Study and Work
Nobody likes to be poor as a church mouse. For students, this applies twice as much, because hanging out with friends, sipping lattes, or partying obviously costs money. Apart from a scholarship or help from wealthy parents, Prague offers you a wide range of possibilities to increase your cash flow.
The most suitable job for any student would be an assistant to a professor, which has many benefits. A) you get paid, B) you get more familiar with the material so the exams are a piece of cake. The main problem here lies in the simple fact that there are a limited number of positions available and the place might be already taken by someone else. What remains? You guessed it already. An old-fashion part-time or evening job.
Sounds great, but what do I do?
You can do whatever your heart desires. Students in Prague usually go for waiting jobs in restaurants, bars, cafes or tea houses. If you are proactive, you may search for a job in your field. Paid internships are a great idea, but during your normal academic year, we wouldn’t recommend them as you won’t have time to attend lectures and seminars. A basic hourly rate for administrative work is approximately 150 CZK (Czech Crowns/Korun Českých) or 6 Euro, but it may vary. You can try babysitting or doing an au pair job, or being a translator or a freelance teacher of your mother tongue (English or other) is also a feasible idea. Any other field in which you are skilled and qualified could also provide opportunities.
Perfect! But… Where do I look for something as elusive as a job in a country I barely know?
Check the bulletin boards at your university or ask your fellow students – sometimes they can be an enormous help. And even for those who are shy or are just out of luck, there are still other options. These are the biggest job portals you may want to check out:
- Jobs – the biggest portal for job hunting in the Czech Republic, and it has an English section
- Expats – another portal powered by the ex-patriots (expats) currently living in Bohemia
- EURES – the portal of the Czech Ministry of Education, Youth and Sports offering jobs for foreign students
Is it a problem that I can’t speak a word of Czech?
Let’s be real, in some places this may be a pretty big deal, in others a welcomed benefit. Prague is a city of enormous touristic potential so your language capabilities shouldn’t hold you back. We do however recommend at least a basic Czech language course (or a few lessons from a friend who is willing to teach you some basic Czech phrases and words) because in job hunting it is always a huge plus. Moreover, it shows that you tried. And if you find yourself in trouble, check the sites above or below.
If I come from a non-European country, am I allowed to work in the Czech Republic?
There are certain limitations because your visa is a study visa, not a working visa – so your main occupation should be studying. But you still may work. As a full-time student from a non-EU country at a university registered with the Ministry of Education, Youth and Sports you’ll only need to be registered at the Public Employment Office (Úřad Práce). This registration is made by the employer, not you, so no need to worry. And if in doubt, you can always ask the coordinator at your university for advice or turn to the Integration Centre in Prague or to the Association for Integration and Immigration. Don’t be intimidated by the names, these guys are here to help you and they provide legal counselling free of charge.