What expats say: Public sector needs English courses

Khomaini Hasan was born on 1979 in Jakarta and raised in several different cities in Indonesia. He came to Brno for the first time in 2006 as a visiting research-student at Loschmidt Laboratories, Masaryk University, for 3 months. In 2007, he was accepted for doctoral studies at Masaryk University. Now he is a doctoral student at Masaryk University as well as a group member of Loschmidt Laboratories, Institute of Experimental Biology, Masaryk University. Khomaini Hasan has a wife who works as a dentist in Indonesia and a 5-month-old little daughter and they live separately in – Indonesia.

What do you like and what don’t you like in Brno?

Brno is one of the most attractive cities in the Czech Republic. My first impression when I came for the first time to Brno in 2006 was that Brno is a beautiful historical city full of well-preserved old architecture buildings. A combination between old and future cultures is exhibited in the city centre.

Before I came, I never knew that J.G Mendel conducted his scientific experiment here, and this historical scientific background makes Brno suitable to be a city of high quality science and education. I like people in Brno. Most of them are nice and open for foreigners like me.

However, there are some parts in Brno which the local government should be aware of. Two that I am concerned about are the Main Station (Hlavni nadrazi) and Namesti Svobody (the city centre). In both places, we can still find many homeless people who should get strong social attention from the local government. I witnessed a group of tourists who got uncomfortable treatment from them. They make the city less attractive.

Another major problem in Brno is many people who work in the public service are not able to speak English. I think English capability for people who work in the public service is very crucial for Brno as one of the major steps to make Brno an international city. The local government must become more aware of this. In places that attract tourists like museums, the local guide should be obliged to speak in English and Czech.

Do you know some “best practices” or experience from living in other cities which could be of use in Brno, too?

I suggest that, probably, the local government could offer a free English course for everybody who works in the public service sector, like museum guides, police etc.

I suggest that the local government of Brno can probably organize a regular annual/bi-annual international cultural event by inviting embassies from several countries to introduce their culture, for example Indonesia. The cultural event could be, for example, a dance performance or an indigenous food competition. So far, such events are mostly organized in Prague. If similar events were organized in Brno, it would make the city more attractive.

What do you think is its advantage compared with other cities?

Brno has a special location, situated as it is between four major international cities (Prague, Vienna, Warsaw, Bratislava). I believe this means that in the future there is the possibility for many international events to be held here. But of course English as an international conversation language will be very crucial for the city if this is to happen.

Where do you see the way to make Brno more open and attractive for foreigners?

The foreigners who work/study here can get an offer from the local government to take a Czech language course. This will help them to integrate with Czech culture. I believe a city like Brno will be more attractive for foreigner through this method.

What is your favorite place in Brno which is really unique?

My favorite place in Brno is Spilberk Castle with all the stories related to it.

Written by: Petr Marčišák

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