I made an announcement on Facebook about a month ago, but for those of you who haven’t heard yet: I’m going to Prague for a year.
After a round of rejections from MFA program applications, I decided I needed a change from my job and New York City. Since I didn’t spend any of my undergraduate years abroad like some of my college friends, I’ve had an itch to travel and at different times have wondered what it would be like to drop everything and move to another country. Perhaps thinking I wouldn’t take them seriously, several of my friends and family members encouraged me to go for it once the idea got in my head. And here I am, registered for a program and only a few months away from departure!
Many have asked me, “Why Prague?” To be honest, it’s a bit random. Italy seemed like the obvious choice since I studied the language at Barnard, whereas I don’t speak a lick of Czech and it’s quite complicated to learn. But as I discovered, Italy is pretty expensive, and with the unemployment rate at 11%, I figured there might be a more practical option out there.
That’s when I heard about TEFL Worldwide Prague, oddly enough through the Facebook group of MFA applicants I was a part of. One guy said he taught there for a year and loved it, praising the city for its cheapness and for the number of jobs available for native English speakers. I knew nothing about Prague, so googled it. It didn’t take long for me to fall in love.
There are quite a few language certification programs out there, but I chose TEFL Worldwide Prague because from the reviews I read, they really do seem to support their students and prepare them well for teaching. The program houses students in Prague for about a month, and once you pass their fairly rigorous courses, you (hopefully!) find a job teaching English in the country of your choice. Many students stay in the area, and while I may change my mind once I’m there and move to a different city in Europe, I’m pretty confident I will stay put so I can get to know Prague better.
I have no idea where I’ll be living, who I’ll be teaching, and what my schedule will be like after the four weeks with my program. I could be teaching students who are as young as pre-K. While I’d like to know the specifics, I’m figuring out that there are quite a few things I won’t know until I get there and start looking for work.
So for now, a few more perks of being in Prague, in case you’re not yet convinced:
1) It’s very centralized. Prague is an ideal place if you plan to travel to other European countries, because of its location and its excellent transportation. Perfect for the weekend trip to Berlin!
2. It’s beautiful. I mean, wow.
3. It’s (relatively) cheap. For a big city, this prices in this place are fantastic. I’m coming from New York, so perhaps I’m a little out of touch, but check out this food blog. A typical glass of beer costs between 1.50 and 3 American dollars. See the below video.
The bottom line is, there are a lot of unknowns, I’m nervous and am not really sure what I’m getting myself into, and I have no idea how this will affect my life and career, but I’m very, very excited. I’m leaving at the beginning of August, and as we get closer to that date rest assured you’ll be hearing a lot more about my plans. As always, thanks for reading!