frowned upon or Berated? Of course, I was wrong to have these worries, turned out the Czechs that I met really didn’t care at all, they were more after a Pilzen with their new foreign guest and chatting about the same topics I would back home, only over much stronger but far cheaper beer, take note UK!
I was the only Brit on my course with the rest from America, one from India and one from China, this did nothing but enhance my experience as right from the get-go, you meet so many diverse and interesting characters. Our TEFL teachers would pass our time with informative and entertaining lessons regarding teaching, life in the Czech Republic and above all creating cohesion among the group, many of them I still talk to now months on. When we weren’t learning or teaching, we were traversing Prague’s captivating city with its breathtaking scenery and eclectic nightlife.
The second week in, another TEFL coordinator Vendy took us on a trip to Karlovy Vary to see the wonders that the Czech Republic held outside the confounds of its capital. The water we tasted from the springs was something of a new experience for me, and after we had our taste, we went up the gondola to check out the restaurant on the hill with the butterfly enclosure beneath it. The trip made a nice break from the usual 8:30 till 6 teaching schedule of Live TEFL, but after coming back to Prague, catching up on sleep which was a luxury in itself, we were back in the classroom for Monday.
The actual classroom and resource room we had to learn and teach was nothing short of plentiful with various books you could use to create engaging lessons, with a lot of people willing to help you with tips and ideas for lessons, so when you walk into a room with fresh eager faces (or complete remorse of agreeing to sit through a rookies lesson plan) you can help them leave feeling they have learnt something brand new and had fun in the process. We didn’t just teach however, a lot of methodologies filled our heads and later the sheets we splurged the information over for the essay parts of the course, yes, they are mandatory.
If I level with you here, the course was quite an investment, a huge risk with no immediate forecasted reward. I would be lying if I said that I didn’t feel slightly overwhelmed once or twice, with the lack of sleep not helping at all. But now, I teach in Prague, and it wouldn’t have been possible if it wasn’t for the help and guidance of the TEFL teachers who did what they needed to in order to help us all. After everything, the least you’ll leave with is new experiences, and as long as you do the work, a nice shiny piece of paper allowing you to teach.
Side information to help you in Prague:
Most accommodation Should cost between around 9,000 to 14,000 Czech crowns a month, Brits, that works out to around £300-£460 a month at the time of writing not considering bills, though my flat is bill inclusive, meaning I only pay 9,000 in rent, so make sure you shop around before you commit to one that seems pricey or seems off somehow, speak to the coordinators, they’ll help you with the prices and the standards to expect.
If you plan on staying in Prague after the course, get a Litacka card, it’s quick to get and lowers the prices of transport tickets, it also lowers the cost of fines if you are caught without a ticket (which you need to have for the transport system). No ticket at all 1,500 crown fine, a purchased ticket you cannot show at the time 800 crown fine, a litacka you forgot that day 50 crown fine. Side note, make sure you have a copy of your passport with you at all times, there is a fine if you cannot produce it at the authorities request.
Weekly shopping costs around 750 crowns a week, mine averages around 900 because I am greedy.
To a lot this may seem obvious, however, say hello to the workers at Spevacek when you arrive, they will most likely be the ones behind the scenes making sure you are having the best time possible.
Any more questions, the coordinators can help, but if you are Brit that wants advice from another Brit, one of the TEFL teachers is from the UK, and at least one person will be able to contact me if you want any more information from what I have written ?.