As an expat, Prague has spoiled me. That’s in large part due to the extensive Prague expat community that live here and are constantly offering up advice and recommendations for your every query. Prague is highly ranked as an expat destination for its beauty, affordability, and quality of life, but the existing expat community really doesn’t get enough credit in making everything far more accessible and easy to figure out.
Moving to another country is no easy feat, especially when the local language is Czech which is less than intuitive for most English speakers. I honestly couldn’t have done it if I hadn’t paid someone to help me with all my legal paperwork. But when it comes to day-to-day life, other Prague expats do all the heavy lifting. Two massive Facebook groups, Prague Expats and Expats in Prague, exist solely to facilitate life as a foreigner in Prague. Each group has upwards of 40,000 active members that are made up of foreigners, local Czechs, and former expats who are always around to lend a helping hand.
You take for granted how knowledgeable you are about daily activities wherever you’re from until you move to another country and realize you don’t even know where to buy envelopes. Prague expats take all the aggravation and confusion out of those little situations that can make being an expat kind of a pain in the ass. Sometimes these are matters related to the process of being an expat. Like what do you have to do with your employee card if you change jobs or how do you get a bridge visa? Then dozens of other helpful expats come to your rescue to describe their own experiences with the process.
More often than not, the Prague expat community comes through for simple things that we need in everyday life. Like when you need recommendations for a good English-speaking gastroenterologist or a hairdresser or a place to buy secondhand instruments. Or when you got a notice from the post office that you don’t know what to do with or your landlord is trying to scam you out of your deposit. Even more commonly, they can tell you where to get those hard-to-find items that you used to get easily back home like corn flour or peanut butter or molasses (FYI that would be Chez Amis, Tesco, and Marks & Spencer, respectively).
No question is too specific or random for the kind and funny Prague expats who have inevitably run into the same challenges before you. When they’re not solving all your problems (or complaining about the price of butter), they’re looking for people to do language exchanges with, sharing important city news, warning everyone about scams, or posting about found wallets and pets. If you lost ID at a bar last weekend, the Prague expat group has a better chance of getting it back to you than the local authorities.
There’s nothing more useful than this kind of support when you’re blindly navigating a completely different culture. Whenever I consider the possibility of moving somewhere else, I look for similar communities in other countries and always come up empty-handed. There’s no expat community quite as organized and accessible as Prague’s. If you’re new in Prague, may you benefit from and contribute to it.
Unless you’re coming to visit in three weeks and you’re looking for recommendations about what do on your trip. You can Google that.