We spoke with Milton, a young man from Lisbon, Portugal. Milton works and lives in Prague for almost three years. What is his experience?

Milton, what brought you to the Czech Republic and why did you decide to stay?

Originally, I came to the Czech Republic to study for one year and look at me now. I live and work here for about three years! During my last months of Erasmus, after I finished school, I decided to stay and work in Prague. I found a job and got an apartment.

What did you study?

I studied Business management at Česká zemědělská Univerzita in Prague. The campus is far away from the center, but it’s a very nice place!

How did you get the job?

I met a Spanish guy who is a Spanish teacher for the company that I currently work in. The company was looking for someone who speaks Portuguese. They asked him if he knows someone and he thought of me. That’s how I got my job. I am working there since then and I like it.

What do you do in the company?

We provide all kinds of support to software developers, programmers, HR related issues etc.

What are your feelings about the Czech Republic?

During those three years that I am here, my feelings have changed a lot! The beginning was really strange for me. I needed some time to adapt because everything is quite different from Portugal.

My first month here was very complicated in terms of orientation in time. As an Erasmus student, I used to wake up really late, so I almost never saw a daylight. It gets dark much earlier than in Portugal during winter. 

Another thing was the weather. It was so cold, around -11°C in January! In Portugal, we do not have snow. My first snow was a great experience.

And what do you think about Czech people?

Czech people seem to be more serious than Portuguese. You are a bit shy, or maybe cautious when it comes to talking to strangers. You seem curious but don’t speak and basically just stare. Once you get a little bit more comfortable, you ask some questions like “Where do you come from?“

I had my buddy provided by the university, who helped me a lot. He gave me some advice and feedback, that was nice. Now, I know some words and my life is much easier.

Are you learning Czech?

In the beginning, I had some Czech lessons. Unfortunately, I didn’t manage to continue because it is so hard! The pronunciation, the alphabet is bigger than ours, the derivation of the words, the sounds are strange... It was just too complicated. I know the basic words like good morning, how are you, beer… and of course, I know the bad words, thanks to my friends.

Do you have any bad experience?

If I don’t speak Czech, I wait longer for my beer. If I say „Hello, can I have a beer?“, the bartenders pretend not to see me. But when I say „Dobrý den, jedno pivo, prosím,” they give me the beer. If you want to feel integrated, you need to know the language or at least some words.

Do you think you will stay here?

I don’t know. I miss the beach and good weather of Portugal. Recently, I was thinking about that. Probably, I will stay in Prague for one or two more years. I would love to travel in the future. I feel I can always come back to Prague. It is definitely a place, that I will never forget.

Is there anything else you would like to tell me?

Yes, I remember one sentence: „Mám rád Češky.”