The Czechia Offers Educated Foreigners Good Opportunities
Four years ago, the Czech Republic launched a pilot project on the selection of qualified foreign workers. Its aim is to bring young and educated professionals into the country and enable them to integrate more quickly into society. Mykhaylo, a 29-year-old researcher from Ukraine who works for the Institute of Plasma Physics at the Academy of Sciences in Prague, is one of almost six hundred participants.
How would you summarize the circumstances that brought you to the Czech Republic?
The circumstances under which I came to the Czech Republic were, in fact, quite ordinary from the point of view of many young Ukrainian boys at the time. I graduated from the Faculty of Physics at Uzhhorod State University and was given the opportunity to apply for a doctorate in Prague. At that time, I had a choice: I could stay at home, continue my studies there, or work there, or I could come here and start something a little different.
So what was decisive in the end?
I decided for the Czechia for two main reasons – the first reason was purely economic, the second also quite simple – I wanted to go to Europe, to know something new. Some of my acquaintances were already in Prague at the time, either as students or already working there, so before I arrived I was not even very worried that I would be completely alone here. In addition, the Czechia also attracted me with its proximity to language, home and culture.
How did your expectations come true?
So I came to the Czech Republic in 2000 and after four years I received my doctorate from the Faculty of Mathematics and Physics of Charles University. I decided to stay here to continue working at the Institute of Atmosphere Physics in Prague, although I have parents in Ukraine and my older brother also lives there. Education at the MFF UK for graduates means much greater opportunities to get a job in the Czech Republic and other European countries, and here you can significantly improve your knowledge of foreign languages. From here, there are also more opportunities to travel to Europe, establish new scientific relationships and the like. In general, a foreigner with, for example, a technical or physical education and knowledge of the Czech language is very likely to find a job with a fairly good salary, which will guarantee him and his family a relatively high standard of living in the Czech Republic.
What were your beginnings in the Czech Republic – what was the most difficult for you, given that you probably left your homeland for a long time?
Initially, my biggest problem was probably not knowing the language, I was quite satisfied with the others (college, study, etc.). Now I understand Czech quite well and I can speak well. In fact, the most important thing for me is to correctly explain in Czech what I need at the moment, which I think I’m doing quite well so far. The problem of a slightly different type was the lack of time for study and also the completion of some official formalities.
If you had to highlight a few things, what would they be and where do you see the biggest shortcomings in confronting your expectations?
What I found here suited me perfectly and still suits me. I believe that the Czech state supports students quite well compared to the situation in Ukraine or Russia. However, I cannot give a broader answer to the question concerning the specific shortcomings of this country, and my answers would not be entirely objective in this regard.
You have joined the Selection of Qualified Foreign Workers program. How did you hear about him?
An acquaintance of the MLSA advised me to enter this program and has been participating in it for a short time. I have been a project for the second year.
What are the reasons for participating in the project?
The project offers the opportunity to obtain permanent residence for third-country nationals in as little as 2.5 years. And because I would like to stay in the Czech Republic for a longer period of time – five, ten years or maybe even longer, obtaining permanent residence of course makes it easier to stay and work in the Czech Republic. One gets more freedom to change jobs or residences, for example. From the point of view of a foreigner – he begins to perceive his surroundings more carefully, his home here, his feeling also changes a lot in the sense that he is only here temporarily and so on.