I Didn’t Think for a Long Time
I heard from friends that the Czech Republic is a nice country and my idea was to live in a member state of the European Union. So when I was offered the opportunity to come to Brno in 2005 to work for the international and world-famous computer company IBM, there was not much for me to solve. This is how Andrey, a 33-year-old analyst and information systems designer, recalls his arrival.
Would you like to live here permanently?
I come from Russia, from the Samara region, where part of the family still lives. Besides, I have a daughter in Russia, I visit her there every year, but I probably wouldn’t want to go back to Russia forever. I already have my friends from the Czech Republic, Ukraine, Belarus, France or Italy in Brno and Prague. Although I don’t have a family here yet. I would like to buy an apartment here over time and maybe study Czech.
Do you feel that you are making sufficient use of your education in the Czech Republic?
I studied for five and a half years at Samara State Aerospace University. In the Czech Republic, I received this diploma and the title of engineer-radio engineer at the Brno University of Technology. After graduating, I started working in Togliatti at AutoVAZ, and in 2001, I joined a commercial bank as a system administrator. In the Czech Republic, I received an offer to work as a Systems Engineer at IBM, which opened its regional center in Brno. I also have an international degree from Microsoft. Without my education, I probably wouldn’t get such a job.
How do you perceive the difference in life here compared to Russia?
I like it here because people are calm and, importantly, they are not evil. The streets are usually tidy and the traffic goes as it should. In short, the Czechia is a very calm country, the police do not check all people’s documents, as happens elsewhere. Life here is generally happier than in Russia. In addition, I also like the relatively warm climate. The situation in Russia has not been and is not easy for many people to this day, it is probably well known. And the bureaucracy in the Czech Republic is not nearly as good as in Russia. I believe that, with a few exceptions, all things are clear enough to most people, such as who and at what hours in the offices and so on.
So you have not encountered any complications when dealing with authorities such as the Aliens Police?
Personally, I did not have any major problems with the Czech authorities, it only became complicated for the first time. Then everything was more or less clear and understandable to me – where to go and where to bring what documents.
How did you cope with the Czech language?
The beginnings in the Czech Republic were not even very difficult for me, because at work I speak English, which I already mastered before my arrival. In addition, in everyday practical life, Russian and Czech are very similar languages.
Why did you join the Selection of Qualified Foreign Workers project?
I learned about the project from friends and joined it in November 2006. The biggest advantage from my point of view is the possibility of obtaining permanent residence in as little as 2.5 years. Jiank needs to renew his work permit every year. Permanent residence is very important, among other things, for the purchase of an apartment and related things, such as starting a family and the like. The criteria for entering the project were quite easy for me, because I have a university degree and a sufficient length of practice.