Out of all the preparations at the beginning of the Trainee Programme, one of my biggest concerns was to decide where to live: should it be Mladá Boleslav or my hometown nearby? I decided to ask ex-Trainees about their opinion and everyone suggested the same: “Stay in the town, at least during the first weeks!” I decided to stay until Christmas and give it a go, and that period completely changed my perspective on living here. How? Keep reading!
If you are into nature (as I am), the location of the town is perfect. It is located merely 20 minutes away from the Bohemian Paradise (Český ráj), which is one of the most beautiful places in the Czech Republic. In addition, Giant Mountains (Krkonoše), Jizera Mountains (Jizerské hory) and Macha's Lake (Máchovo jezero) can be reached within an hour by car. In these regions, you can enjoy various activities such as biking, running, skiing, hiking, as well as the beautiful landscapes. If you prefer cities, I have great news for you, Prague, the capital and the largest city in the Czech Republic is only 45 minutes away. In Prague, the possibilities are endless and you can enjoy museums, cafes and culture. Of course, a weekend visit to the Old Town is a must!
Without a car? Don’t worry, the town is still enjoyable! If you are into sports, you can enjoy parks “Štěpánka” or “Radouč”, where you can go for a run, enjoy the outside gym or go for a slack line session. When you are having a picnic in the “Radouč” park, you can see some wild animals, such as wild rabbits and ground squirrels, which is quite rare in an industrial town. If you are more of an indoors sports person, no worries: there are many gyms where you can work out; also, there is a new swimming pool with a wellness area, which is great for relaxing after work. If you are a sports fan, you can see professional ice hockey and football matches at the Hockey or Football stadium. Along with it, did you know ŠKODA AUTO has its own dragon boat team? You can also join ŠKOFIT team, where you compete – and bond – with your colleagues. It is said that a little competition never hurts.
Moreover, even if you are not into sports, the town still offers some fun. The cinema and theatre offer showings in English, and international restaurants will give you a choice to eat pretty much what you want. I would advise to grab a slice of cake in “Un Caffè & Bistro”, an Italian coffee house recommended by our Italian Trainees! A seasonally opened galleries will also give you the chance to explore the local art scene – small but up-to-date.
There is also a lot to explore for the history geeks, with more than 20 castles and historic sites in the surroundings. Another possible way to spend your free time is to attend conferences. There are many educational and cultural events organized regularly, sometimes also at ŠKODA University. During summer, you can find various fairs, festivals and open-air cinema in the town. As a ŠKODA Trainee you should know our heritage, therefore, you need to visit the ŠKODA Museum – for ŠKODA employees it is free on some days.
But really, do you want to know the biggest reason for staying in Mladá Boleslav? The other Trainees! They are the people with whom you will spend time on the job, and more importantly, off the job. We are always attending events, cooking, watching movies, exercising or planning trips together. In December, we rented cars and drove to Wroclaw to enjoy the Christmas atmosphere and we have already been planning a trip for spring! It was great, and I will never forget the time we spent together with these people.
That is the key to living in this town: your Trainee Family! All of these possibilities would have never accounted to anything if it wasn’t for them. Trust me it is going to be the same for you!
Jan Plíva, Trainee