Survey Results, part 2: How's life for expats in Brno

Last year, more than 1,000 of you took part in the biggest survey regarding the life of expats in the region ever. We published the first half of the results, the socio-demographic description of the respondents, last month. You can find it here.

This is the second part of the study – the needs, barriers and satisfaction with public and private services in Brno city.

In the overview below, we’re looking at different aspects of life in Brno – housing, medical care, education, employment, transportation, social climate, etc.

Respondents could evaluate the quality of the services and environment and answer questions about the level of comfort and their willingness to stay in Brno.  We’re now able to address the public authorities with concrete data and push for some positive changes, so Brno can truly become an international and welcoming city.

Over 1,000 respondents – foreigners with experience living in Brno – have filled out the questionnaire. Total 957 valid and complete forms were analyzed. Please bear in mind that the results represent foreigners who are within the reach of the Brno Expat Centre and who were willing to fill out the questionnaire in December 2018. The sample is large; however, it does not represent all foreigners nor all expats in Brno.

Satisfaction with life in Brno

The satisfaction with six aspects of life in Brno was higher than 75%. These are the quality of public transportation (95% are satisfied), the sense of security (93%), the reputation of the city (88%), the work opportunities (81%), the quality of environment (81%), and the cultural opportunities (79%).

On the other hand, the respondents were least satisfied with conditions for car driving (35%), availability of housing (38%), a chance to influence public affairs (39%), and conditions for bike riding (40%).

The least favorable is the situation with housing. Almost 60% are dissatisfied with the availability of housing. Housing situation thus comes out as the most burning issue for the city.

All aspects of satisfaction with life in Brno were arranged according to their importance. This is the result, from the most important: work opportunities, security, public transport, housing, health services, environment, social climate, local authorities, international transportation, education, family-friendly, culture, personal relationships, reputation, influence public affairs, cycling conditions, sport, car driving conditions.

Lanlord unwilling to rent to a foreigner

Finding a place to live is increasingly more difficult. That’s especially true if you’re a foreigner. Almost half of the respondents have experienced a landlord/lady who was unwilling to rent out a place to a foreigner. The most common reason stated was the language barrier.

satisfaction with surroundings Brno

Once expats find a place to stay, the satisfaction with the location and its surrounding is high. 88% are satisfied.

Only ¼ of the respondents live on their own. Half of the respondents live with a partner and almost 20% with a child or children.

satisfaction with medical care in Brno

More than three quarters (78%) are satisfied with the medical care provided by local medical facilities. Most respondents (78%) had an experience with at least a general practitioner for adults. Half of the respondents have visited a dentist (51%), 28% has visited a specialist and 27%, gynecologist. Only 18% have visited an emergency room in the past.

accessibility of medical care Brno

It’s great to have a quality medical service around but the question of availability is even more important. It seems expats find it quite difficult to get an appointment to a medical specialist or arrange hospitalization. On the other hand, expats think it’s easy to obtain health insurance (84%)  or buy medicine (82%). 75% of respondents found it quite easy to get an appointment with a general practitioner for adults. Getting a treatment by a pediatrician is just a bit more difficult – 28% found it difficult.

availability of education facilities in Brno

28% of the respondents, ie. 190,  live in Brno with a child or more children. About one-third of them have children who attend some schooling institution (54% kindergarten, 38% primary school, 11% secondary school) in Brno and almost half of the parents expect their child to start education here. 76% of parents are satisfied with kindergartens, 77% are satisfied with primary schools, 72% with secondary schools. Those who have experience with university education are satisfied in 91% of cases.

satisfaction with employer Brno

84% of employees are satisfied with their current job and 83% are quite happy with the relationships at the workplace. Being content with your job is important to 79% of respondents. 66% are satisfied with their salary and career development opportunities. This is how expats listed their values from the most important: employment overall, job content, pay, and financial benefits, career development opportunities, relationships with co-workers.

language barrier Brno

When asking the respondent whether they encountered a language barrier in any of the listed settings, we were expecting many answers in the affirmative. And indeed, 86% have encountered a language barrier at some point. Most frequently at public institutions (71%). Over half of the respondents have experienced language problem at a medical facility (55%) and in everyday communication (51%). The good news is that there seem to be very little issues at school or at work.

We asked expats whether they had experienced any prejudiced behavior, discrimination or attack due to the fact that they’re foreigners. They felt at a disadvantage when looking for housing and when dealing with authorities (52% and 45% respectively). 18% of foreigners encountered some disadvantages at work. 38% endured some sort of prejudiced behavior: about a third experienced some verbal attack; property damage and physical attack rate at 7% and 3% respectively. We wish it were zero.

Almost 40% of the respondents living in Brno have no plans about leaving but don’t know if they’ll stay permanently. Almost 30% are sure to stay. 16% want to stay for longer than 3 years but not permanently, 11% plan to leave in less than three years, and 6% in less than a year.

The expectancy to stay is strongly dependent on the fact whether you have a Czech partner or kids living with you here. 53% of respondents with a Czech partner plan to stay permanently (as we know from the other part of the survey, about 30% of the respondents in a relationship have a Czech partner).  Respondents with children are likely to stay permanently in 46% of cases, but the chance is only half as high if you don’t have children in Brno.

All considered, 86% of respondents would recommend Brno as a good place to live. 11% wouldn’t. If you would, please do it now! 😉

Out of six expats, five feel welcome in Brno. Respondents with EU nationality reported this positive outlook more often than non-EU citizens, the difference between them about 10%. We strongly believe that the Brno Expat Centre contributes to the welcoming culture and we will push the positive changes further.

You can be a part of it – let us know about your current issues or suggestions for improvement.

This was an overview of the survey results. The research carries on with interviews and focus groups. Conclusions have not been drawn yet. The project “Expats in South Moravia Region: Stay and Needs, TL01000465” is financed by the Technology Agency of the Czech Republic.