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About the life and work of expats in the Czech Republic

There are many positives to being an expat in the Czech Republic, but also some difficulties. An international expert working abroad, in our case in Prague or elsewhere in the Czech Republic, needs to be prepared to face some challenges in terms of administration and the authorities. However, these inconveniences will in most cases be worth it. Let’s take a brief look at an expat’s life, using the Czech based company JetBrains as an example.

Out of 50 employees in local team there are roughly 40 % of them workers coming from abroad. The company focuses on software development and specializes in programs designed for other professional programmers. The Prague office also has a need for other employees beyond IT software developers, for example, sales representatives, accountants, HR and PR professionals and many others. Its Prague global headquarters needs the top brains in a particular field and so they search for them in a number of different countries.

Felipe Frulani from Brazil works at JetBrains as a Software Developer

But it is not just the company that is searching for the experts. The experts themselves are very often already interested in working in the Czech Republic. The job market, the economy, and high living standards are frequently cited by expats as reasons for making the Czech Republic their home. They see the huge number of expert vacancies available and the quality of the healthcare system as the most positive aspects of making a living here. They value the fact that within the healthcare system they are able to reach whatever professional they need and have access to top-class equipment and medical treatment. What they also find very tempting while looking for a job in this region is the stable economic situation, public security and effective (as well as cheap) public transportation. The geographical location of the country and what that means for traveling is considered a benefit in itself, as the Czech Republic lies in the middle of Europe and is easily reachable from expats’ home countries. It is also a good base from which to explore the rest of the continent.

What the company can do for you

Dealing with the authorities and gaining all the necessary requirements is a complicated process, so the assistance of locals is highly appreciated. It is at this point that the new company should take the initiative and help with the arrangements. “We understand that the quantum of applications may be distressing for foreigners. We take care of our employees’ working permits and because many expats also come from outside the EU, we take care of employment visas too. Most of our expats also find it helpful to receive assistance with everyday activities. So when expat’s heating or car stops working, the company comes with an advice and shares the necessary contacts,” says Martina Brožová HR manager at JetBrains.

An expat’s family

An expat is often not the only one who moves to the foreign county. He or she can take their family with them. It is not always easy for the partner to find a suitable job or friends in a new region. Usually, they spend their leisure time with the partners of other expats and thus are not able to fully integrate into the new environment and culture. The same frequently applies to their children, who attend international schools and therefore socialize with non-Czech pupils. The company plays a dominant role in mitigating the problems associated with acclimatizing to Czech culture.

Settling down

Adaption to the local environment, habits, and mentality is also an important aspect of becoming an expat. The first and most obvious barrier is the language. When someone does not speak or understand a language it is very difficult for them to feel comfortable in the new country. In order to overcome this obstacle, it is very useful to organize regular language classes for expats within their working hours, where they can learn the basics necessary for everyday situations. What expats also really like is the openness of their colleagues. When they can chat in the kitchen or after work with their colleagues about everyday troubles, family, and other non-work stuff, they feel comfortable and at home.

The extensive experience the company has in employing expats is very advantageous. Such a company knows what to do, what the legal requirements are and makes sure nothing is left unnoticed or neglected.

We are aware that working habits and cultures differ from region to region. Therefore we do our best to ensure that all employees, expats included, have the opportunity to adjust to their working environment according to their individual needs and schedule. The flexibility plays an important role when welcoming new expats,” adds Martina Brožová., Prague 19.02.2018


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