Living in Brno for a French expat

Posted by on May 24, 2013 in Featured, Practical tips | 7 comments

My decision to come in Czech Republic was a last minute decision. I’m supposed to be in the UK right now. Indeed, few months ago, I was looking for an internship abroad and all know how it is difficult to find a company that will suit you and will accept to take you for just 5 months. I never thought about coming here because it didn’t really attracted before. But when I’ve been the opportunity to come here, I did have a moment of hesitation. So I made some research before saying anything talk with one of my friends that lived in Prague during a few months. I have been given the answers that I needed to take my decision.

Departure – Arrival

First thing to know, coming in Czech is not that expensive when you take the plane from France. I paid about 150 euros including the luggage but because I took my ticket really early ! Change your money at the airport ! Or even in your bank if it is possible before leaving because you will need it for taxi or bus.

 Then depends where you are going but Student agency is a pretty good way according to me of transport to go anywhere else in Czech Republic. I had for example to book my ticket on their website just a few day before leaving. It is easy, quick and cheap. It is about 10 euros to go from Prague Airport to Brno. The trip ended about 2h30 to do Prague airport- Florenç and Florenç-Brno. There is about 1h wait max in Florenç to go to Brno.

Student Agency Bus

Moving in my apartment:

 Before coming in Czech Republic I looked for apartment. It was kind of difficult since I didn’t speak Czech. So I look on several websites like air B’n’b but it was too expensive, especially for the period of time I was about to spend in the country. Then I went to Foreigners.cz, in which I saw some apartment that suited to my budget and I’ve also been given other options by my boss. So I the end I choose an apartment to share four other people. It costs me 7000 CZK per months so about more than 270 euros per months. Even if the apartment is quite old, I have a huge room, with two wardrobe and a piano. I have enough space to host my friends if needed.  

Really important to know:

 when you move in an apartment you pay a deposit, the rent for the current month and next month.

For me it kind of difficult because in France you usually don’t do that. You do give a deposit and the rent for the current month but you don’t give immediately the rent for next month.

I explain to the girl to whom I have to pay the rent that it is not possible for me financially to pay more than 500 euros at once ! Even if France I didn’t pay that much for my apartment.

So, we have an agreement, she pays for me when time comes and I give her the money when I can. Like that I pay my rent like do in France, every 15th of the month.

 Usually when you are student it is easy to take an apartment to share especially when you are alone.

Plus, you feel less alone because you know that there is someone else in case you need something.

BUT !

Even if my flatmates are nice, I had some trouble with the fact they party on Sunday night or clean their room at midnight when they had all the afternoon to do it !

I’m not usually someone really complicated, I already had roommates but I guess that the difference of culture plays a huge. Because for me you don’t party during the week except on Thursday, Friday and Saturday.

My flatmates don’t speak a good English but we manage to understand each other. So if you are afraid about the language barrier, no worry most of the time people understand you even if they don’t speak well.

 First weeks:

When I arrived in Brno, I had the chance to have someone that was waiting for me at the Bus Station. So, I was not nervous at the idea to discover a new city.

The Spilberk Castle

The Spilberk Castle

My first week here was quite interesting. I walked around the city discovering its architectures, its Castle and since I’m shopaholic, I went to almost all shops of the city !

And something funny, I wanted to buy some  food, but I didn’t where was the supermarket. So, I decided to use Google Map to know where was closest supermarket. I did find one and it seems quite easy to find. So after taking the tram and walking during 5 min I arrived somewhere far from the city center. I was beginning to think that just a few day after arriving I will succeed to make myself killed some random person like this on the street and no one will notice it because there were no one on the streets !

So I continued walking since I finally found some people to help me and they super nice and told me where I could find a supermarket. Since that day, I’m walking with a map and I double check the destinations.

The next day, I asked Chelsea, where was the closest supermarket. She told me that actually they were in the city center. And I realized that both of them where at 5min from my Apartment ! (FML! )

 

Going out: 

I didn’t go out that much since I’m in Brno, usually, wherever if you go in a bar or a restaurant there is the at least a menu in English. And even the employees don’t that well English, you still find a way to understand each other. Plus, when you are new in the city, there are some Meetings organized either by BrnoExpat center or by a Facebook group called “Soirée française à Brno” in which you have the occasion to meet international people and make new friends. Moreover, being a part of Foreigners.cz team, gives me the opportunity to attends MeetUps in which I meet foreign students and workers.

What is great with Brno in particular, is that it is a student city. There are always parties that are organized or festivals. Festivals are popular in Czech Republic, like Majales Festival or the Ignis-Brunensis, the Firework Festival.

Majales Festival ticket

Ignis-Brunensis Festival

Majales Festival: “The Monkey Business” concert

Traveling:

 It is easy to travel around Brno and Czech Republic. I guess that it is the best location if you want to discover certain countries of Europe. For example if you want to go to Berlin, so easy ! You take the train and would be there in like 4 or 5 hours (it is quite long but it is the cheapest way travel). And if you want to go to Prague, you can choose between taking the bus of Student Agency or the train; both are cheap.

To conclude…

Living in Brno, is really great, I’m still discovering stuff about the Czech Culture and people. I actually feel lucky to be in a country like this because at the opposite of friends that are in the UK or Spain , I don’t think they are really discovering something new since it is usual for us to go there in vacation.

–> Do you feel like discovering a country like Czech Republic ? A city like Brno ?

7 Comments

  1. Super témoignage !! Merci ca me rassure 🙂 ! Je vais aussi normalement a Brno bientot mais pour du boulot et je connais rien de ce pays, rien de la ville, donc j’appréhendais un petit peu, mais depuis que j’ai lu ton témoignage, je me sens bien mieux 🙂

    Merci encore

    Thib

  2. Je ne crois pas que vous soyez une Francaise!!! Votre francais est horrible!!! Quelle honte!!!

  3. After looking over a number of the articles on your blog,
    I honestly appreciate your way of blogging. I saved it to my bookmark webpage
    list and will be checking back in thee near future.
    Pleasde check out my web site too and let me know how you feel.

    • This recipe was really good. I should have made my own taco seaonnisg, but I didn't have enough of the seasonings on hand. However, this reheated very well for lunches for the rest of the week!

    • Oct10 Woah! I’m truly digging the actual template/theme on this blog. It’s basic, yet effective. A lots of times it’s very hard to acquire that excellent balance between functionality and physical appearance. I ought to say you have done a very good job using this type of. In supplement, the website loads very swift for me on Safari. Excellent Website!

  4. Thanks for the ausⲣicіօսѕ wгіtеսⲣ.
    It actսallү ᴡɑs
    οncе a ɑmᥙѕᥱmеnt аϲcⲟunt іt.
    ᒪоoк cߋmрⅼеҳ tօ moге аⅾⅾᥱԁ аǥгеᥱaƄⅼе frߋm үоu!
    Bʏ tһе աаү,
    һοԝ сan wе κᥱеρ іn tⲟuсh?

  5. Salut, je vais faire mon Erasmus à Brno, je pars dans deux jours ! 🙂
    Merci pour ton témoignage et les pages facebook utiles !! 😀
    Ton témoignage m’a rassuré !! 🙂
    Maintenant je retourne à mes valises ! Ha ha ! 😀
    Comment je vais faire pour faire rentrer mes vêtements ? Hi hi !
    Bonne continuation ! 🙂

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

peliculas de comedia