Living in the Czech Republic – A Guide for PhD Students
A country that presents both historic and contemporary cities, set amongst idyllic European countryside, the Czech Republic is a popular destination to study your PhD.
The guide covers useful information about moving to the Czech Republic as a postgraduate, including advice on student life, accommodation, living costs, work permits, setting up a bank account and getting around during your Czech doctorate.
Known as the ‘Land of Stories’, the Czech Republic has a reputation for Bohemian traditions and fables and is welcoming to its many visitors and travellers. The nation’s modern and stylish cities are growing in popularity and provide lots of entertainment and activities for its international students.
Culture and tourism
With an array of historic cities, castles, chateaus, museums, galleries and twelve UNESCO world heritage sites, you’ll find no shortage of things to explore in the Czech Republic.
The traditional and spiritual side of the nation’s people can be seen it its churches and monuments, and you may hear many ancient legends and mystical tales during your studies. The club and bar culture of the country’s modern and cosmopolitan cities is also well-suited to student life.
Sport and leisure
You can find a variety of landscapes in the Czech Republic – hiking, cycling and fishing in the country’s national parks, mountains and caves are popular activities. There is also a strong tradition of water sports in the country with many rivers, lakes and reservoirs offering opportunities for bathing windsurfing, yachting and rowing. And if you need to relax, the Czech Republic’s natural springs mean there are several famous therapeutic spas to enjoy.
Food and drink
The Czech Republic has many farmer’s markets and food festivals throughout the year, celebrating the nation’s traditional and rich cuisine such as roast pork, dumplings, svíčková (marinated beef), guláš (goulash) and many ‘beer snacks’. Speaking of beer, pilsener beer was invented at the Pilsner Urquell brewery, which still produces the world’s oldest traditional lager – and one of the best.
The types of accommodation for PhD students in the Czech Republic are as follows:
- University dormitories – also known as koleje, offer low-cost student housing with shared rooms and facilities
- Shared rented accommodation – these are typical privately-rented flats or apartments shared with other students
- Private flat – relatively low costs make it possible to privately rent your own flat or apartment
For more assistance with student housing, you should contact your university’s international office.
The cost of accommodation in the Czech Republic is relatively low. You can expect to pay around €120 per month for university dormitories, around €300 per month for a room in a shared flat and around €250 per month for a private flat.
The overall cost of living in the Czech Republic is also quite a bit lower than in the UK and most of Europe. You can expect to pay around €350-750 per month, budgeting around €265 for accommodation, €130 for food and €90 for miscellaneous costs.
Prices in the Czech Republic
The following table gives an indication of prices for some common expenses during a PhD in the Czech Republic:
Student Cost of Living in the Czech Republic - 2021
|Monthly Travel Pass
|Based on crowdsourced data published by Numbeo.
It is common for PhD students to take up part-time work during studies in the Czech Republic. Employment can be harder to find for non-Czech speakers, but there are also many international companies operating in the Czech Republic (particularly around universities) that may consider international student employees.
EU, EEA and Swiss students are free to work unrestricted in the Czech Republic without a work permit. Other international students are able to work without a work permit so long as you are studying full-time.
The Czech currency is the Czech koruna (Kč or CZK).
For PhD study in the Czech Republic, you will probably need to open a Czech bank account. There are several types of bank account, and several national and international banks, to choose from. Many also provide a student bank account and some offer products specifically orientated towards international students.
To open a Czech bank account, you will normally require:
- a valid passport
- a second identity document (e.g. driver’s licence)
- a minimum deposit, usually between €8-80
- proof of university enrolment
Your university’s international office will be able to provide further assistance for finding and opening a Czech bank account.
As a landlocked country of Eastern Europe, national and international transport is important in the Czech Republic. Public transport is normally affordable, and you may be eligible for student discounts with a valid student ID.
The train networks of the Czech Republic provide many services connecting Czech cities to each other, and to other major cities of Europe. In particular, Prague’s international train station has many strong rail links.
The major Czech airport is Václav Havel Airport in Prague, which is one of the biggest in Eastern Europe. It connects to many major European destinations, and to destinations around the world. There are also major airports in the Czech cities of Brno and Ostrava.
Large cities in the Czech Republic often have extensive and efficient bus, tram and / or trolleybus networks. Additionally, Prague has a useful subway system.
Last updated - 15/10/2020