If you’re considering whether or not to study in Prague, say yes to the latter. As the capital of the Czech Republic, it’s also well-known for its preserved castles, cathedrals (Baroque and Gothic ones), medieval squares, and a vibrant music scene (Red Velvet performed at a concert here in 2015).
It’s also a city that doesn’t sleep (move aside New York!). Furthermore, if you’ve got post-pandemic travel blues, there’s some good news for you. Europe is yours for the taking as Prague is in the centre — that means you’ll be at a distance (and fare) advantage if you want to visit Europe’s famed cities. Prague to London is only 17 euros while Prague to Munich is an affordable 50 euros.
Morocco, Egypt, Germany — here we come too! Okay, you get the message. Before we move on to more serious matters, like why you should study in Prague to avoid student debt, another thing to note about the City of a Hundred Spires is how cheap it is for students.
Study in Prague for cheap — or even, free
Higher education in the whole of the Czech Republic is known to be way cheaper compared to other European countries (ahem Sweden and Norway).
State unis offer free programmes taught in the Czech language. However, if you haven’t mastered Czech, be prepared to pay for English-taught courses.
The upside is that it’s much less than what you’d expect. There are private unis offering courses with an average tuition fee of 5,500 euros a year.
If you’re a savvy student, you’d also think about applying for scholarships early on and this will reduce your costs even further. There are some here you can check out for next year.
While you study in Prague, don’t worry about compromising your standard of living. An estimated 400 euros a month can go a long way and is typically enough to cover accommodation, food and transport. A cup of coffee would cost you 2.50 euros, an inexpensive lunch would come up to 5.50 euros and a bottle of wine is only 6 euros.
Europe has a lot to offer and if you choose to study in Prague, one of the greatest things you’ll benefit from is its artsy-fartsy culture. On the weekends, it’s museums, exhibitions, and concerts galore. The great thing about the capital of the Czech Republic is that it can be easily explored on foot (an added health benefit).
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Besides that, the trams, buses, trains and ferries, are part of a very efficient public transport ecosystem and also available 24/7. International students can also benefit even more by buying a transport card for about 100 euros which lasts a year (!!).
There’s also good news if you like alcohol as Czechs are very proud of their beer. As they should be because the culture of beer-brewing is a centuries-old tradition and almost as medieval as the city’s history. It’s a staple of Czech culture and the whole country (with over 10 million people) consumes more beer than any other country (including Germany).
Budweiser, the beer that’s always popping up in popular American advertisements, originated in the Czech Republic along with another famous brand called Pilsner. If you do decide to study in Prague, just know that your night out bills will be pretty chill (the average pint there is only 1.30 euros)
More tips to save — and make! — money in Prague
Tip number one, as you prepare to study in Prague, make sure you don’t exchange your dollars for euros at the airport (a handy tip wherever you are). Airport fees are higher than exchange centres. Go to Xchange Grossmann instead, which has one of the best rates in town.
Next, flash your student cards. You can get discounts on everything from restaurants to museums and exhibitions. You can apply online for the International Student Identity Card before you arrive in Prague.
It’s possible to get part-time jobs while you study in Prague too. You could be an English tutor, a nanny, and even a dog-walker. A quick Google search should provide you with many options. Something you should keep in your mind is that if you’re on a student visa, paid work can’t be your primary occupation so finding a full-time job requires you to register for different documents.