What Eastern Czech city would be the most fun to live in?

Discussion in 'Expat Life' started by caulfield2, Sep 19, 2006.

  1. caulfield2

    caulfield2 Well-Known Member


    I'm determined not to live in Prague, although I will obviously visit occasionally.

    I'm an English Lit./Creative Writing high school teacher (certified, but not TEFL, from the State of Missouri) as well as a licensed History teacher. I have two Master's degrees and will have 5 years' experience, so I was thinking about working in a university again, which I really enjoyed doing in Colombia, South America last year (I also taught at a private school, which was the majority of my salary). I've also coached volleyball, soccer and basketball, so open to that as well.

    Ostrava seems a bit industrialized. But I just came from a city of around 300,000 and it seemed small at times, so I don't want to live in the middle of nowhere either.

    What areas are most in need of English teachers, either Lit classes or ESL?

    I'm not looking to save money necessarily and will probably have a cushion of $5-10,000 to get started (if I do private lessons in the summer), but I would prefer to work in a public/private school or university.

    I like Brno because it's closer to Slovakia and Bratislava if I work there as well, just not sure about getting a car, public transportation, trains, trolleys.

    How long does it take to get the permits or licenses one needs to teach? Would you do that through a Czech Embassy in the US (like Chicago) or wait until you get there? I'm assuming there's some kind of temporary or semi-permanent tourist visa for 90-180 days.

    Thanks in advance for your time and consideration.
  2. Sigma

    Sigma Well-Known Member

    Olomouc! :p :p
  3. caulfield2

    caulfield2 Well-Known Member

    Okay, I'm assuming there's some story here.

    Is it about the women? Well, I just lived near a city in Colombia, South America (Pereira) famous for that. And I was married to a Russian for three years, so I'm not quite so overwhelmed by Eastern European beauty at age 36 as I would have been at 26.

    I'm looking for a lively place that has "enough" culture without being overly touristy. That's one of the things I enjoyed about Colombia, it hasn't been overrun by tourists/Americans (I can say that as an American)...although Cartagena and Bogota are getting there, in about 10 years, it will be like Costa Rica IMO.

    Even Peru/Machu Picchu, although it was tourist city, at least it wasn't rude/obnoxious/abrasive American tourists. The other important thing, of course, is finding something constructive to do...probably a combination of teaching and volunteer work. So, no, I'm not a venture capitalist living off a trust fund looking solely for pleasure.
  4. Sigma

    Sigma Well-Known Member

    To answer your question... no.

    I studied in Olomouc for four months in 2000 and there is just something I like about the city. I've returned on a number of occasions. I think everyone has a favourite country beside their own, and the Czech Republic is mine.

    There is a gymnazium which teaches many subjects in English. I'm trying to think of the name.... it'll come back to me.

    Olomouc isn't too touristy, much less then Brno, and there is enough culture to make the city interesting.
  5. caulfield2

    caulfield2 Well-Known Member

    I would like to get the "authentic" Czech experience without spending all my time in Prague and the capital cities.

    OTOH, there's a part of me that can't live without baseball/football, satellite and DirecTV and high-speed Internet. Kind of a conundrum, eh?

    I really enjoy different experiences. In Colombia, you could go horseback riding for 3 hours for about $15.00 I travelled a lot, went parasailing, kayaking, canopying...I enjoy trying different things, although I'm not going to do anything TOO extreme, lol.

    I have a sense that the Czech Republic will be more expensive. I made around $24,000 in Colombia, and that was like a teacher making $75-100K in the US because the minimum wage there is about a dollar an hour and there's a very small middle class. But it can't be like Italy (Venice/Rome/Milan), Spain, France, England, etc. It has to be a little more affordable, at least I imagine so, or it wouldn't be so popular...of couse, it becomes too popular and overrun with tourists and the new hot spot becomes Slovakia (well, maybe not) or Budapest makes a miraculous recovery or everyone decides cold weather isn't THAT bad.
    That was one nice thing about Colombia, except for the fact it rained more than London!!!

    Which is why I was interested in living in places more off the beaten path, although not in some remote village where they filmed "Hostel." Unless the girls from that movie are innkeepers at a local B&B and not psychotic lunatics. I like NY and Chicago and LA a lot, but not necessarily to live in.
  6. Halef

    Halef Well-Known Member

    First of all - there are no big cities in CR, except Prague (maybe).
    Brno, as the second in population, is sometimes called "biggest village in Central Europe" :)

    I live in Brno most of the time, and I love it, so I might not be fully objective in this.

    Brno and Ostrava might be the only choices if you want something big enough. Olomouc and Zlin are just too small, I think. Not that they are not nice - Olomouc is a great historical town with many sights and historical buildings. According to my girlfriend, who spent her college years there, it also has a great "student" atmosphere and high quality pubs :)

    Zlin can offer lots of green areas in the city center and one of the best ice-hockey teams in the country (fan speaking here :) ). The town is also close to Vizovice, where you find the famous Jelinek distillery of slivovice (and other spirits).

    I know very little about Ostrava - maybe someone can supply further info. My only knowledge is that there is Stodolni street there, which allows you to spend a very pleasant night out in pubs and clubs.

    (Do I sound like an alcoholic already?)

    Last but not least - Brno. I don't agree that it is "touristy". Yes, you can meet a few tourist groups in the city centre, namely on weekends, but they are just too few, so the city mostly ignores them :) I mean no sky-high prices in the centre, and no tourist-only areas. When I make a walking trip to the Spilberk castle in a workday, I barely meet someone.

    I've found out that Wiki has some articles on all of these cities - I guess looking at them would give you better idea than my confused babbling:


    P.S. All of these cities are in Moravia (Ostrava partly in Silesia). You can technically call it "Eastern Czechia", but I wouldn't do it when you come here... some local patriots might feel offended :)
  7. Sigma

    Sigma Well-Known Member

    I've never been to Zlin before - is it worth a visit?
  8. caulfield2

    caulfield2 Well-Known Member

    Well, Ivanka Trump is from there (Zlin), for whatever it's worth...according to Wikipedia.

    Between Ostrava, Brno and Olomouc, which city has the highest number of university students or universities? I'm assuming Brno?

    Would you have any idea which city would be more in need (in general) of English teachers? Obviously, there's probably more of a glut in Prague. I'm not afraid of competition, it's more of a lifestyle choice and trying to save more a little more $$$.
  9. Sigma

    Sigma Well-Known Member

    Palacky University (Olomouc) has about 15,000 students. I think Masaryk University (Brno) has about 17,000-20,000 students.
  10. Sova

    Sova Well-Known Member

    If you're looking for culture, I'd pick Olomouc or Brno. Brno is, of course, a larger town, so perhaps you'd feel more at home there. In terms of nature, I understand that the setting in Zlin is very nice, although I've never been there personally. In prinicipal, though any of these Moravian towns would not be far from some nice nature areas, so perhaps that shouldn't be your deciding factor.

    Also, since you brought it up, there's also a modeling school in Zlin, where I've heard the women are overwhelming, even among your "average" Czech beauties (but don't let that be your deciding factor either :wink: ).
  11. caulfield2

    caulfield2 Well-Known Member

    There you go, every red blooded man's dream, to be the English teacher/interpreter/translator at a modelling school.


    Or not...especially if you're around a bunch of 14-16 year old girls and their domineering/meddling/annoying/living vicariously through their daughters parents.

    No thanks.

    How many people live in Zlin? It seems kind of in the middle of nowhere in terms of the highway system. Brno and Ostrava are roughly the same in terms of population (Brno bigger) and Olomouc is quite a bit smaller...

    EDIT: Looked it up, around 80,000 or so, give or take a few thousand
  12. Halef

    Halef Well-Known Member

    MU has nearly 40 000 students... and there are about five more universities in Brno, although not that big (the technical university has about 15 000, the others are even smaller).
  13. caulfield2

    caulfield2 Well-Known Member

    How much does it cost for the average 1-2 bedroom apartment in Brno or Ostrava?

    Internet access? Gas/water/lights/electricity (utilities)? Food per month?

    Is it necessary to have a car or is public transportation more than adequate...I'm assuming this is the case, and I lived last year in Colombia without one, it's actually a great way to learn the language and meet new people/make friends. Not ALWAYS, but often.
  14. JayBee

    JayBee Active Member

    Hey..... I went through all the crossing between Czech cities. I live in Ostrava and can say its a very good place to live in. It has city life but is not too congested and traffic is minimal. Drive out a little and you have the mountains and wide open spaces. Stodolni wil keep you occupied when you need to be gregarious. And I am trying to put up an expat community ....... and you are welcome to join us.

    Hope to see you in Ostrava
  15. caulfield2

    caulfield2 Well-Known Member

    Can you explain more what Stodolni is?

    That's funny, gregarious was one of the English words in my 9th grade class yesterday on antonyms and synonyms for "sociable."
  16. JayBee

    JayBee Active Member


    Stodolni is a street in old Ostrava which has some 84 pubs/clubs/bars. And it is the 'in' place for all those who want to spend a night in town..... lots of people from around Czech come for the weekend here.

  17. CanadianLove

    CanadianLove Member


    yep, Stodolni is a street and the closest noun is "stodola" - "a barn". But I dont remember any barn in this street in past :lol: :wink:
  18. hedgie

    hedgie Member

  19. wer

    wer Well-Known Member

    What? :eek:
    That is definitely not right. :roll:
  20. Karel_lerak

    Karel_lerak Well-Known Member

    Yes, the name "Stodolní" is derived from barns from the time there was cattle waiting their fate in a nearby sloughter-house. 8)

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