Teach English in the Czech Republic with CIEE

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About

Teach in the Czech Republic with CIEE and experience a side of this beautiful country that is rarely seen by tourists. You'll become part of a community on the outskirts of Prague, working as an English language assistant in a primary or secondary school, all while learning about Czech culture and language. Host schools encourage language assistants to participate in cultural and athletic activities outside of the classroom. You might even be invited to join your students on school ski trips in the winter!

From deciding where you would like to teach abroad, to preparing to return to your home country after your time abroad, CIEE will be there to support you. In addition to finding a job for you in the Czech Republic, you will be provided complete pre-departure support to help you prepare for your adventure in the Czech Republic. You will be given visa guidance, and travel insurance. Our 24/7 support and in-country orientation will ensure supported throughout your experience.

Questions & Answers

Reviews

81%
based on 12 reviews
  • Benefits 1
  • Support 2
  • Fun 4
  • Facilities 4
  • Safety 8
  • Instruction 8.1
  • Support 8.9
  • Value 8.1
  • Academic Rigor 5.7
  • Job Assistance 8.5
Showing 1 - 12 of 12
Default avatar
Deanna
9/10

Fantastic Program!

Overall, the CIEE Teach Abroad in the Czech Republic program has been fantastic! Prior to coming to the Czech Republic, each participant had a brief Skype meeting with our Czech coordinator so that she could try to match us with a school that fit our needs and expectations. This was something I had not expected, but am grateful for as I am now at a school that I love. Admittedly, the pre-departure process was a bit overwhelming- especially with the limited amount of time to apply for a visa. However, CIEE was helpful throughout the whole process and this was less of the program’s fault and more of the simple reality that comes from dealing with different Embassies.

Once I arrived in the Czech Republic, CIEE was (and has continued to be) helpful every step of the way. We had a week orientation in which CIEE gave us Czech 101 crash courses in culture and language. Staff also helped us set up bank accounts, phones, Embassy appointments, and transportation passes. For me, like many participants, finding a place to live was up to us. However, our Czech coordinator went out of her way to make sure we each found suitable arrangements. She continues to be available to help us with any issues regarding rent, mail, utilities, and language translations.

The number of participants in the program is small. As a past participant in another CIEE teach abroad program, I can say that this small number is unique and has advantages- we are all friendly with one another and it’s easy to reach out to both CIEE staff and one another for issues that range from trivial to more serious. For me personally, the CIEE staff has been quick to answer any question I’ve had. This small number has also meant that CIEE has been able to plan group events for us- such as a wine tasting, zoo trip, and a Thanksgiving dinner.

How can this program be improved?
Every program- especially new ones- will have room for improvement. That being said, it is clear that this CIEE has evolved significantly from its first year and I believe it will continue to do so overtime. While CIEE did warn participants of upfront costs, many of us were still unprepared for how much we would have to spend upon the first few weeks of arrival. We were told to have $1000 on hand, but for many, this was not enough to cover all the fees needed to establish ourselves. It would be helpful for CIEE to be more forthcoming with these upfront costs.

It would also be helpful if CIEE could work with the schools to provide the option for full-time work assignments. As all current teaching assignments are part-time, it becomes necessary for participants to find other means to make money to support themselves. While CIEE encourages tutoring as a simple solution for this issue, it would be nice if there was the option to work full-time at our schools. My recommendations of improvement for CIEE are very minor and should in no way deter anyone from this program. Overall, I am very satisfied with CIEE and all it has to offer.
Yes, I recommend this program
Keenan
8/10

Great Program With Potential

The CIEE Teach is Czech Republic program has been wonderful. In the beginning, the amount of work needed to be done seems daunting because it is. Not difficult work, but many photocopies, translations, notarizations, and contracts need to be handled. CIEE makes this process as easy as can be by guiding you through step by step. Support during the process was very prompt.

Upon arrival in the Czech Republic, orientation and preparations for the school year were very well thought out. Activities and education during orientation were worthwhile and helpful. The staff did a great job preparing us for what to expect in the classroom as well as culturally. There are many differences between the Czech Republic and the US. Some in education and many in culture. They gave us a fair heads-up.

Post-orientation and when the school year begins flows pretty smoothly. The CIEE staff really helped to make sure we got to our school, had proper accommodations, and were prepared for long-term transportation. Even after work and life had begun in our respective towns/schools CIEE was very willing to help with the smallest of issues.

This is my second time working with CIEE. I can't say enough good things about the program from both the US side and the placement side. CIEE puts together some great programs that allow us to do what we want to do - Travel and Learn.

How can this program be improved?
All of the above statements are true and most important. The areas where the program could be improved carry much less weight than areas where the program excels.

The most prominent area that the program could improve is regarding salary, or at least salary transparency. When you read online about salaries and price of goods, it is hard to actually understand how far a certain amount of money will take you. Websites will give you an idea, but rarely are they correct. Prague, while cheaper than place such as NYC, is not cheap. Somethings like beer may cost less, but everyday groceries may not be any cheaper than back home. I believe CIEE could negotiate higher salaries especially at schools where they have a good rapport.

I understand this may not always be possible. In the event that it is not. CIEE staff could really push teachers to tutor. I think a significant chunk of time at orientation could be used for explaining how useful tutoring can be. Maybe time could be spent teaching students how to advertise (without tackiness) that their tutoring services are offered in their towns. Instruction for drafting a letter to parents of students previously tutored by a past CIEE teacher could be great. I would like prospective teachers to know that it is extremely possible to make nearly an extra salary every month by tutoring on top of teaching. While more money is nice, tutoring should not be overlooked by anyone. Tutoring has been fruitful in so many ways. It offers a great opportunity to get to know students and their families and become involved in the community (which is not always easy in the Czech Republic).
Yes, I recommend this program
Default avatar
Stephanie
9/10

Life Changing Experience

My time with CIEE has been quite a journey, but in a way that I know will change my life! I feel that in their third year, CIEE has worked very hard to get out all the kinks with the visa application process. Understandably, getting a work visa (especially on time) is difficult enough. However, I felt that no question was stupid enough when it came to my pre-departure preparation and I thankfully got my visa approved before I even traveled to the Czech Republic, which apparently was a first for the program.

When I arrived in Prague my luggage was lost and our program supervisor was diligent from the start with support. I cannot say enough how wonderful she is. Sometimes I feel that she is working TOO hard because she is always there to translate something in Czech or help us get our utilities sorted, even to answer travel/transportation questions.

Due to some unfortunate family circumstances back home, I will say that I was hit hard with culture shock the first two months. But I think it was 100% a mental block that I knew I would eventually get over, and just had to force myself to try at the language and everyday life a little bit harder than I was. You need to have an open mind to be a part of the program. After a couple months, my mindset and overall comfort has changed completely.

I was placed in a school that is seriously perfect for my interests as a teacher. There were definitely some communication issues at the start and it took quite some time to get settled into a routine and to understand the expectations that were had of us but I know that the rest of this year will be wonderful and can only get better.

My piece of advice is that you have to be proactive and be willing to have an open mind. A lot of the participants came to Prague without a place to live (our school either did not provide accommodations or it was our choice to find our own) and the apartment hunting process here is really stressful especially on top of being in a completely foreign country. The staff helped us as much as they could, but it was pretty tough. You have to understand that ultimately, things will work out in the end, because they have to!

How can this program be improved?
I think the general consensus is that there needs to be a little bit more transparency with up-front costs. On top of paying a large sum for apartment expenses, you have to purchase a phone/phone plan, transportation passes, and you might have to purchase things for your living situation (kitchen supplies/bedding/furniture, etc). This is also on top of not being able to be paid the first almost two months (which they did tell us about, I just don't think most of us realized how hard it would be to go without a paycheck for that long after paying so much for apartments). Had I known some of these things before coming to Prague, I definitely would have reevaluated my savings and how much money I would need before coming. Knowing where this program started and seeing where it has come in only three years goes to show that each year, the program can only improve.
Yes, I recommend this program
Emily
9/10

Best Decision

I would definitely recommend this program. I studied abroad with CIEE in Prague a few years ago so I already trusted the organization before I applied to teach abroad. I am even more happy with this program (especially the support we receive from the staff) than I was as a study abroad participant. Orientation was surprisingly fun and definitely helpful. Our coordinator here in Prague is the absolute best. The program is still small enough that there is a community amongst the participants and opportunities for us to gather throughout our time here. That's a major bonus, which I gather is unique to the Czech Republic program. I feel like I have the best of both worlds. My daily life is really independent but I know that CIEE is always there. I live outside of Prague, and while my town leaves something to be desired, I love my school to pieces and have enjoyed the teaching experience immensely. This is only the third year of the program and it's clear they've made exponential leaps since launching. I have no doubt that the program will continue to improve as the years go on. As with anything in life, it's not perfect. Flexibility is definitely a requirement!

How can this program be improved?
Any teach abroad participant, in any country, with any organization, will say that communication and information can be improved. That seems to be the nature of the beast. All I'll say is that individuals shouldn't hesitate to ask questions and advocate for themselves.

One specific thing I think that CIEE can do that would be an improvement is to better prepare the schools for the arrival of a native speaker. We already have to do a great deal of adapting-- move to a foreign country, find a place to live, learn the public transport, meet new people, start a new job, culture shock, etc... Of course, all of that is part of the challenge and joy of the experience. But, I don't think it's too much to ask the schools for better communication with participants. It seems that in many cases, the schools assume we show up on the first day knowing exactly what to do and how everything works. Keep in mind, I love my school and it's been a wonderful experience, but there's been a lot of frustration and confusion as well.



Yes, I recommend this program
Elisabeth
9/10

Enjoying this great experience!

I came to the Czech Republic with CIEE last summer, and have had a wonderful experience so far! The orientation process in Prague was thoughtfully scheduled, and all of us as teachers had plenty of time to adjust to the new country, start to learn some language basics, become familiar with the culture, share some fun experiences, and get to know each other. The support staff at the CIEE office in Prague have been amazing and efficient throughout my time here! The one small issue I experienced at my school was resolved quickly and smoothly with one simple phone call to their office. Some participants find housing, while others are provided housing by their schools. CIEE has relationships with many schools in the area, and their staff seem to do a great job with matching teachers with their best fit. I would encourage anyone thinking about teaching abroad to go through CIEE, and seriously consider the Czech Republic program!

How can this program be improved?
I would encourage CIEE staff to negotiate higher wages and opportunities to work more hours for future teachers in the program. All contracts allow for 17 teaching hours, and many teachers would be willing to teach more to fill their days at school and have more income. I believe this will happen as CIEE becomes more well-known and established around Prague, as native-speaking teachers are very desired by schools. I would also consider removing the TEFL requirement, as it's costly and not required by many employers.
Yes, I recommend this program
Default avatar
Hailey
8/10

CIEE - Teach Abroad in the Czech Republic

So far my experience has been great. The CIEE staff has been unbelievably helpful since the day I left the USA. They were there whenever I had questions. If I needed help to get somewhere they would go with me and translate and overall the Prague CIEE Staff have been all I could ask for, if not more. They assisted me in things that I would not have even thought of if I were to attempt to move here on my own.
As for my schooling and housing, I would say that I lucked out. I was provided housing by my school and that also made my transition easier. I didn't have to worry about finding a place to live and I am located very close to my school so commuting is easy. My mentors who are Czech English teachers are fantastic and they have also treated me like family since day one.
I do really like the Czech Republic and all that it has to offer in terms of history and being in a foreign country. The dollar goes far and language is extremely hard to learn but the public transportation is very user friendly and it is a great place to live.

How can this program be improved?
The only thing I would want to be improved is communication of finances. I know it is a hard topic for many people, but when moving abroad we need to know the reality of how much things are going to cost. I feel like a lot of us were underprepared with money. We had some saved for personal travel and ended up using it for housing (for those who were not provided) and additional expenses we thought were in our initial program fees. Just come prepared with some extra money in your pocket for housing/additional expenses and for travel and I think things will go much smoother.
Yes, I recommend this program
Default avatar
Alex
9/10

Very nice experience!

So far I have been enjoying the program quite a lot.

The CIEE program and staff have been helpful since day one, and it would have been very difficult for me to relocate here without the assistance from them (job secured before arrival and contact with the local school, housing during the first week, orientation week, etc...). I can't really speak about the help with the visa process (EU citizen here), but by hearing about from my peers it seems like overall CIEE does a good job with this, and is improving.

Prague is a very historic and fun city to live in with a lot of different events going on all the time, and its location in Europe is very good for weekend getaways. One downside of Prague is the housing, finding housing in Prague can be quite difficult and expensive for foreigners, so brace yourself and try and do it ahead of time.

I will be staying in Prague for at least 2 more years.

How can this program be improved?
By reading last year's reviews, I can say that the program has improved a lot (judging by my experience and that of my peers), and I can only trust it to improve with each passing year.

The program could use some improvements on information about housing and flat hunting as well as a more clear description about what schools expect from us, as every school participating in the program is quite different from the other, in regards of tasks and job responsibilities.
Yes, I recommend this program
Tracey Griffith
Tracey
10/10

Keeps getting better

I have loved my time abroad! I couldn't have done it without CIEE. I have met other 'native speaker/ teachers' here that did not have the support like CIEE. They have had a hard time. From helping to secure residence and school placements to setting up visas and insurance - CIEE has proven to be worth the money. The initial application and time spent toward this endeavour in the US was sometimes worrisome. The website had glitches, deadlines were confusing, and the US office was unavailable for assistance often, which caused me to worry. But once, I had everything in place and arrived in Czech Republic, all was grand! Not only is CIEE (in Czech Republic) here for me whenever I may need them - they also have made this time so enjoyable! Czech Republic is a perfect location to travel! Every weekend in am traveling somewhere new and loving it! I am so grateful for this opportunity and for CIEE.

How can this program be improved?
The CIEE office in Maine was sometimes difficult to contact. They would be on two week vacations during important deadline dates. I often received miss-information from them. I would get wrong emails regarding my teach abroad in Thailand - I didn't apply nor want to go to Thailand. The staff did work hard and I don't want to negate that. All problems were minimal.
Yes, I recommend this program
Greg
10/10

Best Decision I Ever Made

Like the title says, it was the best decision I have ever made. The Czech Republic is a wonderful country full of fascinating history and traditions. It also is in a perfect location for traveling around the rest of Europe. I have found teaching English to be a very rewarding process, and speaking with natives and students has opened my eyes to a new culture and I'm proud to call it my second home. I highly recommend moving to the Czech Republic.

Yes, I recommend this program
Default avatar
Pau;
10/10

Great Program

I'm really enjoying my experience in Prague/Czech Republic so far. The staff at CIEE Prague has been extremely helpful in helping me adjust to the living here. I especially appreciate all the work Tereza has done in helping me find an apartment (upscale unit in the perfect neighborhood, great Czech flatmate, and cheap) as well as organizing all these cool events for the participants. The ballet and Charles Castle trips were awesome, and we're looking forward to the Thanksgiving dinner she's hosting, since not many people celebrate it here. She really deserves the credit for making the program what it is today. The rest of the CIEE staff have also been very helpful, from giving us a great orientation experience to being available whenever we have questions about how things are done in Prague.

How much you enjoy Teach Abroad in the Czech Republic is really up to you. You have a fair amount of autonomy, as working adults, to explore and engage with your new world as much or as little as you want. The CIEE staff is here to lend a helping hand when you need help, not to hold your hand 24/7 like you're still in college. That being said, if you're a responsible adult who wants to see central Europe, is willing to adapt to a new culture/lifestyle, and is not afraid to go out of your comfort zone, this program is for you!

How can this program be improved?
Get rid of the TEFL requirement and better coordination with schools. Many schools in Prague don't need a TEFL certificate (mine doesn't), and it really is a huge amount of money for a certificate we don't need.
Yes, I recommend this program
Default avatar
Avarie
3/10

Completely Inaccurate Expectations of Everything (CIEE)

The title speaks for itself and is actually an inside joke between myself and the other participants who have had a terrible experience with CIEE Teach Abroad Prague.

I am currently finishing the program and am just trying to make the best out of the last few months I have here since the first 6 were horrible.

Due to not receiving the required paperwork for my employee card application in decent time (we got the documents in July, we had to leave in August) the entire experience was ruined from the start. I spent the first 4 months here on a tourist visa technically volunteering and struggling to get paid compensation from CIEE. Oh, I also spent a day in jail with two other participants after CIEE advised us to "register" with the foreign police when our 3-month tourist visas expired and we were here illegally. We weren't "registered," we were arrested. And CIEE did not tell us what was going on while getting arrested.... I found out the whole truth of the situation after I was processed and given a professional translator who told me I was arrested and processed for being there illegally.

The list of mistakes the CIEE Teach Abroad Prague staff has made is too long for me to even write. It includes: ignoring emails for days about important things like contacting your landlord for a broken shower or being locked out of your apartment, NOT helping a participant find a doctor that speaks English for a required prescription, and NOT answering the phone when a CIEE intern doesn't show up at the meeting spot to help you get to your visa appointment.

These are all things that the CIEE Staff has taken lightly and has, weirdly, turned around on the participants. They tell us we are just "bonding through anger" and should be more independent since we're teaching abroad and college graduates. There's 7 of us in this program and we're literally their afterthoughts. They just started including us in the regular emails about CIEE events in Prague THIS month in February. They once pity invited us to their Study Abroad students' goodbye dinner AFTER the RSVP date on the invitation.

I spent most of my experience here hating CIEE for not sticking to what they said they'd do. I also haven't mentioned that I studied abroad with them in Prague in 2014 and the experience was nothing like this. We received endless support, almost babied. I truly have no idea what happened to the staff in those two years. Are they really trying their best, or do they just hate the Teach Abroad participants? I don't know.

No, I don't recommend this program
Default avatar
Grace
3/10

Seriously Disappointed in CIEE

Before teaching abroad, I had done quite a lot of research on CIEE and heard great things from friends who have worked with them in the past either teaching or studying abroad. I was so excited for my time in the Czech Republic and have found CIEE to be a burden if anything else. The staff is very unorganized and have given little support throughout this whole process. We had to make our own housing arrangements so while it says that housing in apartments is provided that is not actually true except for a few girls in homeshares outside of the city. Any problems that I have encountered in my time here have either been ignored or dismissed by CIEE staff both here in the Czech Republic or in the U.S. At this point I do not even bother to seek their assistance. When I brought up this lack of communication to the staff in the U.S., I was basically and told that I was overreacting...

The current program consists of only 7 people yet they definitely are struggling to manage. I worry for future applicants as I know they want to expand this program. Unfortunately, I do not think that will be possible with the current number of staff.

The expense of this program, forgetting all of the additional expenses I have spent to be here, does not equal the "service" you receive from CIEE unfortunately. If you want to teach in the Czech Republic... which I highly encourage anyone to do... then I suggest using a different program. My time here has been amazing but with no thanks to CIEE.

Response from CIEE Teach Abroad

Hi Grace,
Thank you for taking the time to leave your feedback – we value it and take it quite seriously. We’re sad to hear that you are disappointed with the services that you’ve received from CIEE. Teaching abroad is an endeavor that always comes with surprises and last minute changes, and our staff in Portland and in Prague go to great lengths to help our participants navigate these challenges. Feel free to contact me directly at [email protected] with further concerns or questions.
Ultimately, we are glad that you are enjoying your experience in the Czech Republic and we are pleased to have helped make it possible for you!

No, I don't recommend this program

About CIEE Teach Abroad

CIEE offers paid teaching positions in Chile, China, Czech Republic, Morocco, South Korea, Spain, Thailand, and Vietnam, and volunteer programs in Spain and Portugal, for university graduates looking to teach English abroad and immerse themselves in...