Czechia Stays in the Game
- Language barriers and the attitude of locals keep Czechia from reaching the top, as expats struggle to feel at home.
- Expats praise Czechia’s Central European location and excellent travel opportunities.
- General well-being and childcare and education trump poor local attitudes towards families with children.
- 67% say moving abroad has made them happier (vs. 61% globally).
Language and Locals Make Settling In Tough
Life in Czechia has its ups and downs, especially when it comes to settling in. The country ranks just 53rd in the Ease of Settling In Index, with a mere 37th place in its best subcategory — Feeling at Home — and a very poor 62nd rank in its worst one: Friendliness. Expats in Czechia are particularly unimpressed with the latter: just two in five (40%) rate the general friendliness of the population positively (vs. 68% globally), while an equally poor 45% are happy with the friendly attitude towards foreign residents (vs. 65% globally).
When you don't speak the language, you are somehow not welcome by the locals.
One possible issue that could be affecting the ease of settling in is the language barrier. Although 56% of respondents agree that it is easy to live in Czechia without knowing the local language (vs. 45% globally), just 13% agree that learning it is easy (vs. 37% globally). In fact, fewer than one in ten (9%) can speak it very well (vs. 28% globally). “When you don't speak the language, you are somehow not welcome by the locals,” explains one Nigerian expat living in Prague. When asked about their biggest concerns prior to moving to Czechia, respondents were also quick to name the language barrier (63% vs. 37% globally). All in all, 63% sthey feel at home in Czechia (vs. 65% globally).
Safe Travels… And Easy, Too
Despite doing fairly poorly for the ease of settling in, when it comes to quality of life, Czechia ranks a pretty impressive 7th out of 64 countries. Results in this index are, however, fairly mixed: Respondents seem to be most impressed with Travel & Transportation, ranking the country third in this subcategory. Almost all respondents in Czechia (96%) rate the opportunity to travel positively (vs. 82% globally), while 95% are impressed with the transportation infrastructure in the country (vs. 68% globally). In fact, just 1% have something negative to say about each of these factors (vs. a respective 8% and 21% globally). One expat from Ukraine explains that Czechia is a “great location in the middle of Europe which allows for travel to many countries”.
Expats in Czechia also express positive views surrounding safety and security: over nine in ten expats (94%) rate their personal safety positively (vs. 81% globally), with 62% saying it could not be any better (vs. 48% globally). Additionally, just 2% say that a lack of safety and security was a concern for them before moving, ten percentage points less than the global average (12%).
Unfaltering Family Life
Czechia maintains a spot in the top 5, coming in 4th place out of 36 countries in the Family Life Index of the Expat Insider 2019 survey after ranking 3rd in 2018. The country scores especially well for the Availability of Childcare & Education, ranking in second place for this subcategory: 64% of expat parents agree that childcare options in Czechia are numerous and easy to get (vs. 47% globally), while 63% say the same is true for education options (vs. 53% globally). Similarly, Czechia continues to thrive when it comes to the costs of childcare and education: over seven in ten parents (72%) agree that childcare is easy to afford, a huge 29 percentage points above the global average of 43%. Another 68% find that education is affordable (vs. 49% globally).
Czechia continues to go from strength to strength in the Family Life Index, ranking seventh for family well-being. Expat parents are particularly happy with their children’s health and safety, with over nine in ten responding positively to both factors (90% and 93%, respectively). Unfortunately, the perceived unfriendliness of the local population also applies to the attitude towards families with children: while Czechia’s 21st place for this factor is not an awful result, it is a fairly big drop from its 11th place in 2018.
A Wonderful Working Life
Czechia once again scores a spot in the top 3 of the Working Abroad Index, ranking second in 2019. Almost three-quarters of respondents (73%) are happy with their job overall (vs. 64% globally), while around seven in ten (68%) are satisfied with their career prospects (vs. 55% globally). In addition, 44% of expats who are happy with their life in Czechia share that their job is one of the reasons for this happiness, compared to 38% globally.
There’s a very positive work-life balance.
In Czechia, there is a “very positive work-life balance with a lot happening in both domains,” according to one expat from Australia. Other respondents agree, with just 9% rating their work-life balance negatively (vs. 21% globally). Around three-quarters (76%) are satisfied with their working hours (vs. 62% globally), ranking Czechia 5th out of 64 countries for this factor.
Over a third of working expats in Czechia (35%) say they earn less than they would in their country of origin, ten percentage points above the worldwide average (25%). However, thanks to an advantageous cost of living (76% positive ratings vs. 47% globally), over half of the respondents (54%) still agree that their disposable household income is more than enough to cover daily costs (vs. 49% globally).