George Eliot once said that it is never too late to become who you might have been. As long as you take that very first step and decide that you want to learn something new, of course.
Luckily for us, such a decision nowadays only requires a few clicks: and suddenly, there you are, enrolled in a new course, starting a new adventure. So, let’s see what and how one can learn in Brno even if their ‘academic’ Czech got stuck at the jedno-pivo-prosím level and their official (oh-so-sweet) school days are already over.
1) Studying at university? In Brno, quite possible
You can always enrol and become a regular university student (again/for the first time), but that’s not your only option to access the courses universities offer – some of them are open to general public, and some of their courses are even in English. Let’s have a look at your options:
As the 1st option, never forget that you can always enrol as a proper student: there are no age limitations. All three largest public universities (MUNI, BUT, Mendel) in Brno offer daily or combined study programs in English. These are for a fee, there is no age limit for the applicants and the portfolio of programmes is wide.
Of course, there are other schools to choose from – public and private. A full overview of public universities in Brno is available on our website – see the guide to Universities. Or see an overview (in Czech only) of all universities in Brno.
Your 2nd option is to enter a semester with other students of a more mature age. The Brno Big Three (MUNI, BUT, Mendel) have an ongoing tradition of lifelong learning (celoživotní vzdělávání). The range of courses varies semester to semester and the number of those offered for non-Czech speakers slowly grows: MUNI (see the offers of the individual faculties), BUT, Mendel.
Your 3rd and probably the least time-consuming option, is to enter individual courses. We asked and found these choices for foreigners with little to no Czech:
Among other areas in the academic field available in English, the following are certainly of interest:
- MUNI Faculty of Social Sciences offer courses in English on a regular basis but it is only possible to sign up for a particular subject if the teacher gives their consent. For further details, write to firstname.lastname@example.org).
- Lectures for the general public offered thanks to the MUNI Faculty of Arts’ Filover initiative are occasionally given in English as well.
- The courses taught at the MUNI Summer and Winter schools tackle a wide spectrum of topics such as media, politics, culture, business, literature etc. These courses are open to the general public although one first needs to contact the person responsible for the chosen course as, in some cases, the priority might be given to full-time students.
2) Broaden your language portfolio – or make it your career
Brno offers a multitude of opportunities for those who consider foreign languages either an interesting hobby or a potential career path. In addition to many language centres, one can take advantage of language study programs offered by the local cultural institutes (Österreich Institute, British Council, Alliance Français) and some of the universities.
3) IT, public speaking and leadership skills
Directly in Brno, one can also improve their IT, public speaking and leadership skills and thus broaden their personal and vocational horizons.
Brno Toastmasters and Business Toastmasters clubs meet on a weekly basis and will help you become a better presenter and leader.
An NGO CzechITas is here to help women, girls and children to explore (and eventually also conquer) the world of IT through their specialised and orientation courses. They are launching the first series of courses in English in Feb – Mar 2021: Introduction to programming 1 – Java and Get to know the world of IT – keep checking their website or write to email@example.com to learn more. (The good news is that if a few spots remain open, also English-speaking gentlemen will be able to register.)
4) A bit lost? Get a career advice
Last but not least, if you happen to be a bit at loss about who it is that you actually might have been (in Eliot’s words) or simply would like to become, do not despair. For its students and graduates, there is Mendel University Counselling Centre offering – among other services – also career consultancy in English.
For all foreigners living in the South Moravian Region, a new Skill centre (write to firstname.lastname@example.org) has recently been opened. It is located in Brno and its main objective is to help foreign nationals understand and efficiently use their skills and professional experience on the Czech labour market.
And if you happen to know about other learning opportunities for your fellow-expats in Brno, please, get back to us. We will gladly extend our list :-).