Mobility and exchanges of pupils, students and educational or academic staff are organised by the Ministry of Education, Youth and Sports as the main guarantor of international activities in the education sector, individual schools at all education levels, and the initiative of individuals is also important.
Pupil and student mobility
Mobility and exchange of pupils/students
Schools from nursery to tertiary professional actively participate in European and other international activities within the Erasmus+ programme; nursery schools (mateřské školy), basic schools (základní školy – schools for integrated primary and lower secondary education) and upper secondary schools (střední školy) in Erasmus+ school education and in eTwinning. Vocational schools – upper secondary schools and tertiary professional schools (vyšší odborné školy), including other VET institutions – can participate in Erasmus+ project for vocational education and training. Pupils of basic schools and schools providing general education and pupils of vocational schools can also apply themselves and travel by means of their school involved in the Erasmus+ programme. In Czechia, Erasmus+ is administered by the Czech National Agency for International Education and Research (Dům zahraniční spolupráce).
Cross-border cooperation projects
Schools also participate in cross-border cooperation projects, possibly in projects within the framework of bilateral agreements for pupils of the 2nd level of basic schools and secondary general schools (France and Germany). The choice and implementation of the activities is up to the different regions, which provide information about the activities on their websites, at various events and in the press. Some educational activities may be financed by the Operational Programmes that support cross-border cooperation.
Short-term exchanges organised by schools
In addition, nursery, basic, upper secondary and tertiary professional schools (classes) organise short-term exchanges abroad for their pupils, on their own initiative and using their own contacts. The costs are usually covered from financial contributions made by parents of both parties, from the school budgets and from contributions of various foundations or donations. Study stays of these pupils and students are regulated by the Guidelines of the Ministry of Education, Youth and Sports for Assuring Security and Health Protection of Children, Pupils and Students at Schools and School Facilities Established by the MEYS.
Multilingual schools represent another type of cooperation. The Friedrich Schiller secondary general school (gymnázium) in Pirna (Germany) offers a two-nation bilingual Czech-German educational cycle. The multilingual European Middle School – EMS in Vienna is intended for pupils from Austria, the Czechia, Slovakia and Hungary.
Recognition of education and qualifications in school education
The rules for recognising education and qualifications acquired abroad at the level of basic, secondary and tertiary professional education are set by the Education Act and the Decree on Equivalence and Validity of Foreign Certificates Issued Foreign Schools.
A school-leaver of a foreign school who holds a document certifying that he/she has completed basic, secondary or tertiary professional education (a foreign school report) may request the Regional Authority relevant to the applicant's place of residence to issue a certificate of recognition of his/her education. On the basis of the request, the Regional authority:
issues a certificate recognising the equivalence of a foreign school report in Czechia (on the basis of its international commitments, Czechia is obliged to recognise the foreign certificate as equivalent to that issued in Czechia) or
decides on recognising the validity of a foreign school report in Czechia (recognition) (Czechia is not bound by an international treaty to recognise a given foreign certificate as equivalent to a proof of education issued in Czechia).
Upon the submission of an application, school-leavers of a European school are issued a certificate by the Ministry of Education, Youth and Sports.
If Czechia is not bound by such international agreement, the Regional Authority decides on the recognition of education (so called nostrification) upon the submission of the original foreign school report or an officially certified copy. An officially certified translation of the proof of education (the content and scope of education and the recognition of the school where the certificate was issued) into the Czech language must be attached to the application. If the foreign school report does not indicate the content and scope of the subjects taught, the applicant must also submit the general curriculum of the study programme in which he/she completed his/her education. If the Regional Authority finds out – during the recognition of education procedure – that the content and scope of education at the foreign school differ substantially from the corresponding framework education programme in Czechia, the application will be rejected (for the Member States of the European Union, the differences are not taken into account and the application for recognition is approved, as long as the content of education is in accordance with relevant standards). If the content and scope of education at the foreign school differ only partially or the applicant does not satisfy other formal requirements stipulated by the law, the Regional Authority will request for recognition of education examination (so called nostrification examination). In addition, the Regional Authority will also reject the application for recognition if the applicant fails to pass the examination. An applicant who is not a citizen of Czechia does not take the examination in Czech language and literature.
The Ministry of Education, Youth and Sports decides on the recognition of a foreign school report issued by a foreign school, which has an educational programme that is carried out with the agreement of the Ministry of Education, Youth and Sports (in such case, some of the documents are not required, see Section 108 of the Education Act). For education provided by police schools or in the field of fire protection and military affairs, decisions fall within the responsibility of the ministries that are in charge of those respective institutions.
In case of an individual who has been granted international protection in the form of asylum or subsidiary protection in Czechia or any other member state of the European Union, or who – based on Czechia's international commitments – must be regarded as a refugee or a displaced person or a person in a situation similar to that of refugees, the documents required may be replaced with an affidavit. If doubts arise as to whether a given individual completed the education in question, an examination (nostrification examination) may be requested.
The 2016 amendment of the Higher Education Act newly regulates the conditions for the admission of applicants into a bachelor's or a “long” master's programme. This concerns applicants who completed upper secondary education abroad. A higher education institution (vysoké školy) that has obtained institutional accreditation and has no doubt about the quality of the upper secondary school (střední škola) may recognise the complete upper secondary education certified by a relevant document (a proof of the recognition of equivalence, a proof of the European baccalaureate or a foreign proof of foreign upper secondary education – as long as it is equivalent under international agreements without requiring any further action, or a foreign proof of foreign upper secondary education in an upper secondary educational programme that makes the school-leaver eligible for entry into a bachelor's or a “long” master's programme in the country where the study was completed). If relevant, the higher education institution may request additional information.
The conditions for completing school attendance, including the recognition of education abroad for Czech citizens, are described in the section on Compulsory school attendance in Chapter 2.
The Czech National Agency for International Education and Research (Dům zahraniční spolupráce) offers various types of mobilities for teachers:
Teachers may participate in the Erasmus+ programme. They can take advantage of teaching assignments that offer them an opportunity to experience what it is like to teach at a foreign school, or activities aimed at continuing professional development (courses and training abroad or job-shadowing).
Internships and seminars for German and French teachers
Internships and seminars for German and French teachers are possible based on the of bilateral agreements. Outings of German teachers take place within the framework of the Agreement between the Government of the Czech Republic and the Government of Germany on Cultural Cooperation (in force since 2001) on the basis of the Minutes of the Meeting of the Joint Cultural Commission of the Czech Republic and the Federal Republic of Germany. These are internships at basic and secondary schools in Bavaria and seminars in Meissen, Wiesneck, Gars am Inn, or Frankfurt. The offer of didactic internships for French teachers in Belgium is contractually enshrined in the Work Programme for 2017–2019, which is part of the Cooperation Agreement between the Czech Republic and Wallonia (in force since 2002). These are summer courses for French teachers.
Foreign English language teachers work at Czech basic schools (základní školy) and upper secondary schools (střední školy). Their stays are provided for within the programme English teachers by the Academic Information Agency (AIA) – part of the Czech National Agency for International Education and Research. The Agency offers schools a list of people who are interested in teaching English in Czechia, as well as sends applicants for the teaching position a list of schools that require an English teacher. This activity is intended for experienced teachers for a period of one school year or, in exceptional cases, for one term. Travel and accommodation expenses are covered by the applicants. Teachers are paid in the Czech currency.
The European Schools (from nursery school to secondary school) can be staffed by teachers from public and private schools who are posted and paid by EU Member States – Teachers of European Schools. The salary is set according to the salary regulations of the sending country, and the so-called “European allowance” is then paid to teachers from the budget of the European Schools. They can operate in Belgium, Luxembourg, Germany and Italy. The employment contract is negotiated for 2 years and can be extended up to a maximum of 9 years of stay (exceptionally for 12 years).
Programme to Support Czech Cultural Heritage Abroad
In its 2020 Resolution, the government approved the continuation of the Programme to Support Czech Cultural Heritage Abroad in 2021–2025. The programme includes two parts: Educational programme for compatriots and locations for Czech language and literature education. At the request of Czech compatriot communities abroad, teachers can be sent into the communities to promote the knowledge of the Czech language and to increase cultural awareness. Teachers are currently being sent to countries within Europe, South and North America and Australia / New Zealand. Teachers in compatriot communities must have completed a master's degree, preferably specialising in the Czech language. Experience of school teaching and teaching Czech as a foreign language is an advantage. A two-week course in Czech language teaching methodology is available to teachers who are compatriots. Participants receive pocket money, and accommodation. Food and travel expenses are also covered.
Teachers may also participate in mobility programmes within European Economic Area (EEA) Grants.