My life in Brno
As Mexican, it is hard to leave your country, because of many reasons, like the warm people, the amazing food, and the rich nature we have. Taking the decision to come and live in the Czech Republic was not easy. Anyway, I decided to take the challenge because I really wanted to study a master’s degree, and the Czech Republic was an amazing opportunity to do it. Since I arrived in Brno, I have had very good experiences, but also some difficulties. In this blog I will explain some of the situations I have lived since my arrival to Brno.
I consider that the main benefit of the Czech Republic is that it is a cheap country to study and to live. The master’s programs are affordable compared to many other places, including Mexico. In Brno the rents are not expensive and as a student you can access to many benefits. The university has student dormitories at different costs, and you can choose according to your budget and preference of location. Other important benefit are the canteens accessible for students at a cheap price, you can choose among different options that go from vegetarian to non-vegetarian menus. Also, the infrastructure of the university is remarkable, it has different faculties provided with equipped libraries.
Brno has an amazing transportation system. The accessibility to use the trams or buses gives the possibility to arrive to almost any part of the city within 20 minutes. The transportation system works 24 hours, so even if you are out during the night, you don’t have to worry, for sure you will find an option to go back to your place. Moreover, Brno is a safe city, and so far, I haven’t had any problem regarding security, and I have never felt a threaten or any situation where I feel insecure.
Brno is a city full of enterprises and the unemployment rate is very low, so if you want to do an internship, or work part-time or full-time, you have the possibility to apply for a job. Besides, there are many job fairs where you can explore your options. These fairs and many other events are done by organizations that try to include foreigners into the life of Brno, giving opportunities to meet other expats.
Because of being in the heart of Europe, Brno has facilities to travel. The closeness to other countries can take you to three different capitals within two hours and a half by bus or train, so if you want to visit Vienna, Bratislava, or Prague, it is very easy to do it. For example, when you are going to book a flight, you have the option to chose among three different airports, being an advantage of the closeness of Brno to other capitals.
One of my favorite aspects of Brno is that it is a student city, therefore it is a city full of life where you can meet students from all over the world. It also has an amazing nightlife, and you can always find parties and activities, so you never have to be worried about getting bored, you just have to explore your options.
As I mentioned at the beginning, there are also some difficulties that I have experience in this city. As Mexican, I am used to treat with warm people, and Czechs sometimes can be cold, rude and unfriendly. The perception of the foreigners is not always positive towards Czechs, but it can be understood due to their history and the communism. Moreover, not all the people speak English, so it can be hard to communicate, and this situation can create the perception that they are unfriendly although it is just a problem of communication. That Czechs doesn’t speak English can also be a problem when you go to a governmental place, like the Migration Office or the police, or even the doctor, because it is hard to talk with them, so sometimes you have to find your own way to be understood.
Another disadvantage for students over 26 years is that in many places you lose the benefits of being a student. For example, the Czech Republic has in public transportation very good discounts for students, but it you are older than 26, you cannot apply for them anymore. This happens in many places, like museums, libraries, and cinemas.
As in every other country, there are always positive and negative aspects. I think that it is important to keep an open mind and to try to adapt to new situations. So far, I have experienced positive and negative aspects in Brno, but I wouldn’t change my decision to come here because it has many opportunities and benefits for students and for foreigners. It is important to be open and take the challenge to go to another country with different a different language, traditions, and costumes.