When one decides to study abroad, one of the reasons is usually that he or she wants to meet new people, new country, new culture. Let's face the truth though: Who wouldn't be homesick after after a few months, or at least have a desire to talk to someone in their mother tongue? That's also why in Brno people coming from different parts of the world gather and bring together a piece of their homeland here.
Foreigners living in Brno regularly meet by means of formal networks such as Coachsurfing or Internations, but also informally via Facebook groups divided according to nations. There are for example Armenian, Israeli, Russian, French, Italian, German or Indian groups; one of the most numerous is English in Brno. Their get-togethers take place every week.
The major purposes of these meetings – connecting both students and working people - are to have a chat with others in their native tongue, to maintain contacts and get to know new friends. The gatherings are usually called together through the already mentioned Facebook. Finding a related group of people is also useful because that way you will always meet someone who has been through a similar initial situation in an unknown city, and who can therefore help you or share their advice. You can for example get connected with a group called Couchsurfers in Brno, which enables people to find accommodation for a couple of days you might want to spend pre-exploring the city and the university. The Exchange of Languages in Brno group, on the other hand, publishes information about job offers or events organised by various groups.
Another organisation providing a helping hand to foreigners living in Brno is Brno Expat Center; though this one is more focused on working people. “Foreign students occasionally refer to us too; however, we can help them better in case they wish to stay in Brno even after completing their studies, i.e. if their problem concerns for example residence or work permits or setting up a business,” describes Anna Sedláčková.
Many students speak highly of their meetings with the fellow-countrymen. “I often get together with other people from Russia. I always like to meet people coming from my home country, although I am very fond of the Czechs as well as of other nationalities – I'm a very open kind of person. However, it is surely nice talking to others in your mother tongue and discussing shared worries or pleasures,” thinks Daria Kaminskaya, a student of pedagogy.
In any case, in Brno you will meet not only compatriots but people from all around the world.